Apishapa Rock Art and Soul Capture

Author(s): Thomas Huffman; Frank Earley

Year: 2017


Rather than a western extension of the Plains Village tradition, the Apishapa phase was more likely an eastern extension of the Great Basin Desert culture. Among other things, Great Basin origins explain the Apishapa foraging economy that focused on small mammals, antelope and deer, and meager horticulture. Insubstantial structures and temporary rock shelter habitations attest to residential mobility. As others have noted, Archaic rock art in the Great Basin and Apishapa areas are remarkably similar. Abstract curvilinear and rectilinear styles in both areas share several motifs and combinations. We use Great Basin ethnography to discuss abstract rock art at the mouth of the Apishapa canyon in southeast Colorado. Pilgrimages and the Great Basin version of shamanism, especially the concept of soul capture, help to explain Apishapa ‘maps’.

Cite this Record

Apishapa Rock Art and Soul Capture. Thomas Huffman, Frank Earley. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429188)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14842