Interpreting Palimpsest Rock Art in the North American Southwest

Author(s): Sarah Krantz

Year: 2018


This paper examines what might be called the "palimpsest panel" rock art tradition of the northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico. Palimpsest panels are rock faces with petroglyphs that have accrued in a layered fashion through time. Prior research into such panels has typically focused on questions of chronology, each layer representing a distinct culture-historical era of iconographic production or a chapter in a linear chronology. Here, however, I move away from the traditional chronological approach, in order to examine the iconographic data present in the form of representation itself, the so-called palimpsest. The way that meaning develops though the act of layering itself is a process by which the icons interact and modify one another. Such an approach reveals not only the rich, information-laden periods between discrete chronological chapters but also demonstrates that palimpsests are far more than the sum of their parts.

Cite this Record

Interpreting Palimpsest Rock Art in the North American Southwest. Sarah Krantz. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442497)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20139