Rock Art in the High Rock Country: a Contextual View

Author(s): Melinda Leach

Year: 2018


Prehistoric rock art increasingly is understood to be embedded in complex cultural systems of social routines, kin networks, economic landscapes, technological change, seasonal population movements, domestic and task-specific foraging behaviors, and variable gendered activities. The Holocene record of occupation and use of the High Rock Country in the Northern Great Basin provides an opportunity to explore such complex contexts of rock art. Rich lithic sources, strategic locations for hunting, and abundant gathering landscapes in the region are marked by substantial rock features, including petroglyphs and, more rare, pictographs. Focusing on a long history of research at the Massacre Lakes, Serendipity Shelter, and elsewhere in the High Rock Country, I examine rock art features in their ecological settings and their co-occurrence with associated milling equipment and obsidian from a wide range of volcanic sources. With these multivariate sources of information, a picture of shifting landscapes, social networks and gendered activities emerges to inform the context and function of rock art in the Northern Great Basin.

Cite this Record

Rock Art in the High Rock Country: a Contextual View. Melinda Leach. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444373)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.189; min lat: 31.803 ; max long: -105.469; max lat: 43.58 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20284