PETROGLYPHS DATING THE OTHER 95% OF ROCK ART

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(Slide 14) Our second petroglyph was the equally famous Sea Wolf motif several km away. (Slide 15) In its 21 levels above large stones and sterile soil we found much more organic and rock art debris than Thunderbird. Quartzite, basalt, conglomerate and sandstone hammerstones or their chips were found in nine levels. (Slide 16) Sandstone and several quartzite line grinders were in six levels and rock flour in eight levels, the bottommost with a grinder. Like Thunderbird, hammerstones and their chips (Slide 17) were mainly quartzite, followed by greywacke, basalt or rhyolite. Sea Wolf and Thunderbird are likely contemporaneous.

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Slide 14
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Slide 15
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Slide 16
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Slide 17

(Slide 18) Turning south to central California, we tested three panels in Little Petroglyph Canyon in the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Range. We halved our test size and reverted to our original 5 mm levels because the soil is very shallow and the petroglyphs bore no sign of large chip removal. The Navy shortened my allotted time from four days to six hours. This made it impossible to test sterile sand away from the art, as recommended at the IFRAO conference. (Slide 19) I was able to test the Single & Double Spiral and Bear Paw petroglyphs with three crews of three members each. Boulders were light rhyolite coated with dark desert varnish, making them appear like black basalt. Motifs were made by pocking through the varnish. Hammerstones have never been found but may be massive quartz, based on conjecture in the Mojave Desert. I found an unaltered quartz cobble on the canyon floor and used it to penetrate desert varnish on an unaltered rhyolite cobble. Since the Coso sheep motifs were widely studied, local archaeologist Sandy Rogers asked if I might date the possibly older geometric forms, plus the odd and likely later Bear Paw motif.

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Slide 18
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Slide 19
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