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Petroglyph boulder on my property

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  • Petroglyph boulder on my property

    I recently purchased a piece of property that I found a boulder with multiple carvings on it, I reached out to a local area expert in the field of Native petroglyphs, Nikki Schwend. Nikki is Canyon County Parks Cultural Director, Canyon County Parks is the agency that oversees Celebration Park, Celebration Park is the home of the biggest petroglyph site in Idaho.In Nikki's opinion the petroglyphs on the boulder are Native in origin and predate settlement.

    I am reaching out to this forum in hopes of finding out more information on its documentation and for further thoughts on its origin. Please take a look at the pictures I have taken but keep in mind that I am not a professional photographer.

  • #2

    Comment


    • Olden
      Olden commented
      Editing a comment
      Is it possible the stone was ever moved to it's position with a dozer / farm equipment? Nice rock.

  • #3
    Nikki's account; Owners of a private residence in Crouch have been reaching out to a number of people and organizations in an attempt to have someone look at a unique rock located on their property (across the road from the Starlight Mountain Theatre and next to the Dirty Shame Saloon & Restaurant). They suspect that the rock is an undocumented petroglyph in an area not typically known for petroglyphs. Several individuals and organizations recommended that they contact Canyon County Parks, Cultural & Natural Resources due to our experience with petroglyphs.

    On Monday Aug 27th, 2018 I and two members of my staff were able to get out to this property to investigate this rock. We got to meet the enthusiastic landowners and couldn’t have asked for better picture taking weather (overcast).

    The rock is located in their front yard surrounded by grass and it recently had a large tree adjacent to it (this tree was removed in August for safety reasons). The rock appears to look basalt due to the colors, but it could actually be granite (though I’m not a trained geologist). The owners suspect the reddish-brown colors on the rock are due to the iron in their irrigation water that perpetually ‘irrigates’ the rock in the yard. All the other rocks in the area appear to be granite. This piece is holding up to time really well – not crumbling like granite typically does. After having a close-up, it definitely has the appearance of abstract glyphs on a variety of surfaces. Straight lines, curved lines and a couple chevron symbols. There is one corner of the rock that does appear to have some modern scarring (probably a lawn-mower), but the rest appear to be intentionally man-made. The property owner is unaware of any other similar rocks in the area. He believes it is an outline of the mountains across the river from it which is why he called it ‘Map Rock 2’ in all inquiries. The mountains were surrounded in low-hanging clouds, so I could not speak to the validity of this.

    The owners were very curious to know if we had a way to determine if it was Native American or Euro-Americans that might have created them. I explained to him how difficult that can be to determine without other evidence. However, with nothing else to go on, its abstract style aligns more with Native American styles than European influenced styles. With no other known glyphs in the area for comparison coupled with the influence of the irrigation water buildup on the rock, age determination will be near impossible to get. The owners would like someone to document this find and are open to people coming onto their property and taking a second look.

    Nicki Schwend
    Director
    Canyon County Parks, Cultural and Natural Resources

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    • #4
      I have to be completely honest here....

      I don't see anything to suggest something outside of natural formations.

      Need some better pics.

      Is there evidence in the area to suggest Native American activity?


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      • #5
        NJ please read the Archaeologists account of visiting the rock in person, it has all ready been ruled out as a natural. Yes there is documented native activity in the area within a mile of the boulder.and the tribe is notified and will be coming out this summer to take a closer look, The abstract symbols also look very similar to formations within 100 miles of here.

        I do not want to sound rude but I am not looking for confirmation of its authenticity, I am looking for help to better photograph and document it or advice in that area.

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        • #6
          Side note; Don Zuhlke author of Map Rock decoded had also visited the site and has the same opinion as Nikki.

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          • #7
            I'm not seeing rock art looks more like dozer scars but I'm not an expert . The first set of photos # 3 has a couple of grooves that may have been pecked ? I don't see any design element at all .

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            • #8
              I’m calling in the Oak Island boyz ... Prehaps a new series ?

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              • #9
                LOL, My first though is that it was a treasure map.

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                • #10
                  Why do you need more opinions if you already have the opinions of "Profesionals"? Just a side note here years ago I went to a site that had a small bowl carved into a rock. The guy who showed it to me said he had alerted the state archaeologist who himself was an anthropologist and another anthropologist both of who had worked in that area for more then 40 years. They had oposing opininions. One said it looked modern the other said ancient. I guess an opinion is just that.

                  Opinion: a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

                  My advice is continue to document what you find out from people who visit in person. I myself see some scrapes and if I had a portable scope I would come look and see if I could find traces of steel. Because it appears to have been moved perhaps by an akerman or some other large earth mover. I am definetly not seeing basalt nor granite. The rock looks to porus to me for either of those . However it is just an opinion based on a couple of photographs and a story about some other persons second hand acounts.
                  Last edited by Hoss; 02-25-2019, 03:00 PM.
                  TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Tiace11882 View Post
                    NJ please read the Archaeologists account of visiting the rock in person, it has all ready been ruled out as a natural. Yes there is documented native activity in the area within a mile of the boulder.and the tribe is notified and will be coming out this summer to take a closer look, The abstract symbols also look very similar to formations within 100 miles of here.

                    I do not want to sound rude but I am not looking for confirmation of its authenticity, I am looking for help to better photograph and document it or advice in that area.
                    Is Nikki an archaeologist? Nikki Schwend. Nikki is Canyon County Parks Cultural Director, Canyon County Parks is the agency that oversees Celebration Park

                    TN formerly CT Visit our store http://stores.arrowheads.com/store.p...m-Trading-Post

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      It’s going to be difficult for people here to make a definitive judgment from these pictures. That director that came from it in person wasn’t totally convinced either, the way it sounded to me. I don’t really see any kind of design element, abstract or not, but then it’s really hard from these pictures. Hopefully you could get another professional opinion from another on site visit
                      My name is Gary. I live in NE South Dakota

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        I have done quite a bit of petroglyph research and just had my research of Mark Rock here in Rhode Island preserved for future generations, since almost all of the Mark Rock ledge is now buried beneath mud and sand, due to changes to the shoreline. I have also worked with Ed Lenik, perhaps the leading authority on petroglyphs in the Northeast. Point being, I have quite a bit of first hand experience.

                        So, if Nicki Schwend has the relevant experience studying petroglyphs, I see no reason to doubt his analysis, based on the statement made, and based on what I can see in the photo. His experience I believe is reflected in his emphasis on the type of designs he describes. Sorry, I don't know if Nicki is a male or female name, lol. I can clearly see the triangle design, in your first pic, which he may be referring to when he refers to a chevron.

                        But, I can't really judge much else in your photos. I also don't think we have anyone here, myself included, who would be able to relate what is seen, if we grant they are petroglyphs, to the traditional native petroglyph motifs known for your area. Chevron designs are found coast to coast, they are a known petroglyph design element everywhere in North America. You can check out the Northeast section of the petroglyph section of this forum's information section for one of the sites I recorded, but it isn't really going to help you with your rock. You will see triangles designs on the site I describe, though, for what that's worth.

                        In conclusion, provided Nicki has the experience with petroglyphs, I would not challenge his analysis. The problem is your photos are not doing the best job in the world revealing those designs, so it's tough for us to render judgements. When photographing petroglyphs that are pecked into rock, the best time to photograph them is shortly after sunrise, or shortly before sunset, depending on where the sun is in relation to what direction the glyphs are facing. That is when they will stand out the sharpest, for purposes of getting the best photos possible. But, remember, even then, it's unlikely anybody here will be able to render a meaningful interpretation for you. If Nicki is correct, just protect them, and appreciate they meant something to the maker, or makers from however distant a past.
                        Rhode Island

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                        • #14
                          I am a little disappointed by judgments made of the artifact/markings based on my lack of photographic expertise, I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. If ANYONE wants to take a first hand look and they do not think it is native in origin I will buy them dinner and a beer.

                          The reason I am originally reached out was to see if the markings were pre or post settlement, either would add to the history of this area, I assumed that the markings were property/land mapping, that is why I called out the local area experts, there opinion is that it predated settlement, " it definitely has the appearance of abstract glyphs" "appear to be intentionally man-made" "abstract style aligns more with Native American styles than European influenced styles" When they visited the remarked that the carvings looked to be stone pecked not made with modern tools These are comments from people that have PERSONALLY visited the artifact I do not personally care either way if they are Native or settler made, either should be respected as an artifact of American history.

                          All I am trying to do is get it further evaluated and documented so it doesn't get lost in history again!

                          Thank you for all of your opinions based on my photos.

                          I will update this post after the Shoshone Tribe visits it this upcoming Summer.

                          Is there anyone in this group near Idaho who could come and take a look for themselves?

                          P.S. questioning Nikki Schwends expertise in the area was uncalled for and quite rude.

                          Comment


                          • Hoss
                            Hoss commented
                            Editing a comment
                            No one questioned her expertise I asked "is she an archaeologist?". You claimed she is. I just want to know if you stated a fact. There is no doubt that she has vast experience being made director. However your story line states archaeologist and you introduce a persons name with title and it leaves out the PHD part.
                            Last edited by Hoss; 02-26-2019, 04:06 PM.

                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Tiace11882 View Post
                          I am a little disappointed by judgments made of the artifact/markings based on my lack of photographic expertise, I am willing to put my money where my mouth is. If ANYONE wants to take a first hand look and they do not think it is native in origin I will buy them dinner and a beer.

                          The reason I am originally reached out was to see if the markings were pre or post settlement, either would add to the history of this area, I assumed that the markings were property/land mapping, that is why I called out the local area experts, there opinion is that it predated settlement, " it definitely has the appearance of abstract glyphs" "appear to be intentionally man-made" "abstract style aligns more with Native American styles than European influenced styles" When they visited the remarked that the carvings looked to be stone pecked not made with modern tools These are comments from people that have PERSONALLY visited the artifact I do not personally care either way if they are Native or settler made, either should be respected as an artifact of American history.

                          All I am trying to do is get it further evaluated and documented so it doesn't get lost in history again!

                          Thank you for all of your opinions based on my photos.

                          I will update this post after the Shoshone Tribe visits it this upcoming Summer.

                          Is there anyone in this group near Idaho who could come and take a look for themselves?

                          P.S. questioning Nikki Schwends expertise in the area was uncalled for and quite rude.
                          I'm not sure why you are so disappointed. It's likely, I don't know for sure, but it's likely that after nearly 40 years of petroglyph research here in the Northeast, that I have more experience then most of our other members. Did you not read my comment? I have a great deal of experience photographing glyphs, and so do my colleagues in the field. I provided the best advice I could on how to photograph glyphs. Back in the day, I used to chalk them, and take photos both unchalked and chalked. Since then, chalking has become very frowned upon, due to subtle chemical changes that can actually damage the glyphs. That's one reason taking photos when the sun is very low on the horizon is best, and is preferred.

                          What you don't seem to understand is that the lines are hard to see in your photos. That's not the fault of anyone here. As well, most folks here are artifact collectors, not petroglyph researchers. I have photographed many designs that resist interpretation. Particularly abstract and geometric designs. Representational designs, like human or animal figures, are far easier to make sense of, but even there, the anthropomorphic(human-like) figures can be very tough to interpret. We are dealing here with prehistoric cultures, meaning they had no system of writing to allow us to know their thoughts and ideas, something we can do with historic cultures(meaning they possessed a writing system), even historic cultures from thousands of years in the past.

                          Further, there are petroglyph research societies. You can easily find them using google, and reach out to them, rather then artifact collectors. It's quite likely you will gain more insight in that direction.

                          I specifically told you that if the individual who examined your rock had sufficient and relevant experience judging glyphs, take their word for it, and protect your find. And all you can do is complain that people question that person's judgement?!?! People are entitled to their own opinions. If you don't want opinions, do not ask for opinions. Pretty simple. I gave you the opinion of someone with 40 years experience recording petroglyphs, and it's as if I don't exist. Lol. Pretty lame response on your part. This is an artifact collectors forum, not a petroglyph research forum. Nonetheless, I went through some trouble to help you. You're welcome, it won't happen again.
                          Rhode Island

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                          • Broken Arrow
                            Broken Arrow commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Schwend graduated from Boise state in 2003 with a bachelor's in anthropology with a specialization in archaeology. She then returned in 2012 and got her masters in applied anthropology.

                          • Hoss
                            Hoss commented
                            Editing a comment
                            thanks I asked Tiace11882 to confirm this. I guess a little bit of disapointment caused Tiace11882 to overlook my question.

                          • Broken Arrow
                            Broken Arrow commented
                            Editing a comment
                            You're welcome, Matt.
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