Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Temple Mountain Rock Art Panel

There are several pictograph panels near Temple Mountain on the edge of the San Rafael Swell.  The best known of these is a BCS/Fremont panel within a few hundred feet of the Temple Mountain Road where it cuts through the San Rafael Reef, just before it transitions from a paved to graded road.  This is a popular camping spot, so be prepared to intrude a little if you want to see the pictographs.  If you are camping here, be prepared to be intruded upon.


The panel is on the cliff face in the center top of this aerial view.


The panel is in generally poor condition, owing more to being painted on a sandstone surface that is slowly flaking away than to vandalism.  Not that vandalism is entirely lacking, howeverSome of the figures are marred by bullet holes.

There are two surviving groups of figures, a large one on the right and a small pair further to the left.  The larger group is mostly Barrier Canyon Style, with some very clear figures and many much fainter ones.  The left group consists of two partial Fremont Style images.

The Large Group on the Right

The Small Pair on the Left
The group on the left has an interesting figure shown in the photo below.  The trapezioidal figure in the center is most likely a Fremont figure.  The top of the head is missing, so we can't see if it had any horns which would be a dead giveaway.  This site, documents how this figure was created by economically utilizing an earlier BCS figure.  This is clear in the close ups below, including one enhanced using DStretch.  This is a good example of how complicated the history of Rock Art can be.  The BCS figures predate the Fremont ones by thousands of years.  And the figures within each style were most likely added very slowly over time as well.  Often changes were made by later artists to existing figures.  The panel at Buckhorn Draw is another example of this.

The Central Figure was Placed on top of an Earlier BCS Figure


Photobucket link

Photosynth link

© 2013  Kerk L. Phillips  

1 comment:

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