Red Rock shows off restored prehistoric pictographs
LAS VEGAS (AP) – Bureau of Land Management officials say they have restored a prehistoric pictograph at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area outside Las Vegas that was defaced by a graffiti vandal last year.
At an event planned for today at the Red Rock visitor center, Bureau archaeologist Mark Boatwright will describe how specialists removed the unwanted spray paint while not damaging the rock art.
Hikers discovered the gang graffiti scrawled over historical pictographs and petroglyphs at the scenic federal preserve about 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip in November.
Authorities said the graffiti had covered drawings scraped and ground into the rocks up to 1,000 years ago – probably by Native Americans who once lived in the area.
As many as six different Native-American cultures may have been present at Red Rock over the millennia. The following chronology is an approximation:
- Southern Paiute 900 to modern times
- Patayan Culture 900 to early historic times in the 1800s
- Anasazi 1 AD to 1150.
- Pinto/Gypsum (Archaic) 3500 BC to 1 AD.
- San Dieguito 7000 to 5500 BC.
- Paleo-Indians (Tule Springs) 11,000 to 8000 BC.
Numerous petroglyphs as well as pottery fragments remain today throughout the area. In addition, several roasting pits used by the early ative Americans provide further evidence of human activity in the past at Red Rock.
If you visit the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area:
The conservation area showcases a set of large red rock formations: a set of sandstone peaks and walls called the Keystone Thrust. The walls are up to 3,000 feet (910 m) high, making them a popular hiking and rock climbing destination. The highest point is La Madre Mountain, at 8,154 feet (2,485 m).
A one-way loop road, 13 miles (21 km) long, provides vehicle access to many of the features in the area. Several side roads and parking areas allow access to many of the trails located in the area. The loop road is very popular for bicycle touring; it begins with a moderate climb, then is mostly downhill or flat.
Red Rock Canyon itself is a side-canyon accessible only by four-wheel-drive road off of the scenic loop. The unnamed but often visited valley cut through by State Route 159 is commonly, but incorrectly, referred to as Red Rock Canyon. The massive wall of rock called the Wilson Cliffs, or Keystone Thrust, can be seen to the west along this highway.
Towards the southern end of the National Conservation Area are Spring Mountain Ranch State Park, the western ghost town replica attraction of Bonnie Springs, and the village of Blue Diamond.
Additional information about Red Rock is available online at: http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/lvfo/blm_programs/blm_special_areas/red_rock_nca.html
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