June 6, 2006
Today we drove about an hour and half from Fort Burgwin to a piece of property that has fantastic rock art. The landowner, Marie Van Buren, has been kind enough to allow us to do archaeological research on her property. Accompanying our class is Dr. Dick Ford who is an expert in the field of rock art. Once we pile out of the van he begins his lecture on a panel of petroglyphs. Dr. Ford explains to us how to identify the techniques used to make the rock art and how to record the paper work. The paper work is very tedious and requires writing down some things twice.
After the informative lecture we are then broken up into pairs and assigned to a panel. Albert, the teaching assistant, and I are paired together and we choose to do a very ornate panel. Our panel consists of wavy lines, vertical lines, horizontal lines, a foot, circles, and many other features. At first look of the panel I think to myself that this if going to be impossible because it so confusing. Albert and I devise a plan to cut our panel into imaginary quadrants and do each one at a time so as to not confuse ourselves. As we draw the features we try to come up with interpretations of what these depictions mean. What was their motivations for drawing them and why? I got really into the rock art and immensely enjoyed this exercise. I was left with many unanswered questions; mostly I would have to fill in the answers with my own.
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