Monday, June 18, 2018

Rocky Gap Handprint Pictographs - Red Rock Cyn NCA

Handprint pictographs are always a treat for me. I think it's because normal pictos and petros are made with tools. Handprint pictos are created from the actual placement of the hand on the surface. When compared to most other symbols, handprints seem very personal. In my mind's eye I can picture the person placing their hand on the rock. The "rock art" in this area are estimated to be about 1,000 years old. That is seven or eight centuries before the first white settlers started arriving.

You can barely see them with the naked eye.

With DStretch much more is revealed. Notice where the middle of the palm didn't make contact with the rock.

This one shows five handprints.




The rocky surface is a very large, or multiple Agave roasting pits. 


 A nice sized rock shelter



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37 comments:

  1. They were able to leave their mark on the world for a very long time with those hand prints.

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    1. They sure are! These are pretty old for pictos.

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  2. ...fabulous sights from a part of the world that I have never seen, thanks!

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    1. Thanks Tom! I hope you get to someday. I'm sure there is some rock art in your area also.

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  3. Those sure are amazing Pat!

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    1. I agree Brian! I have this stuff in my blood I guess.

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  4. Wow, Pat, I wish I had that DStretch application! It is amazing to see thosee handprints. We recently visited a place on the front range of Colorado that had Ogham markings on a cave wall--it is on my current post. Supposedly, at one time there were also Pictographs located there on the surrounding rocks, as the area was also a natural chimney formation nearby and Native Americans used that area to smoke meat. We could not see the pictographs, although with my sunglasses on I thought I saw a snake design.

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    1. I just left your post. It was very interesting! I don't know if you will see this, so I'm going to PM you on FB about DStretch.

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  5. Sorry not to be visiting much at present but health and computer behaving erratically. But when I heard about this stone on the news this morning I thought it might interest you.
    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/6536758/king-arthur-birthplace-tintagel-castle-1300-year-old-inscriptions/

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    1. Hi Lucy! I haven't been on here for a few weeks myself. Just too darn much going on. Thanks for the link. Very interesting. It is very cool when legend becomes fact.

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  6. P.S. I see you are still managing to have verification free comments on your blog. The settings on mine were changed by Google so visitors have to go through hoops by identifying pictures to prove one is human (though unlike robots most humans would prove their humanity by not bothering I reckon!) I'd thought this new system was necessart but now I see you have circumvented it I will go back to see if I can do the same on mine.

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    1. Yes, it's pretty easy, and you will find it in your settings.

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  7. Do you think the five handprints are five different people or is it the same hand five times? And what were they saying to each other as they made the handprints? Perhaps it's statement "I was here", or maybe "This is my territory".

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    1. That's a great question! I wish I had the answers. I do know that the color red, is usually associated with females.

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  8. Those rock striations are absolutely fantastic. Beautiful creations of nature.
    That's a great cave too. How long to have formed like that, and used a 1000 years ago. What little insignificant beings we are; even as a species. A mere slice in time.

    The hand prints are well observed by you, and incredible to think they've lasted this long. I wonder if it were possible to reveal whether they are male or female and the age of the person? I suppose there would be if someone cared enough.
    Thankfully you care enough Pat, to document these.

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    1. Thanks Anthony! You are right, we are but a mote in god's eye. I really wish we knew more about these things.

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  9. Handprints are my favorite pictographs, too, for that exact reason! I found a splendid handprint site not too long ago that I haven't written about yet.

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    1. Peregriff - Great minds think alike! Looking forward to your post.

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  10. Hi Pat. Sorry to be so late in commenting. I agree with you, the hand prints are fascinating. They seem so personal. I wonder what kind of plant extract or material they used to make handprints that have lasted over 1000 years and counting? I love that rock shelter you found. Looks like a beauty, and perhaps early habitation site?

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    1. Hi Pete! No need for sorry. I've hardly been here myself. There are several different things they used for color. In this case it might have been "red ochre." A form of red earth. That shelter might have been a habitation site, but it wasn't nearly as large looking when you're close to it.

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  11. Pat, it's utterly fascinating to see the before and after, with and without the pictographs! It's like look at two different works of art stemming from the same object!

    The colors are AMAZING!

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    1. Thanks Rob! DStretch certainly is a great tool. I'm sure there are many more out there that are now invisible to the naked eye. When I see locations where I think there might be, or should be pictographs I take photos even if I can't see anything. Sometimes it pays off and sometimes it doesn't

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  12. It is mind boggling to think about the people doing this so very long ago -- wanting to leave their mark, as we all do. D-Stretch is amazing... it is also amazing that you spotted them in natural. I wonder if I would have just walked by (as if I could have gotten there in the first place ))

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  13. Well Sallie, I'm absolutely sure that I've walked by many of them without noticing. I agree about DStretch. It changed everything.

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  14. Finding the handprints must have been so exciting Pat! The DStretch effect is amazing, such a help in highlighting the symbols.

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    1. It is very exciting Grace! I like the remote sites best, it's also still exciting for me to see a public site. Oh yes, DStretch is a game changer.

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  15. Hello, the hand prints are a cool find. Amazing the rock art is so old, great photos and post. Have a happy day!

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    1. I love seeing these things! You also have a happy day Eileen.

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  16. That's so cool and interesting. I haven't read all the comments, so I don't know if you've answered this question, but how do the handprints stay on the rocks like this?

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    1. Good question Robin! Probably the most important factor is how exposed they are to weather and erosion. What the "paint" consists of is the other main factor. Most of this color comes from the "earth pigment" red ochre. It contains a lot of iron. The iron oxidizes and turns red. They also use various things to act as binder. Blood, urine, etc.

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  17. I found your blog through Lucy Corrinder, at Loose and Leafy in Halifax. I'm a big fan of rock art and have been fortunate enough to see some amazing petroglyphs in Australia, South Africa and Namibia. Always the signs of people who lived so long ago have stirred genuine awe. I've seen hand prints like the ones in this post in all three countries. Marking our existence on the land seems a common human impulse. I'm signing up for your blog and look forward to seeing more stunning photos and finds. I write about art and garden design at siteandinsight.com I'm based in rural Quebec, east of Montreal.

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  18. Hello Pat! I would love to visit those three places and see the rock art there. Maybe someday. It doesn't matter how many times I see rock art sites, every single one thrills me. I will go going to your website right away and have a look around. Thanks for signing on!

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