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  • Beginnings and Endings: Multigenerational Diversity in Rock Art

    Using individual panels with distinctly different levels of patination helps to focus on time as one of the major factors in the variability of rock art elements. (Her emphasis) -Alanah Woody 1

    The desert:  the mirage of eternity, or close to it, not really a void only because of the deep calm of the wild waiting patiently to wrap itself around you.  -Ariel Dorfman 2

    Why do I seek and find inspiration among the cluttered basalt rims and canyons? Or is it insight?  In-sight into the expanse of time, beginnings and endings, explicit or elusive.

    Three journeys in September to the High Dry Lakes* of SE Lake County, Oregon, have taken me to multitudes of rock rims and multigenerations of petroglyphs, many thousands of years old, deep, dark, imbued with wind and weather.  Others, pecked or carved in the last few hundred years, reflecting light, revealing bright stone.

    Diversity of this region’s rock art stands out as an almost overwhelming richness of time, place, style, and tradition.  Almost?  There is a point where I seek to organize the variables into a sensible grasp of this variety. To make sense.  Rather than labeling, I offer a series of images representative of this expansive variability: Multigenerations of Petroglyphs 

    1.  Alanah Woody in Layer by Layer:  A Multigenerational Analysis of the Massacre Lake Rock Art Site, 1996.

    2. Ariel Dorfman in Desert Memories: Journeys Through the Chilean North, 2003.

     * The “High Dry Lakes” region I define as the roughly rectangular zone, in SE Oregon and NW Nevada, east of Warner Lakes Basin to Guano Rim.  And south from Poker Jim Ridge, on the northern boundary of the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge, crossing the southern Oregon border to the Massacre Lakes region of Nevada.