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  • Petroglyph Boulder on the Oregon Coast

    Petroglyph Boulder on the Oregon Coast

    I was able to view and photograph this unrecorded site on a beach in Curry County in January 2013. The fascinating pecked glyphs, on a green schist boulder, are distinctive, deep, and relatively large. I am not aware of any other recorded or documented petroglyph sites on the Oregon Coast and, given its possible deep antiquity, appears to be a very rare site.   View more photos.

    Jeff Fentress described this petroglyph boulder (without drawings or photos) as a PCN in 1994 in Bay Area Rock Art News.  PCNs, extensively distributed in inland coast ranges of California, are the subject of Donna Gillette's doctoral dissertation "Cultural Markings on the Landscape: The PCN Pecked Curvilinear Nucleated Tradition in the Northern Coastal Ranges of California." She notes, "PCN researchers have long placed PCNs in the 5000-8000 B.P. range... this is still a hypothesis in search of supporting evidence." PCNs were the focus of earlier research by Teresa (Miller) Saltzman.

    This boulder is the only example north of California and the only PCN beachside boulder.  There are very few petroglyph sites west of the Cascades in Oregon. The two most complex and well-known are near rivers: Cascadia Cave on the Santiam and Two Mile on the lower Rogue River, also in Curry County.  Selected photos from these two sites are posted in the Rock Art Oregon Index.