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  • Bullets, Stupidity, Beauty

    For untold centuries this muted earth-red boulder, sloughed off the basalt rim above, displayed a complex array of archaic petroglyphs.  The winds, dust, rain, and snow of the Summer Lake basin patinaed this roughly textured stone and its carvings. White explorers and settlers for nearly 200 years left it untouched, in peace.  Recently intentionally shot with a gun, four times, the surface now marked with bright gray bullet pits.  This complex place and its boulder now become witnesses and bearers of stupidity and arrogance.  In addition to offering its deep beauty. 

    Two Before-After sets below. (Photos Douglas Beauchamp 2010-2012 & 2016)  

  • Picture Rock Pass - Divide or Intersection?

    In northwest Lake County a low tilted-fault-block ridge divides the Summer Lake basin (a remnant of Lake Chewaucan) from the Fort Rock/Silver Lake basin.  Even during the high stands of the late glacial maximum, about 18,000 years ago, the pluvial lakes were never joined.

    This dynamic geologic and hydrologic intersection became an important cultural intersection.  To the south the Paisley Five-Mile caves and to the north the Fort Rock region, both studied by Luther Cressman in the 1930s, are now known to have been occupied by early peoples over 12,000 years ago.

    Petroglyphs in this region are diverse and distinctive, ranging from archaic (early Anthropocene) to later Anthropocene (the last 3000 years.)  The ridge divide is now called Picture Rock Pass. There are many varieties petroglyphs on sub-ridges and low basalt rims and boulders within a mile of the Highway 31 road cut and within six miles: along the south edge of Silver Lake, to the north; and south of the divide along the northern periphery of the Summer Lake basin near Ana Springs, now a reservoir.

    Many petroglyphs have been minimal recorded, yet despite this significant location, there has not been a systematic study. In part, most archaeologists do not consider petroglyphs scientifically relevant due to difficulties with dating and establishing cultural context.  Revelation awaits. 

    Meanwhile, view striking examples of this important cultural crossroads: Picture Rock Pass

  • Paisley Caves Pictographs

    Paisley Caves Pictographs

    Dennis Jenkins and a site volunteer pointed out pictographs at Paisley Caves during a site visit, June 2009.  They have not been described or analyzed.  Though clearly much more recent than the human remains dated at 14,000 years BP*, the pictographs are of great interest, indicating habitation at the Summer Lake site spanning many millenia.  *Paisley Caves has yielded the oldest human remains (DNA in coprolites) in North Ameriica. For more about Paisley Caves, see article by Dennis Jenkins.

    Photo: Detail of one pictograph, a (faded) bi-sected circle encompassed by a larger circle. See Gallery in Index for more images.