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This webpage reproduces an article in
American Antiquity
Vol. 15 No. 3 (Jan. 1950), pp219‑228

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though, please let me know!

p219 The Petroglyphs of Dinwoody, Wyoming

David S. Gebhard and Harold A. Cahn

In 1873 the party of Capt. Indicates a West Point graduate and gives his Class.William A. Jones reported that "throughout the Wind River country of Wyoming many pictographs have been found, and others reported by the Shoshoni Indians."1 Thus the Dinwoody petroglyphs and those in the surrounding area have been known for three-quarters of a century, and yet were not even surveyed for archaeological purposes until 1938 and 1939.2 This, of course, is typical of the fate of petroglyphs over most of North America.3 Only during the last twenty years has any attention been given by competent archaeologists to the subject of "Indian Writing."4 There is no need to draw attention to the "interpretation" of these rock drawings by amateur speculators,a for Steward's chastisement of them would be difficult to equal.5

The Dinwoody petroglyphs have not escaped this type of treatment. Many of the panels have been used to "prove" the existence of lost continents, buried treasures, and hidden cities. The real problem is not in the local myths, but in the actual physical defacement which seems to be the fate of historical and archaeological monuments in America. Fortunately, the Dinwoody petroglyphs are eight miles from the highway and are accessible only over a very rough and winding road; they have therefore been able to escape this type of destruction. Unfortunately, other sites in the state have not been so blessed with geographical obstacles, and therefore this defacement problem has made it imperative that work be done on a number of other sites throughout the state. The studies at Dinwoody are only a beginning to what it is hoped will be a complete study of Wyoming and the adjoining areas.6

The Dinwoody archaeological area is a rather ill-defined region at the head of Dinwoody Lake in western Wyoming. The lake can best be reached by following the dirt road which leaves U. S. Highway No. 287 about a quarter of a mile west of the Post Office station of Wilderness, Wyoming. The dirt road runs almost straight south till it reaches the lower end of Dinwoody Lake, where it turns southwest and ends at the head of the lake. The area itself is about a mile wide by two miles long and is centered around the prominent cliff which faces the lake on the north side and is known locally as the "Sleeping Ledge." The entire lake is in the lower part of Dinwoody Canyon; this is one of the main watersheds of the Dinwoody glaciers which are located on the eastern face of Gannet Peak on the continental divide. The canyon walls make up the north and south boundaries of the area; the east boundary is the lake; and the western boundary is the first of a series of steep hills which gradually lead up the canyon to the continental divide plateau. The entire area is on the westernmost boundary of the Shoshoni Indian Reservation and is almost three miles east of the Washaki Wilderness National Forest line.

Dinwoody Canyon was ideal as a more or less permanent location for ancient Indian villages for several reasons. Most important is the fact that Dinwoody Creek provides a constant supply of pure water and a varied and abundant supply of fish throughout the whole year. Not far away is one of the largest forested regions of the western United States; even today it is regarded as one of the best game areas left in the country. Elk, deer, bear, and mountain p220sheep and goat are common in the upper reaches of the valley. In the spring bear and mountain sheep are seen even down near the lower lakes. The valley is admirably protected during the winter and even during the coldest seasons the cliffs which face south are quite warm and protected from the winds. At the base of the cliffs people could winter in the large caves and move up the valley during the summer months to remain in a cool climate and follow the game.

Physically the valley lies between two cliff walls which vary from 200 to 300 feet at the eastern end to 1000 feet at the western end. The walls are composed of a reddish sandstone and limestone, and the formations exposed run from the Embar to the Chugwater. In the middle of the valley is a "hog-back" of Tensleep sandstone in whose walls are numerous caves and shelters. Most of the petroglyphs are found on the many smooth faces of these rocks. The average altitude of the area is 7100 feet, although there is a continuous upgrade to about 13,000 feet at the Gannet Peak Glacier Fields. The intervening country between the archaeological area and the glaciers is largely unexplored, and no detailed maps are available.

From a biological standpoint the Dinwoody Valley is a transitional zone between the short grass prairie climax community of the lower altitudes in Wyoming and the coniferous forest climax area characteristic of the higher places in the mountains below the tundra. The forested zone is confined to an altitude between 8,000 feet at Mud Lake to 11,000 feet on the plateau of the continental divide. As the entire area has been little disturbed by man even at the lower accessible altitudes, normal floral and faunal relations typical of the ecological types described actually exist.

Many of the sites of the archaeological area were trenched and excavated by the Wyoming Archaeological Survey during 1938 and 1939. This work was sponsored by the W. P. A. under the direction of Mr. Ted Sowers. The survey disclosed that the valley had been occupied for a long period of time and by many Indian groups. The main cave has been partially excavated and the camp site completely trenched with a yield of hundreds of potsherds and other artifacts.7 Unfortunately, little or no attempt was made to establish even a relative stratigraphy for the artifacts with the result that there is now in existence a large collection of artifacts whose archaeological value has been almost completely destroyed. In our investigations we located at least two caves of large size and four possible camp sites which show signs of extensive occupation. These should be investigated and carefully excavated with a view to establishing the needed stratigraphy.

After a general study of the area we are convinced that we have photographed, studied, and analyzed nearly every petroglyph and that a reasonably complete record has been preserved for future study.

The method of attacking the problem of petroglyphs had to be faced as an entirely new question, for very little systematic work has been done on the subject in North America. There are, we realize, some notable exceptions to this: the excellent work of Steward in California8 and the field work of E. B. Renaud in Colorado and New Mexico,9 but for our particular area these studies could only be used as a basic framework.

It was decided before we actually approached the field work that we would first divide and give to each general area a letter, i.e., "A" for Dinwoody, "B" for Dry Creek, etc.; second, we would divide the groups of petroglyphs on a geographic basis into what we termed "sites"; for example PS1 at Dinwoody is an entire cliff separated at the right from PS11 by fallen talus and separated on the left from PS6 by a sloping hill covered with more talus. All petroglyphs on this particular site were subnumbered 1, 2, 3, etc.; therefore, the numbers of the individual sites and their subdivisions have no intrinsic value beyond the fact that they designate the manner and order in which they were found and recorded. In many instances we have a high number very near a lower one; this situation occurs because the higher numbered panel was not recorded on the first survey.

In writing the field notes a notation was made on the geographic features of the sites, i.e., the type of geological formation, location, height, direction in relationship to lake, etc. For the panels themselves, individual notes were taken describing weathering, pecking measurements, style of pecking, the particular rock upon which it occurred, and any unusual features of the panel, as the occurrence of "sun" symbols, zigzag lines, and abstract designs. Also at this p221time the panel was chalked in, and both a photograph and a drawing were made.

After a number of sites had been visited and superimpositions discovered, we were able to establish the several types. With them in mind a study was made of the drawings and the photographs, and the various figures were assigned to specific types. This could be done only for a limited number of panels and figures; those that we were unable to assign to appropriate categories from the field notes and pictures were revisited several times and compared with our superimpositions. Thus we were able to classify all the panels and the figures10 appearing on them to one of four types.11 Finally, a series of trips were made to all the sites to recheck those that we had originally classified and to check those that we had later assigned in the field. From this work we were able to make up our final distribution of sites.

Perhaps the most difficult task facing the investigator of new archaeological material is the problem of establishing the chronology of that material. Two types of chronology are recognized and usually the first must be established before it is possible to deal with the second. The first is the relative chronology; it is concerned with the age of the artifact (or petroglyph in this case) in relation to other artifacts from the same site or area. In the case of buried artifacts this information can usually be obtained by a study of the stratification in relation to other artifacts in a trash heap or cave floor. This process is called seriation, and results in a stratigraphic sequence of artifacts similar to the sequence of formations in geology. However, in establishing a relative chronology of petroglyphs, this procedure is inapplicable because of the fact that the petroglyphs are not buried. Generally speaking, relative chronology can be more or less positively established by:

1. Actual superimpositions on the same surface where the figures show differences in weathering and/or differences in style.

2. General conditions of weathering on the same or like surfaces.

3. Changes in style from a realistic primitive to a more complex advanced style.

On the basis of these criteria we were able to divide the various panels at Dinwoody into four types. Type I, the oldest, was subdivided into Types IA and IB, and Type IV, the latest of the four types, was divided into Types IV and IV′. Type I is composed primarily of animal representations. Types II and III center their attention upon various human and abstract designs. Although Type IV is the last of the four types its human and animal signs are very simple in comparison to its predecessor.12

As far as is now known there are no examples in North America in which evolutionary stages from the pictographic to the phonetic can be seen. Actual superimpositions are apparently rare and have not previously been reported from Wyoming.13 We recognize five superimpositions in a total of 97 panels; there are in addition six or more panels which, though not strictly superimpositions as defined in criterion No. 1 above, are close enough to be regarded as of definite value. These six panels are regarded as establishers of chronology because they all contain differences in weathering and style of figures on the same surface but not actually on top of each other.14 The definite superimpositions show all the types and their subdivisions except Types IV and IV′.15

No serious attempt has been made to establish the absolute chronology at Dinwoody, or for that matter any of the sites in Wyoming. This second type of chronology is an attempt to assign actual dates to the artifacts and depends basically upon being able to equate the artifacts in question with other artifacts of the same culture or cultures which have already been dated.

A typical example of a superimposed panel is shown in Figures 67‑71.16 The panel is on a rock p222which has two faces nearly at right angles to each other, each face containing part of the panel. The dimensions of this section are 6 feet high by 4 feet long. This panel shows typical figures of Types IA, IB, II, and III, and all are in a good state of preservation. This panel in the field would serve to illustrate the point that superimpositions are not always obvious, as one can see only the Type III and one Type II figure upon first examination; but on continued study the Type I and the rest of the Type II figures gradually become apparent. The figures of this panel assigned to Type IB show two things of interest: most of the Type IB figures at Dinwoody are pecked all over like the typical Type IA. If it were not for the fact that there is a solid pecked front view of an animal head (Fig. 68) definitely superimposed on a Type IA animal, and that this face is more weathered than the lines of a Type II figure hidden by the large Type III figure which is superimposed on it in the lower right corner, we would be inclined to place the solid animal head in the Type IA and the others now called IB in Type II. The other Type IB animals are not solidly pecked but are as weathered as the head discussed and all show about the same degree of removal from the realistic animals of Type IA. Unfortunately, there are no other Type IB figures definitely superimposed on Type IA so that we could confirm our diagnosis of the subdivision of the category.

[image ALT: A sample of ancient petroglyphs near Dinwoody, Wyoming.]

Fig. 67. Type I A petroglyphs, Site PS2, 2,
Dinwoody, Wyoming.


[image ALT: A sample of ancient petroglyphs near Dinwoody, Wyoming.]

Fig. 68. Type I B petroglyphs, Site PS2, 2,
Dinwoody, Wyoming.


[image ALT: A sample of ancient petroglyphs near Dinwoody, Wyoming.]

Fig. 69. Type II petroglyphs, Site PS2, 2,
Dinwoody, Wyoming.


[image ALT: A sample of ancient petroglyphs near Dinwoody, Wyoming.]

Fig. 70. Type III petroglyphs, Site PS2, 2,
Dinwoody, Wyoming.


[image ALT: A sample of ancient petroglyphs near Dinwoody, Wyoming.]

Fig. 71. Superimposition of the four types of petroglyphs, Site PS2, 2,
Dinwoody, Wyoming.

p223 Judging from the types of animals represented (see below, p224), the people who made the Type IA and IB panels were probably nomadic hunters and may have followed the game into the high places in the mountains. A further interesting point is that the buffalo is never represented in the Type IA and IB panels while it is common in the petroglyphs of the Plains Indians.

Other definite chronology-establishing panels at Dinwoody show much the same kind of relationship as the one illustrated, and similar conclusions are to be drawn from them. The following notes give a brief description of each panel which shows definite superimposition:

1. Site PS3, 2. This panel shows Types IA, IB, II, and III. Its dimensions are 5 feet 4 inches high by 5 feet 7 inches wide, and it is on a separate rock. All of the types are quite typical although the weathering is greater than at PS2, 2.

2. Site PS5, 1. This panel, whose dimensions are 2 feet 2 inches high by 6 feet 3 inches wide, was the first one in which we recognized superimposition. It is also the first one in which we recognized the difference between Type IA and IB. It shows two types, IA, IB, and III.

3. Site PS5, 2. This panel is right next to PS5, 1 on the cliff facing the ancient camp site. Its dimensions are 5 feet 10 inches high by 5 feet 5 inches wide. There are a great number of figures in this particular panel. Types IA, IB, II, and III are seen in it.

4. Site PS8, 1. This panel is the one which Mr. Ted Sowers has called "The Birth of the Twins" in his unpublished report in the University of Wyoming Library. It is made up of mostly Type III figures with a few Type II and one prominent Type IB animal which is probably a deer or an elk. The dimensions of the panel are 4 feet 2 inches high by 15 feet 9 inches wide, and it is located on a north-facing cliff on the south side of the lake. This is one of the largest and most complicated panels at Dinwoody but is rather far from the center of concentration and is one of the very few north-facing cliffs which have petroglyphs. It is almost directly across the lake from the "Sleeping Ledge."

The following list gives all the other panels which we regard as of chronology-establishing value but which are not superimpositions as the ones listed above. The types we recognize in each are also listed.

1. Site PS (S. L.) 11, 4 Types II and III
2. Site PS1, 2 Types III and IV
3. Site PS3, 3 Types II and III
4. Site PS5, 4 Types IA and II
5. Site PS5, 10 Types IB and II
6. Site PS6, 2 Type II and III

A statistical analysis brings out many features which might otherwise be overlooked by the casual observer. The fact that the types do fall into a narrow list or category exemplifies again the solidarity of the various types and that the division line between them is not merely arbitrary. There are 120 occurrences of the various types at Dinwoody. Of this number p224Type IA is represented by 8 occurrences, Type IB by 9, Type II by 34, Type III by 58, and Types IV and IV′ by 11. Thus it will readily be seen that Type III predominates over all the other types.

The distribution of the types in relation to Dinwoody Lake presents an interesting pattern. Types IA, IB, and II occur mostly to the west of the lake, while 44 of the 58 occurrences of Type III were found north of the lake. Exactly one-half of the petroglyphs occur north of the lake; the rest occur on the west and south sides.17

Proceeding to a closer examination of the four types we discover that Types IA and IB represent almost entirely game animals (Fig. 72); in fact only one human representation was found in Type IA and nine in Type IB. In these two types the human form is usually represented by a cross, sometimes with a dot for a head. There are a few variations of this, as in PS3, 2 and PS5, 1, where the arms on the figures have taken on the characteristics of wings. Compared to the large human and animal representations we find in Type III, the figures in Type I are miniatures. The human figures measure from 3 inches in PS5, 10 to 1¼ inches in PS5, 1; the animals are in the same proportion, measuring from 8 inches in the case of PS8, 1 to 1¾ inches in an animal representation in PS5, 1. The animals depicted in the early panels are, on the whole, still common in the area, or were so up to a few years ago.

[image ALT: A sample of ancient petroglyphs near Dinwoody, Wyoming.]

Fig. 72. Typical figures of Types IA and IB, Dinwoody, Wyoming. a, b, and d are from Site PS4, 3; c, h, PS5, 3; e, PS8, 1; f, PS2, 2; g, PS5, 2.

The animals are difficult to identify because the characteristics of many are so nearly alike; the deer and the elk are similar, as are the mountain sheep and the mountain goat. We were able to make out six distinctly different animals, four of which appeared more than once. The most numerous were the mountain sheep and goats, which in both IA and IB occurred more often than all the other animals combined.

The majority of the human and animal representations in both types were solidly pecked18 and in all cases the panels were close to the ground.19

p225 When one begins to study Type II, he is immediately struck by the high degree of conventionalization that has been reached by these people in their drawings. We no longer find the great predominance of animals that was present in the two earlier types; the human figure has emerged as the center of attention (Fig. 73). The panels themselves are also much larger, measuring up to 7 feet wide by 6 feet high, and again, as in Type I, we usually find them near the ground. Abstract figures occur here for the first time.20

[image ALT: A sample of ancient petroglyphs near Dinwoody, Wyoming.]

Fig. 73. Typical figures of Type II, Dinwoody, Wyoming. a is from Site PS3, 2; b, PS5, 12; c, PS4, 1; d, PS6, 2; e, PS6, 4; f, PS1, 14; g, PS5, 4; h, SL4; i, PS5, 2; j, PS3, 4.

Type III appears to be a more advanced conventionalization of Type II, at least in style (Fig. 74). This type, as already mentioned, makes up almost half of the petroglyphs at Dinwoody, and it is in this type that we find our most imposing panels, measuring 38 feet long and 17 feet wide in the case of PS (S. L.) 11, 5. The majority of these panels occur on the "Sleeping Ledge" north of the lake, and the main panels occur high above the ground level of the valley on smooth ledges. On the whole the figures of this type are deeply pecked and little weathered. Although upon first glance the drawings appear incised, upon close and careful examination it will be seen that they are pecked close together, the various peckings forming one thick line. In depth the pecking measures from ⅛ inch in the case of PS (S. L.) 11, 3 to ½ inch in PS (S. L.) 11, 9. There are some indications of patination on some of the figures, and those of this type on the south side of the lake are entirely covered with orange lichens.21 Another interesting each of this period is that the figures are no longer equally proportioned. We have some figures in the same panel which are 10 inches and others 6 feet high.22

[image ALT: A sample of ancient petroglyphs near Dinwoody, Wyoming.]

Fig. 74. Typical figures of Type III, Dinwoody, Wyoming. a is from Site SL7; b, PS10, 6; c, PS6, 2; d, PS10, 9; e, PS8, 1; f, SL7; g, PS1, 12; h, SL3; i, SL15.

Type IV (Fig. 75) is without question the most composite of all types, and it is likewise open to the most doubt. The human figure is still the center of attention, but there is an increase in percentage of the number of animals depicted. The figures are on the whole lacking in the essential characteristics of Type III, although we do find some similarity, for example, three fingered hands and toes.

[image ALT: A sample of ancient petroglyphs near Dinwoody, Wyoming.]

Fig. 75. Typical figures of Type IV, Dinwoody, Wyoming. a, g, i are from PS1, 2; b, c, h, PS7, 1; d, PS4, 11; e, PS6, 5; f, PS4, 12; j, SL8.

The following is a detailed breakdown of the types:

p226 Type IA

Human. There is only one human representation in this type, occurring at site PS5, 2.

Animal. There are 30 animals: 4 mountain sheep, 1 elk, 3 deer, 2 antelope, and 8 which are questionable.

Type IB

Human. There are 9 representations scattered over 3 sites.

Animal. Seventy-eight animals: 40 mountain sheep, 2 elk, 12 deer, 2 antelope, 1 bear, 1 wolf, and 22 which are questionable.

Type II

Human. There are 62 human representations. Of this number 24 have wings, 20 three-toed feet, 19 horns, 2 genital organs, and 17 are solidly pecked.

Animals. There are 9 animal and insect representations; of this number 3 are identified as deer.

Questionable and abstract. There are 7 which appear complete in themselves and 20 which are classified as questionable.

Type III

Human. There are 155 representations. Of these 43 have wings, 93 three-toed feet, 96 fingered hands, 24 dots around the head or upper part of the body; 37 are solidly pecked; 78 have horns, 19 snakes, and 9 genital organs.

Animal. Of the 20 representations, 9 are birds or insects, 4 of which are placed over the head of a human representation; the remaining 11 are animals, 4 of which are identifiable as dogs.

Questionable and abstract. Seventy-nine fall into this category; 50 of these are complete in themselves (of this number 9 are recognized sun symbols, the remaining 29 are questionable).

Type IV

Human. There are 14 representations; 7 have toed feet, 9 fingered hands; 3 are solidly pecked, 1 completely surrounded by a circle.

Animal. There are 3 representations; 1 is elk and 2 are birds or possibly insects.

Questionable and abstract. These are 8 in number, 7 of which are abstract, 1 questionable.

In a study of petroglyphs one is always impressed by the similarities to certain abstract or conventionalized signs found in all quarters of the world. It probably illustrates Dr. Renaud's remark23 that primitive peoples evolve in much the same way, and that they use the same symbols to designate the natural objects surrounding them. The universality of the spiral has been commented on by almost every writer in the field, no matter where his studies have led him.

While the Wind River petroglyphs have a certain peculiarity of their own, they are still, in a broad sense, similar to others found all over North America; quite naturally they are close to those of California and the Southwest. The early human and animal representations of Types IA and IB appear to be most like those which are found over the whole continent. For instance, what appear at first glance to be perfect reproductions of the early panels at Dinwoody are found in the Lamar district of Colorado and in the "Lost City" (Pueblo Grande de Nevada) in southern Nevada.24

In dealing with Types II and III we do not encounter the universality found in the earlier types. With a few exceptions, the panels of Type III far surpass in complexity anything reported from the Southwest or from the Plains area.25 The sun symbol (PS6, 2), the rain sign (PS[S. L.]11, 7), the cloud symbol (PS[S. L.] 11, 10), the rain wings (PS[S. L.]11, 3), the zigzag (PS10, 7), the "Spirit Birds" (PS[S. L.]11, 5) are all found throughout the Southwest and California areas.

An interesting similarity is found when we compare the painted petroglyphs of Desert Queen Well in southern California (Fig. 76, A) with the painted pictographs of the main cave at Dinwoody. Both apparently are human figures partially enclosed in a circle. There has been some speculation that the latter may represent the sex of the figures, but judgment on this should be suspended, if for no other reason than lack of evidence.

[image ALT: various prehistoric artifacts, detailed in the caption to this figure.]

Fig. 76. A, petroglyphs from Desert Queen Well, southern California. B, petroglyphs from the main cave at Dinwoody, Wyoming. C, black soapstone necklace ornament found five feet beneath the surface in the main cave at Dinwoody.

At this point, mention should be made of a small pendant that was recovered by the W. P. A. crew in 1938‑39 (Fig. 76, B). Made of black soapstone, it was found 5 feet below the surface at the entrance to the main cave, and measures ⅓ inch by 1½ inches. Some artifacts were associated with it, but to our despair they were not noted in detail, as no stratification was recorded. The pendant contains drawings incised on both faces of the stone; the workmanship is of a very good order. There is a human representation on each side, and both figures are accompanied by various abstract signs or decorations.

It is from artifacts of this kind that we hope to find the key to our absolute chronology. The fact that the early digging was not well conducted has removed this particular piece from the important position that it might well have assumed, and it also poses a series of new problems. Even assuming that we know what artifacts p227were associated with it, and from what culture or phases they may have come, how are we to correlate it absolutely with our petroglyphs? We cannot judge from weathering or superimposition on the pendant; thus we are left to base our judgement solely upon style, a method which, at best, is open to question. The drawings on this particular piece are certainly different in style from Types IA, IB, and IV, but they are quite similar to Types II and III. We are inclined to believe they are more like Type III, but we realize that this judgment is not on an entirely objective basis.

As our studies broaden and include larger areas, we may be able to answer this and many other questions. We are both convinced that only by dealing with a larger area will our study produce the desired results.

Bibliography

Jones, Wm. A.

1875. Report Upon the Reconnoissance of Northwestern Wyoming. Washington: The Government Printing Office. [A photocopy of the report is online at the Internet Archive — B. T.]

Leidy, J.

1872. "On the Remains of Primitive Art in the Bridger Basin of Southern Wyoming." The United States Geological Survey of the Territories, Report, No. 6, pp651‑3. Washington.

Mallery, Garrick

1886. "Pictographs of the American Indians." Annual Report, Bureau of American Ethnology, No. 4. Washington.

1892. "Picture Writing of the American Indians." Annual Report, Bureau of American Ethnology, No. 10. Washington.

Morss, Noel

1931. "The Ancient Cultures of the Fremont River in Utah." Papers of the Peabody Museum of American Anthropology and Ethnology, Vol. 12, No. 3, pp1‑81. Cambridge.

Renaud, E. B.

1932. "Archaeological Survey of Eastern Wyoming." Report, the Archaeological Survey of the High Western Plains, No. 1. Denver: The Department of Anthropology of the University of Denver.

1935. "Southern Wyoming and Southwest South Dakota." Report, the Archaeological Survey of the High Western Plains, No. 7. Denver.

1936. "Pictographs and Petroglyphs of the High Western Plains." Report, the Archaeological Survey of the High Western Plains, No. 8. Denver.

1938. "The Petroglyphs of North Central New Mexico." Report, Archaeological Survey Series of the Department of Anthropology of the University of Denver, No. 11. Denver.

1940. "Further Research Work in the Black Fork Basin, Southwest Wyoming." Report, the Archaeological Survey of the High Western Plains, No. 12. Denver.

Steward, J. H.

1929. "The Petroglyphs of California and the Adjoining States." University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, Vol. 24, No. 2. Berkeley.

1937. "Petroglyphs of the United States." Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution, Publication 3405, pp405‑25. Washington.

Sowers, T.

1939. Dinwoody Field Notes. Manuscript in the University of Wyoming Library, Laramie.

Tatum, R. M.

1944. "Petroglyphs of Southeastern Colorado." Southwest Lore, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp38‑43. Gunnison.

1946. "Distribution and Bibliography of the Petroglyphs of the United States." American Antiquity, Vol. 12, pp122‑5.

Wyoming Archaeological Survey

1939. Files in the Archives of the Geology Department of the University of Wyoming, Laramie.

Minneapolis, Minnesota
June, 1949


The Authors' Notes:

1 Jones, 1875, p274.

[decorative delimiter]

2 Wyoming Archaeological Survey, 1939.

[decorative delimiter]

3 Steward, 1937.

[decorative delimiter]

4 The major exceptions to this general condition are the two papers by Mallery (see bibliography).

[decorative delimiter]

5 Steward, 1937.

[decorative delimiter]

6 This paper is a report of field studies done by the authors during the summer of 1948, under the general sponsorship of the University of Wyoming. Without the help and interest of many people of Wyoming, we could not have undertaken the study. Also in a large measure our success in the field and elsewhere has been due to the kindness of many people who are too numerous to name here. Our greatest thanks go to our actual field companion, Mr. Raymond Maret of the University of Wyoming who helped in many field matters as well as rendered invaluable assistance with technical photography. Also we wish to express our indebtedness to Mr. Bob David of Casper, Wyoming for his continued interest in the work and advice concerning conditions at Dinwoody and the like. To Mr. Bob White of Dubois, Wyoming goes our appreciation for his efforts as guide in the difficult country and for his hospitable actions before and during our stay at Dinwoody. Although many others too numerous to mention have contributed, special mention is due to the members of the Thermopolis Mineralogical Society for their assistance and interest in the many phases of the preparation for work in the field.

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7 Wyoming Archaeological Survey, 1939.

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8 Steward, 1930.

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9 Renaud, 1936.

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10 Except for one, PS1, 11.

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11 At the time of our second visit a detailed map was drawn of each site showing where each panel occurred in relationship to the other sites. Therefore, if any person wishes to visit or investigate any one of the sites, he should have little or no difficulty.

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12 For a more complete description of the various types see pp224‑5.

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13 Renaud, 1936.

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14 The single example of a Type IV petroglyph on a chronology-establishing panel is in the case of PS1, 2, which is unfortunately the least definite of the series of six. This leads us to mention that the evidence for a definite Type IV is the weakest we have, although it is still considered enough for us to give it the same rank in the statistical analysis given to any other type.

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15 A miscellaneous category for some doubtful panels. Type IV is found on one of the panels still regarded as of chronological value.

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16 This panel is on a small cliff above the larger cliff which makes the backdrop for the ancient camp site. The cliff upon which it occurs is not visible from the camp site but can be reached by climbing the camp site cliff and walking across several small ledges about 100 yards due north at the end nearest lake.

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17 There are no rock faces or surfaces east of the lake and no drawings are found on any of the igneous rocks, which are scattered through the lower valley.

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18 All the animal and human representations of Type IA were solidly pecked while we have three examples of outline pecking in Types IB. The one human figure in Type IA occurs in PS5, 2; the nine from Type IB occur in the following manner: two in PS3, 2, three in PS5, 3, and four in PS4, 2.

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19 The one exception to this is PS6, 4, which occurs about 600 feet above the valley floor on a south-facing cliff.

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20 Most likely a great percentage are conventionalized human forms, but it is impossible to so assign them with any certitude.

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21 PS8, 1, 2, 3.

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22 These occur in PS (S. L.) 11, 4 and 5.

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23 Renaud, 1932, p34.

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24 Renaud, 1938, p55 and Pls. 16, 19, 24, and 26; Steward, 1930, pp189‑203, Figs. 89 and 90.

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25 Morss, 1931.


Thayer's Note:

a For a sample of these fantastic interpretations, see The Marked Rock of Manchester, KY.


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Page updated: 27 Aug 13