Ten Steps for Recording Pictographs and Petroglyphs

Methods and Technologies

Lawrence L Loendorf
Nancy Medaris Stone

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Subjects: Archaeology

9781647691905 (paperback)
9781647691912 (ebook)

Pictograph and petroglyph sites, commonly identified as sacred by Indigenous communities, offer the potential of great insight into past belief systems and ritual activities if carefully recorded. The aesthetic appeal of the art itself has long been appreciated, and chemical and artistic analyses have been applied to these depictions to uncover deeper information such as chronology and pigment composition. In Ten Steps for Recording Pictographs and Petroglyphs, Lawrence Loendorf and Nancy Medaris Stone present their thorough and systematic ten-step guide to recording not just the imagery itself, but also the entire site amid which it is set. This essential context situates the depictions within the immediate and broader landscape, assembling a more complete picture of their significance.

Despite having survived for thousands of years, erosion, decay, and even vandalism are all threats to these important cultural sites. A field session involving documentation might be the only opportunity to record these unique and significant images. The ten steps laid out here by Loendorf and Stone offer a general overview of current best practices to maintain a scientific and professional documentation program.