Cayonlands rock art much older than originally thought

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

SALT LAKE CITY,Utah Utah State University scientists have determined that world-renowned rock art of life-sized figures sketched into red rock cliffs in Canyonlands National Park were drawn 1,000 years more recently than what had long been believed.

The team used modern luminescence dating techniques to analyze what is known as the "Great Gallery" in Horseshoe Canyon.

They believe they were done 1,000-2,000 years ago, compared to previous belief that they were drawn 2,000-4,000 years ago.

Utah State geology professor Joel Pederson said they chipped away on the study for about seven years.

David Whitley, one of the foremost experts on rock art in North America, said the findings suggest the drawings may have been done as people transitioned to a culture of farming rather than during the era of hunting and gathering.


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