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Kirk Astroth – Profound and Persistent Beauty: Results of the Petroglyph and Pictograph Recording Project in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming

September 16, 2019 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

The Powder River Basin west of Kaycee, Wyoming is rich with history. The lush basin east of the Big Horn Mountains, known now as Hole in the Rock, was home to Indigenous people for centuries who left images on the red sandstone canyon walls and in alcoves. The Basin was also the site of the Chief Dull Knife Battle of 1876 (five months after the Little Bighorn Battle), which demoralized the Cheyenne tribe and in which they sustained heavy losses, and lost their sacred bundles to attacking soldiers. The Basin is also the site of the Johnson County Wars where cattle barons invaded to eliminate small stock growers and rustlers in 1892.  Butch Cassidy and his gang were just a few of the reported rustlers who hung out in the area.

The Middle Fork of the Powder River contains such a great variety and unique examples of petroglyphs and pictographs that it is being nominated for the National Registry of Historic Places. This summer, I volunteered with Sacred Sites Research to help with recording this site on private land. Led by Lawrence Loendorf, Julie Francis and Wyoming SHPO Mary Hopkins, our multi-disciplinary team employed a range of research techniques to record the site. My presentation will share the results of this summer’s recording project which includes a large number of unique bear images, bear claws, hand stencils, incised images and oddly, two Fremont-style petroglyphs that represent the furthest east such images have ever been found. Rock images range from quite ancient to more modern Crow images of sweat lodges and tipis.


Figure Caption: “Hand stencils in an alcove at JO4”


September 16, 2019
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


Pamela Pelletier


DuVal Auditorium, Banner-University Medical Center
1501 N Campbell Ave
Tucson, AZ United States
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