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Objects and Artifacts - Archeological Artifacts - Artifact Class - Petroglyph

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Inscription Rock at Indian Cave on Mulberry Creek, Kansas

Inscription Rock at Indian Cave on Mulberry Creek, Kansas
Creator: Gardner, Alexander, 1821-1882
Date: 1867
This stereograph shows petroglyphs at Inscription Rock, Indian Cave on Mulberry Creek, Ellsworth County, Kansas. The photo was taken eleven miles northeast of Fort Harker and 494 miles west of St. Louis, Missouri. Fort Harker was located in present day Kanopolis, Kansas. It is from Alexander Gardner's series, Across the Continent on the Union Pacific Railway, Eastern Division.


Petroglyph Cast

Petroglyph Cast
Date: Unknown
This plaster cast of a turtle was taken at the Indian Hill Archeological Site in Ellsworth County. This site had a series of petroglyphs on an outcrop of Dakota Sandstone and was first recorded in 1893. The plaster cast was made in 1966 and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1994. Many of the glyphs at this site were destroyed in 1987 when a large panel of rock fell from the outcrop and shattered.


Petroglyph from 14bu339

Petroglyph from 14bu339
Date: Unknown
Little is known about the petroglyphs displayed here from Butler County, where they were on display in a museum. They may have once been located along a bluff face or on a boulder. They show a series of lines for which the meaning has been lost in time. The stone was carved or incised by Native Americans, perhaps all at once or at different times.


Petroglyphs, Cowley County, Kansas

Petroglyphs, Cowley County, Kansas
Date: 1936
This photograph represents Native American petroglyphs, also known as picture writing. The petroglyphs were found near the east bank of the Walnut River, Cowley County, Kansas. The photograph was taken in March 1936.


Petroglyphs from Chautauqua County, 14CT305

Petroglyphs from Chautauqua County, 14CT305
Date: Unknown
These series of petroglyphs were on individual rocks located near one another in Chautauqua County. The petroglyphs depict a human bust, a dog, and a butterfly. Though it is not known how old the petroglyphs are or who created them, the images were created by incising, scratching, pecking, or abrading the rock faces.


Petroglyphs from Ellsworth County

Petroglyphs from Ellsworth County
Date: 1963-1980
These eight views of petroglyphs and modern graffiti, shot between 1963 and 1980, illustrate that not everything at a petroglyph site has their origins in the far past. Here an old turkey track type petroglyph, first recorded in 1947, shares space with more recent additions. The site sits near a heavily used trail and receives periodic additions from modern artists. Archeologists use style and subject matter in addition to weathered appearance to sort the old from the new.


Petroglyphs from Russell County, 14RU12 and 14RU13

Petroglyphs from Russell County, 14RU12 and 14RU13
Date: 1956-1963
These five photographs were taken at 14RU12 and 14RU13, which are jointly called the Burnt City site. The glyphs at 14RU12 appear on a large boulder and include six pointed stars, bear tracks, a cervid figure, bison, an anthropomorphic face, a four-legged bird-like figure and incised lines. The glyphs at 14RU13, located on a bluff, include human figures, bird tracks, six pointed stars, a possible horse head, anthropomorphic figures, phallic glyphs, and other hard to interpret figures. Both sites are heavily weathered and have been defaced by visitors. Most of the pictures were taken in 1956 and 1957, except the photograph showing a recording team, which was taken in 1963.


Petroglyphs from the Elm Creek Petroglyph Site, 14EW14

Petroglyphs from the Elm Creek Petroglyph Site, 14EW14
Date: 1979
Several different types of petroglyph are present at the Elm Creek Petroglyph site in Ellsworth County. The figures include linear and circular glyphs; bows and arrows; anthropomorphic and quadruped glyphs; and modern graffiti. These views were taken in 1979.


Petroglyphs from the Faris Cave Petroglyph Site, 14ew7

Petroglyphs from the Faris Cave Petroglyph Site, 14ew7
Date: 1979
The Faris Cave Petroglyph site in Ellsworth County was named for the three historic period caves that were dug into the sandstone bluff. The nearby sandstone face is thickly covered with modern graffiti, but also contains a few glyphs from earlier times. The glyphs include a sun, bow and arrow glyphs, and a bison or quadruped. These shots were taken in 1979.


Petroglyphs from the Indian Hill Site, 14EW1

Petroglyphs from the Indian Hill Site, 14EW1
Date: 1867-1984
The Indian Hill site is a series of petroglyphs on an outcrop of Dakota sandstone. They were first photographed in 1867 by Alexander Gardner. Carlyle Smith, noted archaeologist and anthropologist from the University of Kansas, suggested in 1949 that the Cheyenne or Arapaho may have created some of the later glyphs, particularily those representing horses. The petroglyphs depict owls, bison, beaver, cervids, humans, equestrian figures, bison tracks, thunderbirds, serpintine figures, and ladder-like figures. In more recent time, grafitti and vandalism have been added.


Petroglyphs from the Keyhole Site, 14SA304

Petroglyphs from the Keyhole Site, 14SA304
Date: Unknown
The petroglyphs featured in these slides were located on the ceiling of sandstone rock shelter called the Keyhole site. The petroglyphs have now spalled off and the site has collapsed. The glyphs created here were three anthropomorphic (human-like) and a buffalo. It is not known how old the petroglyphs are or who created them. The images were created by incising, scratching, pecking, or abrading the rock face.


Petroglyphs from the Mitch Murphy Site, 14RU312

Petroglyphs from the Mitch Murphy Site, 14RU312
Date: 1979
The Mitch Murphy site in Russell County is located on a sandstone outcrop. Carved into the rock is a unique "thunderbird" glyph that appears to be ascending into a stylized cloud. Other faint glyphs also are found at the site in addition to modern graffiti.


Petroglyphs from the Moore-McCollum Site, 14CO325

Petroglyphs from the Moore-McCollum Site, 14CO325
Date: 10/09/1979
These petropglyphs were located on a limestone boulder at the Moore-McCallum site in Cowley County. They show the face and torso of an anthropomorphic (having a human form or attributes) figure, a bird-like figure and a circle and arrow figure. The photographs were taken in 1979 as part of a statewide project recording existing petroglyphs.


Petroglyphs from the Rocky Springs Site, 14RU317

Petroglyphs from the Rocky Springs Site, 14RU317
Date: 1980
These slides of petroglyphs from the Rocky Springs site in Russell County were taken in 1980. The site has two rock panels with glyphs that represent a possible deer, a group of people shooting with bows and arrows, and modern graffiti. It is not known how old the petroglyphs are or who created them. The images were created by incising, scratching, pecking, or abrading the rock face.


Petroglyphs from the Seeley-Shafer Ranch Site, 14RU324

Petroglyphs from the Seeley-Shafer Ranch Site, 14RU324
Date: 1981
These slides, shot in 1981, show petroglyphs from two rock panels at the Seeley-Shafer Ranch site, 14RU324. Glyphs found at this site include a bow, an arrow, an anthropomorphic (human-like) figure leading horses, and a geometric figure. It is not known how old the petroglyphs are or who created them. The images were created by incising, scratching, pecking, or abrading the rock face.


Petroglyphs from the Ward Petroglyph Site, 14EW17

Petroglyphs from the Ward Petroglyph Site, 14EW17
Date: 1979-1980
The Ward Petroglyph site in Ellsworth County has many petroglyphs present on six separate panels of Dakota sandstone. Those shown here include four anthropomorphic figures: one with a circular head and triangular body, one with a triangular head and bottle shaped body, one with possible tepees in the background and one leading a quadruped. These views were shot in 1979 and 1980.


Pictographs from Big Gyp Cave Pictograph Site, 14CM305

Pictographs from Big Gyp Cave Pictograph Site, 14CM305
Date: 1980
These images of the single recorded pictograph site in Kansas have been somewhat obscure by minerals perculating through the stone. The images depict five pictographs painted onto a cave ceiling in Comanche County using black and red pigments. The only one redily identifiable is the anthropomorphic (human-like) figure.


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