what is the difference between petroglyphs and pictographs

what is the difference between petroglyphs and pictographs

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The Nationwide Archives is celebrating American Archives Month all through October. Observe us on social media and share your archives tales utilizing the hashtag #ArchivesMonth. At the moment’s put up comes from Larry Shockley, an archives specialist on the Nationwide Archives at School Park, MD.

The Nationwide Archives’ holdings provide many keys to understanding our previous. With a easy search in our on-line catalog researchers can discover data contained in thousands and thousands of paperwork, maps, pictures, and extra. One latest search led me to pictures of petroglyphs, pictographs, and “rock artwork” that reside inside NARA’s holdings.

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A number of the earliest pictures of a petroglyph which might be in our on-line catalog have been taken by the U.S. Military Corp of Engineers in 1956. Different pictures of pictographs, petroglyphs, and rock artwork made their manner into NARA’s holdings courtesy of the DOCUMERICA challenge performed by the Environmental Safety Company (EPA) within the early Seventies. The works of photographers Charles O’Rear, David Hiser, and Patricia D. Duncan embody these kinds of creations.

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In keeping with our buddies with the Nationwide Park Service, the variations between petroglyphs, pictographs, and rock artwork should not at all times simply discernible.

The Nationwide Park Service defines pictographs as “photos and designs made by portray on rocks or in caves.” The pictographs depicted within the picture under are at Indian Creek State Park in Utah. For this sort of portray, crops and minerals have been floor up and combined with liquids after which utilized with sticks, fingers, or arms. Because of the fragile nature of those creations, only a few pictographs have survived the weather over time.

Pictographs, Petroglyphs, “Rock Art,” What is the difference?
Pictograph, Newspaper Rock, Indian Creek State Park, San Juan County, Utah. DOCUMERICA, 1972. (Nationwide Archives Identifier 545671)

Petroglyphs are extra generally discovered, and these photos have been created by carving, engraving, or scratching the rock’s floor with a purpose to reveal the lighter layers beneath. The depth and thickness of those photos can range relying upon whether or not they have been scratched, pecked, abraded, incised, or carved onto a floor. The picture under was taken on the mouth of the Nemaha River close to Troy, Kansas. It’s believed that this particular petroglyph was talked about in journals from the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Pictographs, Petroglyphs, “Rock Art,” What is the difference?
Closeup of Indian petroglyphs talked about within the journal of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. They’re discovered on a limestone cliff on the mouth of the Nemaha River close to Troy, Kansas, in Doniphan County within the northeast nook of the state. DOCUMERICA, 10/1974. (Nationwide Archives Identifier 557117)

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Roughly 450 petroglyphs have been found close to Lengthy Narrows and Celilo Falls, east of The Dalles, Oregon. The petroglyph pictured under is without doubt one of the 40 or so petroglyphs that have been eliminated previous to the creation of The Dalles Dam and relocated to Columbia Hills State Park.

Pictographs, Petroglyphs, “Rock Art,” What is the difference?
Petroglyph alongside the Columbia River earlier than relocation previous to flooding of the world by The Dalles Dam. U.S. Military Corps of Engineers, North Pacific Division, U.S. Military Engineer District, Portland, 4/12/1956. (Nationwide Archives Identifier 5585783)

“Rock artwork” is a generic label or tag usually utilized to each petroglyphs and pictographs, however the time period is seldom utilized by the Park Service.

Pictographs, Petroglyphs, “Rock Art,” What is the difference?
Petroglyph, Waikoloa, Hilo, Hawaii. DOCUMERICA, Photographer Charles O’Rear, 1973. (Nationwide Archives Identifier 554172)

Though there are distinct variations between pictographs and petroglyphs, confusion between the 2 continues to happen. Along with a lack of expertise in regards to the two processes, there are a lot of examples the place each petroglyphic and pictographic processes have been employed to create “painted petrogyphs.” It’s wonderful how one easy search can take you down a highway of discovery—have a look within the on-line catalog and see what yow will discover!

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