Basin and Range

Mount Irish

brochure Basin and Range - Mount Irish
Rock Art The nevAdA rock Art FoundAtion produced this product with funding provided by the sale of public lands by the BureAu oF LAnd MAnAgeMent and approved under an inter-agency partnership authorized by the Lincoln County Land Act. Mt. Irish Archaeological Mount Irish District Archaeological District BLM NRAF LincoLn county ArchAeoLogicAL initiAtive Project Rock Art of Lincoln County Mount Irish Archaeological District Pres e rvin g t h e Pas t S ome of the oldest petroglyphs in the Great Basin date to 10,000 years ago; in the Mt. Irish Archaeological District, some petroglyphs are 4,000 years old. Despite this antiquity, rock art, like other archaeological monuments, is a fragile part of Nevada’s cultural heritage. Natural erosional processes, such as weathering from water and wind, are slowly wearing away these ancient markings. Time itself works against the images as the surface of the petroglyph slowly darkens, a process known as repatination, which ultimately erases the glyphs. Other threats include intentional defacement like graffiti or other vandalism. This damage cannot be removed or even camouflaged easily and is expensive to treat. Federal and state laws protect archaeological sites from vandalism and theft, and many sites are monitored by concerned local citizens volunteering in the State of Nevada’s site stewardship program. Because the past deserves a future, visitors at archaeological sites can help by following a few simple guidelines. • • Take only pictures, leave only footprints Be a steward—volunteer to monitor the condition of archaeological sites For more information on how you can help preserve Nevada’s past, visit these websites www.nv.blm.org www.nvshpo.org/stewards.html www.nvrockart.org 16 Mt. Iris h Archae ologica l Dis t ric t T he Mt. Irish Archaeological District, located on the eastern flank of the Mt. Irish Range, is one of the most important archaeological areas in eastern Nevada. The District covers 640 acres and provides a vista of prehistoric rock art and habitation sites, set in a dramatic landscape of tuff (volcanic ash) knolls and outcrops, alluvial fans, and washes. The District is best known for spectacular rock art that portrays the cultural lives of the Native American peoples who used the area some 4,000 years ago through the nineteenth century. The three largest rock art sites in the District (Mt. Irish IV, V, and VI) have interpretive trails and a trail guide that is available at visitors’ register boxes at these sites. Eastern Nevada, until the coming of Euro-American settlers in the nineteenth century, was settled by hunter-gatherer cultures who skillfully harvested the wild resources of this arid region for several thousand years. Aided by deep knowledge of the environment’s animal and plant resources, hunter-gatherers used efficient technology and lived in small, mobile family groups to gather seasonally available plants, animals, and other resources across the landscape. The Mt. Irish area was used for short-term stays to hunt animals, gather plants, and make rock art. These repeated visits stretch back as far as 4,000 years ago but became more intensive and frequent during the period 2,000-500 years ago. Rock art, settlement, and economic activities are intertwined in the Mt. Irish area. Many rock art sites are accompanied by the remains of campsites and foraging activities. Rock-shelters, middens, stone tools, and fragments of tools show that animals and plants were often processed in the vicinity of rock art. Were people drawn to the area by seasonally by available resources, or did the area have a special social and cultural significance, marked by rock art, that explains why hunter-gatherers visited the area? The exact meanings and cultural significance of Mt. Irish’s rock art and its landscape may be unknowable, but these cultural marks indicate the area was important to the peoples who used these galleries of ancient art. The rock art and the Mt. 1 Rock RockArt ArtofofLincoln LincolnCounty County Mount MountIrish IrishArchaeological ArchaeologicalDistrict District Mt. Iris h Mt. Iris h XI Archae ologica l Dis t ric t: Sou t h e rn Locus In troduc tio n con t ’d Th e Archae ologica Mt. Iris h I: l Dis teric East rn tLocus M t. Irish XI is located lower south-central portion Irish area continue today toinbethe important to Native American the District, approximately 140 m southwest of Mt. peoplesofliving in the region. Irish XI.Mt. TheIrish site area comprises 38 main petroglyph panels onone a northThe has two rock art styles, south trendingStyle) tuff outcrop and boulders andisisuncertain flanked atand the (Pahranagat whose cultural affiliation O south end by aassociated wash. Rock art hunter-gatherers is scattered along(Basin a 150 m stretch one generally with and Range oftradition). this outcrop, accompaniedStyle by occasional evidence of pastof The Pahranagat is an enigmatic portrayal resource gathering and processing (such asValley milling people that is found mostly at sitesactivities in Pahranagat and is slicks and toolCounty. fragments). Thestyle association between unique tostone Lincoln In this people were portrayed symbolic culture and daily elsewhere in two very different ways.economic One formroutines, has oval seen or rectangular insolid-pecked the District,bodies, continues largehere. eyes, a short line protruding from Abstract designs and animal in Basin and Range the head, and hands that have imagery long fingers. The other form tradition style are predominant These designs include or bisected has a rectangular body that hashere. geometric straight circles, circleand clusters, concentric rows of dots, these are lines inside stick-figure armscircles, and legs. Sometimes curvilinear and rectilinear rakes, and asterisk-like portrayed holding objects motifs, that resemble atlatls (dart throwers), figures. Portrayals of animals arebefore dominated by bighorn sheep suggesting this style was made the bow-and-arrow was (19) andadopted a small number of deer figures People widely in the region some 1,500(3). years ago.are portrayed by four § Basinstick-figures. and Range tradition rock art comprises finely made abstract designs, portrayals of people as stick-figures, and a wide range of animal species, most commonly bighorn sheep. The Mt. Irish area has one of the largest concentrations of bighorn sheep images in eastern Nevada, almost half of these are found at just one site, Mt. Irish VI.§ site’s 36 petroglyph panels in Basin and Range tradition style are notable for an unusual arrangement of human footprints that appear to climb up the cliff. Abstract design types predominate, including rakes, zigzags, wavy lines, he Mt. Irish Archaeological District covers an area of 640 circles, possible portrayals of atlatls acres and recognizes the heritage significance of the rock (dart throwers), and rectilinear art and other archaeological features in the District. These sites and curvilinear meanders. More represent major patterns in the prehistory of eastern Nevada naturalistic forms include a and are worthy of preservation. The District provides a record of large number of bighorn sheep unique rock art styles and the daily routines of hunter-gatherer figures (approximately 19), several groups that stretches back as much as 4,000 years. stick-figure anthropomorphs (6), and the concentration of The District is on public lands administered by the Bureau human footprints. Based on the visual appearance of surface of Land Management, Caliente Field Office. The Caliente Field repatination (the fading of the petroglyphs as the rock surface Office’s mission is, in partnership with the public, to provide darkens), the petroglyphs are probably the same age. § stewardship of the lands and resources entrusted to it for present and future generations. § 14 2 ne of three rock art areas that make up the eastern locus of the Mt. Irish Archaeological District, Mt. Irish I is located south of the access road on a low tuff cliff and boulders that line the sides of a northwest-southeast trending wash. The T 315 Rock Rock Art Art ofof Lincoln Lincoln County County Mount Mount Irish Irish Archaeological Archaeological District District Mt.h Iris II: d IX Mt. Iris VIIIhan East Sou t heern rn Locus Locus h X Mt.Mt. IrisIris h III: Souetrn h e rn Locus East Locus M N M M large petroglyph boulder, Mt. Irishis IX, situated at thethe footgeneral of past tool-use and tool making scattered around ofvicinity the northwest faceart of asite. small tuff knoll. This petroglyph of this rock boulder contains very large bighorn designtradition (almost The rock art isone representative of Basinsheep and Range life-size) and three smaller bighorn sheep figures (one rectangles of which types. Abstract designs include fields of dots, circles, superimposes the other) and with a dumbbell-like design (agrids, pair of internal decoration, open circles connected by a horizontal ladder-likeline). designs, straight This is one of the largest portrayals of a bighorn lines, rake-like designs,sheep and known in the District. Most figurative art images are muchare longrock meanders. Zoomorphs smaller than the real objects common, being portrayed. If Mt. X has represented byIrish schematic the biggest sheep petroglyphbighorn in the region, then Narrows sheep figures (18) andIV in the White River Narrows other National Register (11). District quadrupeds One(about stick25 milesanthropomorph to the north) may smallest. The cultural figure andhave one the possible Pahranagat style significance of differences the latter size ofcould animal imagery in rock figure are also represented.inThe indicate a period art is not well understood. § (BP) for some of the site’s rock of 2,300-1,500 before present evidence of tool-making and use, illustrating that everyday pecked on top of older ones. activities tookboth place against backdrop of pecked stone The site has Basin andaRange tradition abstract motifs images. The site’s rock art is largely abstract designs and and bighorn sheep imagery, as well as two animal imagery that are representative examples of Pahranagat style portrayals of Basin and Range tradition motifs. Abstract designs of people (both are rectangular in include rows of dots, circles and clustersdecoration). of circles, wavy lines, zigzags, curvilinear form with internal Motifs meanders, rakes, and chevrons. Animal unique to this location include a possible figures include 15 bighorn sheep 4 other quadrupeds. No portrayals of wading bird andand an anthropomorph people appear to be present at this site, which is unusual for with short lines extending from its head, sites larger than a headgear. few panelsThis in the Great Basin. § perhaps indicating style of anthropomorph is often regarded as an attribute of Fremont or Ancestral Puebloan style rock art. These ancient farmers were based in Utah and the Southwest during the period 2,000 to 850 years ago. This design shows that eastern Nevada hunter-gatherers had cultural contact with Fremont and Puebloan groups, something also shown by pottery belonging to these cultures being found at sites in the region. § t. Irish VIIIaccess is in aroad largeand alcove andfrom has Mt. a large squareorth of the visible Irish I, Mt. bodied sheep high26 onpetroglyph the outcrop, easilyconcentrated visible from a Irish II comprises panels distance, andoutcrops a few other motifs. This is west on two tuff thatscattered are approximately 150alcove m apart but ofconnected Mt. Irishby VIIcontinuity and facesin east. Farther to theand weststyle. is a single, design elements Evidence art and usage. The site includes large, densely packed panels, particularly at the northern outcrop, showing that people were repeatedly drawn to the same place to leave cultural marks in the landscape. § 4 12 IrishIIIXconsists is located south-central t. t.Irish of in 16 the rocklower art panels that are portion all on of the District on a tuff knoll and cliff-face. The site the north-facing side of a tuff monolith. In places, the is approximately 150 m northwest of Mt.designs Irish IX and X. had rock art forms large panels of complex that have The site comprises 22 petroglyph panels (86 motifs) and some elements superimposed, meaning newer images were 135 Rock Rock Art Art ofof Lincoln Lincoln County County Mount Mount Irish Irish Archaeological Archaeological District District Mt. Iris h VI: IV: West e rn Locus Mt. Iris h V: VII: West e rn Locus Sou t h e rn Locus M M M T and contains 80 rock art panels, all representative of Basin and Mt.tradition Irish VI is concentrated on thedesigns south and eastern Range motif types. Abstract include rows of side of a large tuff outcrop and is very extensive. The siteinternal is dots, circles, spirals, ladder-like designs, rectangles with distinguished by both its Pahranagat decoration, rake-like designs, meanders, arcs, and lines.style Several figures and its quantity of bighorn sheep designs. Over 100 portrayals of bighorn sheep are known from the site, one of the largest concentrations in eastern Nevada. The bighorn sheep are frequently portrayed in lines or groups, as if to depict small herds. Pahranagat style figures at the site include both the solid-pecked and rectangular body types. The solid-pecked types include at least one that is dramatically posedbyand visuallyline, prominent. number of the circles are bisected a vertical possibly A a schematic rectangular body types are portrayed holding atlatls portrayal of atlatls (dart throwers) that would indicateorandart age of throwers, suggesting that the Pahranagat style started to be 4,000-1,500 years ago for some of the rock art. Representational made before the introduction of bow and arrow technology designs include large numbers of bighorn sheep, deer, other in the area some 1,500 years ago.anthropomorphs. § quadrupeds, and stick-figure § made on horizontal as well as vertical surfaces, so some rock for examples of theFacing Pahranagat style. Because art their is notexcellent visible from a distance. mostly south, the site these two sites are very similar in styles and images portrayed, has large, densely arranged they probably belong to the same period. Trail guides for Mt. panels of representational Irish V and VI are available from the visitors’ register box. and abstract images. At Mt. Irish V’s hill 68 rock the foot of the is a art panels are tightly distributed around a well-defined tuff outcrop, ranging from the foot of particularly lively bighorn the outcrop its farther top. The site’s abstract motifs include circles sheep imagetoand bisected by a vertical line, possibly intended to portray atlatls upslope is a coyote. Like or dartsites throwers, could mean some of the site’s rock art other in the which District, was made during the period 4,000-1,500 years ago. Evidence prehistoric artists at Mt. of ancient campsites in theofvicinity show that the site was used Irish VII took advantage most intensively during periodviewing 1,500-400 years Thisthe the natural topography the to define areas andago. display provides clues to the age of the Pahranagat style in eastern rock art imagery to best effect. § Nevada. Pahranagat style figures at the site include both the solid-pecked and rectangular body types. These are situated prominently in the outcrop, accompanied by bighorn sheep figures as well as abstract designs. § IrishIV, VIV, is the rock at artthe sitewestern in the District t.t.Irish andsingle VI arelargest all located end (129 panels) and is 50 m to the west of Mt. with of the District, making up the western locus.Irish Mt.V,Irish which is similar rock art stylesfrom and themes, and register most likely IV has aittrail guide in that is available the visitors’ both were used during the same period. box. The site is one of the largest rock art sites in the District 10 6 Irish V and VIcomprises together comprise het. southern locus scatteredthe rockdensest art panels and concentration of rock art in the District and only to dense concentrations of rock art on tuff knollsare flanked separated short distance. Both sites the most of the north by by aLogan Creek. Mt. Irish VIIare is among the southernmost significant rock art sites in eastern Nevada and are well these concentrations, situated on top of a low hill. Rockknown art was 117 VI ! �( �(V ! Rock Art of Lincoln County 8 The Mount Irish Archaeological District is located about 125 miles north of Las Vegas, 145 miles south of Ely, and approximately 6.5 miles west of the small town of Hiko. From the junction of SR 375 and SR 318, just south of Hiko, head north on SR 318 for approximately 2.5 miles and then turn west (left) onto the old Logan City road (just after the Key Pittman Wildlife area). This is a dirt road. A vehicle with high clearance is recommended. The entrance to this dirt road is marked by a wire gate. Pass through the gate and head generally northwest for 6.5 miles. The Mount Irish Archaeological District is on public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Caliente Field Office. Help protect the environment by traveling on existing roads only. N �(II ! IV �( ! III �( ! HIK O (6.5 m iles) XI �( ! Ely �(I ! �(X ! V (III IX � �( ! VII �( ! ! 318 Caliente 93 15 9 0 Las Vegas 0.25 Miles 0.5 Mount Irish Archaeological District Mt. Irish District Rock Art of Lincoln County Mount Irish Archaeological District VI: Mt. Iris h IV: West e rn Locus Mt. Iris h V: VII: Westt h e rn Sou e rnLocus Locus M M M T and contains 80 rock art panels, all representative of Basin and Mt.tradition Irish VI motif is concentrated on thedesigns south and eastern Range types. Abstract include rows of side circles, of a large tuff outcrop anddesigns, is very extensive. site is dots, spirals, ladder-like rectanglesThe with internal distinguished by both its Pahranagat style decoration, rake-like designs, meanders, arcs, and lines. Several figures and its quantity of bighorn sheep designs. Over 100 portrayals of bighorn sheep are known from the site, one of the largest concentrations in eastern Nevada. The bighorn sheep are frequently portrayed in lines or groups, as if to depict small herds. Pahranagat style figures at the site include both the solid-pecked and rectangular body types. The solid-pecked types include at least one that is dramatically posed visuallyline, prominent. number of the circles are bisected byand a vertical possibly A a schematic rectangular body (dart types throwers) are portrayed atlatls orandart portrayal of atlatls that holding would indicate age of throwers, suggesting that the Pahranagat style started to be 4,000-1,500 years ago for some of the rock art. Representational made before introduction of bighorn bow andsheep, arrowdeer, technology designs includethe large numbers of other in the area some 1,500 years ago. § quadrupeds, and stick-figure anthropomorphs. § made on horizontal as well as vertical surfaces, so some rock for art their is notexcellent visible from examples a distance. of theFacing Pahranagat mostlystyle. south, Because the site these has large, two sites densely are arranged very similar in styles and images portrayed, they panels probably of representational belong to the same period. Trail guides for Mt. Irish and abstract V and VI images. are available At from the visitors’ register box. theMt. foot Irish of the V’shill 68 rock is a art panels are tightly distributed around particularly a well-defined lively bighorn tuff outcrop, ranging from the foot of the sheep outcrop imagetoand its farther top. The site’s abstract motifs include circles bisected upslope is byaacoyote. verticalLike line, possibly intended to portray atlatls or other dartsites throwers, in the District, which could mean some of the site’s rock art was prehistoric made during artists the at Mt. period 4,000-1,500 years ago. Evidence of Irish ancient VII took campsites advantage in theofvicinity show that the site was used most the natural intensively topography during to thedefine periodviewing 1,500-400 areas years andago. display Thisthe provides rock art imagery clues to the to best age effect. of the Pahranagat § style in eastern Nevada. Pahranagat style figures at the site include both the solid-pecked and rectangular body types. These are situated prominently in the outcrop, accompanied by bighorn sheep figures as well as abstract designs. § IrishIV, VIV, is and the single rock at artthe sitewestern in the District t.t.Irish VI arelargest all located end and is 50 muptothe thewestern west of locus. Mt. Irish with of(129 thepanels) District, making Mt.V, Irish which it is similar in rock art styles and themes, and most IV has a trail guide that is available from the visitors’ registerlikely bothThe were during samerock period. box. siteused is one of thethe largest art sites in the District 6 10 het.southern Irish V and locus VIcomprises together comprise scattered the rockdensest art panels and dense concentration concentrations of rock of art rock inart theon District tuff knolls and are flanked only to separated the north by by aLogan short Creek. distance. Mt. Both Irishsites VIIare is the among southernmost the most of significant these concentrations, rock art sites situated in eastern on top Nevada of a low andhill. are Rock well known art was 117 Rock Art of Lincoln County Mount Irish Archaeological District Mt.h Iris II: d IX Mt. Iris VIIIhan East Sou t heern rn Locus Locus Mt. Iris h X Mt. Iris h III: Souet rn h e rn Locus East Locus M N M M large petroglyph boulder, Mt. Irish situated at thethe foot of past tool-use and tool making is IX, scattered around general of the northwest faceart of site. a small tuff knoll. This petroglyph vicinity of this rock boulder contains very large bighorn designtradition (almost The rock art is one representative of Basin sheep and Range life-size) and three smaller bighorn sheep figures (onerectangles of which types. Abstract designs include fields of dots, circles, superimposes the other) andwith a dumbbell-like design (agrids, pair of internal decoration, open circles connected by a horizontal ladder-like line). designs, straight This is one of the largest portrayals of a bighorn lines, rake-like designs,sheep and known in the District. Most figurative art images are muchare longrock meanders. Zoomorphs smaller than the real objectscommon, being portrayed. If Mt. X has represented byIrish schematic the biggest sheep petroglyphbighorn in the region, then Narrows sheep figures (18) andIV in the White River Narrowsother National Register(11). District quadrupeds One (about stick25 milesanthropomorph to the north) may the smallest. The cultural figure andhave one possible Pahranagat style significance of represented. differences inThe thelatter size ofcould animal imagery in rock figure are also indicate a period art is not well understood. § (BP) for some of the site’s rock of 2,300-1,500 before present evidence and use, illustrating that everyday pecked on of toptool-making of older ones. activities tookboth placeBasin against backdrop of pecked stonemotifs The site has andaRange tradition abstract images. The site’s rock art is largely abstract designs and and bighorn sheep imagery, as well as two animal imagery that arestyle representative examples of Pahranagat portrayals of Basin and Range tradition motifs. Abstract designs of people (both are rectangular in include rows of dots, circles andinternal clustersdecoration). of circles, wavy lines, zigzags, curvilinear form with Motifs meanders, rakes, and chevrons. Animal unique to this location include a possible figures include 15 bighornbird sheep 4 other quadrupeds. No portrayals of wading andand an anthropomorph people appear to be present at this site, which is unusual for with short lines extending from its head, sites larger than a headgear. few panels This in the Great Basin. § perhaps indicating style of anthropomorph is often regarded as an attribute of Fremont or Ancestral Puebloan style rock art. These ancient farmers were based in Utah and the Southwest during the period 2,000 to 850 years ago. This design shows that eastern Nevada hunter-gatherers had cultural contact with Fremont and Puebloan groups, something also shown by pottery belonging to these cultures being found at sites in the region. § t. Irish VIIIaccess is in road a large alcove and has Mt. a large squareorth of the and visible from Irish I, Mt. bodied sheep high26onpetroglyph the outcrop, easilyconcentrated visible from a Irish II comprises panels distance, andoutcrops a few other motifs. This is west on two tuff thatscattered are approximately 150alcove m apart but of Mt. Irishby VII and facesineast. Farther to theand west is a Evidence single, connected continuity design elements style. art and usage. The site includes large, densely packed panels, particularly at the northern outcrop, showing that people were repeatedly drawn to the same place to leave cultural marks in the landscape. § 4 12 IrishIII X consists is located south-central t.t.Irish ofin 16the rocklower art panels that areportion all on of the District on a tuff knoll and cliff-face. The site the north-facing side of a tuff monolith. In places, theis approximately 150 m northwest of Mt.designs Irish IXthat andhave X. had rock art forms large panels of complex The site comprises 22 petroglyph panels (86 motifs) and some elements superimposed, meaning newer images were 135 Rock Art of Lincoln County Mount Irish Archaeological District Mt. Iris h Mt. Iris h XI Archae ologica l Dis t ric t: Sou t h e rn Locus In troduc tio n con t ’d Th e Archae ologica Mt. Iris h I: l Dis teric East rnt Locus t. Irish XI istoday located lower south-central portion Irish area continue to in bethe important to Native American the District, approximately 140 m southwest of Mt. peoplesofliving in the region. Irish sitearea comprises petroglyph a northTheXI. Mt.The Irish has two38main rock artpanels styles,on one south trending tuffwhose outcrop and boulders andis isuncertain flanked atand the (Pahranagat Style) cultural affiliation M O south end by aassociated wash. Rock arthunter-gatherers is scattered along a 150 and m stretch one generally with (Basin Range of this outcrop, accompanied by isoccasional evidence of past tradition). The Pahranagat Style an enigmatic portrayal of resource gathering processing (such Valley as milling people that is foundand mostly at sites activities in Pahranagat and is slicks and stone tool fragments). The association between unique to Lincoln County. In this style people were portrayed symbolic culture andways. daily One economic routines, elsewhere in two very different form has oval orseen rectangular in the District, continues solid-pecked bodies, large here. eyes, a short line protruding from designs imagery in Basin and Range theAbstract head, and handsand thatanimal have long fingers. The other form tradition style arebody predominant here. Thesedesigns includeorbisected has a rectangular that has geometric straight circles, circleand clusters, concentric rows of dots, these are lines inside stick-figure arms circles, and legs. Sometimes curvilinearholding and rectilinear motifs, rakes,atlatls and asterisk-like portrayed objects that resemble (dart throwers), figures. Portrayals animals dominated by bighorn sheep suggesting this styleofwas madeare before the bow-and-arrow was (19) andadopted a smallin number of deer figures People widely the region some 1,500(3). years ago. are portrayed byBasin four stick-figures. § and Range tradition rock art comprises finely made abstract designs, portrayals of people as stick-figures, and a wide range of animal species, most commonly bighorn sheep. The Mt. Irish area has one of the largest concentrations of bighorn sheep images in eastern Nevada, almost half of these are found at just one site, Mt. Irish VI.§ site’s 36 petroglyph panels in Basin and Range tradition style are notable for an unusual arrangement of human footprints that appear to climb up the cliff. Abstract design types predominate, including rakes, zigzags, wavy lines, he Mt. Irish Archaeological District covers an area of 640 circles, possible portrayals of atlatls acres and recognizes the heritage significance of the rock (dart throwers), and rectilinear art and other archaeological features in the District. These sites and curvilinear meanders. More represent major patterns in the prehistory of eastern Nevada naturalistic forms include a and are worthy of preservation. The District provides a record of large number of bighorn sheep unique rock art styles and the daily routines of hunter-gatherer figures (approximately 19), several groups that stretches back as much as 4,000 years. stick-figure anthropomorphs (6), and the concentration of The District is on public lands administered by the Bureau human footprints. Based on the visual appearance of surface of Land Management, Caliente Field Office. The Caliente Field repatination (the fading of the petroglyphs as the rock surface Office’s mission is, in partnership with the public, to provide darkens), the petroglyphs are probably the same age. § stewardship of the lands and resources entrusted to it for present and future generations. § 2 14 ne of three rock art areas that make up the eastern locus of the Mt. Irish Archaeological District, Mt. Irish I is located south of the access road on a low tuff cliff and boulders that line the sides of a northwest-southeast trending wash. The T 15 3 Rock Art of Lincoln County Mount Irish Archaeological District Pres e rvin g t h e Pas t S ome of the oldest petroglyphs in the Great Basin date to 10,000 years ago; in the Mt. Irish Archaeological District, some petroglyphs are 4,000 years old. Despite this antiquity, rock art, like other archaeological monuments, is a fragile part of Nevada’s cultural heritage. Natural erosional processes, such as weathering from water and wind, are slowly wearing away these ancient markings. Time itself works against the images as the surface of the petroglyph slowly darkens, a process known as repatination, which ultimately erases the glyphs. Other threats include intentional defacement like graffiti or other vandalism. This damage cannot be removed or even camouflaged easily and is expensive to treat. Federal and state laws protect archaeological sites from vandalism and theft, and many sites are monitored by concerned local citizens volunteering in the State of Nevada’s site stewardship program. Because the past deserves a future, visitors at archaeological sites can help by following a few simple guidelines. • • Take only pictures, leave only footprints Be a steward—volunteer to monitor the condition of archaeological sites For more information on how you can help preserve Nevada’s past, visit these websites www.blm.gov/nv www.nvshpo.org/stewards.html www.nvrockart.org 16 Mt. Iris h Archae ologica l Dis t ric t T he Mt. Irish Archaeological District, located on the eastern flank of the Mt. Irish Range, is one of the most important archaeological areas in eastern Nevada. The District covers 640 acres and provides a vista of prehistoric rock art and habitation sites, set in a dramatic landscape of tuff (volcanic ash) knolls and outcrops, alluvial fans, and washes. The District is best known for spectacular rock art that portrays the cultural lives of the Native American peoples who used the area some 4,000 years ago through the nineteenth century. The three largest rock art sites in the District (Mt. Irish IV, V, and VI) have interpretive trails and a trail guide that is available at visitors’ register boxes at these sites. Eastern Nevada, until the coming of Euro-American settlers in the nineteenth century, was settled by hunter-gatherer cultures who skillfully harvested

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