Canyons through the Ages: Ancestral Pueblo, Historic Ute, and Euro-American Rock Art and Historical Inscriptions in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, Colorado

Rock art is one of the traces of pre-Hispanic and historic Indigenous cultures in the Mesa Verde region and the North American Southwest. The Painted Hand Petroglyph Panel/Strawman Panel and few other sites in the Sandstone Canyon, in the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, southwestern Colorado, USA contain a great density of rock art representing the last 2,000 years of human development of this area. It includes petroglyphs of Basketmaker/Ancestral Pueblo farming societies and historic nomad Ute tribes as well as historical inscriptions of Euro-Americans. This talk will focus on various methods and techniques of digital documentation using high-resolution photo documentation and 3D digitization, i.e. photogrammetry, Reflectance Transformation Imaging/RTI, and laser scanning as well as subsequent analysis of Indigenous rock art and historical inscriptions. This documentation and cultural and stylistic analysis of rock art revealed new information about the cultural changes, rituals, and migrations in the pre-Hispanic and historic southwestern Colorado. It also helps to emphasize the importance of rock art studies (and an in-depth analysis of it) in the archaeological research and discourse.