(Mostly Barrier Canyon Style) Rock Art Photo Collection

(Rochester Creek Panel)

Last updated: Feb 2006

What's new:
  • I've scanned a lot more of my slides (I might even be getting better at it) but for now I've only posted the new stuff at Flickr so you might want to look there. Eventually I plan to reorganize this page and post that stuff here, but Flickr is a lot easier!
  • Rock Art Wallpaper Page listing many of the 1600x1200 and up (to a little larger than 1920 x 1200) images on this site in one place.
  • Grand County Panel 1 scanned from ancient negatives added Feb 2006.
  • Book Cliffs Site 1 with scans of Sept 2003 slides added Feb 2006.
  • San Rafael Swell Site 4 added Feb 2006, scanned from Sept 2003 slides.
  • As mentioned above you might also want to look for pictures I've posted on my flickr page or more rarely (for rock art) my Multiply page, or pictures that Amy has posted on her Multiply page. We tend to post things in those places (especially digital images) soon after we return from a trip, or if I just scanned something and haven't decided what to do with it, etc., where the stuff I put here tends to be scanned film and I fuss over it a lot more and it takes a lot longer.
This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called All Rock Art. Make your own badge here.

What follows are detailed photographs of various rock art sites I've visited (along with my wife Amy and my brother Dave). Most of these sites (with the exception of the "fighting man" panel for instance) are, or are at least similar to, "Barrier Canyon Style" (BCS). This style is generally attributed to hunter-gatherers that lived in portions of Utah from about 4000 to 1500 years ago.

All of these images are copyrighted. If you are interested in educational or other non-commercial use, please contact me and we can work something out. Usually I require at least a link to my rock art page in addition to a photo credit.

Many of the following photos were taken by Dave. Before using any of Dave's photos, please contact Dave at: david.e.lee1@jsc.nasa.gov.

Coming Soon

Quick scans of some panels I hope to add soon.

Buckhorn Wash

Buckhorn Wash

Another Grand County
(Moab Area) Site

Another Grand County Site

San Rafael Swell Site 1

San Rafael Swell Site 1

San Rafael Swell Site 3

San Rafael Swell Site 3

San Rafael Swell Site 4


Barrier (Horseshoe) Canyon Site #1 / #2 / #5

Grand County

In this area there are at least seven Barrier Canyon style panels within a couple hours walking distance, so it's likely that the later artists were familiar with the earlier panels. Yet there's a great deal of diversity in styles here, from the one of the most simple to one of the most detailed panels I've seen. Dave and I have reasonable pictures of 6 of these panels.

Grand County Panel 1  Grand County Panel 2  Grand County Panel 4  Grand County Panel 5  Grand County Panel 7 

I don't have good pictures for one of these panels, the "Snake in Mouth" panel (Grand Country Panel 6 in my scheme of things) but you can see pictures of it on Doak Heyser's Rock Art Gallery:

Full panel and a closeup of the "Snake in Mouth" panel.

Sego Canyon

These are terribly old, gifs scanned from photos, so they are quite low quality, sorry. I will replace them soon.

Book Cliffs

Book Cliffs

Rangely, Colorado #1 / Rangely, Colorado #2

"Fighting Men" Panel (not Barrier Canyon)

This used to be the title image on this page.
It also appears (with permission!) on the cover of McCauley and Lawson's
Bringing Ritual to Mind : Psychological Foundations of Cultural Forms

"TV Sheep" Panel (not Barrier Canyon)

More Info

Since my site is woefully short on text, I'll refer you to these sites for more information on the Barrier Canyon Style:

These pages are best viewed with a tabbing browser (Mozilla, the new versions of Netscape based on Mozilla, Safari, etc.) even though I first wrote some of them at least 5 years before I'd seen such a thing. When possible, for each panel I have several "zoom" levels of various parts of the panel, from the entire panel to individual figures, and a tabbed browser will make sorting through all this a lot easier (less reloading of large images). Be warned, ALL of these images are large, in the 150kB range at least, and some of the full res scans are in the megabyte range. Don't go further if you have a slow connection unless you are prepared to wait.

If you stumble across one of these or any rock art site, please take great care and show respect for the site (not only the panel of course but the area around it as well)! Barrier Canyon rock art sites are rare, perhaps 200 of them representing thousands of years of North American history -- each one could be the only information we have about an entire generation of people. These are invaluable works of art. In any museum there would be a guard to tell you not to get too close, and the guard would certainly throw you out or even arrest you if you tried to touch. Just go ahead and pretend the guard is there at the site with you! It's also often pointed out that these sites were quite obviously of great spiritual importance to the people who created them, but somehow people don't seem to get it. Put simply, don't do anything to them you wouldn't do to a piece of art in any other (especially your) place of worship. Don't touch, don't start camp fires, be careful even of where you step. In general you get better pictures if you aren't right up next to the panel anyway, so take a telephoto!

If that's not enough for you, depending on where the panel is (state of federal land) the fine for damaging rock art is, I think, $20,000 and/or up to three times the cost for art conservators to restore the panel.

How did you take those pictures?

Most of my photos were taken with a Minolta XG-M camera purchased sometime before 1983, the newer ones with its replacement, an X-700. A few were taken with disposable cameras, which will be obvious when you see them! My newer pictures are on Fuji Velvia 50 or 100 slide film, older ones are on various Kodak 100-200 speed slide or print films. I also have a Nikon CoolPix 800 digital camera that I use for less important shots, and I really wish digital cameras would catch up to film's dynamic range and resolution so that all my photography was that easy. All of Dave's photos were taken with an indestructable Minolta SR-T (101 I think? Or 202?) which is almost as old as I am. Amy's pictures were taken with a Nikon 2500 1600x1200 digital camera which I occasionally borrow.

The scans of Dave's photos and some of my older ones were done by photo developers, but they generally do a really bad job with either rock art (too few colors for the software to make sense of) or slide film (denser and more difficult to scan than print film) so the combination is usually fatal! Thus I recently got a Nikon Coolscan IV ED film scanner which does quite nicely with slides. I touch up pictures in anything from xv to Gimp or Photoshop. Recently mostly Photoshop.


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