Oldest North American Rock Art May Be 14,800 Years Old
Nevada petroglyphs could date back to the first peopling of the Americas.
The so-called petroglyphs, carved in soft limestone millennia ago, range from simple lines, pits, and swirls to more complex and ambiguous shapes that resemble diamonds, trees, flowers, and veins in a leaf. They range from about 8 inches (20 centimeters) up to about 3 feet (1 meter) in width.
In a new study, published in this month's issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, geochemist Larry Benson and his team concluded that the petroglyphs, located about 35 miles (56 kilometers) northeast of Reno at Winnemucca Lake, are at least 10,500 years old, and perhaps as much as 14,800 years old.
"Whether they turn out to be as old as 14,800 years ago or as recent as 10,500 years ago, they