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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT NEWS RELEASE
 
Release Date: 05/29/13
Contacts: For more information, 970-882-5600 or go to at www.co.blm.gov/canm.    

Lecture on Possible Ice Age Rock Art at the Anasazi Heritage Center (05-29-13)


DOLORES, Colo. - While there is controversy between archaeologists regarding the existence of rock art more than 10,000 years old depicting mammoths, that doesn’t prevent Joe Pachak from sharing his rock art discoveries with the public. His lecture is a part of the Four Corners Summer Lecture Series at the Anasazi Heritage Center on Sunday, June 2 at 1 p.m. Museum admission is free throughout the day.

The oldest reliably-dated rock art in North America is about 6,000 years old, but Pachak believes he discovered engravings that might be many thousands of years older. The images he found are on a sandstone cliff along the San Juan River in Utah.

Pachak’s claim of finding the mammoth depictions is controversial. Therefore, he led Hopi rock art scholar Ekkehart Malotki to the site in the early 1990s. Malotki and his collaborator, Tucson archaeologist Henry Wallace, share the opinion that the images represent mammoths.  But author and rock art expert Polly Schaafsma is skeptical. Schaafsma insists that engravings in soft sandstone couldn’t last so long.

“This is a unique opportunity for the public to enjoy hearing from Pachak personally about his find,” said Michael Williams, Bureau of Land Management exhibit specialist.

Pachak lives near Bluff, Utah, and he is also a sculptor. His work is featured at the Edge of the Cedars Museum in Blanding, Utah. Last year, Pachak used twine and branches to fashion a life-size mammoth in Bluff, which was set alight in a community art event.

This presentation is part of the Four Corners Summer Lecture Series, a cooperative effort of local cultural institutions, who sponsor free events at various locations in Southwest Colorado.

For more information, 970-882-5600 or go to at www.co.blm.gov/canm.

ATTACHED IMAGE: Possible mammoth petroglyph along the San Juan River in Utah.

Sketch by Joe Ciaccio. From Malotki and Wallace 2011. Courtesy BLM



The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.
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Last updated: 05-29-2013