Radiocarbon dating rock art

In recent years advances in scientific dating methods have been made but there is currently little agreement on the validity or reliability of any single method.

In spite of the current inability to reliably date rock art's production or its period of use, there is little doubt that rock art has been created in Nevada for as long as the region has been occupied by people.

Determining age and cultural affiliation of rock art at Hueco Tanks is not an exact science.

Direct dating of pictographs utilizes samples of organic materials present in the pigments, chiefly charcoal.

Of the pictographs and petroglyphs that are found in Nevada, petroglyphs are by far the more common of the two.

Nevada rock art is found in a wide variety of landscapes and locations throughout the state.

Few sites in Nevada provide clear contextual indications of their date of production and period of use, such as stratigraphic superimposition by datable materials.

Pictographs are made through an additive process, where they are applied to the rock surface, and include paintings, charcoal drawings, stencils, prints.

Petroglyphs are made by a reductive process, in which they are cut into the rock by engraving, pecking, incising or abrasion.

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