How to find rock art

Nick

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Aug 9, 2007
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Aside from knowing exactly where to look, what are some techniques for finding rock art? Like are there certain types of rock, locations in relation to water, etc. that are more reliable than others? I know that I must have walked past so much at this point and I would love to get to where I can stumble upon some now and then...
 
If you're in an area but not specifically aware of any rock art, just knowing where you're likely to find it will help narrow things down a bit. Rock art seems to mostly be on south-facing walls, but that's not always the case. Looking in alcoves, under overhangs, etc., is also usually a good bet. I'm always scanning canyon walls as I hike, and I often stop just to concentrate on the likely spots for a few seconds.

I've also had some really good luck from sleuthing online. Once I find a photo of some rock art I want to find, I can usually match up some details (landmarks, type of rock, even individual trees) in the photo with the terrain in Google Earth to get a really good idea of where it's at. I've probably found a dozen rock art panels by doing this. Also, if the photo is on Flickr, clicking on the link for the date the photo was taken will show you all the other photos that person took on the same date. Using the timestamps on those photos, you can sometimes use the times to judge distances between landmarks and the rock art. Googling the name of the panel will usually give you photos from other people to help narrow things down a lot.
 
I my experience,pictographs are usually found on lighter colored rock and petroglyphs are usually found on darker colored rock. And like Udink said, most are South facing(this is also the case with most habitation and granary sites).
 
Thanks for the tips guys. I was hoping we'd also hear from some of the other rock art junkies on the subject. I hope you all don't think you're giving away anything by just sharing tips on how to find it on our own. This is how we're supposed to find it, right? ;)
 
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