Friday, 18 April 2008

Chris, The Rock Art Student

I remembered reading an unusual European story a long time ago about someone hiding in a letter box to study the pleats of trousers of passers-by on busy streets. While it may seem like a crazy thing to do, it does exemplify that great European and American tradition of inquiry, discovery and thirst for knowledge of all kinds.

While Chris may not be adding to earth-shaking discoveries or theories, he has contributed to a store of knowledge on American tribal Indian lands. Recently he spent a week as a volunteer for rock art, recording to map and document petroglyphs (pictures, symbols carved on natural rock surfaces). As he said rock art tells a story:

Applying the history of the area, each of the boulders or set of features should have a story behind it. Someone made it. We will never know what that person was thinking while creating the petroglyph, but one can speculate using fact and some imagination. There is a natural enclosed hole with glyphs on the adjoining boulder. Imagine someone submerged in the hole as a hiding spot to hunt for animals or to capture a large bird. There are names and dates inscribed in the boulders for others to see”.

The world is a wondrous place; there is so much to know but so little time to learn about it.

Chris, facing the camera

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