Unraveling the Cowhead Mesa (41GR414) Petroglyphs with 3D Laser Scanning and High Resolution Digital Photography

Stance Hurst, Eileen Johnson, Elizabeth Louden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Cowhead Mesa petroglyphs hold insights into historic Native American and Anglo-American culture for the Southern Plains region of North America. To preserve this history, a combination of 3D long-range laser scanning and high resolution digital photography has been used to record one large main panel 21m long and nine smaller panels. Separating Native American motifs from the background noise of historic and modern graffiti enabled researchers to group graphic elements according to their style and to look at each group separately. This lead to a better understanding of the the carving chronology and looked at the interrleationship between the elements as they were intended to be at the time of their carving. The main panel is a combination of both Plains Biographical and Southwestern symbolism. The methodology , including the advantages and disadvantages of using laser scanning for recording petroglyphs are explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-53
JournalRock Art Research Journal
StatePublished - May 15 2009

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