|Tahoe > History|
- Just past the arched Pioneer Bridge on old hwy 40 (Donner Pass Rd.) heading toward Donner Lake. Believed to be created by the Martis Indians (some say ancestors of Washoe, Maidu and Paiute Indian Tribes) during the Middle Archaic Period, 4,000 years ago.|
The U.S. Forest Service gives talks at 6:30 PM Saturdays during the summer.
Park at the China Wall parking area around the bend 1/4 mi. from the bridge.
Petroglyphs Of The Northern Sierra Nevada, California,
Style 7 (High Sierra Abstract-Representational) (Donner Pass - Site CA-NEV-5) These are distinctive petroglyph panels on bedrock surfaces in the higher elevations of the northern Sierra Nevada. Style 7 rock art panels are more complex and contain a greater variety of design elements than any other prehistoric rock art style in the northern Sierra Nevada region, and although considerable variation exists in design elements, there is also an underlying rigidity. Common designs include concentric circles, simple circles elaborated by line elements, wavy lines of varying complexity, tracks, and anthropomorphic-zoomorphic representations. Payen defined Style 7 rock art using a sample of 13 sites, and described it as the most distinctive style of the seven. He suggested that the track element may be diagnostic for Style 7, occurring at 11 of his 15 sites.
The majority of Style 7 petroglyph elements are abstract, consisting of circles, wavy lines, zigzags, and arrangements of these elements into complex designs. We analyzed two of the more naturalistic and readily recognizable petroglyph elements, the bear track, and the anthropomorph (human stick figures).
Evidence (location and chipped-stone lithics [tools] found nearby) supports the hypothesis of an association between these sites and the Martis Archaeological Complex. This evidence is fairly pervasive and argues for the placement of this style of rock art firmly within the Middle Archaic time period, from 4,000 to 1,500 B.P. which has been equated with the Martis Complex.
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