Evelyn Billo, Robert Mark and Donald E. Weaver, Jr. – “Sears Point Rock Art and Beyond, Synopsis of the 2008-2012 Recording Project”
Utilized for centuries by many cultures, the National Register Sears Point Archaeological District (SPAD) is located along the rich riparian habitat of the Gila River. Currently managed by the Yuma District of the Bureau of Land Management, a large portion of the District is designated an Area of Critical Environmental Concern and is still utilized by several of the 15 Tribes that claim cultural affiliation there.
Responding to a BLM request for comprehensive rock art recording, Rupestrian CyberServices and Plateau Mountain Desert Research not only mapped approximately 2000 petroglyph panels and 100 features including rock piles, rock rings, artifact scatters, a rock shelter, several apparent natural and constructed hunting blinds, geoglyphs, and scattered rock alignments; but also, many historic features and an extensive network of pre-historic, historic, and animal trails. Recording and photographing SPAD required a three-year effort with the help of 50 volunteers, and some unusual techniques.
Tucson Balloon Rides assisted us by providing a low-elevation flight path from which we observed and photographed subtle features that were otherwise difficult to view from the ground and impossible to discern from available aerial photography.
Extensive measurements were made and recorded on multiple page forms during 16 weeks of fieldwork and subsequently entered into FileMaker Pro and Excel databases. 18,000 photographs are catalogued and identified by panel number in a Portfolio image database.
This presentation will provide not only a birds-eye view of the area, but also some intriguing petroglyph designs and preliminary analyses of the 8000 individual rock art elements.