Stephen Alvarez

Platinum Palladium Print
||
Master platinum-palladium printer and Guggenheim Grant winner Pradip Malde produced an exquisite, limited-edition print to support the Ancient Art Archive. Pradip and I chose a photograph of the Head of Sinbad rock art site on the San Rafael Swell in Central Utah for this print. The paintings are Barrier Canyon Style and thought to be between 2,000 and 4,000 years old. I shot the image this spring with Pradip’s printing in mind. Platinum print by Pradip Malde, image by Stephen Alvarez image size approximately 9" x 14"
Good News for the San Rafael Swell
Buckhorn Wash Pictograph Panel on the San Rafael Swell Those of you who have been following the Ancient Art Archive's work are familiar with our efforts to document Barrier Canyon Style (BCS) artworks. BCS is one of North America's most enigmatic and evocative styles. It is known, primarily from the San Rafael Swell of Central Utah. In general conservation news has been bad in Utah for the past few years. Both Bears Ears and Grand Staircase/Escalante National Monuments were significantly reduced. However, last month a mammoth public lands bill passed both the House and Senate that will increase protections on many National Lands. Among many other things the bill adds 660,000 acres of wilderness designation to Emery County Utah, home of much of the San Rafael Swell. You can read more here. The Rochester Rock Art Panel in Emery County Utah
Pahranagat representational style
Pahranagat anthropomorphic figures are unique to the Pahranagat Valley of Southern Nevada. There are two types of figures;
Barrier Canyon Rock Art, Utah
A Barrier Canyon Painting in Southern Utah
Grotte Pair-non-Pair, Aquitaine France
The paleolithic cave Pair-non-Pair was found when a farmer went looking for a lost cow who had fallen in a hole, the cave he discovered
A nearly 1 million year old hominid fossil in Europe
||
A recent study of a hominid tooth found in the Atapuerca Mountains of Spain has confirmed through direct dating that the fossilized remains are nearly 1 million years old. The dating estimate is between 750,000 and 950,000 years before present. It is consistent with sediment deposits at the site but represents the first direct date from a hominid that old. The ESR dating and challenges are explained in Phys.org here. The Atapuerca Mountains have continued to yield very interesting clues about the first hominid inhabitants of Europe. While this new discovery confirms previous associated dates it is exciting in that it opens up the possibility that there will be other direct dates from Hominid fossils both in and out of Europe.  
The story of human evolution is written in ochre
||
Mixing ochre paint under a tree in Omungunda Namibia. "Smeared on shells, piled in graves, stamped and stenciled on cave walls from South Africa to Australia, Germany to Peru, ochre has been a part of the human story since our very start — and perhaps even earlier. For decades, researchers believed the iron-rich rocks used as pigment at prehistoric sites had symbolic value. But as archaeologists turn up evidence of functional uses for the material, they’re realizing early humans’ relationship with ochre is more complex." read more in Discover Magazine here
New light on human evolution
||
New light on human evolution Groundbreaking research puts human evolution in a new perspective as significant archaeological findings reveals sign of modern human behavior 300 000 years ago. "This discovery suggests that the earliest African Homo sapiens populations were already cognitively, socially and technologically complex", says Francesco d’Errico. He is a professor at UiB and Principal Investigator at the Centre for Early Sapiens Behavior (SapienCE). He is also part of the international team behind the remarkable findings in Kenya, and one of the co-authors of the article that has been published in Science, covering these discoveries. Sophisticated early life It is not every day that investigators stumble over findings that can change the understanding of human history, but these particular discoveries may be just one of these great moments. Francesco d’Errico is not denying the fact that these discoveries are significant. Continue Reading on UIB.NO
Oldest Paintings in the World now over 65,000 years old
||,
Gallery C of La Pasiega cave in Monte Castillo. The big news this week in Anthropology is that a species besides humans seems to have painted. Dirk Hoffman and Allistair Pike have published an article in the journal Science that dates the paintings to well over 65,000 years ago. That is 25,000 years older than previously dated art from Spain and Indonesia. 65,000 years ago the only known species that could have made the paintings are Neanderthals. The dates come from three caves widely separated in Spain. This is a stunning development in the world of art history. Hoffman and Pike explain their results in the video below. You can reach the Science article here. In this video from National Geographic shot in 2014 Allistair Pike discusses his belief that Neanderthals could have made art.
Procession Panel, San Juan County Utah
||,
Procession Panel, San Juan County Utah