Stephen Alvarez

Bears Ears Images
Bears Ears Images
Petroglyphs in Comb Wash Utah's Bears Ears National Monument is a national treasure. Besides the area's fantastic natural beauty the Monument contains over 100,000 archeological sites. Many of you generously supported a scouting trip to the Bears Ears this spring. The images are now online here. (more…)
The oldest site in North America
Paisley Cave, the oldest site in North America
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The road to 5 Mile Point and the Paisley Caves, Lake County Oregon.NRHP Reference #14000708 It is as true in the Northern Great Basin as it is with anywhere else on the planet. Art marks our progress across the world. As we expanded out of Africa more than 55,000 years ago and spread across the globe we left our mark in each new landscape we encountered. The Paisley Caves in Lake County, Oregon yield the oldest dates of human occupation in the Americas. The caves figure large in the history of the Great Basin. Digs have been going on there since the 1930s under the Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History. Recently, archaeologist Dennis Jenkins has found human coprolites dating to 14,300 years ago. There are charred camel bones that are 700 years older but they were excavated in the 1930s and Jenkins just doesn’t have the documentation to...
Alvarez speaking at the University of Oregon
Alvarez speaking at the University of Oregon
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A special public talk by Stephen Alvarez! Ancient Art: Exploring and Preserving Humanity’s Oldest Stories Saturday, May 20, 3:00 p.m. Travel back in time and unravel the human stories told in rock and cave art around the world. There is more information here
Procession Panel, Bears Ears National Monument, Utah
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Moonrise behind the Procession Panel, Comb Ridge, Utah Recorded March 2017 The Procession Panel, San Juan County, Utah The 15-foot long panel depicts 179 human-like forms coming from three different directions and converging on a central circle. Other figures in the panel include mountain sheep, deer and/or elk and snakes. A few smaller panels are located along the cliff just below the main panel. The Procession Panel in Comb Wash, San Juan Country Utah The Panel is one of the most iconic rock art sites in the new Bears Ears National Monument. As such, modeling it was a primary objective of this year's visit to Utah. The model below was built using more than 200 DSLR images. It is best viewed in High Resolution. The Bears Ears contains a stunning number of archeological sites. The monument is a 1.3 million acre open air museum. The area is central to the...
Bear Ears
The Procession Panel, San Juan County Utah The Ancient Art Archive is in Utah all week scouting locations to record in the Bears Ears. For those that don't know, the Bears Ears is one of the United States newest National Monuments. Its 1.3 million acres represent some of the most inaccessible landscape in the lower 48 states. It is also a cultural treasure. There are over 100,000 archeological sites in the Monument and tens of thousands of pictographs and petroglyphs. It's a remarkable place. Thanks to everyone who has helped us get into the field this spring. Your support is vital.  
Dating the cave paintings of Spain
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Alistair Pike discusses the work he has done with Dirk Hoffmann in dating the cave paintings of Northern Spain in this short video that I shot for National Geographic. The open question that Pike is trying to answer in his research is are all the cave paintings of Europe Human or are some of them Neanderthal? Its an interesting question. Neanderthals certainly could have produced some art, but there is not overwhelming evidence that they did. Refined dating techniques have pushed the age of the first paintings in Europe back. The oldest paintings are now known to be older than 40,000 years. But by the same token refinements in tracing migration by looking at the human genome indicate that homo sapiens sapiens first entered Europe 55,000 years ago. So the current oldest painting in El Castillo in Spain is well within the date range that modern humans occupied Europe. Proving that...
Bulls painted in Altamira Cave
Pointillism is 38,000 years old. We have invented nothing
Pointillism is 38,000 years old. We have invented nothing.
Rochester Rock art Fremont Panel
The Rochester Rock Art Panel, Emery County Utah
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Rochester Rock Art Panel Panel, Utah by Ancient Art Archive on Sketchfab Located on a prominent spit of land above Muddy Creek and a side canyon, the Rochester Rock art panel is an extremely complex site. It incorporates images from the Fremont culture to historic times so the art varies in age from 2,000 years old to modern. The panel sees a lot of visitation and hence there has been a lot of damage over the years. 
Rainbow Man, Barrier Canyon Style Pictographs, Emery County Utah
A horned anthropomorphic petroglyph with rainbows enhanced with D-Stretch. Barrier Canyon Style Pictographs, Emery County Utah Within this faded group of Barrier Canyon Style pictograph is the Double Rainbow man. The figure is somewhat faded so I have run D-Stretch to bring it then recombined it with the original image to make the figure above. (more…)
High Gallery Barrier Canyon Style rock art panel, Wayne County Utah
A detailed view of the High Gallery of Horseshoe Canyon, Wayne County Utah. High Gallery of Horseshoe Canyon, Wayne County, Utah Recorded August 2016 This is the first gallery in The Horseshoe (Barrier) Canyon section of Canyonlands National Park. It is on the East wall of the canyon far above the canyon floor. It has well-preserved anthropomorphic and zoomorphic figures in classic Barrier Canyon Style. Besides the pictographs there are also a number of petroglyphs faintly visible within the panel.  BCS style art is thought to be about 4,000 years BP. There is a longer discussion of the age of the art on the NPS Horseshoe canyon page (here). To see the panel in greater context of the canyon look at this image