A Pahranagat representational style petroglyph in the Basin and Range National Monument.

Pahranagat representational style anthropomorphic figures are unique to the Pahranagat Valley of Southern Nevada. There are two types of figures; pecked oval bodies with large hands and box shaped, line drawn bodies. The later are sometimes depicted with atlatl spear throwers. Bow and arrow replaced the atlatl more than 1500 years ago in this part of the country so this offers a clue as to the images age.

A Pahranagat style anthropomorphic figure
A Pahranagat style anthropomorphic figures in Lincoln County Nevada. This style of anthropomorph is unique to the Pahranagat Valley and its immediate drainage.

Not knowing an engraving’s exact age is one of the mysteries of rock art. This style is particularly intriguing because it is such a localized phenomenon. It is interesting that there are other styles of art represented in the area including Great Basin Carved Abstract and Fremont. Why are these images limited to this valley? We will likely never know. For more information about Nevada Rock art visit the Nevada Rock Art Foundation.

Below is a 3D, VR model we constructed of the Mt Irish Shaman’s Knob site with funding from the National Geographic Society.