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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Great Basin Pecked Style Petroglyph in the North Coast Ranges


The final observation concerns the function of the petroglyph. The intention here is not to review the various hypotheses, briefly reviewed by Thomas (1976: 66), that are often used to interpret rock art. However, new information is available to add to the existing body of interpretive schemes. Based on locational patterns, Martin (personal communication 1980) suggested the connected circle motif might be a trail sign. The chain of diamonds motif has been linked to the hunting hypothesis (Thomas 1976), and it can be related to local ethnographic groups as well. Goldschmidt (1951) stated that a Nomlaki bow decoration utilized this design. The petroglyph discovery site is on the edge of Nomlaki territory (Kroeber 1925: 351). A Wailaki string figure (Foster 1944: Fig. 13) apparently resembles the string mesh, a series of overlapping chains of diamonds, inserted inside deer snares. Both the bow and snare are obviously connected with hunting activities.

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