Nevada November 05, 2017
Some Of North America’s Oldest Petroglyphs Are Hiding Right Here In Nevada
Located approximately seven miles east of Fallon—adjacent to Highway 50 (The Loneliest Highway in America)—is Grimes. This 720-acre archaeological site is famous for being the site of some of North America’s oldest petroglyphs and is quite fascinating.
Grimes Point prehistoric archaeology site provides a fascinating glimpse into the past.
The half-mile long, mostly level trail that is stroller- and wheelchair-accessible features carved rocks dating back as far as eight thousand years ago. A self-guided, interpretive tour provides insight into the fascinating history of the area.
The petroglyphs were drawn by Native people who were originally drawn to the shores of Lake Lahontan, the prehistoric lake that once covered most of Nevada.
The area had been significantly damaged when it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. The fundamental reason for listing it on the Register was its potential for future information.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) subsequently began restoration and development efforts for public exploration in the late 1970s and 1980s. The BLM manages the site today.
The rock art at Grimes Point has been described by some archaeologists as common in hunting areas.
After a petroglyph is etched into a rock, the newly exposed "scar" is lighter than the original surface
After time, however, the petroglyph grows a patina of sorts that darkens it to the rock's original surface color. Thus, darker petroglyphs are more likely older.
Most experts assert that the Grimes Point petroglyphs are not writing per se but are more likely to depict hunting, the stars, or something else.
In addition to the petroglyphs, archaeologists have found other evidence of prehistoric people such as bone and shell fragments, bits of tule, and stone scraping tools.
Hidden Cave is an ongoing archaeological dig site that exposes 21,000 years of stratigraphy, or rock layering.
And just like much of the rest of Nevada, Grimes point is rumored to be haunted. Reports of glowing apparitions walking around the mining are, on the loop trail, and near Hidden Cave on moonless nights.
There is so much history in Nevada, and the Grimes Point petroglyphs add to this distinction. Grimes Point is open to the public year-round.
Have you been to this historic archaeological site and seen the oldest petroglyphs in North America? What did you think? Please comment below.