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  • Traditions of Power and Persistence of Place: The Rock Art at Greybull South, Wyoming by Charles Koenig

Traditions of Power and Persistence of Place: The Rock Art at Greybull South, Wyoming by Charles Koenig

  • 9 Dec 2023
  • 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Zoom - Computer, tablet, or smartphone
  • 240



ARARA presents...

Greybull South (48BH92) is located along the east bank of the Bighorn River within the Bighorn Basin of north-central Wyoming. The site consists of 40 Indigenous rock art panels located on a prominent sandstone exposure. Greybull South is infamous within Wyoming because in 1962 at least 10 rock art blocks were mechanically removed from the sandstone cliff.

The majority of images are petroglyphs—there is a single painted anthropomorph and the petroglyphs are pecked, incised, and abraded into the sandstone cliff face. Multiple styles and traditions of rock art are present, including outstanding depictions of Ceremonial Tradition, Biographic Tradition, En Toto Pecked, Outline-Pecked, and possibly Dinwoody Tradition imagery. Within these styles are a variety of figure types, including 17 shield bearing warrior figures. There are also several fully abraded anthropomorphs that are a previously unrecognized figure category within Bighorn Basin rock art.

This presentation provides a history of archaeological work at Greybull South, a description of the multiple rock art traditions, and a discussion linking the imagery at Greybull South to traditional cultural values and spiritual beliefs of Indigenous peoples such as the Apsáalooke (Crow), Eastern Shoshone, Kiowa, and Northern Arapaho, who lived in the Bighorn Basin during the late Holocene.

Charles is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Sul Ross State University, and a researcher at the Center for Big Bend Studies. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Wyoming (2023), MA from Texas State University (2012), and BA from the University of Colorado at Boulder (2009). Charles’ research is focused on Indigenous earth oven technology, rock art, caves/rockshelters, and applying photogrammetry to archaeological research. Charles serves as the Co-Chair of the ARARA Education Committee.

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