Rock Art at Little Lake: An Ancient Crossroads in the California Desert


Series: Monographs 74
ISBN: 978-1-931745-93-2
Publication Date: Dec 2012
Price: Hb $59.00, Pb $35.00
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Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Gordon Hull, and John C. Bretney

The product of ten years of fieldwork at Little Lake Ranch in the Rose Valley, the southern gateway to the Owens Valley, this book presents the results of intensive rock art analyses carried out by the interdisciplinary research team of the UCLA Rock Art Archive. The research attempts to establish a connective web of associations to break down traditional but artificial barriers between rock art and the rest of archaeology. Through time-honored methods of stylistic analysis, the focus is on recent breakthroughs in the analysis of meaning and religion in the context of landscape attributes and ecological opportunities. Regional or ethnic differences suggested by the rock art record has made it possible to create a flexible analytical framework.

This book describes the occurrence, concentration, distribution, and formal variation of pecked and painted motifs. Scratched, pecked, and painted patterns are analyzed separately. Full-color illustrations throughout enhance the physical appeal of this beautiful book. overlooked archaeological excavation and object data.

Recipient of the Jo Anne Stolaroff Cotsen Prize

Table of Contents
  • Magic Petroglyphs by Wendy All
  • Foreword by Charles S. Stanish
  • Preface by Jo Anne Van Tilburg
  • Introduction by Jo Anne Van Tilburg
  • Field and Archive Methods by Gordon E. Hull


  • Ch. 01: Little Lake Geology by Allen F. Glazner
  • Ch. 02: Little Lake Environment and Archaeology by Jo Anne Van Tilburg and John C. Bretney


  • Ch. 03: Little Lake Ranch Rock Art Complex by Jo Anne Van Tilburg, John C. Bretney, and Gordon E. Hull
  • Ch. 04: Atlatl Cliff by John C. Bretney
  • Ch. 05: Scratched Rock Art at Little Lake Ranch Rebekah by Miller Reed
  • Ch. 06: The Desert Bighorn Sheep Motif by Noel Van Slyke and H. Bill White
  • Ch. 07: Painted Rock Art and Stahl Site Pigments by Jo Anne Van Tilburg and Clarus Backes, Jr.
  • Ch. 08: Rock Art, Aesthetics, and Belief by Jo Anne Van Tilburg


  • Ch. 09: Little Lake Ranch Toward the Future by James L. Pearson
  • Ch. 10: Basketry An Ethnographic Legacy by Judith W. Finger 
  • Ch. 11: A Rare Cached Brownware Pot by Jelmer W. Eerkens and Jo Anne Van Tilburg