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Posts Tagged ‘David Hiser’

Petroglyphs, Pictographs, and a Geoglyph: Rock Art of the American Southwest

Posted by Laurie Frost on September 23, 2010

Here’s something different. Petroglyphs are carved into rock; pictographs are painted on the surface, and “rock art” is an all-purpose general term that you can use should the first two fail. Sources for today’s post include The National Archives’ DocuAmerica,  National Park Service (NPS), and the Naval Air Weapons Station– China Lake. 

First, several pictographs photographed by David Hiser for the EPA’s DocuAmerica project posted at The National Archives website. 

NEWSPAPER ROCK, IN INDIAN CREEK HISTORIC STATE PARK, IS REMARKABLE FOR THE CLARITY AND NUMBER OF ITS ANCIENT INDIAN PICTOGRAPHS, 05/1972  

Moab, Utah: Newspaper Rock, Indian Creek Historic State Park. 05/1972. . ARC Identifier 545679, ARC Identifier 545671 [close-up] 

NEWSPAPER ROCK IS A LARGE CLIFF MURAL OF ANCIENT INDIAN PETROGLYPHS AND PICTOGRAPHS, REMARKABLE FOR THE CLARITY OF ITS NUMEROUS FIGURES, 05/1972  

—————-  

ONE OF THE PICTOGRAPHS IN THE MAZE, WESTERN PART OF THE PARK THE PARK SERVICE CONSIDERS THE REMOTENESS OF THE AREA THE BEST PROTECTION FOR THE DRAWINGS, 05/1972  

Canyonlands National Park, Utah.  05/1972 ARC Identifier 545675  

THIRTEEN FACES EAST (THREE FACES OUT OF CAMERA RANGE), IN HORSE CANYON. THESE PICTOGRAPHS ARE BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN INSCRIBED 1000 YEARS AGO, 05/1972  

Horse Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.  05/1972 ARC Identifier 545687   

———–  

The next three should be credited to the National Park Service (NPS): 

NPS photo. Chaco Culture National Historical Park, Nageezi, New Mexico

 

McKee Springs Petroglyphs 1

NPS. McKee Springs Petroglyph, Dinosaur National Monument, Utah & Colorado

 

 The following is from the National Park Service’s Mesa Verde website and describes the small image to the right: 

 According to one Hopi elder, this petroglyph, found on Mesa Verde’s Petroglyph Point Trail, may tell the story of two clans (the Mountain Sheep Clan and the Eagle Clan) separating from other people and returning to their place of origin.  Notice the boxy spiral shape?  This likely represents a sipapu, the place where Pueblo people believe they emerged from the earth (believed to be near the Grand Canyon).  You can also see the head and arms of a figure, and on the bottom right, a possible Katsina clan symbol. 

  

  

Now here’s something new to me: one of the largest collections of petroglyphs in the US is on a military installation in California, and only one site, Little Petroglyph Canyon, is open to the public — and that is on a very limited basis: 

Concentrated in secluded canyons of the volcanic Coso Range on the test ranges of the Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, Calif., are thousands of visual reminders of people who, thousands of years ago, hunted and gathered their food in this high desert. The Coso Range Canyons contain the highest concentration of rock art in the Western Hemisphere. More than 6,000 images have been pecked, engraved, or abraded into the desert varnish or patina that forms on basalt rocks with time and weathering. 

No one knows for sure how old these petroglyphs are. A broad range of dates can be inferred from archaeological sites in the area and some artifact forms depicted on the rocks. Some of them may be as old as 16,000 years, some as recent as the 1800s. Designs range from animals to abstract to anthropomorphic figures. . . . 

After the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, security concerns resulted in the cancellation of all petroglyph tours. While security is still a number one priority, NAWS houses one of the largest concentrations of petroglyphs in North America. Therefore, with security in mind, the Commanding Officer of NAWS has adopted a new policy to allow limited tours to the public. 

All tours will be conducted with a minimum of two Command-approved escorts. These escorts are volunteers contributing their time to the tour groups so that you may see and enjoy the rock art of Little Petroglyph Canyon. … 

One image in the media gallery at the installation’s website is of a geoglyph, which I suppose means the image was carved onto the ground rather than on a rock face: 

 

” This starburst-shaped geoglyph was located on one of the pre-historic sites.” 

Here are some deer-shaped and sheep petroglyphs: 

 

  

And one of geometric shapes and another that “differs from the other petroglyph designs in the canyons at NAWCWD, China Lake”: 

 

  

 

  

  

Resources:

To learn more about petroglyphs and pictographs, visit: 

The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site:  More than 21,000 glyphs of humans, animals,  plants,  geometric and abstract designs in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico. 

Slideshow of Rock Art at Chaco Culture HP 

Coso Rock Art District, China Lake, California. This site has an interesting essay on connection between shamanism and petroglyphs; unfortunately, its images are not in the the public domain. 

Petroglyphs and Pictographs of Southeast Alaska, Tongass National Forest 

Rock Images, NPS Archaeology page. List of locations of petroglyphs, but with many broken links. 

  

 

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Posted in Historical, National Archives, National Park Service, Places, US Air Force | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

US National Parks: Arches

Posted by Laurie Frost on September 27, 2009

While the first stop for public domain images of US National Parks would be the nps.gov website, there are other options you might want to consider as well, specifically, the DOCUMERICA parks collection at the National Archives and the Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog [PPOC]. Here’s an example of what you might otherwise overlook.

David Hiser, whose photos of sustainable housing designed and built in the early 1970s by Michael Reynolds outside Taos, NM were featured in my last post, also photographed several national parks during his tenure at the Environmental Protection Agency, including Arches National Park, near Moab, Utah.

All photos by David Hiser, all courtesy of National Archives. Captions and archive IDs are collected at the post’s ending.

07-1882a555

07-1896a69

586

07-2120a793

07-1909adbl

1. Double O Arch 07-1882t 545555

2. DELICATE ARCH IS THE MOST FAMOUS ARCH IN THE PARK. THE LASAL MOUNTAINS ARE BEHIND TO THE EAST, 05/1972 ARC Identifier 545569 /

3. DELICATE ARCH, A NIGHT TIME VIEW, 05/1972. ARC Identifier 545586

4. DELICATE ARCH, THE MOST FAMOUS NATURAL ARCH IN THE PARK. IT IS IN A SUPERB RAISED AND ISOLATED LOCATION, REACHED BY A ONE-AND-A-HALF MILE FOOT TRAIL. BEHIND IT, TO THE EAST, ARE THE LASAL MOUNTAINS, 05/1972. ARC Identifier 545793

5. DOUBLE ARCH IN WINDOWS SECTION OF ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, 05/1972. ARC Identifier 545582

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Beer Can Bungalows: “Garbage Warrior” Michael Reynolds’ First Earthships

Posted by Laurie Frost on September 20, 2009

ARC 556616

What have we here? The building block for a new house, of course.

I was looking in the National Archives digital copy catalog for something else entirely when I came upon a series of photos taken by David Hiser in 1974-1975 for the Environmental Protection Agency documenting the construction of  several experimental houses designed by architect Michael Reynolds.

Curious about whatever became of this project, I searched for “Michael Reynolds,” “architect,” “Taos,” and discovered that over the past 35 years later Reynolds has continued his experiments in what he calls “Earthship Biotecture.” You can read about it and see photos of his recent designs at Earthship, and his work and life are the subject of a recent award-winning documentary, Garbage Warrior, by Oliver Hodge, now available on DVD.

David Hiser went on to work with National Geographic. You can read about him here.

These EPA pictures are from the DOCUMERICA collection in the National Archives and Records Administration, which contains almost 22,000 images taken between 1972 and 1977:

The idea behind DOCUMERICA was simple. Beginning in 1972, the EPA contracted out assignments to photographers who were paid $150 a day plus film and expenses to shoot a variety of images. . . .  Photographers received full credit for any accepted images, and any rejected images were their property. All approved DOCUMERICA images became property of the U.S. government. DOCUMERICA drew upon a long history of government photography projects, but it was the brainchild of Gifford Hampshire. . . who raised the idea of a documentary photography project with aides to EPA director William Rickshaws. Several of the staff members had heard of the New Deal photography projects and were intrigued with the idea of a new project dealing with environmental issues. Soon afterward, the EPA`s Office of Public Affairs asked Hampshire to organize DOCUMERICA.

I don’t know if Hiser or an EPA staffer wrote the captions for the pictures. I’ll let them tell the story. All photos by David Hiser, all courtesy National Archives.

Caption for top picture: “BASIC BUILDING BLOCK OF EXPERIMENTAL HOUSING BEING BUILT OF EMPTY STEEL BEER AND SOFT DRINK CANS NEAR TAOS, NEW MEXICO. A TOTAL OF EIGHT CANS WEIGHING 14 OUNCES ARE WIRED TOGETHER AND PLACED IN MORTAR IN THE OUTSIDE WALLS AT A COST OF 15 CENTS PER UNIT. SIX CANS ARE EVIDENT IN THE PICTURE. THE OTHER TWO CANS HAVE BEEN FLATTENED AND PLACED BETWEEN THE UPRIGHT AND HORIZONTAL CANS TO ACT AS WEATHER STRIPPING AND TO PREVENT AIR FLOW THROUGH THE WALLS. A MACHINE COULD BE DESIGNED TO MAKE THE UNITS AT A SHARPLY REDUCED COST.” [ARC Identifier 556616]

15-1059a 556631

15-1046a  556618

“THE INSIDE WALLS ARE BUILT WITH CANS IN THE POSITION SHOWN. THE OUTSIDE WALLS ARE CONSTRUCTED USING AN EIGHT CAN UNIT AS A BUILDING BLOCK” [ ARC Identifier 556618, 55631]

“FIRST EXPERIMENTAL HOUSE COMPLETED NEAR TAOS, NEW MEXICO USING EMPTY STEEL BEER AND SOFT DRINK CANS. THE HOUSE WAS BUILT USING CURVED WALLS BECAUSE THEY HAVE MORE STRENGTH, RESULTING IN PIE-SHAPED INTERIOR ROOMS. THERE IS A LAWN ON THE ROOF BELOW THE OVERHANG AT THE TOP OF THE STRUCTURE. RE-CYCLED PAPER PULP IS USED TO COVER THE CEILING OF THE INTERIOR. LATER HOMES WERE BUILT WITHOUT CURVED WALLS AFTER THE DESIGNER FOUND THE CANS WOULD SUPPORT MUCH MORE WEIGHT THAN THEY WOULD HAVE TO BEAR. UNIVERSITY TESTS LATER SUBSTANTIATED HIS FINDING.” 06/1974 [ARC Identifier 556623]

15-1051a15-1053a

“LAWN ON THE ROOF IS ONE OF SEVERAL UNUSUAL ASPECTS OF THIS EXPERIMENTAL HOUSE BUILT NEAR TAOS, NEW MEXICO, USING EMPTY STEEL BEER AND SOFT DRINK CANS. THE LAWN REQUIRES DAILY ATTENTION BECAUSE OF THE DRY ENVIRONMENT. A DOOR IN THE GLASSED-IN SECTION IN THE BACKGROUND GIVES ACCESS TO A BALCONY OVERLOOKING THE LIVING ROOM WHICH IS PIE-SHAPED. THE HOUSE, THE FIRST TO BE BUILT WITH CAN CONSTRUCTION, WAS MADE CIRCULAR WHICH GIVES THE WALLS ADDED STRENGTH. THE ROOF IS USED FOR SUN BATHING AND ENTERTAINING.” [ARC Identifier 556625]

15-1047a 556619“ARCHITECT AND EXPERIMENTAL HOUSE BUILDER MICHAEL REYNOLDS LIVES IN THIS STRUCTURE WHICH IS A COMPENDIUM OF HIS EXPERIMENTS IN THE FIELD, NEAR TAOS, NEW MEXICO. THE LEFT PORTION OF THE STRUCTURE WITH THE PYRAMID-SHAPED ROOF HAS BEEN BUILT USING EMPTY STEEL BEER AND SOFT DRINK CANS. THE SLOPING WALL AT ITS BASE IS A SOLAR HEAT COLLECTOR. REYNOLDS HAS BUILT ENTIRE HOMES FROM THE CANS, AND REPORTS THEY CAN BE BUILT AS MUCH AS 20% CHEAPER THAN CONVENTIONAL HOUSING.” 06/1974 [ARC Identifier 556619]

556628“ANOTHER EXPERIMENTAL HOUSE MADE OF EMPTY STEEL BEER AND SOFT DRINK CAN CONSTRUCTION NEAR TAOS, NEW MEXICO. THIS HOUSE WILL BE PLASTERED WITH ADOBE LIKE THE OTHER HOMES IN THE AREA, BUT WILL HAVE COST UP TO 20% LESS, ACCORDING TO ARCHITECT MICHAEL REYNOLDS THE ROUNDED WALLS ARE LOAD BEARING AND ARE MADE WITH BUILDING BLOCKS OF EIGHT CANS. THE FLAT WALLS ARE NOT LOAD BEARING AND ARE BUILT WITH SINGLE CANS LAID HORIZONTALLY, END OUT, IN THE MORTAR.” 06/1974 [ARC Identifier 556628]

15-1048a 556620

“ARCHITECT AND EXPERIMENTAL HOUSE BUILDER MICHAEL REYNOLDS WHO LIVES NEAR TAOS, NEW MEXICO, IN THE PYRAMID-SHAPED ROOM WHERE HE SLEEPS. IT IS MODELLED EXACTLY AFTER THE GREAT PYRAMID IN EGYPT HE IS EXPERIMENTING WITH THE EFFECTS OF THE PYRAMID ON HUMAN CONSCIOUSNESS. HE IS KEEPING A JOURNAL OF HIS THOUGHTS AND EXPERIENCES, AND HOPES TO WRITE A BOOK ON THE SUBJECT.” 06/1974 [ARC Identifier 556620]

“CONSTRUCTION OF ONE OF THREE EXPERIMENTAL HOUSES BUILT FROM EMPTY BEER AND SOFT DRINK CANS. ALL ALU15-1066a  556638MINUM CANS ARE BEING USED IN THIS CONSTRUCTION … DESIGNER MICHAEL REYNOLDS IS USING THEM BECAUSE THEIR AVAILABILITY HAS INCREASED. AN UNSKILLED WORKER IS LAYING ONE OF TWO THICKNESSES OF CANS WHICH WILL BE SEPARATED BY A VERTICAL SHEET OF FOAM INSULATION. THE EXTERIOR WILL BE GLASS, UNPAINTED CONCRETE AND EXPOSED CANS.” 06/1974 [ARC Identifier 556638]

“…THE FINISHED FOUNDATION WITH UPRIGHT FORMS FOR POURING CONCRETE BEAMS.” 06/1974 [ARC Identifier 556636]

15-1064a  556636

“COMPLETED PICTURE OF THE EXPERIMENTAL ALL ALUMINUM BEER AND SOFT DRINK CAN HOUSE NEAR TAOS, NEW MEXICO. IT TOOK ABOUT 70,000 CANS TO COMPLETE THE TWO STORY STRUCTURE. THE CANS WERE LAID HORIZONTALLY IN TWO THICKNESSES, SEPARATED BY A VERTICAL SHEET OF FOAM INSULATION.” 01/1975 [ARC Identifier 556644]15-1072a 556644

“INTERIOR VIEW OF THE ALL ALUMINUM BEER AND SOFT DRINK CAN EXPERIMENTAL HOUSE NEAR TAOS, NEW MEXICO. THE OWNERS REPORT THE HOUSE SEEMS TO WORK WELL SO FAR AND GIVES THE FEELING OF BEING VERY SOLID. THE SOUTH FACING WINDOWS CAPTURE HEAT FROM THE SUN.” 01/1975 [ARC Identifier 556647]15-1075a   556647

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