Painted Rock, other sites called "probably one of the largest and best concentrations of painted rock art in the U.S" by National Park Service
National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced the designation of Carrizo Plain Archeological District in California as a National Historic Landmark.
The Carrizo Plain Archeological District represents a unique concentration of precontact sites, art, and artifacts. Anthropologists, archeologists, artists, and novelists have all recognized the outstanding significance of this important archeological district for almost a century. Overall, the district itself contains 100 contributing sites. These include rock art panels and motifs, village midden deposits, quarries, and rock cairns. Eighteen of the properties are pictograph sites; these represent what is probably one of the largest and best concentrations of painted rock art in the U.S. The Carrizo sites illustrate a worldview that was shared by many North American precontact hunter-gatherer groups. The district sites also reflect both the demographic expansion that characterized much of the western United States about four thousand years ago and the population collapse that emerged about a thousand years ago as a result of what is called the Medieval Climatic Anomaly.
“Landmarks teach us about the history of our land, our people, and our nation, from archeological sites dating back more than two millennia to a mid-twentieth century building,” Director Jarvis said. “In designating these sites as National Historic Landmarks, we complement President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to reconnect people, especially young people, to our nation’s historic, cultural, and natural heritage.”
“This new listing will join approximately 2,500 other sites in the National Historic Landmark Program,” said Director Jarvis. “These places showcase our rich and complex history – from prehistoric time right up to the modern era.”
The National Historic Landmarks Program, established under the Historic Sites Act of 1935, is administered by the National Park Service on behalf of the Secretary of the Interior. The agency works with preservation officials and other partners interested in nominating a landmark. Completed applications are reviewed by the National Park System Advisory Board, which makes recommendations for designation to the Secretary of the Interior. If selected, property ownership remains intact but each site receives a designation letter, a plaque, and technical preservation advice.
Additional information on the designations can be found at www.nps.gov/history/nhl.