A Field Guide to Rock Art Symbols of the Greater Southwest

by Alex Patterson


SKU: 9781555660918
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A Field Guide to Rock Art Symbols of the Greater Southwest is the first specifically designed key to the interpretation of American rock art. Interest in the subject has grown significantly among professional archaeologists and informed lay persons in recent years, but the purpose and meaning that the intriguing symbols had for their creators remain a mystery. Although the significance of the symbols will never be known for certain, educated guesses can be made.

The “Field Guide” brings together 600 commentaries on specific rock art symbols by over one hundred archaeologists, anthropologists, researchers, and Native American informants. Intended to be used in the field, as well as a reference, the book includes a pictorial key at the beginning and is organized by tentative meaning or by description.

The reader can easily find the one or several of the 500 illustrations that most closely match the rock art symbol in question. Patterson emphasizes the tentative nature of the interpretations and has included an index by neutral archaeological description as well as complete documentation of every excerpted comment. The range of the book is from the northern states of Mexico to Utah and from California to Colorado.

Categories: , , , , Product ID: 2036

Additional information


Johnson Books









6 x 9

The Author

Alex Patterson

Alex Patterson

Alexander Evans Patterson, Jr. was born at New York Hospital, September 16th, 1923.He attended Lawrenceville and Princeton, and served in the Air Force in World War II, where he flew the P-51 "Mustang", among other aircraft. He enjoyed a distinguished career at IBM World Trade where he rose to Sr. VP and later, as Exec. VP at GTE, where he served as head of sales for Latin America and the Far East. In the early 1960's, Alex was the first developer to build condominiums in the Virgin Islands and later, he developed Meadgate on Milbank Avenue in Greenwich, which won a national architecture award. After he retired from business, he re-educated himself as an anthropologist and authored two books, A Field Guide to Rock Art of the Greater Southwest and Hopi Pottery Symbols. A Field Guide has been reprinted 17 times, with over 93,000 copies in print, and can be found in most of the National Monument Parks of the southwest. He served actively on the boards of Gallaudet University and Air Quality Sciences. Patterson, 91, passed away Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at the Greens in Wilton.

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