Roche-A-Cri: Petroglyphs and pictographs
The park road is a short loop and there is parking available at several locations. Winter Parking can be found at: N43 59.777 W89 49.039. Please use due caution if planning a winter visit as your hike will be longer, ski trails must be avoided and the steps and trails may be icy. The accent to the observation deck in winter is not recommended. The foot bridge from the winter parking area may be subject to high water. Dogs are not allowed up to the observation deck.
To log this cache you will need to take and upload a photo and email me the answers to some questions.
Roche-A-Cri has the only interpreted rock art site in the state. The rock art consists of a number of stylized birds, bird tracks, and other bird symbols. As there is no precise technique to date rock art sites such as this, age is based on a process of association with the artifacts found, the types of pictures represented and the degree of weathering. Based on pieces of the puzzle, the carvings may be as old as 1,000 years. The paintings are likely more recent, perhaps only several hundred years old.
A petroglyph is an image created by carving or digging into a rock to create a desired image. Before metal tools, most petroglyphs were scratched in the rock using bones or antlers. A pictograph is created by painting on a rock. Common painting materials included such things as animal blood, plant materials and other pigment materials. Many of the original pictographs have likely disappeared already due to weathering.
There are many theories why images such as were created including:
· To express mythical or magical beliefs.
· To create a representation of the cycles of birth and death.
· To assist in superstitious beliefs regarding the success of a hunt.
· To capture time by recording the "look" of others in the group.
· To communicate.
· To express themselves and make "pretty pictures."
The bluff here at Roche-A-Cri is a massive landmark which can be seen from miles around and was likely used by ancient travelers as a guidepost. The sandstone located here is resistant to weathering, yet easy to work thus making an excellent medium for early artists.
Sandstone is a type of sedimentary rock which is characterized by a grain that is 0.1 mm to 2.0 mm in size. Its formation involves two basic stages. First, layers of sand accumulate as the result of sedimentation, either from water (as in a river, lake, or sea) or from air (as in a desert). Here the sedimentation occurred from deposits of an ancient sea which covered Wisconsin 500 million years ago during the Cambrian Period. Once the sedimentations accumulate, the sand becomes sandstone when it is compacted by pressure of subsequent deposits and cemented by minerals between sand grains. The most common cementing materials are silica and calcium carbonate which were abundant in the ancient sea.
Logging Requirements: In order to log this as a find you must meet the following 4 requirements:
1. Based on the geology of this site, why do you think early travelers chose to create the glyphs on these walls?
From the "Hidden Meanings" sign:
2. The most common carving on the wall is a group of three lines, forming a _____________ (three words).
From the "Messages in Stone" sign:
3. Since _____________________ (two words) people have used this rock wall to record messages.
From the "Half Moons and Canoes" sign:
4. Indian historians say that canoes were sometimes stored nearby on ____________. (two words)
Optional: Take (and upload with your found it log) a photo of your team WITH your GPS (or your GPS alone) at a recognizable area the park.
Sources & Permission:
Permission for this listing has been granted by Thomas A. Meyer, Conservation Biologist, State Natural Areas Program, Bureau of Endangered Resources, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Prior to placing a geocache on state land one must submit the DNR Geocache Notification Form to the appropriate land manager: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/land/parks/other/pdfs/form2500-118.pdf