A BLACK DEER AT BLACK CAVE: NEW PICTOGRAPH RADIOCARBON DATE FOR THE LOWER PECOS, TEXAS

Volume 2, Article 3

A BLACK DEER AT BLACK CAVE: NEW PICTOGRAPH RADIOCARBON DATE FOR THE LOWER PECOS, TEXAS

By: Lennon N. Bates, Amanda M. Castañeda, Carolyn E. Boyd, and Karen L. Steelman

ABSTRACT

A Pecos River style painting of a black deer from Black Cave Annex (41VV76a) in southwest Texas was radiocarbon dated. Using plasma oxidation and accelerator mass spectrometry, we obtained an age of 1465 ± 40 RCYBP (2 sigma calibrated age range of A.D. 470-660). This age is younger than the accepted age range for Pecos River style paintings, which is approximately 4000-3000 years B.P. This new measurement in association with other younger dates prompts us to question whether the Pecos River style endured for a longer time period than previously thought. More radiocarbon research is needed in order to understand how this anomalous result might fit within the Lower Pecos Canyonlands rock art chronology.

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