The Plains region that stretches from northern Colorado to southern Alberta and from the Rockies to the western Dakotas is the land of the Cheyenne and the Blackfeet, the Crow and the Sioux. Its rolling grasslands and river valleys have nurtured human cultures for thousands of years. On cave walls, glacial boulders, and riverside cliffs, native people recorded their ceremonies, vision quests, battles and daily activities in the petroglyphs and pictographs they incised, pecked, or painted onto the stone surfaces.
Archaeologists James Keyser and Michael Klassen show us the origins, diversity, and beauty of Plains rock art. The seemingly endless variety of images includes humans, animals of all kinds, weapons, masks, mazes, handprints, finger lines, geometric and abstract forms, tally marks, hoofprints, and the wavy lines and starbursts that humans universally associate with trancelike states. Plains Indian Rock Art is the ultimate guide to the art form. It covers the natural and archaeological history of the northwestern Plains; explains rock art forms, techniques, styles, terminology, and dating; and offers interpretation of images and compositions.
James D. Keyser is Pacific Northwest Regional Archaeologist for the U.S. Forest Service and the author of the popular Indian Rock Art of the Columbia Plateau. Michael A. Klassen is a consulting archaeologist and researcher in British Columbia.