These petroglyphs in North America are over 14,800 years old, making them the oldest, according to the University of Colorado. They are inscribed in large boulders from the Lake Winnemucca petroglyph site in western Nevada.
Their inscriptions are vertical symbols, chained and deep that form a complex design, although they do not include animals or people. They appear to have been made with some kind of spatula, says Larry Benson, a large rock researcher at the University of Colorado.
Benson and his colleagues use various methods to date these inscriptions. They determine when the water level in Lake Winnemucca reached just over one meter. This data is essential to know the maximum level that the lake reached before it began to supply water to the Emerson Pass, to the north. "When the rocks with petroglyphs were submerged, they could not be recorded”, Benson remarks.
According to Benson, a white layer of carbonate coming from the ancient lake has hidden some of the petroglyphs. Based on his previous research, the expert affirms that these layers were approximately 11,000 years old.
Benson took samples of the carbonate with the inscriptions and the one that covered the petroglyphs. The radiocarbon indicates that the carbonate layer under the petroglyphs reaches the 14,800 years. These dates, plus geochemical data for subterranean sediments from nearby Pyramid Lake indicate that the petroglyph rocks were exposed to air between 14,800 and 13,200 years ago and again between 11,300 and 10,500 years ago.
The oldest estimated date within the petroglyph site corresponds to the fossil of a human excrement found in a cave in Oregon. They are the Paisley Caves, which included the bones of horses and camels that were extinct in North America more than 13 millennia ago, Benson says.
In the case of Cave Spirit Man, which was discovered more than 70 years ago east of Reno, appears to be the youngest, since thanks to its remains, it was dated to 10,600 years.
One of the Long Lake petroglyphs was buried in ash from the eruption of the Munt Mazama volcano, approximately 6,700 years ago, which is proof that it was recorded before the eruption. "Nor do we know what these inscriptions mean"Benson admits, but thinks they're pretty because they look like diamonds and trees. Furthermore, there are very few petroglyphs west of South America with such deep inscriptions.
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