Warshield Canyon Site Rock Art

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This page last updated on 02/16/2017
(Fig. 01) Panel #1

About: The area referred to as War-shield Canyon is located north west and above Arrow Canyon. To this day, the area of Arrow Canyon is considered sacred by the Moapa Band of Paiutes, who still reside in the area just east of the Arrow Canyon Range. Very little is written about the petroglyphs and history of this area. The petroglyphs in the canyon were likely carved by both the modern Paiutes and their historical precursors, possibly as far back as the Desert Archaic peoples. The area is considered so sacred that Ghost Dance ceremonies were held nearby.
“According to local legend, at one time when the Moapa Valley Paiutes and the Pahranagat Valley Paiutes were at war, two of their war parties met suddenly in the canyon. Rather than engage in what would surly prove to be a mutually disastrous combat within the narrow rock confines, the two parties called a truce and fired all of the arrows high into the canyon walls.” [Nevada Place Names: A Geographical Dictionary, By Helen S. Carlson] Legend also has it that the Moapa and Pahranagat Paiute bands formed a peace treaty over the course of many years. To confirm their commitment to the treaty, it became a yearly event for members of both bands to come to this sacred canyon and shoot arrows into an inaccessible crack high on the canyon wall.

We found five areas where ledges or rocks contained rock art panels. Most all of them contained some type of war-like shield. Some contained zoomorph symbols such as the deeply carved deer-like image on Panel #1 (Figs. 01-04). As you can see that three of the panels contained anthropomorphic, human-like images. Several of the rocks that contained images appeared to have fallen from above due to weather and erosion.  
(Fig. 02) Panel #1
(Fig. 03) Panel #1
(Fig. 04) Panel #1
(Fig. 05) Panel #2
(Fig. 06) Panel #2
(Fig. 07) Panel #2
(Fig. 08) Panel #3
(Fig. 09) Panel #3
(Fig. 10) Panel #4
(Fig.11) Panel #4
(Fig. 12) Panel #4
(Fig. 13) Panel #4
(Fig.14) Panel #4
(Fig. 15) Panel #5
(Fig. 16) Panel #5
(Fig.17) Panel #5

(Fig. 18) Panel #5