Echo Rock (in the Mt. Irish Archaeological District)

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EFP-Mt Irish Landscape
(Fig. 01)
Mt Irish Road Map-2
(Fig. 02)
Directions: Mt. Irish Rock Art and Archaeological District is located in the Pahranagat Valley (Fig. 02), about 110 miles north of Las Vegas. From Las Vegas, drive north on I-15 to US Highway 93. Turn left onto US Highway 93 and drive north past the towns of Alamo and Ash Springs to the intersection of Highways 93 and 318. The entrance and gate to Mount Irish Rock Art Site is 3.9 miles from the intersection of State Route 375, State Route 318 and U.S. Route 93 (the “Y”). Traveling north on State Route 318, towards Ely, it is on the left (west) side of the road just past Key Pittman Management Area. A yellow BLM marker is just to the left of the gate. Go through the gate, and continue approximately 9.0 miles to Echo Rock, the first petroglyph area (Fig. 03).
Hiking Route at Echo Rock-2
(Fig. 03)
01/21/2015 Trip Notes: Echo Rock is the first site you come to when visiting the Mt. Irish Archaeological District. Native American peoples etched a nice array of petroglyphs on the north (Fig. 06) and west (Fig. 07) faces of this large rock outcrop. As with many of the petroglyphs that I have encountered in the Pahranagat Valley area, many of its panels seem to have symbols that are representative of different native peoples that once inhabited the area. Scroll to the bottom of this page for more information on the ancient peoples that created these petroglyphs.

(Fig. 04)
The panels here include birds (Fig 04), sheep (Fig. 08) and many abstract elements (Fig. 05) that seem to defy interpretation. In addition to two completely different styles of zoomorphs, which suggests that they were created by different peoples, notice the symbol pointed out by the arrow in (Fig. 08). It appears to be the depiction of a Pahranagat man with a headress. Could it be representative of a Shaman?  Another thing I have noticed is that some panels appear to have pictures that look like they were re-imposed over previous etchings, such as the sheep in the upper left of (Fig. 09).

(Fig. 05)
(Fig. 06)
(Fig. 07)
(Fig. 08)
(Fig. 09)
The view looking north in (Fig. 01) was captured from the side of Logan Canyon Road just southeast of the Echo Rock location. After taking pictures of the petroglyphs at Echo Rock we decided to hike up the ridge behind the rock to see if we could find any more petroglyphs. Even though we didn't discover any additional petroglyphs, the top of this ridge did provide some nice views (Figs. 10, 11 & 12) of the valley below. as you can see in the foreground of (Fig. 12) one of the boulders at the top of the ridge had a large hole, or mortar, which could have been used along with a stone pestle to process seeds, nuts, or possibly to mix
pigments, or to simply act as a tinaja to collect water during and after the rainy season. Over the course of the day we came across at least five of these. While I contend that some of them were man-made, chiseled out of the rock, Bob and Harvey felt they were natural occurrences.

(Fig. 10)
(Fig. 11)
(Fig. 12)
Site History: It is believed that today's Paiutes and Shoshones are direct descendants of the last hunter-gathers in southern Nevada. Peoples who, during the past several thousand years, were experts in living in an arid environment. Roaming on a seasonal basis in search of natural resources (water, plants and seeds) and game (bighorn sheep and deer), they lived in caves and brush structures in small open camps. Petroglyphs, as well as other archaeological finds, suggest that these sites were occupied from around 1000 B.C. to the 1860's.
The rock art found in the hills surrounding the Pahranagat Valley are representative of the three different cultures and have been classified with three distinct styles: The Great Basin Abstract Style, that is predominately abstract symbols (circles, grids, etc,); the Pahranagat Representational Style (bighorn sheep, deer and anthromorphs – human-like characters with rectangular bodies and solidly pecked out bodies and heads); and the Fremont Representational Style, that resembles the classic trapezoidal bodied Anthromorphs and Quadrapeds.
It is believed that various distinctive cultures, known today as the Desert Archaic, Fremont, and Southern Paiute, visited these areas. By AD 1300, the Fremont had disappeared from the archaeological record of Southern Nevada, perhaps as a result of long-term droughts or other, as yet, unknown factors. Most of the petroglyphs have been classified as the "Great Basin Representational" style (A.D. 1-1500). In general, the Pahranagat Valley was a winter site for a group of peoples known as the "Pahranagats", one of several Southern Paiute groups. In recent years, archaeological evidence indicates that some Southwestern groups co-existed in this area along with the Pahranagats c. AD 500-1250. Evidence of the Pahranagats and their way of life can be found throughout Lincoln County's network of interrelated rock art sites including: Ash Springs, Crystal Wash, Mount Irish, Rainbow Canyon, Shooting Gallery and White River Narrows. Click the following link to learn more about Nevada Rock Art ... Understanding Nevada Rock Art