Crowned Figure with Dog Southern Utah


Barrier Canyon Anthropomorphic Style 1000BC to 300 AD


This five-foot painted figure with ear decorations and a crown of white dots stands in a high alcove several hundred feet above a paved road.  The deep shelter has protected the bright red and white mineral pigments from natural deterioration.  The figure closely resembles the anthropomorphic figures in the Great Gallery many miles away.  The red pigmented torso is decorated with white dots and scratched patterns.  The animal by its side with faint ears and legs seems to be a dog. 


The rock art creators, ancient hunters and gatherers, did not domesticate animals for transportation, for farming or food, but they did domesticate an animal to assist wire hunting--the dog.   I’ve seen many pictograph panels with painted dogs, sometimes with frightening giant teeth or strap-like markings around their bellies.  These ancient dogs do not look like the slender carved wolves which appear in Fremont and Dinwooody rock art.  The Barrier Canyon Style dogs are solitary, accompanying their masters; the carved wolves are generally in packs.  I wonder did these ancient people attempt to domesticate bighorn sheep?


This site, like the Great Gallery site, has unusual acoustic qualities.  Whispers at the site can be heard distinctly far across the canyon.


The people who created what we label “Barrier Canyon Style” rock art inhabited Utah for over six thousand years. The similarities in the artistic tradition are more amazing than the variations.  These artists were accomplished painters, using a variety of pigments and techniques to create