Monday, March 02, 2015


Drive line, Rollins Pass, Grand County, CO.
Photograph Peter Faris, 25 July 1987. 

Over the years I have discussed features that we classify as geoglyphs a few times. Under our western cultural classifications of art we have always included architecture so I feel that I can properly include rock constructions under the classification of rock art. In this posting I want to mention the amazing rock alignments and constructions on the top of Rollins Pass in Grand County, Colorado at 11,671’ altitude in the Colorado Rocky Mountains...

 “The number of cairns per site is most often related to a specific design element of certain game drives - in which cairn alignments are utilized in the place of rock wall alignments, a construction technique that requires far less labor investment and exhibits no discernible pattern, in terms of cairn quantity, between sites. Based on the numbers from the 12 previously recorded game drives, the “average” game drive at Rollins Pass contains around 670 meters of rock alignments, between 15 to 16 pit or hunting blind features, and between 9 to 10 cairns.” (Pelton 2012:55-56)

These cairns most probably were similar to the inuksuk built by Inuit hunters to help guide the reindeer to a desired hunting ground. How effective could such a complex be? Dr. Benedict stated that one day during one of his recording trips to the site he watched a deer or elk wandering up the slope stop and divert to the side when it came to one of the drive lines, even in there modern broken down and aggraded condition.

As rock alignments, and very impressive ones at that, these drive line complexes certainly classify as a category of geoglyphs, and as we consider architecture to be one component of the arts, I feel completely justified in including these in RockArtBlog.

1 comment:

  1. I would love to follow that rocks trail :)