Quail rock art panel

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Quail Panel
Quail rock art panel is located in Utah
Quail rock art panel
Shown within Utah
Location San Juan County, Utah
Coordinates 37°27′55″N 110°04′19″W / 37.4654°N 110.0720°W / 37.4654; -110.0720Coordinates: 37°27′55″N 110°04′19″W / 37.4654°N 110.0720°W / 37.4654; -110.0720
Cultures Basketmaker, Fremont
Site notes
Archaeologists Richard Wetherill, Michael Harner
Ownership public
Management Bureau of Land Management
Public access yes

The Quail rock art panel is a panel of Native American rock art located at the intersect of Grand Gulch and Step Canyon in Cedar Mesa, San Juan County, Utah. Grand Gulch contains a large number of relatively well-preserved rock art and ledge dwellings. The Quail Panel is a grouping of pictographs that were probably created by people of the Basketmaker II or Fremont culture.[1] Cedar Mesa is located at a point where the two cultures overlapped.

The panel is probably named for a conspicuous depiction of a quail or quail-like bird with a vivid green and red-brown eye.[2] The panel contains a row of anthropomorphs or warriors with shields and topknots or feathered headbands. The collection includes two green figures, which is a rare pigment for southwestern rock art. The panel also includes a red, scowling visage that may represent a mountain lion.[3][4]

Hiking to Quail Panel is 9.6 miles via the "Government Trail" past Polly's Island. This is typically the easiest and shortest route. The Government Trail passes the Big Man Panel. Hiking to Quail Panel is 18.5 miles from the Collins Spring trailhead through Collins Canyon and 19.5 miles from the Kane Gulch Ranger Station trailhead through Kane Gulch.[5]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Cedar Mesa / Grand Gulch Trip Planner (PDF), Bureau of Land Management, retrieved 11 Jul 2015, The Basketmakers, who lived here from 500 BC to AD 750 are the earliest well documented human inhabitants of Cedar Mesa. This culture is thought to have derived from earlier nomadic hunters and gatherers, but artifacts from the Basketmaker period are the oldest yet found in the area. When these highly mobile people learned to plant and cultivate corn introduced from the south, they became more settled, and the Basketmaker culture evolved. *** The most prevalent remains of the Basketmaker culture on Cedar Mesa are the rock art and their slab lined storage cists, which can still be seen on the mesa tops or on high ledges protected from the weather. A series of droughts apparently drove the Basketmakers to the surrounding mountains. [T]heir descendants returned around A.D. 1050[.] *** Cedar Mesa also has a diversity of rock art panels consisting of petroglyphs (pecked into the rock) and pictographs (painted on with pigments) dating from archaic to historic times. As the figures do not represent a written language, their meaning is left to our imaginations. *** Richard Wetherill, a rancher from Mancos, Colorado, excavated in Grand Gulch for the American Museum of Natural History in 1893 and 1897. It was primarily through Wetherill’s expeditions that archaeologists became aware of the time difference between the Basketmaker and Pueblo periods. Some of the artifacts collected from the expeditions can be seen in the University of Pennsylvania Museum and the American Museum of Natural History in New York. 
  2. ^ Grand Gulch- Page 2, Rock Art of Utah and the Four Corners Region, retrieved 3 Jul 2015 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2010). "The Trail to Awatovi". In Search of the Old Ones. Simon and Schuster. p. 139. ISBN 9781439127230. Retrieved 3 Jul 2015. One day in Grand Gulch in October 1994, I sat on a natural bench at the mouth of the tributary canyone. At my back, stretching across many yards of smooth sandstone wall, ranged the Quail Panel, one of the finest displays of pictographs on Cedar Mesa. The paintings date from the Basketmaker II era, probably between A.D. 200 and 400. The panel is named for a striking white bird, drawn in profile, with one glaring, round eye painted red-and-green. The complex panorama also includes anthropomorphs with crescent heads, two green humanoids (green being one of the rarest colors of Anasazi art), two yellow anthropomorphs with red bird heads, three jumping stick-figure humans in profile, and a fierce red visage with teeth bared that looks like a mountain lion—or a mask of a mountain lion. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (14 May 2012), "Best Hikes: 6 Days in Cedar Mesa, Utah (Day 2)", The Active Times, New York, NY: Spanfeller Media, retrieved 3 Jul 2015, In recent years, it has sometimes amused me to pop into Grand Gulch, say, at the mouth of Step Canyon, where the Quail Panel adorns a half-hidden wall of sandstone. 
  5. ^ Stinson, Morey (9 Jun 2001). "Grand Gulch Trailhead Distances". The Cedar Mesa Project. Retrieved 11 Jul 2015.