Rock Art

Carvings or paintings on rock surfaces begin to appear during this time period. It is difficult to know if people first started using this means of expression at this time period or if examples of rock art from previous groups just have not been discovered or preserved. Archaeologists do see carvings (petroglyphs) and paintings (pictographs) on rock surfaces in Wisconsin.

Images include pictures of the different animals that were important in the lives of the people, particularly deer, elk, and bison. There are also pictures that may come from the myths and traditional stories that tell the history of the people. These images may include the thunderbirds. It is hard to know which images were made during this time or during later times, because rock art is difficult to date.

Most of the images have been found in the "Driftless Area" of southwestern Wisconsin. This area provides exposed rock and rockshelters that are ideal for carving or painting images.

Rock art