Hattori to speak on petroglyphs recently dated as early as 15,000 years ago

Nevada’s state paleontologist Gene Hattori will speak from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Nevada State Museum, Carson City about North America’s oldest dated petroglyphs found at Winnemucca Lake, Nevada. Hattori, the museum’s curator of anthropology, will present the monthly Frances Humphrey Series lecture on the petroglyphs that are radiocarbon dated between 10,000 and 15,000 years ago. Though the unusual petroglyphs were known to researchers and the public, their age was a mystery until recently.

A rare set of circumstances allowed Larry Benson, a geochemist with the USGS and University of Colorado Museum of Natural History, to bracket the petroglyphs’ age to the final fluctuations of the period known as Ice Age Lake Lahontan. Hattori will review the research and compare the site with another early, dated petroglyph site in south central Oregon. Guests interested in the history of rock art and carbon dating will gain insight into new methods and changing theories.
Born in Yerington and raised in Sparks, Hattori earned a degree in zoology from the University of Nevada Reno and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in anthropology at Washington State University, Pullman. He specializes in historic and prehistoric archaeology of Nevada and surrounding regions.

Admission is $8 for adults and free for museum members and ages 17 and younger. Contact Deborah Stevenson at dstevenson@nevadaculture.org or (775) 687-4810, at ext. 237.

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