SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah State University scientists have determined that world-renowned rock art of life-sized figures sketched into red rock cliffs in Canyonlands National Park were drawn 1,000 years more recently than what had long been believed.
The team used modern luminescence dating techniques to analyze what is known as the "Great Gallery" in southeastern Utah's Horseshoe Canyon.
Researchers believe the figures were created 1,000 to 2,000 years ago instead of the previously thought 2,000 to 4,000 years ago.
David Whitley, one of the foremost experts on rock art in North America, said the findings suggest the drawings may have been done as people transitioned to a culture of farming and away from hunting and gathering.
The findings were published this month in the online Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.