Parker petroglyphs could earn historical marker

By Randy Bartley

Staff Writer

CLARION

The Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission may soon recognize the petroglyphs at Parker Landing with a state marker.

The Clarion County board of commissioners has received a letter from Kenneth Burkett, executive director of the Jefferson County Historical Society, asking for support for the marker.

Burkett said the Parker's Landing Petroglyph site is "the first archaeological site recorded within the county and is the best preserved example of a Native American rock art rite within the upper Allegheny River Basin. It is an important resource to our understanding of the prehistoric Native American culture that once inhabited this region."

Petroglyphs are a form of rock art that consist of designs carved into the surface of natural rock. Burkett said the forms include lines, dots, numbers, letters, human, animal, supernatural beings or astronomical images.

There are less than 40 Native American petroglyph sites recorded in the Pennsylvania Archaeological Site Survey files.

"The majority of these are found in prominent locations, near water, especially larger rivers," said Burkett, a field associate of the Carnegie Museum.

"The images can be found in clusters of a few to groups of hundreds. Rarely are petroglyphs found in upland settings. The petroglyphs are only visible during times of extremely low water. You can only see them during June, July and August," said Burkett.

He said at this time of year the rocks are under about four feet of water.

"That is typical for most of these sites," said Burkett. "These were carved on bedrock. They were not carved on random boulders."

If accepted the marker would be placed along State Route 368 in 2020.

The North Fork Chapter 29 of the Society of Pennsylvania Archeology will fund all of the associated costs associated with the placement of the marker.