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Sept. 7 "Chronicles" Talk Discusses Rock Art

Sept. 7 "Chronicles" Talk Discusses Rock Art (Posted: August 13, 2014)

The September program in the Crawford County Chronicles series will be a change of pace for local residents when Dr. George Sabo III will give presentations on prehistoric rock art at 1:30 and 3 p.m. Sept. 7.

Sabo, director of the Arkansas Archeological Survey, will give the presentation at the Drennen-Scott Historic Site, located at 221 N. 3rd St. in Van Buren and owned by the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith.

Sabo will discuss rock art found throughout the River Valley, which is credited to Indians who lived in the region in the late prehistoric period, 1000-1600 A.D.

"Rock art consists partly of geometric images and partly of naturalistic images, like depictions of identifiable subjects including animals, plants, people, and material and celestial objects," Sabo said. "They also consist of abstract objects defined as compositions that do not fall into a simple geometric category but represent a subject that is not obvious to a modern viewer."

"The art was made in two forms – pictographs are painted images and petroglyphs are images engraved or pecked into rock," Sabo continued. "Both forms are found on exposed, natural rock surfaces."

The art offers a glimpse into the culture and lives of early American Indians and supplements the rich history of the Fort Smith area, according to Sabo.

"People coming to the talk will learn how archeologists and art historians today are studying this form of art to learn about ancient worlds as perceived through the artist's eye and mind," Sabo said. "This helps them gain insight into the early American Indian worldviews and adds an important dimension to our understanding of history in the long term. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share these insights with people who are interested in American Indian art, archeology and history."

Tom Wing, DSHS director, said Sabo is "an Arkansas treasure."

"We are honored and excited that he will be sharing his extensive knowledge of prehistoric Crawford County in our September program," Wing said. "I'm confident we'll have another capacity crowd."

Limited parking will be available at the site's Visitor Center. Those attending may also park at the Crawford County Courthouse, which is two blocks from the DSHS.

UAFS acquired the Drennen home and acreage in 2005 and received several grants to restore the property and house, which dates back to the 1800s. The Drennen-Scott Historic Site, which opened to the public in May 2011, serves as a museum and educational facility for UAFS. John Drennen was a founder of Van Buren, politician, Indian agent, landowner and businessman.

Seating for the talks is limited and must be reserved. For reservations and more information, contact Wing by telephone at 479-262-2750 or by email at

Article by: John Post, Director of Public Information

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