Michael Fuller

..........................Horsemint (Monarda fistulosa) ......................................Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)

The site was particularly "beautiful" when the thin soil between the petroglyph panels were full of columbine (Osage, mon-bi-xon ca-be) and horsemint (Osage, ni-dsi-da) in full bloom on 18 May 2020.



Chapman, Carl H. and Eleanor F. Chapman
1964 Indians and Archaeology of Missouri. University of Missouri Press, Columbia.

Diaz-Granados, Carol and James R. Duncan
2000 The Petroglyphs and Pictographs of Missouri. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Fuller, Michael J., Neathery B. Fuller, and Eric C. Fuller
2019a Total Solar Eclipses and Rock Art in Missouri. Missouri Archaeological Society Quarterly 36(1):12 - 19.
2019b Artifacts Associated with the Washington State Park Petroglyphs. Missouri Archaeological Society Quarterly 36(4):12 - 20.

LaFlesche, Francis
1932 A Dictionary of the Osage Language. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. 

Wyatt, Ronald
n.d. A Study of Three Petroglyph Sites along the Big River in the Eastern Ozark Highland of Missouri. Unpublished manuscript, Museum of Anthropology at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Bonar (1970) plan of 23WA1. Top is West and right is North.

Plan of the Site A petroglyphs, showing the West - East boardwalk as a horizontal dark band. This plan is based on the research by Robert Elgin during 1959. 


Wyatt (n.d.:2) notes that the petroglyphs were widely known in the local community before the building of the park in the 1930s. The petroglyphs protected in Washington State Park were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. Two approaches can be used to date the petroglyphs. Stylistically, several motifs belong to the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex dating to the Mississippian Period (AD 900 - 1400): hawk/eagle (35 recorded by Wyatt in 1959), maces (2 recorded by Wyatt in 1959), skeletal hands (2 recorded by Wyatt in 1959), cross (1 recored by Wyatt in 1959), sun burst (1 recorded by Wyatt in 1959) and coiled serpent (1 recorded by Wyatt in 1959). A serrated Scallorn point found on the edge of the petroglyphs most likely belongs to the Mississippian Period. A Late Wooland Period pottery sherd and a half dozen Woodland Period lithic artifacts (found in the crevice fill that divides the panel on an east-west axis) suggest that there could be a pre-Mississippian component to the rock art. It is possible that some or all of the vulvae (6 recorded by Wyatt in 1959), oval depressions/cupules (over 50 recorded by Wyatt in 1959) and animal tracks (3 sets recorded by Wyatt in 1959) were made during the Woodland Period. Some of the motifs recorded by Wyatt in 1959 have weathered and are difficult to see and photograph.


Dozens of eclipse crescents on the concrete next to the Washington State Park Petroglyphs at 23WA1.


23WA01 - Washington State Park "A"

The petroglyphs at 23WA1 are open to the public for viewing; the petroglyphs, plants, soil sediments and all artifacts are protected by the Missouri State Parks. This site belongs to the "Big Five" group defined by Diaz-Granados and Duncan (2000:112 - 119) as comprising Washington State Park A, Washington State Park B, Wallen Creek, Three Hills Creek, and Maddin Creek.