Dr. Michael Fuller standing beneath the entrance of the Bushberg Cave. Today, the entrance is 2.3 meters above the ground surface. Historic land use has moved the ground surface higher. The cave does not extends back only 14 meters. Photograph taken in December of 2017. 

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Bibliography


Diaz-Granados, Carol
1993  The Petroglyphs and Pictographs of Missouri - a distributional, stylistic, contextual, temporal and functional analysis of the State's Rock Art. Unpublished dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis.

Diaz-Granados, Carol and James R. Duncan
2000 The Petroglyphs and Pictographs of Missouri. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.
2004 Reflections of Power, Wealth, and Sex in Missouri Rock-Art Motifs. The Rock-Art of Eastern North America: Capturing Images and Insights. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa

Duncan, James R. and Carol Diaz-Granados
2004 Empowering the SECC: The "Old Woman" and Oral Tradition. The Rock-Art of Eastern North America: Capturing Images and Insights. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

Two images of the pronounced petroglyph on the south wall of the cave. The left image (with 50 cm. scale) was taken in 2015 and the right image taken in 2023 by Michael Fuller. The site condition has not changed over 8 years.

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The Bushberg-Meissner Cave site was reported to the Archaeological Survey of Missouri in 1968 by Father Benedict Ellis and Frank Magre. Photographs of the site were taken in 1977 by Vernon J. Suche, a member of the St. Louis Society of the Archaeological Institute of America. Warren Suche graviously donated his father's slide collection to the St. Louis Society for research purposes. The man with the hat making the hand gesture is Frank Magre. The fieldtrip to the site was organized in 1977 by the Mayan Society of St. Louis.

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Michael Fuller

Traces of red pigment pictographs on the north wall of the cave. Photograph 2023 by Michael Fuller

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DStretch (filter YRE) image of the north wall of the cave showing the unmistakable design of the Sacred Cross symbol with an IHS inscription. The abbreviation stands for Iesus Hominum Salvator (Latin, Jesus Savior of Humankind). I suspect that this pictograph was created in the 1700s by a Native American convert to Catholicism. pXRF analysis indicates a pre-modern ochre pigment that falls in the range of typical prehistoric pictographs in Missouri. 


Pictograph pXRF 170 Zirconium = 0.018% +/- 0.002, Lead = 0.052% +/- 0.003, Zinc = 0.03% +/- 0.003, Iron = 1.251% +/- 0.044, Manganese = 0.155% +/- 0.018, Titanium  = 0.176% +/- 0.076, Molybdenum = 0.027 +/- 0.003, Aluminum/Silica = 98.288% +/- 0.043. 

Pictograph pXRF 168 Barium = 655.93 ppm +/- 62.17, Antimony = 61.95 ppm +/- 15.53, Tin = 42.64 ppm +/- 13.58, Cadmium = 29.75 ppm +/- 11.22, Silver = 16.44 ppm +/- 7.64, Strontium = 16.11.52 ppm +/- 20.88, Rhubidium = 7.03 ppm +/- 3.07, Lead = 1166.39 ppm +/- 35.48, Arsenic = 93.51 ppm +/- 29.71, Zinc = 411.05 ppm +/- 25.35, Iron =  8228.99 ppm +/- 200.96, and Manganese = 1282.44 +/- 102.47. 


Bedrock pXRF 169 Lead = 0.136% +/- 0.005, Zinc = 0.005% +/- 0.002, Iron = 0.146% +/- 0.013, Manganese = 0.054% +/- 0.013, Titanium = 0.406% +/- 0.082, Molybdenum = 0.03% +/- 0.003, 0.093% +/- 0.039, Aluminum/Silica = 99.124% +/- 0.021. 

Bedrock pXRF  715.99 ppm +/- 60.86. Antimony = 51.81 ppm +/- 14.94, Tin = 23.02 ppm +/- 12.92, Cadmium = 17.64 ppm +/- 10.7, Silver = 15.26 ppm +/- 7.39, Strontium = 167.03 ppm +/- 7.12, Lead = 2233.69 ppm +/- 47.08, Arsenic = 503.57 ppm +/- 42.01, Zinc = 28.01 ppm +/- 9.35, Nickel = 69.07 ppm +/- 30.08, Iron = 1811.82 ppm +/- 95.57, and Manganese  = 182.24 ppm +/- 54.73.


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The Bushberg Cave  rock art site is situated inside the mouth of a tube cave along the banks of the Mississippi River in Jefferson County, Missouri. The site is situated on private property and is not open to the public.

Bushberg-Meissner Cave (23JE627)

DStretch image (filter YRE) of the south panel shows that the petroglyph was outlined in red pigment with a projectile (arrow?) shown as pointing west (inward). Fragments of other red pigment designs are located to the right of the deeply ground "ogee" petroglyph. The pictographs associated with the petroglyphs are extremely faint and were not analyzed with pXRF. 

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