Red pictograph of aura dog (radius, foreleg); pXRF 75: Zirconium = 1.942% +/- 0.756, Iron = 33.017% +/- 6.52, and Niobium = 9.948% +/- 2.221

pXRF 80: Barium = 466.56 ppm +/- 40.68, Antimony = 51.66 ppm +/- 10.69, Tin = 37.48 ppm +/- 8.49, Cadmium = 25.06 ppm +/- 8.19, Silver = 14.34 ppm +/- 5.53, Zirconium = 22.19 ppm +/- 6.1, Strontium = 6.58 ppm +/- 2.08, and Iron = 904.3 ppm +/- 48.55 

pXRF 75: Zirconium = 1.942% +/- 0.756, Iron = 33.017% +/- 6.52, and Niobium = 9.948% +/- 2.221


Red pictograph cross behind aura dog; pXRF 77: Zirconium = 3.498% +/- 1.437, and Iron = 30.395% +/- 10.382

pXRF 78: Barium = 530.42 ppm +/- 42.52, Antimony 51.99 ppm +/- 11.09, Tin = 39.58 ppm +/- 8.82, Cadmium = 28.53 ppm +/- 8.53, Silver = 10.98 ppm +/- 5.68, Zirconium = 45.2 ppm +/- 6.6, Strontium = 7.64 ppm +/- 2.19, and Iron = 1322.44 ppm +/- 59.24


Unpainted bedrock under aura dog; pXRF 76: Iron = 30.644% +/- 10.773 and Niobium = 12.16% +/- 3.86

pXRF 79: Barium = 483.43 ppm +/- 42.26, Antimony = 55.2 ppm +/- 11.11, Tin = 41.03 ppm +/- 8.84, Cadmium = 22.74 ppm, Silver = 18.07 ppm +/- 5.79, Palladium = 6.41 ppm +/- 4.25, Zirconium = 33.2 ppm +/- 6.46, Strontium = 6.97 ppm +/- 2.17, and Iron = 367.12 ppm +/- 35.84 


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Red pictograph of box with tail on left back wall of the shelter. pXRF 56: Barium = 904.57 ppm +/- 62.79, Antimony = 122.42 ppm +/- 16.5, Tin = 90 ppm +/- 13.16, Cadmium = 61.25 ppm +/- 12.56, Silver = 41.61 ppm +/- 8.67, Palladium = 17.85 ppm +/- 6.29, Zirconium = 69.96 ppm +/- 9.74, Strontium = 8.72 ppm +/- 3.18, and Iron = 275.62 ppm +/- 47.

pXRF 59: none

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The site is situated in an highly isolated area that is covered with trees and brush; it is the dark shadow in the center of this photograph. Photograph by Michael Fuller.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fieldwork at First Creek Shelter 1 during April of 2024 was designed to collect data on chemical composition of the pigments using  pXRF (handheld X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometer), and collect two C-14 samples. Michael Fuller using the pXRF; photograph by Mike Chervinko.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Red and black pigment pictographs are found in four discrete clusters inside First Creek Shelter 1. The style of execution is unlike another pictograph site in Missouri. Photograph by Mike Chervinko. 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DStretch filter YRE image of the back wall of First Creek Shelter 1. Photograph by Anthony Starr. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Red pictograph aura box in lower right; pXRF 73: Iron = 2.799% +/- 1.31

pXRF 82: Barium = 741.61 ppm +/- 50.96, Antimony = 102.87 ppm +/- 13.47, Tin = 69.2 ppm +/- 10.67, Cadmium = 55.63 ppm +/- 10.32, Silver = 39.17 ppm +/- 7.14, Zirconium = 55.69 ppm +/- 7.86, Strontium = 10.66 ppm +/- 2.67, Rubidium = 3.3 ppm +/- 1.77, and Iron = 1028.6 ppm +/- 62.07


Red pictograph aura box in upper right; pXRF 74: Zirconium = 3.814% +/- 1.075, Iron = 5.736% +/- 2.021, and Niobium = 5.878% +/- 2.84

pXRF 81: Barium = 521.56 ppm +/- 41.99, Antimony = 67.21 ppm +/- 11.09, Tin = 34.1 ppm +/- 8.67, Cadmium = 28.62 ppm +/- 8.44, Silver = 14.18 ppm +/- 5.66, Palladium = 9.8 ppm +/- 4.27, Zirconium = 38.54 ppm +/- 6.46, Strontium = 9.71 ppm +/- 2.22, Rubidium = 2.62 ppm +/- 1.46, and Iron = 1098.47 ppm +/- 54.02

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Red bent pictograph to far left, pXRF 44:  Iron = 90.711% +/— 7.051, Niobium = 6.638% +/- 3.096

pXRF 52: Barium = 949.88 ppm +/- 68.33, Antimony = 129.75 ppm +/- 17.96, Tin = 85.27 ppm +/- 14.2, Cadmium = 70.02 ppm +/- 13.75, Silver = 48 ppm +/- 9.53, Palladium = 14.4 ppm +/- 6.71, Zirconium = 63.27 ppm +/- 10.45, Strontium = 9.49 ppm +/- 3.49, and Iron = 2077.58 ppm +/- 110.69


Black bent pictograph "aura" to far left,  pXRF 43: Iron = 4.571% +/- 2.156, 

pXRF 51: Barium = 748.28 ppm +/- 52.71, Antimony = 117.69 ppm +/- 14.06, Tin = 75.02 ppm +/- 11.09, Cadmium = 52.2 ppm +/- 10.62, Silver = 39.49 ppm +/- 7.38, Palladium = 13.86 ppm +/- 5.3, Zirconium = 60.89 ppm +/- 8.2, Strontium = 10.98 ppm +/- 2.77, Rubidium = 2.92 ppm +/- 1.81, and Iron = 361.75 ppm +/- 43.21


Red diamond chain pictograph right side, pXRF 42: Zirconium = 3.05% +/- 1.127, Iron = 61.516% +/- 13.43, and Niobium = 8.449% +/- 3.109


Black diamond chain "aura" right side, pXRF 41: Zirconium = 3.252% +/- 1.195, and Iron = 5.207% +/- 2.226

pXRF 49: Barium = 612.54 ppm +/- 46.43, Antimony = 82.43 ppm +/- 12.27, Tin = 58.81 ppm +/- 9.73, Cadmium = 36.1 ppm +/- 9.32, Silver = 13.64 ppm +/- 6.18, Zirconium = 35.96 ppm +/- 7.03, Strontium = 10.42 ppm +/- 2.46, Rubidium = 3.11 ppm +/- 1.62, Arsenic = 6.41 ppm +/- 4.05, Zinc = 8.05 ppm +/- 5.24, and Iron = 299.31 ppm +/- 36.35


Scarlet red oval pictograph, pXRF 40: Iron = 50.507% +/- 15.899

pXRF 48: Barium = 490.36 ppm +/- 40.53, Antimony = 55.98 ppm +/- 10.65, Tin = 33.26 ppm +/- 8.4, Cadmium = 18.22 ppm +/- 8.06, Silver = 13.9 ppm +/- 5.48, Palladium = 7.52 ppm +/- 4.09, Zirconium = 24.85 ppm +/- 6.09, Strontium = 8.68 ppm +/- 2.12, and Iron = 1537.3 ppm +/- 60.74


Red 6 pointed star, pXRF 37: Zirconium = 1.945% +/- 0.701, and Iron = 98.053% /- 5.092

pXRF 47: Barium = 481.47 ppm +/- 42.37, Antimony = 60.99 ppm +/- 11.19, Tin = 21.62 ppm +/- 8.68, Cadmium = 22.79 ppm +/- 8.49, Silver = 15.49 ppm +/- 5.76, Palladium = 7.15 ppm +/- 4.28, Zirconium = 31.66 ppm +/- 6.46, Strontium = 6.65 ppm +/- 2.17, and Iron = 1333.53 ppm +/- 59.65


Unpainted bedrock between oval and star, pXRF 45: 45: Niobium = 10.536% +/- 3.871

pXRF 46: Barium = 495.48 ppm +/- 40.53, Antimony = 53.65 ppm +/- 10.63, Tin = 34.13 ppm +/- 8.4, Cadmium = 28.18 ppm +/- 8.17, Silver = 13.2 ppm +/- 5.47, Palladium = 8.63 ppm +/- 4.11, Zirconium = 27.43 ppm +/- 6.12, Strontium = 6.58 ppm +/- 2.07, and Iron = 210.41 ppm +/- 28.86​

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



First Creek Shelter 1, 23GA129

Red quadrant of quartered circle (left side) pXRF 62: Barium = 780.15 ppm +/- 47.22, Antimony = 101.49 ppm +/- 12.39, Tin = 64.35 ppm +/- 9.77, Cadmium = 43.28 +/- 9.36, Silver = 30.57 ppm +/- 6.44, Palladium = 10.13 ppm +/- 4.65, Zirconium = 60.87 ppm +/- 7.32, Strontium = 15.23 ppm +/- 2.59, Gold = 8.37 ppm +/- 5.15, Zinc = 7.81 +/- 5.11, and Iron = 1009.35 +/- 56.73

pXRF 72:  Iron = 20.436% +/- 7.624, and Niobium = 9.856% +/- 4.106


Black quadrant of quartered circle (left side) pXRF 63: Barium = 636.85 ppm +/- 43.49, Antimony = 77.87 ppm +/- 11.4, Tin = 45.21 ppm +/- 8.95, Cadmium = 23.89 ppm +/- 8.55, Silver = 11.93 ppm +/- 5.74, Palladium = 11.84 ppm +/- 4.39, Zirconium = 27.22 ppm +/- 6.47, Strontium = 17.36 ppm +/- 2.48, and Iron = 470.71 ppm +/- 39.42

pXRF 71: Zirconium = 3.54% +/- 1.387 and Iron = 10.121% +/- 4.161


Red "upper" on vertical post A (center) pXRF 64: Barium = 1294.25 ppm +/- 79.47, Antimony = 206.09 ppm +/- 21.12, Tin = 139 ppm +/- 16.76, Cadmium = 89.13 ppm +/- 15.75, Silver = 73.11 ppm +/- 11.26, Palladium = 26.7 ppm +/- 7.88, Zirconium = 90.86 ppm +/- 12.26, Strontium = 18.88 ppm +/- 4.35, and Iron = 583.79 ppm +/- 73.89

pXRF 70: Zirconium = 2.741% +/- 1.133 and Iron = 6.969% +/- 2.53


Black "lower" on vertical post A (center) pXRF 65: Barium = 549.37 ppm +/- 72.48, Antimony = 72.48 ppm +/- 10.84, Tin = 39.56 ppm +/- 8.5, Cadmium = 22.57 ppm +/- 8.15, Silver = 15.62 ppm +/- 5.54, Palladium = 12.89 ppm +/- 4.21, Zirconium = 23.37 ppm +/- 6.11, Strontium = 8.39 ppm +/- 2.13, Nickel = 50.34 ppm +/- 20.54, and Iron = 234.86 ppm +/- 29.95

pXRF 69: Iron = 4.624% +/- 2.241


Red "upper" on vertical post B (center) pXRF 66: Barium = 838.44 ppm +/- 52.03, Antimony = 120.55 ppm +/- 13.74, Tin = 75.45 ppm +/- 10.83, Cadmium = 49.75 ppm +/- 10.34, Silver = 35.02 ppm +/- 7.13, Palladium = 14.61 ppm +/- 5.19, Zirconium = 59.34 ppm +/- 7.99, Strontium = 13.29 ppm +/- 2.78, and Iron = 700.09 ppm +/- 53.59

pXRF 68: Iron = 11.27% +/- 4.156


Unpainted bedrock to right of the quartered circle: pXRF 67: None

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Orange-red pictograph "C" shaped (left), pXRF 54: Barium = 619.11 ppm +/- 46.85, Antimony = 88.28 ppm +/- 12.43,, Tin = 55.36 ppm +/- 9.8, Cadmium = 39.44 ppm +/- 9.44, Silver = 26.48 ppm +/- 6.45, Palladium = 12.24 ppm +/- 4.75, Zirconium = 47.46 ppm +/- 7.24, Strontium = 11.27 ppm +/- 2.51, and Iron = 768.13 ppm +/- 51.38.

pXRF 61: Zirconium = 4.225% +/- 1.452, Iron = 11.514% +/- 4.537, 


Orange-red pictograph "reversed C" shaped (right), pXRF 55: Barium = 488.91 ppm +/- 43.61, Antimony = 62.93 ppm +/- 11.52, Tin = 38.26 ppm +/- 9.1, Cadmium = 20.22 ppm +/- 8.7, Silver = 19.74 ppm +/- 6, Zirconium = 35.74 ppm +/- 6.7, Strontium = 8.61 ppm +/- 2.29, and Iron = 326.06 ppm +/- 35.46

pXRF 60: Iron = 4.992% +/- 2.112


Unpainted bedrock to the right, pXRF 57: Barium = 751.66 ppm +/- 55.29, Antimony = 120.54 ppm +/- 14.77, Tin = 66.95 ppm +/- 11.54, Cadmium = 55.45 ppm +/- 11.19, Silver = 39.64 ppm +/- 7.74, Palladium = 12.95 ppm +/- 5.53, Zirconium = 64.65 ppm +/- 8.66, Strontium = 11.55 ppm +/- 2.94, Zinc = 15.16 ppm +/- 7.06, and Iron = 211.41 ppm +/- 39.24

pXRF 58: Zirconium = 2.677% +/- 1.291

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Infrared photograph that highlights the black pigment shows the diamond chain motif (left) and the six pointed star (far right). Two faint circles of black pigment and an upside down "J" in black pigment are in the space between the 6 pointed star and diamond chain motif. The upside down "J" does not correspond to the crescent design published by Diaz-Granados and Duncan (2000:Figure 6.4c).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Three portal shaped red and black pictographs are painted on the overhang at the mouth of the shelter. The use the aura motif of a solid figure and the fainter area(s).

Dense red line portal painting (left), pXRF 32: Barium = 438.4 ppm +/- 38.04, Antimony = 63.06 ppm +/- 10.78, Tin = 36.48 ppm +/- 8.48, Cadmium =29.57 ppm +/- 8.24, Silver = 11.43 ppm +/- 5.49, Palladium = 7.64 ppm +/- 4.12, Zirconium = 31.67 ppm +/- 6.22, Strontium = 13.83 ppm +/- 6.22, Rubidium = 2.65 ppm +/- 1.42, Nickel = 67.29 +/- 21.03, and Iron = 9781.67 ppm +/- 147.22

pXRF 37: Zirconium = 1.945% +/- 0.701, and Iron = 98.053% +/- 5.092


Light red line portal painting (right), pXRF 33: Barium = 552.07 ppm +/- 42.93, Antimony = 68.96 ppm +/- 11.31, Tin = 40.74 ppm +/- 8.9, Cadmium = 30.15 ppm +/- 8.61, Silver = 18.89 ppm +/- 5.84, Zirconium = 45.09 ppm +/- 6.68, Strontium = 19.85 ppm +/- 2.54, Rubidium = 2.77 ppm +/- 1.5, Arsenic = 5.96 ppm +/- 3.41, Zinc = 7.54 ppm +/- 4.73, and Iron = 616.28 ppm +/- 43.45.

pXRF 36: Zirconium = 2.81% +/- 0.549, Iron = 9.336 % +/- 1.544, Aluminum = 0.015% +/- 0.001, Sulfur = 0.009% +/- 0.001, Phosphorus = 0.014% +/- 0.001, Silicon = 0.013% +/- 0.001, and Magnesium = 0.015% +/- 0.002


Light red line portal painting on ceiling above dense red line portal, pXRF 31: Barium = 438.3 ppm +/- 38.04, Antimony = 41.62 ppm +/- 9.94, Tin = 26.36 ppm +/- 7.86, Cadmium = 14.21 ppm +/- 7.57, Silver = 8.26 ppm +/- 5.1, Zirconium = 27.19 ppm +/- 5.79, Strontium = 10.15 ppm +/- 2.04, and Iron = 1519.4 ppm +/- 57.15.

pXRF 38: Zirconium = 2.336% +/- 1.159, Iron = 35.92% +/- 10.962, 


Unpainted bedrock to the left of the Dense red line portal, pXRF 34: Barium = 571.66 ppm +/- 43.98, Antimony = 74.1 ppm +/- 11.6, Tin = 54.71 ppm +/- 9.23, Cadmium = 32.37 ppm +/- 8.82, Silver = 16 ppm +/- 5.92, Zirconium = 54 ppm +/- 6.9, Strontium = 7.47 ppm +/- 2.25, and Iron = 107.02 ppm +/- 26.91

pXRF 35: Zirconium = 2.55% +/- 1.27


dStretch photography (filter YRE) by Anthony Starr and normal photography by Michael Fuller

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Definitely one of the exciting moments "after" the fieldwork came when examining the digital images. Among the group of rounded square geometric patterns in a very psychedelic figural representation of a 4 legged animal in profile - most likely a dog. This pictograph has been staring us in the face for decades, but only recognized by Mike Chervinko as he was looking at his digital images. This pictograph was published by Diaz-Granados and Duncan (2000:Plate 5) using a photograph by Donald Zykan and on my 2010 webpage using photographs by David Ludwig. The "dog" consists of 3 aura-like images in the sequence red-black-red.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DStretch enhanced image (filter CRBG) of a panel on the back wall of the shelter. A C-14 sample was taken from the diamond chain pattern in the center. Diaz-Granados and Duncan (2000:180, Figure 5.53b) drew parallels between the diamond chain motif, the stylized representation of a snake, and female puberty rites in the Southwest United States; the design distantly resembles a petroglyph at Tenable, New Mexico which has been interpreted as twin feathered serpents (Dobrez 2022: 161, Figure 12b). Neither eastern or western diamond back rattlesnakes range as far north as Missouri. There is a narrow tube cave linked to this shelter and it makes a tempting guess that it could have been seen as the portal for a snake spirit being.  Photograph and DStretch by Anthony Starr.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

DStretch filter LAB image of the "aura dog" panel. Photograph by Anthony Starr. 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Michael Fuller

References cited


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.


Dobrez, Livio

2022 Aesthetic Response, Kant, and Rock Art. American Indian Rock Art 48:155-166.


First Creek Shelter 1 was reported to the Archaeological Survey of Missouri in 1976 by Mrs. Clarence Hesse, a citizen archaeologist. It was visited sometime before 1991 by Carol Diaz-Granados while conducting her dissertation research and it is discussed in both her dissertation and in The Petroglyphs and Pictographs of Missouri. The site is on private property, difficult to reach, and not open to the public. 

Normal light digital image with metric scale. Diaz-Granados and Duncan 2000:200, Figure 6.4c) published a line drawing of the 6 pointed star with an associated crescent below and to the right of the star; they associated this with the AD 1054 supernova that formed the Crab Nebula. Regular photography, DStretch enhancement, and infrared photography DO NOT to confirm the associated crescent. The crescent moon does not appear in the illustration of this panel in Diaz-Granados' 1993 dissertation, nor in private snapshots taken in 1994 by David Ludwig. Photographs by Michael Fuller. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------