“Red Paint” Pictographic Panels West of Beaver, Utah

“Red Paint” Pictographic Panels West of Beaver, Utah

Scientific Results and Summation on the “Red Paint” Pictographic Panels Situated West of Beaver, Utah on the “Roberts” Property

By, Stephan B. Shaffer BS MA

The We Nooch Society.
Research Archaeology/Preservation



Observations were conducted on two panels at the property of the Roberts family. One section of land owned by the family was initially obtained under the Homestead Act.

Panel #1


This panel has two different time lines attached to it. The photo at top was a later addition to the overall panel. The photo above is much older by at least 200 years. Meanings vary from tribe to tribe but individual characters can have the same meanings.

Before going into the definition of the different characters we will lay the groundwork as to what type of material was used to construct these panels. Red Ochre was widely used by different cultures including the Fremont culture known throughout the Southwestern United States. A certain individual from each tribe was given the responsibility of being the Historian.

This individual was taught what to use to make their history known to all that came upon their panels. This tradition was handed down from one generation to another, usually from Father to Son!

Limonite (Ferric oxide) Ochre=clay with hydrous oxide-opague was widely used. A binder was needed to make the paint stick and to last over time. Red was used as the “Blood” or the Life sign for all things. “Black” paint was used when sorry or something bad had taken place or could take place. A “Binder” could include blood, vegetable juice, urine, animal fat, bone marrow or albumen from eggs.

Our panel above has two distinct time lines. The top is of a more recent time line and is depicting “movement” of a superior being leading a “slave” with a “deity” guarding the passing. The character to the right of the deity is a sign signifying “Not holding“! This is the case because of the lines running from the circle towards the bottom of the panel.

The next photo is older as we have stated earlier. This is depicting a special person who is “buried” nearby in an tomb that does “not appear to be what it seems.” It is also giving the sign of “holding firm“.

Panel #2


This panel is exemplary! Here we have a major “Movement” of people. A “migration” from this place to their wintering grounds. Many deity’s and shaman signs adorn this panel. Time line suggests this panel is from circa AD 400 to 1000. Time and years or time from the Vernal Equinox is depicted by the jagged lines near the “Fertility” sign. Time lines with periods of drought and wet years are shown in the “vertical” strokes.

This stylized panel gives information on a family or families that inhabited the area for many generations. Burials are nearby as well as “dark” places that shouldn’t be bothered. This panel gives us a view of a great people that lived life to its fullest! Not a dark people but a people with daily struggles like we all have. They had their gods and their superstitions and they are represented on this panel by the stylized man figures. Near the head of the creek or spring in the area of this panel is a major burial as depicted at the far right of the panel. It should not be disturbed, as it is protected by a god of the underworld.

Care should be taken to preserve these ancient sites and panels. Damage to the panels can be done with water, chalk, human finger prints or pollution such as dust or smoke. Never put water on a pictograph panel. Never, touch or chalk any panel! Keep cigarette smoke, vehicle fumes, smoke from camp fires and dust away from the sites. Never try to “clean” the panels!

This site is significant and should be protected at all costs! It is a living, historical document of past cultures of the area. It is what binds us with the past! History is the life blood of the past and the future!

Steve Shaffer

Pres. The We Nooch Society


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