Current topics in archaeology, cultural heritage & historic preservation

Friday, July 10, 2009

Columbia Plateau Rock Art to be Featured in New Pedestrian Tunnel

I'm excited! The city of Washougal, WA has started work on a new pedestrian underpass that will re-link the core of the city to its historic waterfront. PLUS they plan to honor the native people and history of the Northwest by including representations of Columbia Plateau Indian rock art in the tunnel...and I may get to be involved in a small way.

The City has gathered the required funding ($2.6 million), chosen the design and actually broken ground on the 110-foot-long tunnel. They've hooked up with nationally recognized speaker/artist/historian Rex Ziak and the Washougal School District, putting together a team of students who will research the rock art this summer. Completion of the tunnel is planned for December 2009. You can read interesting details at The Columbian (

According to the Washougal School District ( "A few Washougal High School students are gearing up for an archaeological project that will have a lasting impact on the Washougal community.

Selected by Washougal city manager, Nabiel Shawa, the team of students will spend the summer conducting research on petroglyphs indigenous to the Columbia River Gorge under the direction of noted historian and artist Rex Ziak

By summer's end, a set of petroglyphs will
be designated for an artwork display inside the city's new pedestrian tunnel being constructed under Highway 14.

Students selected for the work team are Emily Carroll, Kirstin Peterson, Patrick McCarthy, Sarah Walker, Chloe Kilgore, Brian Price, Paige Wade, Chris Norton, and Heather Mattole."

In a week or so the students plan a field trip to Columbia Hills State Park where they will see a wonderful selection of petroglyphs and pictographs, some of the most interesting on the Plateau. I've been invited to accompany them as they explore the ancient rock art in the park.

I'm hoping to document progress on the underpass, especially the rock art portion, and report on it here.

Stay tuned...

(The rock art in this post is all located on the Columbia Plateau).

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