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Panel Attributes

The attribute sets and attributes for Panel are described below. Minor edits which enhance the current definitions should be made directly to the text. Major changes or revisions which change the attribute words should follow the directions at the bottom of this page under Proposed Changes.

Cluster Type

Single choice. What type of rock formation? [New window] Examples for Panel.Cluster Type

All panels of this cluster should have the same answer.

Exposed solid rock. This is found in eroded areas near streams or washes. Exposed panels will frequently extend underneath the nearby soil, sand or gravel.
A rounded mass of rock lying on the surface of the ground or partially embedded in the soil.
A naturally occurring underground hollow or passage.
Cliff Face
A near vertical rock face formed by erosion or a shift in the earth's crust.
The bottom of a horizontal surface exposed by undercutting along a cliff.
Rocky Knob
A pile of fractured rocks at the top of a hill. Rocky knobs lack soil.
Rock Shelter
A shelter formed by fallen boulders or a shallow overhang at the bottom of a cliff.
A pile of rocks at the base of a cliff or extending over the edge of a mesa. Talus lacks soil and does not support the growth of trees, bushes, and grasses.
Level terrain with elements formed by butting, spacing, stroking, chinking, pouring, or scraping of rocks or pebbles into alignments. An intaglio is a type of geoglyph.


Single choice. How important is this panel? A subjective opinion of the overall importance of preserving this panel given its present condition. The following factors should be considered in rating the value of the panel. [New window] Examples for Panel.Importance

  • Condition - the visibility of the panel's elements in different lighting conditions.
  • Craftsmanship - the quality of the artists work in creating the elements.
  • Design - one or more elements on the have an unusual design or a design that is rare within the nearby area.
  • Effort - the number of hours required to create the panel.
  • Multi-culture - the panels has elements of different ages.

The distributions given below are guidelines and are expected to vary widely from site to site. Panels with only vandalism are not considered in the percentage distribution.

The panel has multiple elements or a large element of unusual design, well-crafted, and in good condition. About one-third of all panels should be placed in this category.
The panel has one or more elements elements that can be recognized as anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, etc. The elements are either crudely made or degraded. About one-third of all panels should be place in this category.
The panel has only random pecking or scratches or is so deteriorated that few or none of the elements can be identified. About one-third of all panels should be placed in this category.
The panel has only vandalism.


Single choice. What is the condition of this panel? These attributes describe the overall condition of the panel. In those cases where sections of the panel have been obliterated, use your best judgment as to whether the missing section contained rock art. Only permanent damage should be considered. Leaves, dirt, or scat in metates or covering horizontal panels that could be easily removed should not be considered as impacting the condition of the panel.

The quality of the rock art design or skill of execution should not be a factor. [New window] Examples for Panel.Condition

All of the prehistoric and historic rock art is easily visible. Historic rock art does not overlay prehistoric rock art, but prehistoric rock art may overlay other prehistoric rock art. There is no vandalism on the panel.
All of the rock art is visible, but some elements may be difficult to see in some lighting conditions. The elements may have been lightly pecked or scratched. There may be vandalism on the panel, but none of it has directly impacted prehistoric or historic rock art.
Some of the elements on the panel are damaged and can not be identified. Other elements on the panel are still visible in good light and can be identified and placed into a rock art class.
At least one or more elements is visible enough to be identified and placed into a rock art class. The majority of the panel is destroyed or contains elements that can not be identified due to erosion or vandalism.
Remnants of one or more elements are barely visible. All of the elements are so deteriorated or vandalized that none of them can be identified under good lighting conditions.


Single choice. How much lichen is there on this panel? [New window] Examples for Panel.Lichen

No lichen is present on this entire panel.
Lichen covers less than one percent of the surface area. Lichen has started to grow along cracks in the rock, deeply pecked lines, or a few small spots.
Lichen covers less than ten percent of the surface area of this entire panel.
Lichen covers ten percent or more of this entire panel.


Multiple choice. What types of erosion are effecting this panel? This attribute set identifies any impact erosion has had on the panel at the time of recording. A panel may have multiple types of erosion. [New window] Examples for Panel.Erosion

The panel has deep cracks and has broken into multiple pieces. Pieces of the panel could be easily dislodged or removed. Some pieces of the panel may be missing.
The panel has visible cracks on the surface.
Bird droppings or other animal scat are on the panel at the time of recording.
Tiny bits of surface patina, paint or surface material are falling off of the panel. The individual bits are smaller than 1 centimeter in width and may be only 1 millimeter in thickness. Contiguous flaking may cover large areas. In the case of sandstone-like rocks, flaking may occur over the entire surface area.
Mineral Buildup
Surface mineral deposits left by evaporating water.
Thin sheets of rock are peeling off the surface of the panel. The individual peels may be about 1 centimeter or less in thickness. Individual pieces may be up to the size of a hand. Contiguous peeling may cover large areas. Peeling destroys almost all petroglyphs, the exceptions being those few that were pecked very deeply. Peeling does not occur on all types of rock. It is common for peeling to start at the panel edges or at the edges of elements.
The panel has been damaged by a plant. Frequent causes include rubbing from stiff branches, roots growing into cracks and enlarging them, dripping sap accumulating under a tree or shrub, or lichen leaving rings or circles when the colony detaches from the rock.
A new layer of patina has grown over the rock art making the elements difficult to see.
The panel has natural or unintentional damage caused by other rocks or hard objects scratching the surface of the rock. Natural erosion may cause large rocks to roll over or against other rocks. Some scrapes may have been caused by human or animal activity.
The panel is being covered by soil or layers of decaying plant debris.
The base of the rock or the soil under the rock has washed or worn away. Continued undercutting will eventually cause the rock to shear off or topple.
Chunks of rock have broken off from calcrete or fissuresol wedging.


Single Choice. Has this panel been moved? These attributes describe any movement of the panel since the first or oldest rock art was created on this panel. [New window] Examples for Panel.Moved

The panel has fallen from its original position due to natural erosion.
The panel is in the original location, but has been tilted because of erosion or settling of the earth.
The panel has been moved by humans but remains within the site boundary.
The panel has been removed from its original site and relocated to a new location, usually for public viewing or private use.


Multiple choice. How has this panel been vandalized? Check all that apply. [New window] Examples for Panel.Vandalized

The panel has been broken.
The panel has signs of attempted or successful theft, such as chisel or hammer marks.
Graffiti has been placed on the panel by scratching, chipping, or rubbing.
One or more elements has been chalked, painted or repecked to improve its visibility.
The panel has bullet or pellet dings.
The panel was moved from its original position by vandals.
The panel has been spray painted or marked with colored markers.
The panel has been pecked in a random manner without making a drawing or words.
Random scratches have been placed on the panel.
Words, names, initials, or dates have been placed on the panel.


Multiple choice. Are there any factors that threaten to deteriorate the condition of the panel within the next decade? These attributes describe the likelihood that one or more of the elements on this panel will suffer further damage within the next 10 years. Checked boxes indicate this panel has a greater degree of risk than the average panel within the site. [New window] Examples for Panel.Threats

The panel is fractured or deeply cracked. Chunks of the panel are in danger of falling off or being dislodged.
The elements on this panel are at risk of damage from bird droppings or other animal scat.
The panel has active flaking or is susceptible to damage by wind blown sand.
The elements on this panel are at risk from a growing lichen colony.
Mineral Buildup
The panel is susceptible to damage by flowing or seeping water.
The panel has active peeling.
The elements on this panel are at risk of damage from rubbing branches, roots growing in cracks, a bush or tree is providing shade that supports lichen growth, etc.
The panel is at risk of being buried by soil movement.
The panel is at risk of being stolen.
This panel is near a path, on the top of a hill, is convenient for target practice, or has some other characteristic that makes it more vulnerable to vandalism than the average panel within this site.
The base of the rock or the soil under the rock is wearing away. The rock is in danger of shearing off or falling.
The panel is likely to suffer further damage within the next year by one or more of the above factors.

Proposed Changes

If you have suggestions which add, delete, combine attributes or change the word used to define an attribute, then please copy the entire current attribute set definition above, including the attribute set heading to the end of this page and edit your copy. If you wish to make a comment below your improved version (or someone else's improved version), add a horizontal rule and then your comment.

Minor changes in agreement with the someone's proposed changes should be made directly to the text, competing versions should be documented as complete revised copies including the heading.

To add a new attribute set, create it exactly as it should appear. For suggestions on sequence changes, create an appropriate heading below and add a comment. For other types of changes, innovate.

All documentation should be written for the target audience of volunteer rock art recorders.

Percent Repatination

In addition to knowing the condition of the panel, is it important to know why a panel is not in perfect condition? Additional categories for how much flaking, how much peeling, how much repatination could be added. Is knowing the amount of lichen more important than any of the above?

No repatination.
1 to 20 percent repatination.
21 to 40 percent repatination.

Percent Intact

The percent of panel that is uneffected by flaking, peeling, or lichen. Vandalism?

The panel is in perfect condition.
The panel is in good condition.

Kind of Rock

A list of 10 choices for kind of rock could be added to panel. But most panels would have the same answer within a site. It is more concise to avoid recording type of rock by panel, an alternative is to mention the type of rock in the survey report.

  • Basalt
  • Sandstone
  • Other Igneous
  • Other Metamorphic
  • Other Sedimentary

RASI From Bill N.

Erosion Precursor

Multiple choice. Select any factors that may lead to further erosion of panel.

Root Growth
Plants are growing in the cracks in the panel.
Nearby Plants
Nearby plants posing a fire danger or shade supporting lichen growth.
Erosion is wearing away the soil supporting the base of the panel.
The rock is splintering or cracking.

Active Erosion

Multiple choice.

Crumbly disintegration to powdery consistency.
Granular disintegration to sandpaper consistency.
Abraison due to movement of sediment or branches.
Flaking in finger nail size pieces.
Scaling in fist size pieces.
Breaking, cutting or shattering by human activity.

Surface Deposits

Multiple choice.

Colonization of lichen, moss or algae.
Salt on surface of panel.
Water flow over panel.
Graffiti on panel.

PanelAttributes (last edited 2017-01-20 03:39:09 by RogerHaase)

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