Lagomarsino Canyon, one of only eight Nevada rock art sites honored on the National Register of Historic Places, is a quarter mile long. It consists of 2229 rock art panels, some created as long as 10,000 years ago. The site is located in a remote Storey County canyon between Virginia City and Lockwood.

Lagomarsino was first noted by a non-native observer when Julian Steward recorded it in 1929, basing his work on a 1904 report from a local Reno resident. The site was more rigorously recorded by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley in the 1950s. This work was the only official archaeological record of the site until the Nevada Rock Art Foundation’s project, starting in June 2003. Led by Alanah Woody, the Foundation, in partnership with Storey County, the Nevada State Museum, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and other agencies, commenced a program of detailed archaeological documentation at the site. The report of this work may be found in this Nevada Rock Art Foundation’s e-book. A high-resolution version suitable for printing may be found here.

Their research suggested that “hunting magic” could be one interpretation of the rock art at the site. With Lagomarsino’s favorable hunting location, and the rock art motifs, including mountain sheep and possible portrayals of piñon cones, they suggested that the depiction of such natural objects may have been intended to invoke their presence or increase their numbers.

This content requires HTML5/CSS3, WebGL, or Adobe Flash Player Version 9 or higher.

Click and drag to explore the Lagomarsino Canyon petroglyphs.
Touch here for the HMD version.


This three-node VR environment, photographed while on a 10-mile Sierra Club hike (thanks, Holly!) in May 2015, does not begin to do justice to the site. Most of the larger petroglyphs are located at the canyon rim, which we did not have the opportunity to explore on this brief visit. Hopefully there will be a another opportunity to create a more thorough VR documentation.

Photographs below by Robin Goldbaum.

Links for further information:
Nevada Rock Art Foundation
Bradshaw Foundation
Finding Lost Civilization Video

Leave a Comment

Start typing and press Enter to search