Too often Kansas history seems to start with the Coronado's trip through the state in 1541. For centuries before European arrival, Native people lived on the plains, and some left behind rock carvings on soft sandstone in the middle of the state. Based on the book Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills (University Press of Kansas, 2019), this presentation focuses on these carvings, the people who made them, and what the carvings tell us about those people and their relationship to the land. The presentation also discusses the challenges of dating and interpreting these carvings, the threats posed by erosion and vandalism, and the role of landowners whose property shelters these carvings.
Rex Buchanan grew up in Rice County, Kansas, on the edge of the Smoky Hills. He is the former director of the Kansas Geological Survey and the author of books about Kansas geology and water.
“Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills” is part of Humanities Kansas's Movement of Ideas Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and workshops designed to share stories that inspire, spark conversations that inform, and generate insights that strengthen civic engagement.
If you would like to order your own copy of the book Petroglyphs of the Kansas Smoky Hills, visit Raven Bookstore online at https://www.ravenbookstore.com/.
This event will also be broadcast through the Old Depot Museum page using Facebook Live at https://facebook.com/olddepotmuseum.