Grimes Point

The Grimes Point site is a part of a much larger archaeological complex, which includes a wide variety of materials, caves, shelters, and other archaeological sites. The site is located on what was once a shoreline of Pleistocene Lake Lahontan and is best known for the cupules, which are small pits dug out of the rock surface and found on hundreds of boulders in the area.

This site was the primary locality used by archaeologists Robert Heizer and Martin Baumhoff to define the “Pit and Groove Style” of rock art, which is thought by many to be the oldest type of rock art found in Nevada. It does share certain characteristics with other Great Basin rock art known to be of great antiquity called Great Basin Carved Abstract. Specifically, the depth of engraving and the width of the engraved lines are much greater than other rock art types that appear to be of more recent manufacture, a characteristic also noted elsewhere.

Archaeologist Karen Nissen included Grimes Point in her analyses of rock art sites in western Nevada and concluded that rock art was generally associated with hunting locales, an idea popular at that time but somewhat less so today.

Grimes had been very badly abused prior to its listing in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1972, though the Bureau of Land Management began restoration and development for public exploration by the late 1970s and 1980s. The site is located off U.S. 50 east of Fallon and open to the public year-round.

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