Ancient Painters Of the Colorado Plateau



A documentary featuring the prehistoric Rock Art made by hunter-gatherers who lived on the Colorado Plateau between two and ten thousand years ago. The focus of the project is on strange and powerful collections of figurative images known as Barrier Canyon Style (BCS). It is a journey of exploration into the possible meanings of the ancient paintings and petroglyphs, and an understanding of the peoples who made them.

For ten years, uncovering the mysteries of the BCS paintings has been my passion.

I have spent countless hours hiking and exploring the rugged terrain of some 30,000 sq. miles surrounding the confluence of the Colorado and Green Rivers. These explorations have focused on locating and documenting the rock art of the region, locating the natural resources on which the hunter-gatherers relied, as well as their trails, and routes of migration.

My quest has also included studies of a number of subjects such as Geology, the Biology of the region, Shamanism, Southwest Archeology, and the Ethnology of hunter gatherers across the world, studies that all provide relevance to the origins of the art.

In the mean time, my son has studied, become an adult, and now has a career in film making.  We are bringing our passions together in a collaborative effort to document in a meaningful way these National Treasures, and the impossibly beautiful sites where they are located.

No one has been able to determine where the descendants of the painters are today, or what language they spoke.

- Junius Kerr

Push Crowd’s goal as the production company is to provide the resources and technical expertise needed to bring this film to life.  This is the second feature length; Native American themed documentary we have been a part of, since working on Jenny Pond’s - Poison Wind - for 220-Productions. Which has screened at over two dozen festivals and events.



There are a number of stated theories on the origin and meaning of the Barrier canyon style pictographs.  It is impossible to know conclusively what these images mean, and also very difficult to disprove all but the most fantastic theories.  Officially, as archeology is concerned, the BCS paintings have a basis in Shamanism and were made by hunter gatherers somewhere between six thousand and fourteen hundred years ago.

Consider for a moment that you are an archaeologist digging in the remains of our civilization five thousand years from now, studying the remnants of today’s culture.  A culture you know nothing about except for some permanent drawings. And you found this image painted on walls in various locations in various cities, but nothing else, how might you interpret it?

The image on the left is of the Two Tailed Siren which was the inspiration for the more familiar Starbucks' logo on the right.

It may seem easy from this new perspective to look at that logo and come to some rather fantastic conclusions about this long haired lady, with two tails and a crown of sorts.  If you know nothing about today’s culture, what would you imagine that means?  How do you get from that imagery to coffee?

We all know this means “Starbucks”, and coffee products, but if there was no evidence of coffee, the archaeologist might consider that this was an important figure, mythological, or perhaps a political figure like a queen.  The archaeologist might also consider the symbol of a curvy woman with her open arms indicated the building (attached to the wall) was a brothel, or some kind of woman’s cult.

This is the intellectual challenge faced when confronting the images generated by ancient painters.  What do we know to be true, and what can we reasonably infer from there?  Taking clues from the landscape, its resources and of the archaeological record.


Right now we are moving through preproduction.  We are currently scheduling dates to film throughout the fall.  This will involve lots of driving, hiking, and camping as some of the locations are a bit remote.


We are seeking financial contributions from a number of sources to create this film.  You can help us reach our initial goal of $15,000.  This will provide for travel, lodging, equipment, and crew expenses on an expedition to 18 paleolithic sites in the four-corners area of North America.

We are currently collecting donations here, provide secure transactions and accept all of the major credit / debit cards.


Don’t look at Kickstarter like it is a charity.  But more like a pre-order plus! Everyone who contributes will get to see the movie, somehow.  If enough people want to see the film it will get made. It will.

There are a couple other reward options on the right that may entice someone with a strong interest in the subject matter.  That can have a way to vest their interest in archaeology at a higher dollar amount.  Helping to ensure the project gets going.

If you can’t contribute anything at this time.  You can still do the next best thing, which is propagate this page.  Share the information about this campaign on your Facebook, Twitter, Email, Blog, anything at all.

We thank the following people for there contributions

Timothy Allen

Hannah McCallum

Caleb Miles

Diane Dresback

Naomi Lippel

David Gustafson

Ellie Lippel

Paul Denigris

Mircea Goia

Judith Tobi

Elizabeth Kerr

John Thomas

Brian Bucklew

Tegan McCray

Roger Bonin

Ayman Samman

Bruce Dellis

Jenny Pond

Josh Hampton

Steve Carney

Dan Narkiewicz

Hari Simran Khalsa

Ben Levine

Lindsay Robinson

Jerad Brown

Serina Patterson

William Fredreickson

Lee ?

Genevieve Deschenes

Mary Wyton

Debra Orlofsky

Nicole ?

Lisette Hydeche

Mary Touchstone

Aryeh Keefe

Robert H Nutt Sr

Hugh Kerr

Kelly ?

Ken Murray

Junius Jones

Generous Ensemble

Jamee Culbertson

Samantha Hurlburt

Sarah Monfort

Chris Gallegos


Nicki Legge

Barbara Gresser

Nick Brown

Sarah Hunt

Kieran Thompson

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