‘When Lightning Strikes Twice’

Edge of the Cedars hosts free archaeological lecture

The Edge of the Cedars State Park Museum will host a free lecture, “When Lightning Strikes Twice: A Novel Approach to Associating Rock Art Images and Fulgurites,” presented by archaeological researcher John Pitts at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 at Edge of the Cedars State Park’s museum in Blanding.

Due to an accidental discovery of lightning bolt strikes on boulders and cliffs, the research done by John Pitts has begun to reveal an association between some white lines (fulgurites) and rock art panels found nearby, according to a press release from Edge of the Cedars.

Fulgurites occur only where heat from actual lightning fuses rock surfaces and leaves a permanent (or near permanent) mark. The associated rock art panels often include imagery associated with the themes of fertility or war, according to the park.

Do these themes suggest the purpose of co-locating these rock art panels with evident lightning strike locations? This is one of several essential questions Pitts raises in his documentation of fulgurites and rock art imagery.

His primary focus in recent years has been the research and documentation of rock art throughout the Southwest and on several continents; he currently leads a rock art survey team for the Mesa Prieta Petroglyph Project. Given his background, he has lectured frequently on rock art-related topics.