Prof. Michael Fuller relocated the site during November 2007 and confirmed one prominent, red painted image located approximately 5 meters above a narrow ledge along the bluff face. Fowke (1910:81-82) reported that the site included "a so-called 'buffalo,' a design resembling a man with upraised arms, and several others too nearly obliterated to venture a guess as to their meaning." The Archaeological Survey of Missouri report on the site indicates that the weathering of the bluff face had resulted in the loss of an image of an "Indian Maiden" by the 1940s.
Alan Westfall and Jason LeCure relocated the large pictograph in March 5, 2021. DStretch image using YWE filter. Alan recognized a faint pictograph above and to the right of the bison. Photograph by Alan Westfall.
Dstretch of Alan Westfall's photograph of the faint pictograph situated above and to the right of the bison. This pictograph may have been the one referred to by Fowke as a man with upraised arms.
Alan Westfall photograph of the bison processed with DStretch filer yre. The horn's are faint, but visible. LaFlesche (1932:157, 188, 238) records the Osage words wadsuta shinto zhinga (young buffalo bull), wadsuta tonga (the great animal; the buffalo bull), and tse as a generic term for bison but also the specific term for a buffalo cow; he noted that bison "figured prominently in the myths and tribal rites of both the Osage and Omaha nations."
DStretch (filter crgb) closeup of the bison's head and horns. Photograph by Doug Porter.
The 1882 reference, quoted in Fowke (1910:81), describes the buffalo image as 15 inches long and 8 or 9 inches high. Alan Westfall climbed up a tree to the ledge and measured the bison image as 36 inches (91 cm) in length and 28 inches (71 cm) high. The size discrepancy might suggest that Fowke was relying on second hand information versus first hand observation.
The site is briefly discussed by Diaz-Granados and Duncan (2000:14-15).
Two views of the Osage River in the general vicinity of the site taken in 2007. Painted Rock is located on property administered by the Missouri Department of Conservation. The site IS NOT accessible to the public because of the extreme risks of drowning, falling rocks and poisonous snakes. Photographs by Michael Fuller.
Team at 23OS5 during 2021, left to right: Michael Fuller, Alan Westfall, Thomas Mercer, and Eric Fuller.
Diaz-Granados, Carol and James R. Duncan
2000 The Petroglyphs and Pictographs of Missouri. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.
1910 Antiquities of Central and Southeastern Missouri. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 37.