Saturday, January 24th, 2009. Torrey, Utah.
special to The Pulse
A writer-photographer pursuing backyard research in the deserts of Utah uncovered a prehistoric Fremont Indian rock art panel that conclusively shows a warrior or sports celebrity in the act of endorsing a bottled product, probably beer.
Steve Howe, a subsistence journalist residing in nearby Torrey, located the image while scouting off-trail hikes for Project Backyard, a self-assigned mapping effort of nearby adventures. Howe characterizes the image as "earth-shattering, paradigm-shifting, like Schlieman discovering Troy, or Carter in the Valley of the Kings. It overturns our whole body of scientific knowledge regarding the history of alcohol marketing."
Howe avoided summarizing his findings on the panel's exact age and culture pending journal publication. However, he suspects the 50- by 10-foot series of drawings was pecked into the Navajo sandstone sometime between 700 and 1400 A.D. by Fremont Indians, a more nomadic - and artistic- culture than the contemporary Anasazi who neighbored them to the south. The panel includes four anthropomorphic figures, the largest one with headdress and bottle, and three smaller, more ephemeral figures that have heads and limbs, but no bodies. Howe theorizes that the three smaller figures are cheerleaders whose painted-on clothing has washed off with time.
Howe credits his discovery to aimless wandering."Look what laziness did for Newton," he explains. "Sir Isaac discovered gravity sacked out beneath an apple tree. Archimedes discovered how to measure volume while lounging in the tub. Considering my efforts I should displace Einstein soon, as this casual yet important discovery proves."
To further his research, Howe is asking for help from expert readers who can identify which beer brand is being shown. Publish your well-researched findings in the comments section below. Expect rigorous peer review.