Geoglyphs, or ancient earthen art, are rare expressions of human interaction with the landscape. One of the most recognized examples are the Nasca Lines of Peru. Imperial County is home to the largest collection of documented humaniod geoglyphs in the world. The oldest dated geoglyph is estimated at 6,000 years old.
The head of Imperial Valley College’s Archeology Department, Jay von Werlhof, lead a team of local researchers in documenting these internationally significant sites for over 30 years.
Harry Casey was a key member of the team, lending his private plane, piloting experience, and photography skills … often at the same time (taking photos through a custom cut hole in the floor of the plane).
The Imperial County Geoglyphs are still a mystery to the research community, and until recently, there was no accessible research on the subject.
In 2014, the IVDM began receiving Harry Casey’s full body of research – over 3,000 images of geoglyphs and rock art sites from the region and around comparative collections from across the world. From June – Decemeber, myself and the IVDM archivist conducted oral interviews and took detailed notes to build an accessible reference guide to the collection and creating context. As Mr. Casey pointed out what he considered to be the most important aspects, I created notated images to reference what he discussed. Meant to be viewed along with the audio interview, Harry Casey’s “lessons” are now a permanent part of the IVDM collections.