Those Who Came Before~

Leave messages,

that are fascinating,

to try,

and interpret.

Ghostly chalk,

on the walls of time.

Left by people,

speaking to us,

telling their tales,

from 4,000 years ago.

Cheers to you from the ancient messengers~

Note: Petroglyphs are carved into rock and pictographs are painted onto rocks using dyes or resins. These petroglyphs and pictographs near Moab Utah are all around. You come upon them as you hike. They are 1500 to 4,000 years old and depict people, both male and female, who appear to be wearing clothes and feathers, and carry baskets and weapons. Some seem to be hunting. There are children of different ages and there are antelopes, deer, bears, snakes, birds and other animals, as well as rivers, lakes, the sun and much more. Look and see what you can find, after all, art is open to your interpretation.

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252 thoughts on “Those Who Came Before~

  1. The ancient carvings on the wall like these always intriguing to me. I think we can learn a lot from them. I think these ancient tribe has quite advance in term of head gears. Some of them look quite elaborate too. They are different kinds simple to more complex. They suggest that they have different social status. Interesting.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I have the same sense that we have much to learn from them. I didn’t think of the headpieces reflecting status but it seems logical. They are fascinating to contemplate aren’t they. They seemed to have a sophisticated culture intertwined with the natural world. It is too bad we have lost that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We were actually able to see some petroglyphs when we were in Maui! They were on private land. The family used to maintain guardrails… but due to vandalism stopped maintaining the area – we had a old guild book that lead us to them, probably not in newer versions anymore. That was about 15 years ago. I though I had taken some photos… but they would be prints and I have yet to find them… possibly on a roll of real undeveloped film. (Sigh).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m familiar with many of these images but always appreciate viewing them again/from different lenses/viewpoints, etc. I marvel because they loook so much like the designs/symbols/people/animals on a petroglyph I drew that was in a garden in Quito. When one draws the ancient designs, they are imprinted…

    If I could go back and start again, one of the studies would be the ancient petroglyphs/hieroglyphs, and even the designs in ancient pottery…

    All of your posts/photos are lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you and find the whole subject fascinating too. The thing I think quite interesting would be common themes running through early art in different epochs and geological areas. Are there themes common to every culture? I suspect nature, animals, birds, reptiles, sun, rivers and lakes would be common. But it would be interesting to go deeper. What birds? What animals? Are lakes depicted in similar ways? Is the sun? How about people? Spiritual expression? What are the things that are common to all our ancestors?


  4. These petroglyphs are new to me, thanks for sharing. I’m familiar with rock carvings in Norway 🇳🇴, UNESCO World Heritage today and find the earlier art of communicating deeply fascinating. Lovely photos, Cindy!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Quite remarkable, and a very precious insight into man’s distant past. I have’t read the preceding 363 or so comments, Cindy… so I’ll ask, what protection do these have? I hope it’s more than a “please do no deface” notice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They really don’t have any protection and some had people’s names scratched around the perimeter (I am talking about you Nick), but most are pristine and left alone. There are a lot of these in the American Southwest. Some are in national parks, many like these are not. Some have heavy sheets of plexiglass screwed into the rock face protecting them, but most are scattered around and you find them as you hike. It is the same with metates (grinding stones), and petrified trees. They are just there where they were made, hoping that people will be wise enough to protect and value them. Sadly, sometimes people don’t.


  6. Pingback: Those Who Came Before ~ Cindy Knoke | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  7. As always, dear Cindy, I had to scroll and scroll to get my comment in! I’ve missed your fascinating picture-posts. I’ve been away from WordPress for ages. Glad to be back and you are the first one I’m checking out. Belated happy New Year. Big hugs, Sonali xx


  8. Cindy this is marvelous. The petroglyphs in New Mexico were the main part of my inspiration for one of my unfinished novels. (I bit off more than I could chew with the scope of the overall concept… Still hope to go back to that one.) Thanks so much for sharing these mysterious treasures. Hugs on the wing.


  9. I’m surprised the petroglyphs are accessible. When the Army created the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS), in SE Colorado, in the 1980s, they had to close the section of petroglyphs and dinosaur tracks in the Purgatoire River Canyon for preservation reasons. They found too much graffiti and erosion from human interaction. It says something about when the land was privately owned. Naturally, that section was closed to training, as are sections of where the old Santa Fe Trail traversed across the land.

    Access to the petroglyphs and the dino tracks are restricted to scientific investigation while the Santa Fe Trail sections are restricted for archaeological investigation.


    • I did not include the pictographs I found with people’s names scratched all around the perimeter because it was too depressing. Pictographs are the most fragile and these were wonderful scenes of hunting. I have seen glyphs and graphs covered by sheets of bolted plexiglass. Sometimes, locations are not revealed in hopes that people won’t find them. I was in someone’s house once and they had stolen a stalagmite from a national park cave and proudly displayed it. It just strikes me as utter ignorance.


  10. Pingback: Those Who Came Before – PreHistoric Art via Cindy Knoke ❤️ – © Felipe Adan Lerma – All Rights Reserved – Blogging at WordPress Since 2011 :)

  11. Isn’t it fascinating to see messages from so long ago, beautifully preserved? Your photos really get the mind swirling, wondering what their day to day lives were like. Hubby and I have often pondered on life long ago…. I’ll have to show these to him 🙂


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