Rock Talk~

This is Picture Canyon in Arizona.

The canyon is covered in petroglyphs,

that are 800-1300 years old.

The oldest petroglyphs are geometric in nature.

Later rock art depicts animals, rivers, planets and human figures.

This is The Mojave Desert in the southwestern US,

and it is where Jim and I went hunting for hidden petroglyphs.

There is historical rock art all over the southwestern United States. Most thought to be 800 to 1000 years old. Much of it hidden and unpublicized. I even found some at The Holler.

Here is the blogger that led us here. I have no idea who he is, but, as we all know, bloggers are precious resources:

Below are some links to my prior posts about more amazing southwestern pictographs and petroglyphs, much of it quite older:

Cheers to you from The Talking Rocks of the Southwest~

161 thoughts on “Rock Talk~

    1. Yes, it is. But as you know, Africa shames us all, on so many different levels. You have rock art dating from 28,000 years ago. I never saw it. I was focused on your wildlife დ

  1. It would be great to wander around and find some historic glyph’s never before seen. And in the first picture of the gorge with water running through, about half way through it there are some black plastic bags with something in them at the bottom, no grass growing around them and what looks to be a cross (or knife) in front of them. Somebody wanted to hide something because it doesn’t look accessible (unless during a drought), from either end so its been thrown over the edge. Probably just full of cash stashed from a robbery? πŸ˜‚ 🀣 ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

    1. I saw this when I was there. Amazing you spotted it! You have a good eye. To me it looked like a hidden single campsite but your explanation is interesting. I will look at it again. Hopefully it was not a looter, which I didn’t think of at the time დ

      1. Actually it wasn’t my eye, it felt ‘wrong’, even the water…like it has run through something and had been contaminated. Even some of the weaker grasses have died along its course even though the stronger dark green reeds are fine. Sorry about that, it is a great picture of a lovely unique moment you’ve come across and shared ❀️ πŸ™πŸ½ πŸ¦‹

    1. Oh yes, it is significant problem. I don’t include photos of defacement, as I don’t want to give the defacers any air. Many of the more well known sites have people’s names scratched across the surface. I guess it makes them feel important in the way that people can feel important for doing stupid and destructive things.

  2. Pingback: Rock Talk~ β€” – Echoes in the Mist

    1. Yes. I wonder the same. I wonder if they were also aware they were sending messages through time. It would take quite a lot of time and effort to scratch these deep and intricate patterns into rock. Surely they must have known they would last for a long time დ

        1. It is a type of symbolic language linked to the origins of more formal language. It is the earliest writing in the western hemisphere. It is impossible when you see them to not try and interpret them.

  3. Whenever I encounter ancient art, I try to picture the people making it. What must their lives have been like? These are amazing photos. Thanks, Cindy. β™₯.

  4. Pictographs are SO cool. The last stick figure of a human looks like a man in a space suit. I love seeing artifacts, going to museums and such. πŸ™‚

  5. Near my house there are carved concentric circles, The Ballochmyle Rings. They were done in the stone age and no one really knows what they mean. The same rings however show up in eg Malta and Australia.

    1. How fascinating and goosebump inducing. The oldest rock art found to date is 45,000 years old in Indonesia. Hawaii has rock art quite similar to that found in The American Southwest დ

    1. Yes. Some is quite faded. Sometimes I have difficulty discerning the difference between very faded rock art and striation patterns in rock. Some rock art is much, much older დ

  6. What came to mind as I view your marvelous photos was from Ulysses by Tennyson:

    I am a part of all that I have met;
    Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’
    Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades
    For ever and forever when I move.

  7. Petroglyphs are incredible in so many ways! Thank you for sharing your beautiful photos of them (and linking to other blog posts related to the topic). 🀎 I will soon be writing a middle grade book about communication…it’d be great if I can work in the topic petroglyphs. πŸ™‚

    1. That would be wonderful. I asked my three year old grandsons what much of the rock art was. They were fluent in ancient rock art! They identified turtles, deer, the sun, spears, people, on and on. Children may be better than adults at reading rock art დ

    2. What a delightful idea! I recently was introduced to Robert Greene’s ideas about creativity which he says is a combination of discipline/deep knowledge and a child-like spirit. I wonder how much of our child-like wonder we lose when we become entrenched in the discipline of a single “alphabet” and struggle with reading “rock art”? πŸ™‚

      1. “I wonder how much of our child-like wonder we lose when we become entrenched in the discipline of a single β€œalphabet” and struggle with reading β€œrock art”?
        I couldn’t possibly write, or think this better.
        If, one loses the child in them, that part of them that is endlessly open to wonder, the discipline will lack creativity

        1. Thank you, Cindy. I’m glad I have a kindred spirit in you! One of my all time favorite quotes, from an early age, was “We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” Let’s never lose that sense of wonder.

  8. Ancient street art! I love it. Looks like you are on a great adventure, Cindy!
    You never fail to amaze and please. Thank you! ❦

  9. This is very interesting, Cindy, and I thank you for sharing it. I suppose Man has always had a need to communicate, to preserve some of what he has seen, and to leave his mark.

    1. Imagine. Luckily they had no broadcast managers. And they are creating stuff, carved into rock, with tons of effort. (It is hard to carve stuff into rock that will last for 1000 years, plus.) I wonder if they knew it would last. დ

    1. I need to tell you. I so wish my 3-year-old twin grandsons could take art classes with you. They would just love every second. Take good care my friend დ

  10. The rock art is amazing. Like you, I loathe those who graffiti/spray paint over petroglyphs. It is the ultimate disrespect. If you remember from a previous thread about the dino tracks and petroglyphs in the Purgatorie River Valley in the PCMS training site. When the Army was conducting their survey, they found a good portion of the glyphs were graffitied. Private landowners had said when the Army took over, the glyphs and the tracks were “certain to disappear.” The graffiti on the glyphs happened to belong to the kids of those landowners. One of the glyphs was spray painted over quite heavily. The experts the Army brought in weren’t sure that particular glyph could be cleaned and restored. The Army contracted with one, but they could not guarantee the outcome. They were able to remove most of the spray paint. Anymore, it would destroy the glyph. At least it no longer reads *blank loves blank.*

    1. The defacers seem to me like people who want to feel important by doing stupid and destructive things. I see this frequently. I saw it in Venice. I photographed dino tracks in Utah. So amazing. Military bases conserve/preserve lots of things. There is a herd of around 90 buffalo at Camp Pendleton. The San Diego Zoo gifted them to the base as a conservation effort in 1973. Since then, the herd has grown to around 90. I’ve seen them. Awesome. Pendleton also preserves many, many miles of prime and pristine California Coastline and has at least five resident mountain lions. There are thriving resident foxes at Naval Base Point Loma. I’ve seen them many times at night. China Lake Naval Base is doing a wonderful job preserving and controlling access to their on site petroglyphs. The restictive nature of the bases, and sensitive management, can aid in the conservation of critical resourses, and often does დ

    1. It is stunning and fascinating and so incredible to find the lesser know places. Arizona has the oldest rock art in The US. Over 14,000 years old დ

  11. Fascinating. We had an Indian guide in Canyon de Chelle… he gave us some interpretations of the petroglyphs and pegrographs found there. Some great history there. Lucky some of it has been preserved.

    1. I am glad you have experienced this. Canyon de Chelly is stunning. I first visited there when I was 14. Their were no guides then. You just went on your own. We were alone in the canyon. It was incredible დ

  12. First of all, Happy Independence Day!
    I am wondering and surprised to see this writing on the stones in US. I’ve never seen that kind of ancient Art in US. How is it possible to survive for hundreds or even thousands years under the weather conditions. Thank you for sharing, Cindy. πŸ™‚

    1. Petroglyphs are carved into rock, so they can last. The carving cuts into lighter rock that stands out and stands the test of time. Pictographs are painted onto rock using resins. The resin is lighter than the rock and thus is easily seen. Rock art is found all over the world. The oldest petroglyphs in the US are 15,000 years old and are in Arizona. The extreme dryness of the desert helps in their preservation. Other pictos and petros are in caves or under overhangs which protect them. The oldest petroglyphs in the world are in Iran and are over 40,000 years old. They are also in the desert. I think the most concentration of petroglyphs is in Utah and this is where I have seen the best and the most.

      1. That’s ery sweet of you Cindy 😊 Thank you! I’m currently roasting alive in temperatures rarely known in the UK and tomorrow will be worse!🌞πŸ”₯ It’s tough being an Icewolf when the mercury’s heading for 40Β°CπŸ˜‰ On the other paw🐾 we have had Bison🦬 reintroduced to the UK somewhere in KentπŸ˜ƒThis is an excellent new addition to the Icewolfie dietary menu!!πŸ˜œπŸ˜…It’s a little warmπŸ”₯πŸ–for hunting just now but in a week or two…and the Bisonn will be nicely settled in by then πŸ˜€ πŸ‘ so yes…all is pretty good I would sayπŸ˜„ And how about yourself? Besides posting beautiful and inspirational blog posts! ✨️ I would like to know how you are tooπŸ€—

        1. I read about the bison, which I think is utterly awesome. I didn’t know they were in Kent. Looking now, above my computer, at my grandfather’s charcoal sketch of Churchill, I can almost imagine Churchill might be happy seeing bison gallomping all over The Kentish countryside. They have been reintroduced to Bulgaria too, a few years back, where my grandfather came from. I am doing as well as can be expected in a world that is going to hell in a handbasket. Thank you for asking. It is lovely to talk with you დ

          1. I think your grandfather would love to see them – we’re very excited to have them in Kent, they look magnificent in the photos. Interesting to learn they have also been reintroduced to πŸ‡§πŸ‡¬ I didn’t know that it had been Bison land there!

          2. I’m glad you’re bearing up in this crazy πŸ€ͺ world we’re struggling to co tinge inhabiting! It’s not an easy task is it?πŸ€” I must apologise for the delay in responding…I asked and really did want to know how you were doing. Unfortunately I was then plunged into a long stretch of hospital visits when my friend was rushed into hospital at short notice. Said friend is now home and recovering but all that sitting in taxis and in uncomfortable hospital bedside chairs πŸ’Ί πŸ™ƒ landed me up with nasty old back! So loads of walking and no sitting πŸ˜… and ultimately no social media time till now! Playing catch-up but still got the heat pads and can’t sit too long for now🀨So I wasn’t being shallow and rude when I didn’t respond! But I feel like I am, and I want you to know I really do care, and I am genuinely wanting to know how you are in yourself and how things are in your life 😊

            1. No worries. I am very sorry about your friend, and your back. I hate hospitals so I can fully relate to your discomfort. They are cold and miserable places. I hope your back improves daily and you give yourself lots of TLC while it does and I hope your friend continues to feel better. All is well here. Thank you for caring and for asking. Take good care. დდ

  13. I don’t like to think the world is going to hell in a handbasket (your comment to europaswolf), but some days my mood dips low enough that I agree. I feel we are sliding back toward the last century — first with a pandemic. Now with a build up of intolerance. Yet many, many people are lovely. And you are one. You give me hope. Long may you blog.

    1. I hear you. The good people far outnumber the bad, which is so true, but we have a hard time actually becomming assertive. Hope floats and flies. And I fly and float with hope. If it was the last century it would be more hopeful. There are however problems now that make things more serious than they have ever been. Watching California burn over the last years, the sequoias are in the face of unremitting fire now. Seeing fires repeated across Europe and Australia is sad. Watching California lakes and rivers recede and reach dead pool status. Not wanting to read US news because of the innocents that will have been shot, everyday now, by enraged and hopeless young white boy/men who feel this is their best hope for themselves, with parents who buy them guns. Hope floats and flies, but when reality sucks and stinks like it does now, we need to know it. I have three year old twin grandsons. I would like the world to not be so terrible for them. I know you want the same. What should we do?

      1. We should lobby for gun control. Or move to a place that already has it. I think about that, too. How do we help young men feel connected? It’s not an easy world to be part of, that is certainly true. It feels like we’re sliding backward.

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