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    We found an intriguing area of rock art at the head of a canyon near Montezuma Creek. The photograph below shows only a small portion — about seven feet of the entire area. Hundreds of petroglyphs extend over 70 feet across the wall of a shallow rock shelter created by an overhanging cliff. The rock wall is on the way to a spring, and may have served as a kind of message board for generations of Native Americans.


Earthwatch team members both photographed and sketched sections of the rock wall. Compare the photograph and the drawing. As you can see, there is more detail in the drawing, and the designs and patterns pecked, grooved, or chiseled in the rock are more clearly marked. The drawing is very important. If the rock is defaced or deteriorates, archaeologists, historians, and Native American groups will have a permanent record of the petroglyphs.


What does it all mean? No one knows for sure, but there are a few clues to find. What shapes or patterns do you notice repeated? Do you see signs of any animals or animal tracks? What do all the lines and circles make you think of? Please write down your ideas and send them to me. In another report, we will look more closely at different elements of the rock art panel.

Credits: Courtesy of Stacey Monty/Earthwatch Institute (photo and drawing)