Native American Cultures HomeScholastic Explorers
Native American Cultures HomeEarthwatch
    We found this huge boulder at the base of Cedar Mesa. From the top of the mesa, the boulder looked like a small house 1,000 feet below. There were petroglyphs on all sides, even on the top of the rock, which we reached by using ladders. We nicknamed the boulder "Stacey's Rock" after Stacey, an Earthwatch team member, who had spent an entire week sketching one side of the rock.

Stacey's drawing (below) shows only a small portion (about one-sixth) of the rock face on the right side. She captures the details of a 10' x 10' area extending from the indent on the lower left about one-third of the way across. In the center of her drawing is a large human-like figure with what appears to be a ceremonial headdress. In the background are lots of dots, squiggly lines, and figures that may represent different animals, and other human-like forms.

The differences in the coloring of the petroglyphs and the placement of the figure with the headdress on top of other elements suggest that the figure was added during a later cultural period. The figure also appears intentionally in the middle of the other figures as if to convey an important relationship or connection to the events that went before. In fact, the huge rock may contain a continuum of stories linking generations of Pueblo and pre-Pueblo peoples who passed by from the mesa top on their way to the San Juan River.
    Credits: Courtesy of Myers Walker (top photo)
Courtesy of Stacey Monty/Earthwatch Institute (bottom drawing)