Friday, June 11, 2010

Rock Art

Last week was our family's 4th trip to Moab, UT. I'm sorta a believer in discovering new places for travel so it has been good for me to return to the same place multiple times. The best part is discovering new places in this now well-known landscape.

Last year I took a keen interest in petroglyphs and pictographs after visiting the Courthouse Wash site. I purchased a few books (Moab has an amazing gift shop in their visitor's center that always snags a few of my vacation dollars) and had intended to read and research all last year to prepare for this years trip. In typical "me" fashion, it wasn't until the day before we were leaving that I pulled out those books! I still need and intend to do some more reading, but it didn't make our petroglyph tour any less enchanting.

My parents with the kids last year
at Courthouse Wash
Our first stop was along Hwy 128 coming into Moab. We had been traveling for hours. The girls thought it felt good to get out of the car but the male family members were feeling a bit cranky and didn't want to stay long.
The next afternoon, Uncle Mark took us on an adventure to see some lesser know petroglyph sites. The first one was Bartlett Rock Art Panel. These pictographs (painted on the rock as opposed to petroglyphs which are carved into the rock) are believed to be 3000-4000 years old. A bit spooky. Not difficult to prescribe to the theory that aliens once visited these ancient people when you see images like this!

Look closely, you can see the faint images
on the wall face in this photo

We then drove on to an unnamed location that Uncle Mark stumbled across this site while out exploring on his dirt bike. I am still amazed that he could find his way back to the location. His directions were, "Stand with one arm outstretched pointing at that mountain peak. Point your other hand to that big rock over there. Right between them is where we hike down the ravine to get to the other side."
Uncle Mark & Jack showing us
the trail down through the ravine
Hiking to the site
This was my favorite location just because it is so remote. The pictograms were well protected and very distinct. Uncle Mark even pointed out all the flint pieces that don't belong in that location. Probably brought in to chip into arrowheads while camped in this site. The kids were pretty astounded when Uncle Mark made sparks fly from the flint!

The site
Favorite pictograms
(my best guess is that these are Ancestral Puebloan
dating AD 900-1200)
Checking out the flint
Being silly!
Our last stops that evening were along Potash Road. More amazing petroglyphs that are supposedly ancestral Puebloan dating back 1250-2000 years ago. And even some dinosaur footprints!
Our last evening in Moab, we had the kids already in their PJs and decided to drive out to one more site that I wanted to see. Along Kane Creek Road is a large boulder with art on all four sides.
Most of the art on this rock
is believed to be Ancestral Puebloan AD 900-1200
This one is probably Fremont
dating AD 700 to 1200
Famous birthing scene
Unfortunately it was too dark to photograph the rock art at the other sites along Kane Creek Road. Next year.

1 comment:

Penny said...

wow! that sure would be amazing to see.. and great you had such an informative guide right at hand :p