Petroglyphs In the American Southwest
February 6, 2006 7:57 PM   Subscribe

I've only skimmed the first two links so far, but I'm looking forward to exploring the sites. Thanks.
posted by Devils Slide at 8:59 PM on February 6, 2006

Wow, these are great - thank you so much, snsranch! I will have to wait to explore most of your links til tomorrow, but I glanced through and am very psyched. I've been to Petroglyph National Monument on the edge of Albuquerque, and that was great - but the colors in your links! How beautiful!
posted by madamjujujive at 9:05 PM on February 6, 2006

Fantastic links, thanks snsranch. Could have used these in my post about the origins of (cave art) in entopic phenomena
posted by MetaMonkey at 9:24 PM on February 6, 2006

The "newspaper rock" petroglyph from the first link is fascinating because it depicts many prehistoric as well as modern (from the past 500 years) images of horseback riders and wheels.

Also, the use of the word "prehistoric" when referring to these rock paintings/carvings is strange, because most of them are from two to three thousand years ago, which dates them to a period which is after the advent of writing and written history, although Southwest American tribes didn't have a written language (that I'm aware of).

Another interesting facet of these petroglyphs is that many of them are a mystery, meaning they're abstract forms and we have no idea what they are supposed to depict.

Thanks again, snsranch. This is the kind of FPP that attracted me to Metafilter in the first place.
posted by Devils Slide at 9:25 PM on February 6, 2006

Heh, Australian aborigines do handprints the same way.
posted by orthogonality at 10:23 PM on February 6, 2006

Great great links, thanks so much.
posted by LarryC at 9:00 AM on February 7, 2006

I love these. Has anyone else read a book called The rock begin to speak? I loved it for it's attempt to decipher the what and why of these.

Soon people will be able to drive right thru the Petroglyph National Monument on their morning commute. According to proponents the highway won't do much damage or the damage is trivial compared to the need. And yeah it is happening.
posted by pointilist at 11:21 AM on February 7, 2006

The Petroglyph National Monument won't be around for too long anyway. Already in the last dozen years it has become little more than a playground for the 500+ homes that now surround it. With each visit I find more and more graffiti etched into the rocks. The place will survive only if people want it to, and it's looking as if they don't.
posted by Qubit at 1:44 PM on February 7, 2006

The only SW petroglyph (that I'm aware of) that has been turned into a modern icon is Kokopelli. But the modern images tend to leave off his giant detachable penis.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 3:16 PM on February 7, 2006

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