Photos: Rock Art

Ancient Wisdom  |  06/10/2016

Horseshoe Canyon, UT

You will find this gorgeous and easy hike off of Hole-in-the-Rock Road in Utah’s beautiful Escalante, along with many great hikes and slot canyons. These images received a vague dating of 2000 – 7000 years of age, and until the photographer visited had not been attributed to a specific group of people. To the right of one of the main panels the photographer found some hidden pictographs including images of Masaaw, the Hopi deity, attributing this work to the ancient ancestors of the Hopi – the Hisatsinom.

There is a lot going on in these images and those below from Sego Canyon. You could write it off as the result of shamanic journeys, though the symbolism, relative sizes of the anthropomorphic figures and juxtaposition of these scenes may tell a different and more sensational story.

Sego Canyon, UT

Just North of the town of Green River, UT you will find these amazing and enormous pictographs, which you can walk right up to. Unfortunately that has resulted in more recent and much less interesting artwork in the form of graffiti and bullet holes. This site lies about 45 miles North of Horseshoe Canyon, and the images are very similar. Like Horseshoe Canyon, the artists of Sego Canyon left a calling card – the mushroom-head representation of Hopi deity Masaaw/ Massa’u, attributing these works to the Hisatsinom as well.

La Cieneguilla, NM

The La Cieneguilla site is easily accessed and enormous, a lengthy field of rocks on a hillside with dark desert varnish, perfect for ancient artists. There are so many petroglyphs you have to watch you step carefully while popping around in the extensive rock field to see them.

Bandelier National Monument, NM

Unique site in New Mexico featuring ancient dwellings, petroglyphs and pictographs. The markings and dwellings here are a bit different from other locations. This is likely due to the fact that this is the home of the ancient ancestors of the Tewa – a pueblo people living among the Hopi today. The ancient Tewa village of Tsankawi can be visited via the same trail the ancestors used, which features great views and petroglyphs.

Grapevine Canyon, NV

This amazing site sits on a hill near Laughlin, NV with dirt-road access. There are several intriguing panels of shamanic artwork and petroglyphs we find often in other locations such as those of Venus, Orion’s belt, the double-diamond and the repeating capital “I” or “H” symbol. Datura is still growing in Grapevine Canyon, right in front of the art it inspired. Interestingly Grapevine Canyon correlates to the Pleiades in Gary A. David’s Hopi-Orion correlation. Some Hopi claim the Pleiades is their place of origin.

Petroglyph National Monument, NM

This aptly-named location is much like the La Cieniguilla site not only in the artwork, but in the sense that there is so much of it so see. There are many petroglyphs of the Hisatsinom ancestors of the Hopi here. While many of these images are seen in other locations there are some odd star and mask-like petroglyphs that seem to be unique to this site.

Rock Art Ranch, AZ

This private property is well-worth the price of admission. Sitting in a beautiful location along Chevelon Canyon between Winslow and Holbrook, AZ, Rock Art Ranch offers 2 miles of petroglyphs – most concentrated in a quarter-mile section near the entrance. These petroglyphs have been dated to 6000 BC-1400 AD.

Valley of Fire, NV

Just outside Las Vegas lies a formation of red rock near the banks of Lake Mead, where ancient ancestors marked their presence.