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Pictographs and Petroglyphs in Utah

Fasinating Petroglyph and Pictographs of Utah


Petroglyphs are images incised in rock, usually by prehistoric, especially Neolithic, peoples. They were an important form of pre-writing symbols, used in communication from approximately 10,000 B.C.E. to modern times, depending on the culture and location. The word comes from the Greek words petros meaning "stone" and glyphein meaning "to carve" (it was originally coined in French as p�troglyphe).

There are Petroglyphs found in many different locations in Utah. The San Rafael Swell, Capital Reef, Zion National Park, Arches National Park, Newspaper Rock State Historic Site, Canyonlands National Park, Nine Mile Canyon and the Parowan Gap are just some of the locations of this ancient art.

Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument has a petroglyph panel etched in sandstone that records perhaps 2,000 years of human activity in the area. Etched into the desert varnish are symbols' representing the Fremont, Anasazi, Navajo and Anglo cultures. The exact nature of these symbols meaning is still not clearly understood. But they are typical of many sites throughout the U.S. in their use of universal symbols, be it graffiti or a true "newspaper," recording events of the times and earlier.

The Newspaper Rock site is right next to Utah Route 211, 24 miles northwest of Monticello on the main road into the Needles section of Canyonlands National Park. It is usually bypassed by travelers hurrying elsewhere. They are missing one of the finest displays of Indian rock art to be found anywhere in the U.S. This is also one of the few petroglyph sites that is so easily accessible and can be viewed and photographed at close range.

The Petroglyphs samples above are from Zion National Park, The San Rafael Swell and I think?? Newspaper Rock.

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