Messages from Beyond

Wolfman Panel petroglyphs
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I love ancient rock art.

Found all over western United States, tucked away miles within deep canyons, high up on desert varnished rock walls, in dark recesses and places you'd think no one ever ventured, are ancient messages chiseled or painted on rock by the native people of America's past. From insects to reptiles to the largest native mammals, anthropomorphic creatures recognized by their human forms but alien all the same and awe-inspiring symbolic patterns of plants, hunting shields, headdresses, the sun, the moon, the wind, and positive and negative handprints, there is art created by amateur as well as fine artists.

We've traveled to many of these sites in southern Utah lately and have been overwhelmed by the thought that we will never see them all. There are thousands and as I said, most are hidden away but there are many that are easy to find and obvious. The easiest are preserved in National Parks and Monuments where park personnel will readily tell you where they are or they are marked on maps. Others require you to explore. Oftentimes, we have found artwork all on our own and by accident. Like a treasure hunt, we find ruins and rock art in places unimaginable.

We have written in our blog about some of our recent travels into these areas and our website contains images of the rock art and cliff dwellings. Go to one or both for more on the fascinating subject of our native American ancestors.
Barbara Magnuson
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