Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Three Rivers Petroglyph Photo Gallery

Here are additional photos from Three Rivers Petroglyph Site from April 18, 2013.

Read the earlier post for a description of my visit and to learn a little about petroglyphs and the site. There are links in that post for further information.

In a number of cases I've photographed the petroglyph(s) at a wide enough angle that you can get a sense of place, not just a disconnected image.

If you click on a photo you will see larger versions in a "lightbox," but then you won't see the captions, apparently.

This "abstract" design is one of my favorites. There are similar designs in several places in the site. I haven't read any theories about what it may represent, but I have a theory... see the next photo.
This rather "busy" design really got me thinking. The abstract pattern in the middle is similar to other abstracts in the site, though some of its interior patterns are shaded full. It suddenly struck me that there could be smoke rising from the central pattern, perhaps the "abstract" represents a lava flow and the other symbols are animals and people fleeing from the eruption. The Valley of Fires (see recent posts) was only 1500 - 2000 years ago, the people who created these petroglyphs might well have been living in the area at that time.

This image of what appears to be a Big Horn Sheep pierced with spears or arrows is one of the most photographed at the site according to the brochure.

Is this mighty hunter celebrating his catch?
An eagle head, bird tracks, a quadruped, and a strange device - perhaps an animal trap?
Are those earrings?
The previous head is on the backside of this group. Note here an interesting face, almost cartoon-like, and one of the site's famous cross & dots symbols.
A figure looking quite like a Hopi Kachina.
Is that a fish in the foreground? Perhaps cooking on a fire?
Note: the hand and snake in the back left and another cross & dots in the back right.

Another of my favorites. For a long time I thought this represented a human torso, but I'm no longer quite so sure.
Is that an animal attacking that person? Yikes!
One of the circle motifs.

Not sure what critter that is with an arrow stuck in him. That looks like a bear claw on the left.

An abstract pattern in the foreground. Those are the Godfrey Hills mid-distance left; the dark strip near the top is a volcanic basalt, I believe. In the distance is Sierra Blanca.
A reprise of a photo from the original post for those who may have skipped reading that. I call this the Thunderbird group because of the two images in the upper left. I also like the hand and the lizard.
The figure in the upper left looks like a butterfly to me and to the lower right a Bighorn Sheep.
Now just what kind of critter is this? The symbol on its side could represent mountains or clouds, but that face is bizarre.
Here is another 4-legged critter with a symbolic side and circles. Note the snake slithering down from the right.
Looks like a human figure dancing, a hand reaching for a spear, and a bear claw.
I initially thought this was a Mountain Lion leaping out at the artist due to the face and claws. Then I saw a human face rendered with that same filled-in pattern from nose to the top of the head, so I'm not so sure.
A lizard and various other figures.
A spear symbol of some sort.
I'll stop now. I think most readers have already wandered away and I don't blame them. Seeing photos is not nearly as interesting as seeing the actual petroglyphs. This is a wonderful place and I encourage you to visit for yourself.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


Ski3pin said...

Enjoyed your trip report, thanks for allowing us to tag along. It is so interesting to see all the different styles of art work that change regionally and also over time.

Bosque Bill said...

Thanks, Ski3pen. The Three Rivers petroglyphs are a bit of an anomaly as the anthropologists are not really sure how those ancient peoples fit into the migrations in the Americas. Some of the rock art can be related to others, and some is unique.

One of the problems is that they have not found a reliable way to date petroglyphs, so cannot tell which epoch any one came from. Since the experts don't know that leaves plenty of room for us amateurs to opine on the subject.

Anonymous said...

That was great Bill! Such a neat place, and even though it would be great to know exactly who those people were and what they were depicting, it's also pretty neat to have that kind of mystery to speculate on!

Bosque Bill said...

Thanks, Shaina. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. The petroglyphs are very interesting and the mystery is indeed fun.