Moab Rock Art

When I first came across the petroglyphs in this area, I was very excited to head out and find them.  This is the first group and I hope we have an opportunity to find more as the remaining are spread out in different areas.  We began on the south side of the Colorado River and followed a map that lead us to each of these sites and we finished on the north side of the river.  We spent the evening in Long Canyon looking for another site which we never did find.  However, as we were walking and it became dusk, we were in the bottom of the canyon with rock walls probably 100ft above us on both sides and then all of a sudden you heard the squealing of the bats coming out for the night.  As we looked up into the evening sky, you could see bats flying above us.  THAT will send chills down your back!

Ok, back to the petroglyphs.    I found it fascinating that very little is known about these carvings and their meaning.  It allowed for us to look at them each in our own way and try to figure out what they meant.

I decided to look  up a little history on the main cultures that lived in the Moab area, the Anasazi & Fremont people

The Anasazi focused on cultivating corn, beans, and squash and harvested a variety of wild resources such as pinion nuts, grasses, bighorn sheep and deer.  They were considered to be the more sedentary of the two cultures

The Fremont grew corn and were more dependent upon hunting and gathering of wild resources

Both cultures had a complex social structure and were highly adaptive to the extremes of the environment.  Both were classified by scientists as “formative” cultures

Since the experts have not been able to give a definite interpretation of the petroglyphs and basically it’s left up to our imagination to determine what they mean to each person, I would love to hear your feedback on what you think they mean.

Birthing scene

Basketmaker style AD 1-AD 750–

This rock had petroglyphs on all four sides with multiple scenes.  The easiest to interpret is the birth of the baby.  However, if you notice it showed the baby coming out feet first and a warrior stood next to the mother perhaps as a guard.  Scientists don’t know why each of these scenes contain multiple almost random carvings of bear paws, a centipede, warriors, etc.

Moonflower  Canyon–

Along the Colorado River–Extending up to 100ft up a rock face is this petroglyph panel that continues for about 275ft.  There are multiple scenes with carvings of native men in elaborate head dresses, bighorn sheep, hoof prints, and many other carvings.


Here are a few additional sites that didn’t have too much of a description to go along with them but they were still fascinating!

There will be posts almost daily for awhile so that I can catch up after WordPress fixed the problem.  I have so many pictures to share of this amazing area!

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