Pretty Weird Stuff… Three Rivers Petroglyph Site

Butterfly petroglyph at Three Rivers Petroglyph site.

A lot of the rock art at the Three Rivers Petroglyph site is simply fun, such as this butterfly.

Is there a whale among the Three River petroglyphs? How about a ship? Or an octopus? The fish isn’t so strange, nor are the buggy bugs. But how did the ocean life end up in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert? Maybe I am simply suffering from an overactive imagination brought on by staring at thousands of petroglyphs. I can guarantee I haven’t been imbibing in the Datura used by Shaman to create altered states. That stuff is dangerous. (Actually, it can be deadly.) The residents of Jamestown once fed it to British soldiers in 1676 and knocked them out of commission for 11 days. Afterwards, the plant was named Jimson Weed, after Jamestown.

Possible whale petroglyph at the Three Rivers Petroglyph site.

It looks like a whale to me… or at least a whale of a fish.

Octopus petroglyph at Three Rivers Petroglyph site.

And what’s with this octopus. Did the Jornada people travel to the ocean?

Ship petroglyph at Three Rivers Petroglyph site.

I guess if you have a whale and an octopus, it is only natural to have a ship with sails. Check out the guy jumping around in the back.

Possible seal petroglyph at Three Rivers Petroglyph site.

This looks suspiciously like a seal, minus the hind legs.

Fish petroglyph at Three Rivers Petroglyph site in southern New Mexico.

Okay, I’ll buy a fish petroglyph. Not sure about the circle. Maybe the fish is being served up on a platter.

Datura, also known as Jimson Weed

Datura, a beautiful but dangerous plant. I took this photo on the American River Parkway in Sacramento.

Buggy eyed petroglyph at Three Rivers Petroglyph site.

What you might run into after consuming a few too many Datura seeds.

Arrow petroglyphs at Three Rivers Petroglyph site.

Or possibly you might meet a pair of arrows with attitude.

NEXT BLOG: Snakes, lizards and a few more bugs.




6 thoughts on “Pretty Weird Stuff… Three Rivers Petroglyph Site

  1. Wow, these are really cool Curt! Sorry if I sound a bit ignorant 🙂 but how old are they? I had to do some research into Jamestown for one of my uni assignments, such a horrific place wasn’t it.

  2. Most of these petroglyphs were made between 900 and 1400 AD, Jayde. But some will have been more recent. And yes, things were tough in Jamestown. Life wasn’t easy for most of the first settlers. –Curt

  3. I didn’t know the origin of the name for jimson weed, and I didn’t know it could be deadly. I thought it was just stuff that make cows loopy. After seeing these past few posts, I’m definitely putting Three Rivers on the visit list. ~James

  4. I can’t quite get my mind around the boats and fish and such. Perhaps the rivers were more impressive back in the petroglyph day? I’m used to finding fossils in the hill country limestone, and can understand it being seabed. But that was much longer ago than the time of these folks. Clearly, the folks had experience of something more than desert, however they got that experience.

    • The folks at the site don’t know either. I assume it was made sometime after 1500 when Europeans begin sailing to the New World. Trade was widespread between the various Native American tribes reaching far into Mexico. A number of the petroglyphs show a relationship with the Aztec, for example. –Curt

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