I am still off celebrating my birthday week. Since I am in my seventh decade, I get seven days. I started the practice way back when I was a youngster of 50. I took five days off each year during that decade and made darn sure they were work days. Being retired, I have more flexibility. (Grin) What this means now is that I am reposting another blog from my past. This one is from 2017 so several of you may have already seen it. Not to worry. These petroglyphs are alien enough they are worth visiting again. Looking at them again, I thought of the post I just did on shamans of Three Rivers. Check out the photo below. Does it get stranger than this? Enjoy.
Zipping along Interstate 70 in Utah, you might very well decide to take a detour and visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. It is a decision you will never regret. The odds are, however, that you will miss the small road that extends north of the Arches turnoff heading toward the town of Thompson Springs. In so doing so, you will miss the opportunity to visit one of the most magical and mysterious rock art sites in the Western United States: Sego Canyon.
Three different historical periods are represented in the rock art here dating back over a period of 6,000 years. The most fascinating to me are the pictographs left behind during the Archaic period by nomads who roamed the area from 8,000 to 2,000 years ago. The large, anthropomorphic forms that are painted on the rock normally lack eyes, arms and legs but may come with antennae, snakes and earrings. Known as the Barrier Canyon Style, it’s hard not to think of these pictographs as alien, or at least imagine a shaman encountering these creatures on a drug induced journey into an alien world.
The Fremont Culture took over from the Archaic period and lasted from 600 CE to 1200 CE. Unlike the nomadic Archaic peoples, the natives of the Fremont period grew corn, lived in permanent stone buildings, and had a complex social structure. Most of the rock art they left behind is in petroglyph form, pecked into rather than painted on the rock.
And finally, we have the more modern Ute Culture that populated the area from 1300 to 1880 CE, when the Utes were forced out of their homes and onto Indian Reservations so pioneers could grab their land. One way to distinguish petroglyphs from this period is the presence of horses, which the Spaniards brought to North America in the Sixteenth Century. In fact, horses are a major tool used in dating rock art.
NEXT POST: It’s all about snakes. I hope you like creepy crawlies. I do.
26 thoughts on “Sego Canyon… Do Petroglyphs Get Any Stranger?”
I love this! Thank you
Thanks Steven. Glad you enjoyed it. The glimpse we get of ‘other’ worlds though petroglyphs is fascinating. –Curt
So glad to see all these drawings — and there must be hundreds of them, maybe thousands if you count around the world. I’m now wondering if the “tagging” that I abhor on buildings and railway cars will last as long as these drawings. Oh, my. That just sends chills up my spine!
Imagine some archeologist of the future coming on those taggings, Rusha, and interpreting our civilization by them. 🙂
Isn’t that the truth! I once gave an assignment to my students in 11th grade English: If the world ended and outer space travelers landed on earth and all they found was the book you just read, what would be their impression of life here? Got some interesting answers on that one!
A good approach. Helped the students think outside of the box. –Curt
Strange but very wonderful.
I’ll go along with that, AC. –Curt
Well it’s quite obvious to me that the first picture of of Dolly Parton’s ancestor was there with one of her wigs. 🙂
Obvious to you, maybe, G. 🙂
Fun to try and interpret.
It is Cindy. And I have a good book to help: “A Field Guide to Rock Art Symbols of the Greater Southwest” by Alex Patterson. –Curt
We are in a period of transition – we settle on a new home tomorrow – so I might take some time off myself and perhaps re-post some old material. Your post proves it is still of interest.
Here is a blog by a fellow you might be interested in: he is in his 70s although perhaps younger than us; likes travel; and like you is a hiker. https://canada365.wordpress.com/2020/03/04/spanien-sitzend-geniessen/
With over 900 posts, I could keep it up for a while, Ray! Good luck on your move. Always one of life’s great challenges. At least that is what I think about moving. –Curt
I’m a great believer in birthday seasons myself. If we get a Christmas season and an Easter season, we surely deserve our very own birthday seasons!
Your ‘take me to your leader’ reference reminded me of a very old cartoon — probably from the 60s. A very large, exceedingly tall flying saucer had landed, and a very small human at its base was looking up at a rather fetching space creature. That’s when he said, “Take me to your ladder. I’ll see your leader later.”
Yes we do Linda. I’ve been practicing faithfully since my 40s. It didn’t take Peggy long to catch on and begin to demand equal time. 🙂 Of course we both benefit. I help her celebrate and she helps me celebrate. Double your pleasure, double your fun!
Ba-da-boom for sure. Grin. –Curt
I’d love to visit Sego Canyon. I reckon that first pic includes a set of cricket stumps.
If you are up in the area, Peggy, it is a quick detour.
And you have to enlighten me on “cricket stumps.” 🙂 –Curt
Did you ever read the book “Chariots of the Gods”? Your post reminded me of it.
I haven’t Andrew, but I am familiar with his theory. I’ve always felt that it is not outside the realm of possibility. Would be interesting, huh. –Curt
Sacred place… seems like that whole area is.
Yes, it is, Arati. No doubt about it. Still is. I’ll have to post some more photos of the area. –Curt
Happy Birthday! Enjoy your seven days!
Thanks. Appreciated. –Curt
So fascinating! Thanks for this series.
You are very welcome, Kelly! 🙂