I find petroglyphs mysterious and magical. My attraction to the so-called primitive art started when I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa way back in the 60s. I use the words ‘so-called’ because the art carries an inherent power and a simple beauty— both of which were recognized by artists such as Matisse and Picasso in the early 1900s— that defies the word primitive.
Petroglyphs and pictographs have the ability to transport us into another world and time— and, in so doing, enrich our lives.
While I have two more posts on petroglyphs from other sites we visited on our Southwest tour last fall, I am wrapping up my posts on the Three Rivers Petroglyph National Recreation Site today. It is a special place that contains over 21,000 petroglyphs representing prehistoric Jornada Mogollon rock art created between 900 and 1400 CE. Peggy and I visited the area once before and will likely visit it again. Judging from our photos, we still have another 20,000 or so petroglyphs to find! (Grin) Aside from that, the beauty of the area alone would draw us back.
MONDAY’S POST: Think you have to go traipsing off to remote corners of the Southwest to find petroglyphs? Think again. The Petroglyph National Monument sits on the edge of Albuquerque, New Mexico. You can be there within 15 minutes from downtown.
14 thoughts on “Beauty and Mystery… The Three Rivers’ Petroglyph Site”
It is indeed, Cindy.
We visited the Petroglyph National Monument a couple years ago when we were out for the Balloon Fiesta, but it has been nearly 20 years since we saw Three Rivers. I had no idea it had so many petroglyphs.
A guide once went into great detail about the meaning attributed to some petroglyphs on the Colorado River in Utah only to finish by saying: “that is the great thing about them: you can call them anything you want and no one can prove you wrong.”
Three Rivers is just a matter of wandering and going beyond the trail. Most of these, minus some of the more exotic like the mountain lion are on or close to the trail, however, Ray.
Have really enjoyed your posts on petroglyphs.
The one that left you starry-eyed looks like a kokopeli or a frog to me.
You and Peggy find the most interesting geological places to visit. This one looks gorgeous! I like the clearing with the cottonwood trees, too.
Curtis, if you run out of American Indian petroglyphs to study and photograph, come to Australia and start on the Aborigine equivalents. You and Peggy will love them.
A bit jealous you got to see them, John. They have been on my bucket list forever. 🙂 and several of my followers from Australia have raved about them! –Curt
Beautiful and fascinating! Thanks! One more place for my bucket list.
Definitely worth a visit! And thank you. –Curt
It is, and thanks, Thom. –Curt
Gorgeous countryside! And I do admire your ability to see what the heck the petroglyphs are.
A very active imagination and a good guide book help, Alison. 🙂 I’ve also found the more I look at them, the more I see. –Curt