Saturday, December 13, 2014

Painted Rock Petroglyph Site

Just a few miles west of Gila Bend is the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, which is on BLM land and is a protected area.  There is also a camping area close to the area of these petroglyphs, but no hookups are available.  Still, it's a nice area in the desert and would be relaxing to camp there.

For some reason, all these boulders with petroglyphs are located in a mound, even tough the area is quite flat.  It also seems that most of the petroglyphs are on one side of this mound.  It seems that the people who were passing through or living there just left messages in one area. These rocks were easy to etch forms on because they were covered in "desert varnish" which is a coating that turns the rocks dark from wind, rain, sand and other elements.  They just scratched this coating away to show the lighter color of the rock.
Some of the larger boulders are so loaded with these historic writings that they seem to overlap.  No one really knows what meaning some of them are, but there are recognizable ones, such as a snake, lizard, man,  and other animals.

If you're in this neighborhood, it's worth a trip out to see these ancient messages, maybe stay a couple days at the campground.

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