Sunday, October 30, 2011

Rock Art in Rinconada Canyon

Rinconada Canyon is part of a long volcanic escarpment just west of Albuquerque.  It contains about 1200 petroglyphs pecked or carved into the dark basalt boulders.  There are no signs of permanent pueblo-type dwellings here, so the canyon was most likely a ceremonial destination for shamans seeking their spirit guides.  There are also later rock carvings and graffiti made by explorers, sheepherders, and other settlers who began arriving here after 1540.

Archeologists say that Ancestral Puebloans made most of this remarkable rock art 400 to 700 years ago.  Some may be as much as 2000-3000 years old.  Native people say they have been here since the beginning of time.  They also believe that the carvings choose when and to whom to reveal themselves.

Teddy and I were lucky that so many chose to reveal themselves to us on Saturday. Click here for a very small sample.