Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Etched in Stone

One of the attractions we have visited here in Albuquerque is Petroglyph National Monument. The 17-mile-long West Mesa, a volcanic lava flow from 150,000 years ago, contains over 20,000 images pecked in stone.

Archaeologists estimate that most of the images were made 400 to 700 years ago by the ancestors of today's Native people. Some may be 2,000 to 3,000 years old. Others were made during the 1600s by the heirs of the Atrisco Land Grant. Other explorers and ranchers left their names and dates in the 1800s and 1900s. We hiked the 2.5 mile round-trip trail through Rinconada Canyon.

This is one of the more recent stone images.

My guess is, these are some of the oldest stone pictures.

The Monument brochure indicates that chipped images like these were probably done in the 1600s or later.

This looks like a drawing of a space alien--but I don't know how old it is.

We couldn't figure out these petroglyphs, either.

Is this Sponge Bob Square Pants?

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