Petroglyphs (also called rock engravings) are pictogram and logogram images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, and abrading. Outside North America, scholars often use terms such as "carving", "engraving", or other descriptions of the technique to refer to such images. Petroglyphs are found world-wide, and are often associated with prehistoric peoples. The word comes from the Greek words pert meaning stone, and glyphic meaning to carve, and was originally coined in French as petroglyphe.
The term petroglyph should not be confused with pictograph, which is an image drawn or painted on a rock face. Both types of image belong to the wider and more general category of rock art. Petroforms, or patterns and shapes made by many large rocks and boulders over the ground, are natural formations vs. those created by human design.
Most Petroglyphs, Pictographs, Cave Paintings, and Geoglyphs tell the story of creation using the same iconographic motifs no matter where they are fund on the planet. From ancient times to modern times human appear to be encoded with the same archetypes to explain their journey here from beginning to end.
Petroglyphs are sometimes easily defined based on the culture, religious beliefs, mythologies, and legends of an ancient civilization placed on rock formations for their descendants. Many ancient petroglyphs are thought to represent some kind of ritual language often depicting with the same archetypes and symbols. It is interesting that the same symbols are found in different parts of the planet created in timelines where the people could not have possibly interacted with each other. Some believe this could be mere coincidence, an indication that certain groups of people migrated widely from some initial common area, or indication of a common origin.
Some theories suggest that petroglyphs were made by shamans in an altered state of consciousness, perhaps induced by the use of natural hallucinogens. Many of the geometric patterns (known as form constants) which recur in petroglyphs and cave paintings have been shown to be "hard-wired" into the human brain; they frequently occur in visual disturbances and hallucinations brought on by drugs, migraine and other stimuli.
In Ancient Alien Theory one can easily see decisions of giant figures - some with head gear - visiting and intervening with smaller humans. Some appear to ascend into the spiral creation.
The term 'petroglyph' should not be confused with pictograph, which is an image drawn or painted on a rock face, both of which contribute to the wider and more general category of rock art. Petroforms, or patterns and shapes made by many large rocks and boulders in rows over the ground, are also quite different.
Petroglyphs were an important form of pre-writing symbols, used in communication dating to approximately the Neolithic and late Upper Paleolithic boundary, about 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Around 7,000 to 9,000 years ago, other writing systems such as pictographs and ideograms began to appear. Petroglyphs were still common though, and some less advanced societies continued using them much longer, even until contact with Western culture was made in the 20th century. Petroglyphs have been found in all parts of the globe except Antarctica with highest concentrations in parts of Africa, Scandinavia, Siberia, southwestern North America and Australia.
Rock art may Memorialize Ancient Contact between Atlantic and Mediterranean Ancient Origins - October 8, 2015
A meeting of the peoples of the European Atlantic coast and the Mediterranean coast may be memorialized in an ancient rock carving of a sailing vessel in the north of Spain. Sailing vessels were native to the Mediterranean, while rowing vessels were used on the Atlantic coast, where the petroglyph is located. Along the Atlantic coast of northwestern Spain in Galicia, is an unusually high concentration of rock art, according to Dig Ventures. This sailing vessel scratched into a rock surface in the Costa de Castros region is unique in the known Bronze Age rock art of the Atlantic coast, though many boats are depicted in rock art along that coast.
Coso Rock Art District, containing the Big and Little Petroglyph Canyons, is a rock art site containing over 100,000 Paleo-Indian and/or Native American Petroglyphs.
The Coso Range is between the Sierra Nevada and the Argus Range. Indian Wells Valley lies to the south of this location. This north-south trending range of about 400 square miles (1,000 km2) consists of rhyolitic domes and outcrops of volcanic rock. Also known as Little Petroglyph Canyon and Sand Tanks, Renegade Canyon is but one of several major canyons in the Coso Range, each hosting thousands of petroglyphs (other locations include Haiwee Springs, Dead End Canyon, and Sheep Canyon).
The majority of the Coso Range images fall into one of six categories: bighorn sheep, entopic images, anthropomorphic or human-like figures (including animal-human figures known as pattern-bodied anthopomorphs), other animals, weapons & tools, and “medicine bag” images.
Fortunately for the petroglyphs, most of the Coso Range is on the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, where visitation is restricted, vandalism is low, and preservation is most likely. China Lake is located near the towns of China Lake and Ridgecrest, California.
There are several other distinct canyons in the Coso Rock Art District besides the Big and Little Petroglyph Canyons. The most popular subjects are bighorn sheep, deer, and antelope. Big and Little Petroglyph Canyons were declared a National Historic Landmark in 1964. In 2001, they were incorporated into a larger National Historic Landmark District, called Coso Rock Art District. A November 2007 Los Angeles Times' Travel feature article includes it within a top 15 list of California places to visit.
'Winged Monster' Rock Art Finally Deciphered Live Science - August 18, 2015
The mystery surrounding the ancient rock paintings of Utah's Black Dragon Canyon has finally been solved. For decades, researchers and creationists have debated whether the vibrant red pictographs are images of humans and animals, or rather, depictions of a large winged monster, possibly a pterosaur.
Now, using cutting-edge technology, researchers suggest the red paintings show five separate images, including a tall bug-eyed person, a smaller person, a sheep, a dog and a serpentlike figure. The rock paintings belong to the agrarian Fremont culture (circa A.D. 1 to 1100). Other Fremont rock paintings - known as Barrier Canyon style - show abstract humanlike figures with elongated bodies and round heads, the researchers wrote in the study. These long figures are usually accompanied by tiny "attendants," including people, birds and four-legged creatures, such as hoofed animals, canines, felines, badgers and bears.
The fossils of pterosaurs, flying reptiles that lived from 228 million to 66 million years ago, are found in the region. Some creationists began saying that the painting was a real-life impression of pterosaurs that lived at the same time as humans, and a few people even tried to identify the species, saying it was Quetzalcoatlus northropi, a reptile with a wingspan of about 39 feet (12 meters), Bahn said. (Many creationists believe the Earth is just several thousand years old, instead of about 4.5 billion years old, and as such humans and dinosaurs would have lived together.) But to many researchers, the painted area clearly shows separate images, not a single image of a pterosaur.
Evidence of human habitation or use of the Thompson Springs area can be dated back to the Archaic Period, when beautiful Pictographs were left in Sego Canyon. Subsequent Anasazi, Fremont, and Ute tribes have also left their mark upon the area.
Thompson Springs is also the site of several well-preserved groups of pictographs and petroglyphs left by early Native Americans. The Fremont culture thrived from A.D. 600 to 1250 and was a contemporary with the Anasazi culture of the Four Corners area. There is also rock art from the Archaic period dating from 7000 B.C., the Barrier Canyon period from around 2000 B.C., and the Ute tribe dating from A.D. 1300.
Mythology: Hopi Ant People, Snake People, Blue Kachina, Star Gods
Mythology: Hopi Ant People, Snake People, Blue Kachina, Star Gods
Nevada petroglyphs the oldest in North America Yahoo - August 14, 2013
Ancient rock etchings along a dried-up lake bed in Nevada have been confirmed to be the oldest recorded petroglyphs in North America, dating back at least 10,000 years. The petroglyphs found on limestone boulders near Pyramid Lake in northern Nevada's high desert are similar in design to etchings found at a lake in Oregon that are believed to be at least 7,600 years old. Unlike later drawings that sometimes depict a spear or antelope, the carvings are abstract with tightly clustered geometric designs - some are diamond patterns, others have short parallel lines on top of a longer line. Scientists can't tell for sure who carved them, but they were found on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe's reservation land.
Dating Oldest Known Petroglyphs in North America Science Daily - August 13, 2013
A new high-tech analysis shows the oldest known petroglyphs in North America, which are cut into several boulders in western Nevada, date to at least 10,500 years ago and perhaps even as far back as 14,800 years ago. The petroglyphs located at the Winnemucca Lake petroglyph site 35 miles northeast of Reno consist of large, deeply carved grooves and dots forming complex designs on several large limestone boulders that have been known about for decades. Although there are no people, animals or handprint symbols depicted, the petroglyph designs include a series of vertical, chain-like symbols and a number of smaller pits deeply incised with a type of hard rock scraper. Benson and his colleagues used several methods to date the petroglyphs, including determining when the water level the Winnemucca Lake subbasin -- which back then was a single body of water connecting the now-dry Winnemucca Lake and the existing Pyramid Lake -- reached the specific elevation of 3,960 feet.
At the Ancient Ruins in West Central Idaho along the Snake River, the story of beings that came from the Stars and a Galactic War was recorded according to Indian Legend well over 30,000 years ago. The petroglyphs depict the beings that came, their interaction with the inhabitants of the ancient city, and the war and destruction that ensued. We are shown their ships which are curiously triangular in shape. Similar to those that have been recently sighted over Colorado, Arizona and California. We are also shown the portal through which the interdimensional beings came.
The waging of war between the Star Beings is recorded in the petroglyph to the right. The Star Beings and their counterparts, the two horned priests, are wreaking havoc upon the inhabitants of the Ancient City (represented by the smaller beings who are fleeing.)
This petroglyph is located on a rock adjacent to the rock shown above. It depicts the two horned Priest. It should be noted that the dumbbell shaped apparatus held in his hand may represent an archtimeter. Reference to this can be found in Alice Bailey's writings, as well as in the hieroglyphs of Egypt. These tools are said to have wielded the power of life and death.
This being is very similar in appearance to Quetzalcoatl who is the Deity in the fabled city of Chichen Itza in Mexico, renowned for its Mayan Pyramids. He is often depicted at the controls of an ancient airship sometimes triangular in design.
The Yei are supernatural Holy People who communicate between the Navaho and their gods. They are usually shown carrying pine boughs, yucca strips and rattles in healing ceremonies. Each petroglyph is hand crafted reflecting images and messages inspired by the Ancient Ones. Native stones are carefully selected for each petroglyph with no two alike.
Symbols from stone wall in the Village of the Great Kivas in New Mexico. Note the human, animal, snake and spiral figures were common to the area. Each petroglyph is hand crafted reflecting images and messages inspired by the Ancient Ones. Native stones are carefully selected for each petroglyph with no two alike.
Petroglyphs Left in Canada by Scandinavians 3,000 Years Ago? Epoch Times - August 24, 2015
Hundreds of petroglyphs are etched on a slab of crystalline limestone about 180-by-100 feet (a third the size of a football field) in Peterborough, Canada. They may have been left by Algonquin Native Americans about a thousand years ago, or by Scandinavian traders a few thousand years ago. The latter claim flouts the common understanding of history, which places Europeans in the New World much later. But it has had a few prominent supporters. They say that the depictions of animals, solar symbols, geometric shapes, boats, and human figures on the so-called Peterborough Stone reflect a style used in the Old World.
Cave paintings in Mexico: Carvings uncovered in Burgos
Archaeologists in Mexico have found 4,926 well-preserved cave paintings in the north-eastern region of Burgos. The images in red, yellow, black and white depict humans, animals and insects, as well as skyscapes and abstract scenes. The paintings were found in 11 different sites - but the walls of one cave were covered with 1,550 scenes. The area in which they were found was previously thought not to have been inhabited by ancient cultures. The paintings suggest that at least three groups of hunter-gatherers dwelled in the San Carlos mountain range. Experts have not yet been able to date the paintings, but hope to chemically analyse their paint to find out their approximate age.
Petroglyphs in Panama
Call this ancient rock carving 'little horny man' MSNBC - February 22, 2012
A stick figure man with a giant phallus dubbed "the little horny man" by its discoverers is the oldest rock carving found yet in the Americas, researchers say. These findings might shed new light on when the New World was first settled, scientists added. The time frame during which humans first reached the Americas remains hotly debated. One key to settling this controversy would involve uncovering early examples of human artifacts, such as art.
Scientists discovered one ancient sample of such art in a cave named Lapa do Santo in central-eastern Brazil. The region is home to Luzia, the oldest human skeleton found to date in South America. Lapa do Santo is one of the largest rock shelters excavated yet in the region, a limestone cave covering an area of about 14,000 square feet (1,300 square meters). Here, researchers have found buried human remains, tools made of stone and bone, ash from hearths, and leftovers from meals of fruit and small game.
'Little Horny Man': Rock Carving of Giant Phallus Discovered Live Science - February 22, 2012
A stick figure man with a giant phallus dubbed "the little horny man" by its discoverers is the oldest rock carving found yet in the Americas, researchers say. These findings might shed new light on when the New World was first settled, scientists added. The time frame during which humans first reached the Americas remains hotly debated. One key to settling this controversy would involve uncovering early examples of human artifacts, such as art. Scientists discovered one ancient sample of such art in a cave named Lapa do Santo in central-eastern Brazil. The region is home to Luzia, the oldest human skeleton found to date in South America.
The activity of painting or engraving rocks in Colombia may have begun before the formative period. The scarce references seem to refer to activities which occurred much sooner than just a few years before the appearance of Spanish conquistadors. The differences in rock art themes, the variety of zones, the diversity of picture forms and engravings, seem to indicate that there existed long periods of rock art activity from the Paleoindian to the classic Muisca times. More than 700 pictograph and petroglyph zones have been discovered. Some rural traditions and beliefs have developed from some of the rock art design.
Andean Rock Art Pointed to Festival Sites in 300 B.C. National Geographic - May 5 2014
Ancient residents of Peru laid down lines of rocks in the coastal desert that may have pointed to the sites of trade fairs, a new study suggests. The features date to around 300 B.C., centuries ahead of the famed Nasca lines.
Cave Painting Depicts Extinct Marsupial Lion
Live Science - May 11, 2009
Unusual Rock Art Trove Found in Australia
National Geographic - October 22, 2008
Europe is laced with megalithic monuments, cave art, and
petroglyphs, some of which has not been discovered or recorded.
Experts put date to UK rock art - 12,800 years
BBC - April 25, 2005
Stone Age petroglyphs Gobustan, Azerbaijan were not discovered by an archeological expedition. Their revelation came about quite by accident. In the 1930s, work was going on there in a stone quarry. The area is full of huge boulders and rock formations. One of the quarry workers noticed some unusual carvings on the rocks. The more the rocks were cut out, the more the paintings could be seen. (Before they had been hidden from view inside a huge pile of boulders.) Even more paintings were found inside what appeared to be man-made caves. Work at the quarry soon stopped so that the paintings could be examined more carefully.
In 1939, archeologist Isaak Jafarzade began the first archeological investigation of the petroglyphs at Gobustan. Between 1940 to 1965, teams identified and documented approximately 3,500 individual rock paintings on 750 rocks. The most ancient petroglyphs have been identified as belonging to the 12-8th century B.C. However, it is assumed that life existed here even earlier and that Gobustan was one of the cradles of civilization. This research was published in a book entitled "Gobustan" in 1978.
Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star Trails
Teimareh Petroglyphs and Star TrailsNASA - July 12, 2012
Thousands of Ancient Inscriptions and Rock Art Found in Jordan's Black Desert Live Science - November 21, 2016
Ancient Inscriptions Show Life Once Flourished in Jordan's 'Black Desert' Live Science - November 21, 2016
Thousands of inscriptions and petroglyphs dating back around 2,000 years have been discovered in the Jebel Qurma region of Jordan's Black Desert. They tell of a time when the now-desolate landscape was teeming with life. The inscriptions are written in Safaitic, an alphabetic script used by people who lived in parts of Syria, Jordan and Arabia in ancient times. Research is ongoing, but the archaeologists say their finds indicate that around 2,000 years ago, Jebel Qurma had trees, wildlife and a sizable human population.
5,000-Year-Old Nativity Scene Found in Egypt Live Science - December 26, 2016
Italian researchers have discovered what might be the oldest nativity scene ever found - 5,000-year-old rock art that depicts a star in the east, a newborn between parents and two animals. The scene, painted in reddish-brown ochre, was found on the ceiling of a small cavity in the Egyptian Sahara desert, during an expedition to sites between the Nile valley and the Gilf Kebir Plateau. The scene features a man, a woman missing the head because of a painting detachment, and a baby. The newborn is drawn slightly above, as if raising to the sky. Such position, with the baby not yet between the parents, would have meant a birth or a pregnancy. On the upper part is a headless lion, a mythical beast which appears in several rock art drawings from the same area, while below in the scene a baboon or an anthropomorphic monkey can be seen. In the east, the Neolithic artist drawn what appears to be star. The researchers called the site the "Cave of the Parents." No doubt it's an intriguing drawing. They didn't find similar scenes until the early Christian age.
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