A petroglyph is an image carved or etched into rock. Essentially, a petroglyph is made by scratching away the uppermost surface of a rock to reveal rock of a different color underneath. The petroglyph is among the earliest known forms of art and record-keeping, and prehistoric petroglyphs exist around the globe, some dating back as far as 10,000 years.
Petroglyph National Monument, just outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, protects a variety of cultural and natural resources including volcanos, archeological sites and an estimated 20,000 carved images. Many of the images are recognizable as animals, people, brands and crosses; others are more complex. These images are inseparable from the cultural landscape, the spirits of the people who created, and who appreciate them.
This ecosystem has a diverse population of plants, shrubs and trees which have adapted to live in the desert. It is home to a diverse population of mammals, reptiles and rodents. Also, fissure volcanoes can be seen on the mesa top which offer a rare look at geologic features of the Rio Grande Valley.
The presence of early American Indian activity can be found throughout the monument. The images left behind on the rocks tell the stories of those people who visited long ago. American Indian and Spanish Explorers were common visitors to the mesa and Rio Grande Valley.
Ed and I loved to visit the petroglyphs. Everytime we'd go, we would always find some different to observe. Here are a few pictures of these petroglyphs.
My hubby, Ed, with camera in hand, inspects a petroglyph.