History on the Rocks

Petroglyphs are prehistoric carvings made in stone. Native American petroglyphs in the southwestern region of the United States range from 300-2,500 years old.

These etchings in the rock illustrate that humans across time have been using icons to communicate and retell events of the local history and traditions.

While many petroglyphs appear familiar in nature (a deer or a man), the actual meanings are not well understood by modern society. It should be noted that petroglyphs also aren’t Native graffiti! These symbols communicate to us the complex societies of ancient tribes. They’re part of the sacred landscape where tradition and ceremony still run deep.

To see some of these ancient carvings in the area, visit the Kaibab Petroglyphs in Williams, AZ. The Tusayan Ruins located in the Grand Canyon National Park is another great spot to visit. There you’ll see dwellings of Puebloan Native Americans from around 1185 A.D.