Photo of the Week: April 23, 2012

These are some of the many Ute petroglyphs found in the Hidden Valley near Moab, Utah.  Petroglyphs are rock carvings (rock paintings are called pictographs) made by pecking directly on the rock surface using a stone chisel and a hammerstone. When the “desert varnish” on the surface of the rock was pecked off, the lighter rock underneath was exposed, creating the petroglyph.

When I look at the petroglyph in the image above, I think of what might resemble a sheepherder and his flock, which fits the time frame in which these were carved during the late 1800’s.  During that time this area was used by ranchers for winter pasture.

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