In this video, we walk among ancient Native American petroglyphs at the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site in New Mexico
Walk with fine art photographer Keith Dotson as he explores ancient petroglyphs at the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site in New Mexico.
This site contains nearly 21,000 petroglyphs, which are images scratched onto stone, whereas a pictograph is painted onto the surface of the rock. At Three Rivers the images are scratched into the reddish brown desert varnish that coats all these stones.
These petroglyphs were created by the mysterious Jornada Mogollon people, who scholars think have no modern descendants in the region. They are apparently not related to the Navajo, Hopi, or Apaches, or other modern peoples. No one is sure where they came from, or why they left.
What do the symbols mean?
The exact meanings of the petroglyphs is unknown. While we may consider this to be rock art, to the ancients it was not considered art, but rather was probably ceremonial or religious in context. Some of the symbols seem to be intended for place marking or wayfinding purposes.
Photographs of some of the petroglyphs at Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, New Mexico
Below are some iPhone photographs of select art found at Three Rivers
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