Roadtrip - Petroglyph National Monument–Albuquerque NM

This was a stop that Connie and I made along our journey from NH to Las Vegas. Located in Albuquerque New Mexico, this 7,100 acre monument, on an escarpment just west of the Rio Grande, contains some of the nation's largest natural displays of prehistoric artwork. Anasazi nomadic hunters etched the various drawings and messages onto the black basalt boulders of the area. It has been estimated that there are more than 24,000, ancient rock drawings, some dating back thousands of years. I only wish we had more time to spend here on our way through this area.
Background: This National Monument protects a variety of cultural and natural resources including five volcanic cones, hundreds of archeological sites and an estimated 24,000 images carved by Ancestral Pueblo peoples and early Spanish settlers. Many of the images are recognizable as animals, people, and crosses while other geometric figures are more complex. The rock art of Petroglyph National Monument dates back thousands of years. Many carvings have distinct meanings and context and are intricately tied to the overall sacred landscape. To the local Pueblo groups — the Cochiti, Jemez, Sandia, Santa Ana, and Zia — the petroglyphs are a place where messages are conveyed between ancestor spirits and the living. The Pueblos’ ancestors chose this spot because of the dramatic alignment of five volcanoes — a place “born with Mother Earth’s great labor and power,” according to Weahkee. Since the first drawings were made on the rock, the petroglyph area has been used as a place for holding ceremonies, gathering medicinal plants, and offering thanks. Traditional ceremonies still take place today
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