Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I found it interesting that there is no widely accepted method of dating petroglyphs. These petroglyphs in Petroglyph National Monument, NM, were etched into dark basalt boulders that were created by six volcanic eruptions. The rocks were originally light gray in color until water, sun, heat, cold and microbes coated them with black "desert varnish. " The process reminded me of carving into scratchboard in art class.

Another little tidbit I found interesting was the mention of a severe drought that struck the Southwest between AD 1275 and 1300 causing people to relocate near water sources. I think I noticed one lake in all of the miles we traveled. But I did see a big river and streams cutting through ancient Pueblo habitat. It made me wonder where New Mexico gets their water.

Archeologists believe Ancestral Pueblos carved most of the 20,000 images between AD 1300 and 1600. Try as I might, I could not find a rattlesnake anywhere in the desert. Next time, I'll post a few pictures of wildlife that I did find.

I expect I'll be getting my article back soon, all red and bleeding from the wounds of a beaten first draft.

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