Petroglyphs in Inscription Canyon


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Edward Kemp, Photographer Atchison, Topeka & Sante Fe Ry inpe1201pe.jpg IN-PE-1201 B&W 1506.1201.0005 inpe1201pe Print 6x9 Historic Photographs 1930s Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives

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Petroglyphs in Inscription Canyon at Talking Rock Ranch, Williamson Valley.

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 (or patina) on the surface of the rock was chipped off, the lighter rock underneath was exposed, creating the petroglyph.

Talking Rock Ranch got its name from petroglyphs that can be found in Inscription Canyon, a part of Talking Rock.  These ancient Indian writings, or inscriptions, were probably made by the Patayan People, Yuman-speaking descendents of the archaic Hokan who traveled down the Pacific coast some 2,000 years ago, and then moved eastward into Arizona.  Extensive ruins were left by these people along Walnut Creek.  They are now protected and preserved by the curreny Yavapai People after the owners of Talking Rock Ranch donated the site to the Yavapai Tribe.

There are many places in Prescott and throughout Arizona where petroglyphs can be seen.

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