Petroglyphs at Painted Rocks, Arizona


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Unknown Unknown inpe1209pb.jpg IN-PE-1209 B&W 1506.1209.0002 inpe1209pb Stereograph Print 4x6 Historic Photographs 1890s Reproduction requires permission. Digital images property of SHM Library & Archives

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Petroglyphs at Painted Rocks, Arizona.

The Painted Rock Petroglyph Site is a collection of hundreds of ancient petroglyphs near the town of Theba, Arizona, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

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.

The site provides visitors the opportunity to view an ancient archaeological site containing hundreds of symbolic petroglyphs produced centuries ago by prehistoric peoples. There are also inscriptions made by people who passed through during historic times. Several historic trails lie within the campground. The Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail, The Butterfield Overland Stage Route and the Mormon Battalion Trail are three trails that played prominent roles in the history of Arizona and the American West.

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