Petroglyphs, a cryptic language of an ancient people, or clandestine religious symbols known only to the local shaman? Or, perhaps just a mark etched on a rock for posterity, similar to writing a note or a letter to a loved one.
There are many sites in Arizona where petroglyphs pepper the local terrain. Deer ValleyRock Art Center, in north Phoenix, preserves an array of iconic rock etchings not far from the civilized life of modern man. Petroglyphs abound as well in South Mountain Park. Further north, just west of Sedona, is the Palatki and Honanki Heritage Site where you’ll find an assemblage of pictographs. But the V-Bar-V Heritage Site in the Verde Valley hosts the largest collection of local petroglyphs.
A strikingly mysterious form of communication, petroglyphs will always fascinate those of us unable to translate their meanings. But one thing we know for sure, this symbolic writing expressed the ideas, feelings and perhaps the fears of people, and remained for thousands of years for future generations.
Why not make your mark for posterity? Write a note to your children, or grandchildren as a lasting keepsake, treasured for a lifetime and passed down to future generations and beyond.
To celebrate Arizona’s Archaeology and Heritage Month, attend some of the statewide events, sponsored by the Arizona State Parks. Or, if you’re out-of-state, just send a note to a loved one. Petroglyph note cards are available in the gift shop at Deer Valley Rock Art Center, or can be purchased by clicking on the “buy now” button below.