The scientific tourist #144 — Newspaper Rock National Historical Site

On the drive from Moab, Utah to the Needles district of Canyonlands National Park:

Newspaper Rock, Utah

As you can see from the wildflowers at the bottom of the frame, this is a ground-level attraction. And you can easily walk up to it from a roadside parking lot. From the accompanying placard:

Newspaper Rock is a petroglyph panel etched in sandstone that records approximately 2,000 years of early man’s activities. Prehistoric peoples, probably from the Archaic, Basketmaker, Fremont and Pueblo cultures, etched on the rock from B.C. time to A.D. 1300. In historic times, Utah and Navajo tribesmen, as well as Anglos, left their contributions.

There are no known methods of dating rock art. In interpreting the figures on the rock, scholars are undecided as to their meaning or have yet to decipher them. In Navajo, the rock is called “Tse’ Hane'” (rock that tells a story).

Unfortunately, we do not know if the figures represent story telling, doodling, hunting magic, clan symbols, ancient graffiti or something else. Without a true understanding of the petroglyphs, much is left for individual admiration and interpretation.

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2 Responses to The scientific tourist #144 — Newspaper Rock National Historical Site

  1. Raymond Ho says:

    Great article! I’ve included it on this week’s edition of Four Stone Hearth. Check out the post here:
    .-= Raymond Ho´s last blog ..Four Stone Hearth 103 =-.

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