Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rock Art Series - Kings Canyon Wash, SNP

About two weeks ago, I went on a hike up Wasson Peak, located in Saguaro National Park west.  The trailhead, located right across the road from the AZ Sonoran Desert Museum, is 3.5 miles one way.  The trail crosses over a large wash on the southern slope of the mountains.  On the way back, I was struck by some large clumps of grasses forming a bright silhouette in the afternoon sun, so I jumped down to take some photos.  As I looked to the rocks on the side of the wash, my eye quickly caught some petroglyphs.  Additional inspection revealed multiple panels on both sides of the wash.

I found out later this is one of the 8 major sites located in SNP west whose location is not made public.  Reason:  vandalism and theft of the panels.  It is disheartening, and quite frankly, infuriating,  to find damage to these cultural resources.  Evidence of recent graffiti on adjacent rocks, using crayons or chalk, was also present.

Here is a selection of art from this site:

Snake form and mixed design

Hidden Sun
Easily overlooked, this design is simple but elegant

Snakes in Rock and Shadow
At least three petroglyphs have been pecked into the rock; was it just coincidence that the shadow cast by adjacent foliage produces a snake-like form that almost parallels the rock art?  Probably, but regardless, it makes an interesting mix.

Mixed figures
Curved and linear abstract shapes are seen on the front face of the rock, while additional work can be seen on the left face as well.

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