Dating the Rock Art
Although it is difficult to establish an exact age of rock art, some dating clues are easily identified. For example, whenever a horse and rider is depicted, we know the date to be after A.D. 1540 when the Spaniards reintroduced the horse to the New World. The presence of bows and arrows is presumed to indicate a date after A.D. 500, the generally accepted time period for their appearance in this region. For purposes of this guide, time periods are broken into generalized categories relating to the people believed to have made them.
What is Indian Rock Art?
There are two types of rock art: petroglyphs (motifs that are pecked, ground, incised, abraded, or scratched on the rock surface) and pictographs (paintings or drawings in one or more colors using mineral pigments and plant dyes on the rock surface). Although many images may have originally been executed as a combination of both techniques, most now appear only as a petroglyph because the paint material has faded or washed away over many years. On closer examination you might be able to see a painted design accompanying the pecked image. Examples of both types of rock art are found along the sites described in this guide. Each site is unique. The patterns and motifs may be similar, but are never quite the same. Styles vary from place to place, and from people to people.
Continue on Kane Creek Drive past the cattle guard, where the road turns from pavement to graded gravel road. After traveling 1.7 miles from the previous site, or a total of 5.3 miles from the intersection of Kane Creek Drive and 500 West, you will see two small pullouts suitable for single vehicles. If you are traveling with a large group, continue up the hill where more parking space is available and walk back to the site.
Approximately 75 feet west and down the slope from .he road, is a large boulder with rock art on all four sides. Figures and designs range from the Formative to the historic Ute period. The well known “birthing scene” is found on the left‑hand corner of the east side A the boulder (facing the road). Notice the feet-first presentation of the baby. Look for various animal forms, such as a centipede and a horse, bear paws and a snake, as well as triangular anthropomorphic (human) figures and a sandal trackway.