The Treasures of Three Rivers Petroglyphs
On our way home from a trip to Austin, we drove up the middle of New Mexico to visit the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, located north of Tularosa. It has outstanding examples of prehistoric rock art made by the Jornada Mogollon people. The basaltic ridge contains over 21,000 petroglyphs including masks, sunbursts, wildlife, handprints, and geometric designs.
We can only speculate as to the meaning of individual petroglyphs, but it is difficult not guess at what some might mean.
Most likely they were made at different times by different people. I always wonder about the status of the people who made them. Not everyone would have to talent to create these. Perhaps the makers were considered to be shamans or had a particular status among their people.
It is amazing to me to see these and realize how old they are and how difficult they must have been to make using only stone tools to scratch away the dark surface and reveal the lighter stone within.
It is always sad to see the damage people have made by trying to chip them away or shoot at them with guns.
The mountain you see in the distance should be covered with snow at this time of year but we have had almost none this winter.