"Voices of the Past" Petroglyph National Monument by goodfish

Petroglyph National Monument

130,000 years ago, a lava flow from six violent volcanic eruptions flowed over and around the waterways and hills in this area on the west side of Albuquerque. Over the next many thousands of years, slow erosion of the soft soils underneath the hardened lava eroded away to form canyons, and caused the heavy volcanic basalt to break into large pieces. Nomadic Hunter-Gatherers chased game through this region 10,000 years ago and later prehistoric peoples constructed earthen, multi-storied villages (like the one at Taos) and planted crops along the nearby Rio Grande. These ancestors of some of today's pueblo tribes painstakingly carved the majority of 25,000 images of plants, birds, animals, people and mysterious shapes into the tumbled, black stones within Petroglyph National Monument.

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Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Fascinating, inexpensive, easily accessible
  • Cons:Hot, shadeless, close to civilization
  • Last visit to Petroglyph National Monument: Sep 2008
  • Intro Updated Oct 14, 2011
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Reviews (15)

Comments (3)

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Oct 30, 2012 at 3:57 AM

    Interesting petroglyphs, but too bad some of them have been vandalized. Nice to hear about the macaw and trading routs.

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2010 at 12:22 PM

    Thanks for showing me what petroglyphs are. I think I've something like that in Namibia.

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    I would love to get see the petroglyphs here myself. Love adventures like this. Hope you have an exciting New Year.


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