Yesterday Peter and I took a day trip to V-Bar-V Ranch near Sedona AZ. We love to visit ruins and see petroglyphs while we look for real birds and interesting textures of nature.
In 1994, the U.S. Forest Service acquired the V-Bar-V Ranch to protect the ancient art panels found here. The property was first homesteaded at the turn of the century (1900’s) by the Taylor family. Several families ran the property as a working cattle ranch after that.
We checked in with the ranger and took the short walk to the very large configuration of rocks on the sandstone bluff. It was covered with petroglyphs- 1032 have been identified so far. Most were pecked, ground or scratched into the rock between 1150 and 1400 A.D. (over 800 years ago). The Sinagua people who created these images seemed to like pairs – 2 birds, lizards and humans with different sets of legs- and we found several of these pairs.
By watching the movement of light across the rock images, the people could tell when to plant crops, when to harvest and when to start certain ceremonies. They created a calendar to track solstices and equinoxes.
The area that captured my attention most was a long slender rock that resembled a figure. It was lighter in color than the surrounding rock and shows manmade tool marks on the sides and head area. There are also areas where the dark rocks on each side of the figure’s head have been chipped away allowing the figure to be more prominent. We have no idea if that is what the Sinagua people really intended but it certainly makes me hope so!
Looking at the figure from different angles shows the complexity of the shape. I’m fascinated by this early group of people who made picture stories of daily life, religious beliefs and created the art we see today. Art is such an integral part of humans and we need to nurture it.
|Shows the size of the figure compared to Peter.|