Petroglyphs at V bar V Heritage Site

Not far from Sedona, AZ is V bar V Ranch, which boasts (according to the docent) the most petroglyphs of any site in the Southwest.

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The docent told us a number of stories about the location, and offered explanations of the meanings of some of the glyphs, with the caveat that much of the interpretation comes from the modern day descendants of the people who left this record.  Those interpretations vary so widely as to be rendered almost moot.

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If you look closely, you will see bullet holes in a number of the above photos.  A sign of the disrespect that bored cowboys had for the history of the region.  By contrast, you can tell by the way the glyphs below are obscured by patina, that they are at least 1000 years older than the others around them.  These were left by the ancestors of the ancestors of the Navajo and Hopi.  What was significant to me is that they were left unmarked by the generations who came later. Respect.

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One more interesting story from the docent.  See that double squiggly line in the center of this rock face?  Well, nobody knew what it was until one day a visitor said, “Hey!  That is the Verde River!”  Turns out he was an avid ultralight flyer who was very familiar with the contours of the local waterway.  Sure enough, the docent found an aerial map of the Verde and put it side by side with a photo of the glyph.  1500 – 2000 years ago, someone managed to map this river, which was certainly the life blood of the valley, with astounding accuracy.

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