Here are a set of pictographs that are very similar in appearance. I’m not quite sure what they are, but they appear to be some sort of horned shield-like figures. They are both found in the Book Cliffs of Utah but are in different canyons. The funny thing about both of them is that I managed to stumble upon them when I was out searching for other pictographs. The one above I came across yesterday while I was searching for a ‘birthing scene’ pictograph and the one below I found a few months ago while searching for a very unique owl pictograph.
The Big Buffalo Panel near the confluence of Cottonwood Canyon and Nine Mile Canyon. I visited this one shortly before the sun dropped down below the rim of the canyon walls above. The bottom portion of this large panel is fading away with time, but the Big Buffalo and other figures higher off the ground remain and are still in good condition. There are many other unique and interesting panels in the area, including the well-known Great Hunt Panel.
Sego Canyon in the Book Cliffs contains three culturally distinct styles of rock art that are all in close proximity to each other: Fremont, Ute and Barrier Canyon Style. This site is well known and an easy side trip when you are travelling along I-70. Unfortunately, with easy access come vandalism and these panels are no exception to that rule. Thankfully, the main panels located here have been restored as best as could be done. However, some of the other panels in the vicinity have some severe damage.
The above photo is just a small portion of the very large Barrier Canyon Style pictograph panel located here. This is one of the more unique anthropomorphs located here and is surrounded by snakes on each side and many interesting circle figures. I know I’ll eventually be posting a wider view of this panel sometime in the future so you can see the full thing.
Since this site is not too far from home, and I’m usually driving past it almost every weekend, I end up stopping there at least a few times throughout the year…..it never gets old.
This is probably one of the most famous petroglyph panels around. The Great Hunt Panel in Cottonwood Canyon, a side canyon of Nine Mile Canyon, is an incredible display of Fremont petroglyphs. One theory about this panel is that the horned anthropomorphic figure near the middle and top of the panel may represent a hunt shaman with a herd of bighorn sheep during a migration and that the lines connecting all of the figures may represent consanguinity. Whatever the possible meaning behind this panel, the fact remains that it is a must-see site for any rock art enthusiast!
I received word from my friend Philippe this last weekend that the Robidoux Panel in the Book Cliffs was broken when he visited it at the beginning of his Southwest trip this year, so I just had to go see it for myself. On my way home from Moab on the solstice, I made the short detour and found that part of the panel had indeed broken off and fallen to the ground. I had last visited this panel on December 18, 2010 and it was all in one piece then.