New Obsession: Waterglyphs

Double glyph that I found in Kanab, UT

There’s a new type of petroglyph that I’m currently obsessed with 😁. These very distinct rock carvings are seen around the Arizona Strip region of the northern Southwest. And here in Kanab where I live, there’s a whole bunch of them — and I’m on a quest to find them all. ALL

So what ARE these glyphs, exactly? The locals call them water glyphs, because often they are found on rock outcroppings at the tops of mesas either pointing to or overlooking a water source. But, after finding a bunch of them, I’m not so sure that they have anything to do with water. I mean, why would Native Americans (research by Michael Louis Terlep in a 2012 thesis concluded that these petroglyphs date between the Basketmaker II and Pueblo II periods – 500 BC-1150 AD) need to carve into a rock to indicate water? Water is either seen easily from the glyph, or nearby and not hard to find.

Stumbled on this one during one of my trail runs 👍

The more proper name for these glyphs are “cup and channel”. As noted in Terlep’s thesis, “Cup and channel petroglyphs generally consist of several deeply pecked elements: a large circular or oval element measuring 35 cm to 75 cm in diameter; a narrow linear element, measuring from 2 to 5 cm wide, that spans the diameter of the circle; a wider exterior linear element, measuring from 10 cm to 150 cm long, by 6 cm to 10 cm wide, and up to 6 cm deep, continuing from the end of the interior line and circle; and one to four cupules measuring 3 cm to 7 cm in diameter.”

Another cool one hangin’ off the side of a rock – found on a trail run

The kiddos helped me find this RAD rad rock

I’m excited to find more of these fascinating petroglyphs. Keep following me to how I do 🙂 And, what do YOU think they mean?

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