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Three Rivers Petroglyph site is one of the few locations in the southwest set aside for it's r


What are Petroglyphs? Are they like Pictographs? Well, we are here in Three Rivers to find out!

Petroglyphs and pictographs represent two distinctive methods for making rock art. Petroglyphs are carved or pecked into an exposed rock surface, while pictographs are painted onto those surfaces.

So it's like this, long before writing was developed, people recorded events, ideas, plans, and feelings by marking them on a rock. Kinda like Olive did on my walls up until the age of two.

Sometimes the Native Americans carved into the stone. Sometimes they scratched off a surface coating. Sometimes they painted on the rocks. Our artist in residence, Olive, was in HEAVEN!

Having 21,000 pieces of art to discover here, we enjoyed the hunt and got lost in the search. Again, more than 21,000 glyphs of birds, humans, animals, fish, insects and plants, as well as numerous geometric and abstract designs are scattered over 50 acres of New Mexico's northern Chihuahuan Desert.

After this educational experience, I can now remind my children, 'look, it could be worse, you could have to use the hammerstone process to illustrate your work!'. It's an interesting creative process, the Petroglyphs are indeed rock carvings made by carving directly on the rock surface using a stone chisel and a hammerstone. When the desert varnish on the surface of the rock was chipped off, the lighter rock underneath was exposed, creating the petroglyph. A lot of work!

We knew what to look for, pictures right??? What we didn't know was, what exactly we were looking at, and the history.

The Three Rivers Petroglyphs are in New Mexico and the site is one of the few locations in the Southwest set aside solely because of its rock art. It is also one of the few sites that gives visitors such direct access to petroglyphs.

The number of petroglyphs here make it one of the largest and most interesting petroglyph sites in the desert southwest.

Most of the petroglyphs here decorate a long, basalt ridge rising from the upper Tularosa Basin at the base of the Sacramento Mountains. That's some mileage!

Thankfully a detailed petroglyph guide was available at the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site along with a wealth of information from the resident Park Ranger.

The rock art at Three Rivers, dating back to between about 900 and 1400 AD, were created by Jornada Mogollon people. This fact blew our minds. The art still stands, the stories still told. Unbelievable!

The skies were blue, the art abundant, the day - unforgettable.

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