October 1, 2011

Thompson Wash

A few miles south of the Sego ghost town, we found another variety of ghosts left by ancient Native Americans in their rock art.  The site is known as Thompson Wash.
The above figures are in the Barrier style, dating from about 4000 years ago.  The pictographs (painted on the rock with red dye) show anthropomorphic figures that are often larger than a man.  They often have a ghostly look, and are shown with snake-like figures.
In the same area are other figures in the Fremont style, dating from about 1500 years ago:
Fremont anthropomorphic figures are triangular, often shown with shields and necklaces.
The historic Utes also left their art, which is about 800 years old:
Note that some of the human figure appear on horseback, which means the art dates from after Spanish conquistadors brought horses onto the continent in the late 1400's.
This panel shows a mixture of styles, with some historic Ute or Fremont figures, and some cowboy/miner/tourist art dating from the 1880's. 
It's illegal, not to mention a real shame, to deface the rare remnants of ancient cultures, but some people just can't seem to resist making their mark. 


  1. I love this stuff. It is always fun to look at it with the eye to see a representation of alein intervention in the art which is easier done with the older work such as in the first two images. It is even more fun to stand there alongside other people and say "Gee, looks like a guy with a space suit on. And that over there. Sure looks like a spacecraft - a fly saucer doesn't it?" I've had people really go off with it and others who put in some distance between me and theirselves.

  2. You guys go on the best trail rides. :)

  3. Wonderful to see these pictographs, Janie. It always makes me imagine that long-ago time when they were painted on the rock. Who would deface this ancient treasure - FB, I guess.

  4. I stand totally in awe when I see these ancient wonders and think about just how long ago they were created. It gives me new respect for just how insignificant we are across the scope of civilization.

  5. Marvelous--one can only imagine what the various shapes/figures meant to the First Peoples. As NCMtnWoman pointed out, we tread the ashes of earlier peoples. And, if don't mess up too badly, future generations will tread on us.

  6. I just hate that FB messed that up. :( I haven't seen a pictograph quite like that before with what looks to be a sundial.

  7. I like it that you can get up so close to the petroglyphs. Your photos make me want to visit!



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