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Ancient rock art petroglyphs decorate a basalt boulder at the Deer Valley Rock Art Center, near Phoenix, Arizona.

   This boulder, at the Deer Valley Rock Art Center, is literally covered with ancient petroglyphs.  Operated by Arizona State University's Department of Anthropology, the Center preserves over 1500 such works of art.
   Petroglyphs are symbols or drawings created by pecking through the layer of desert varnish which coats many rocks in arid climates (as opposed to pictographs, which are painted onto rocks).  According to studies at the site, the petroglyphs here were created between about 10,000 and 700 years ago, by peoples we now refer to as pre-Archaic, Archaic, , and Patayan.
   When people speak of rock art, especially in the Southwest, these are the types of stone markings to which they most commonly refer.  But, as you can tell if you have explored this website, we include many other kinds of art involving rocks.
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   Return to the map of "Rock Art in the Valley of the Sun" for more view locations.
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  There are currently 4 different views in this sequence.
  If you are interested in ancient rock art, you can read my review of an excellent book on the subject, "Landscape of the Spirits", on the GeoStories page.
  There, you can also read my short GeoStory™ about Hohokam rock art as well as some from modern days in "Rooms with a View".   It is in PDF format, so you can print it off easily if you like.

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