There’s Something Fishy about the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site

 

What’s an octopus doing at the Three Rivers Petroglyph site in south central New Mexico.

 

This, and my next post, will take us back to the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site in New Mexico. I am backpacking in the Sierra Nevada Mountains this week and will respond to comments next week. Thanks, as always, for following my blog and reading my posts. 

 

It’s really dry at the Three Rivers Petroglyph site in New Mexico, like desert dry, like 10 inches of rain a year dry! So what’s with the petroglyph of an octopus? It’s at least 800 miles to the nearest body of large water, the Gulf of Mexico, and a similar distance to the Pacific Ocean. I’d think it was one of strange aliens that rock artists like to portray if it weren’t for the three-masted ship with the guy in the stern also found at the Three Rivers site.

Check out this three-masted sailing ship and what appears to be a guy peering over the railing. Even the experts scratch there heads over this petroglyph.

Obviously, someone from the Jornada Tribe had traveled to distant lands and returned to share his or her experiences as rock art. Maybe several members of the tribe had travelled on such journeys. Peggy and I also found fish, a possible seal, and maybe even a whale among the petroglyphs. The frog is a bonus.

A seal perhaps.

There’s no doubt about this fish. But note the geometric patterns. I’ll return to this theme in my next blog.

This is the whale. At least that’s what I am going with. You can make out its mouth on the left and then eye, fin and fluke. This is another example  of fitting the rock art to the rock.

Slightly off subject but still associated with water, I had to put this frog somewhere! Is this one saying, “I need a hug!” ?

 

NEXT POST: Geometric forms among the petroglyphs of the Three Rivers Petroglyph National Recreation Site in New Mexico.

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20 comments on “There’s Something Fishy about the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site

  1. Obviously, someone from the Jornada Tribe had traveled to distant lands and returned to share his or her experiences as rock art. Maybe several members of the tribe had travelled on such journeys. Peggy and I also found fish, a possible seal, and maybe even a whale among the petroglyphs.

    But of course, we all know the story of Sacagawea, who was born in Idaho and wound up in North Dakota. There was a great deal of trade, as well as barriers to trade in pre-Colombian America. Our views of native people seems to oscillate between a racism that casts them as primitive to a romanticism that is equally as oppressive.

    They were who they were and because too many of their languages and traditions were lost or destroyed, we will never really know them.

    • Right you are. Fairly extensive trade networks existed. I am surprised that rock art expressing similar themes, isn’t found in other locations, at least from what I’ve seen. No written language places serious limitations on what we can learn, although archeology and modern science have upped the ante on what we can learn. –Curt

  2. That last one definitely looks like a tree frog!!
    [recently read an article about the architect who is supposed to design the new Smithsonian Museum. It says he met his better-half at Burning Man and how appropriate for the 2 of them. It’s gotten so no one can mention that event without me thinking of you. It was mentioned on a tv sitcom one day and my better-half couldn’t figure out why I chuckled.

  3. Frogs make good dinners. I suppose during those early times food might have been difficult to get. I wonder if some of those petroglyphs depicting animals, even marine creatures, were early forms of cook books?

    • Interesting thought, Gerard. There is no doubt that many of them related to hunting. As for frogs, my brother and I caught them as kids and they graced our dinner table many times. –Curt

  4. That three-masted ship really intrigued me — enough so that I did a little digging. I found several articles that claimed a Chinese connection. That’s weird enough that it reminded me of the runestones in Oklahoma, and the people who are convinced the Vikings showed up there first. Here’s one of the articles. A photo of the ship’s included, and several of the other glyphs you’ve posted about. A five-minute skim was enough for me, but what’s most interesting is how much research people are putting into this. Mysteries are compelling to everyone, it seems.

    • Thanks for sharing the article, Linda. People do love good mysteries, and there are certainly many of them to be found among petroglyphs. I can certainly understand the fascination that people have with them, from serious scientists to some pretty far-out speculators.
      I often find my research side-tracking me. A whole evening can disappear in a flash. You never know where the various threads may take you… often to some interesting places. –Curt

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