Road Trip: Sedona, Pictographs and Petroglyphs

In Sedona, we went to visit the Palatki ruins, which feature pictographs (images painted on rocks) and a few petroglyphs (images carved on rocks).

The area was inhabited by a tribe called the Sinagua (in Spanish, that means “without water”) around 650 AD, although some of the paintings and carvings date from 3000 – 6000 years ago.

I love petroglyphs and pictrographs from the Southwest, but these are significant because of the variety–black painted figures, white painted figures, scratches in the rock (petroglyphs), red figures, animals, hands, geometric and landscape paintings…

As with most rock carvings and paintings, it’s hard to interpret now what they meant to the artists. It’s thought that the repetitive scratching were ritualistic acts performed by shamans; the antelope and other animals may have been prey.

Petroglyph (rock carving) at Palatki ruins, Sedona


Sedona Pictograph with black figures


Sedona Pictograph with black and white figures