A Canvas for Ideas

A Canvas for Ideas (HM1AZE)

Location: Chambers, AZ 86502 Apache County
Buy Arizona State flags at Flagstore.com!
Country: United States of America
Buy United States of America flags at Flagstore.com!

N 34° 58.473', W 109° 47.629'

  • 0 check ins
  • 0 favorites
The dark coating on the boulder below you is desert varnish - a concentration of mineral, clay, and organic material that accumulates over time. Prehistoric artists created rock art by exposing the lighter material underneath. But what do these symbols mean? Unlike contemporary writing, petroglyphs are not letters or sounds. Instead they represent the ideas of the artist. Like all of us, the creators of these petroglyphs were trying to communicate with the world around them.

Present day indigenous oral traditions help us understand what petroglyphs might mean. Members of the Zuni tribe believe that this rock art depicts clan ties of the artist - perhaps a mother from the Crane Clan and father from the Frog Clan. An alternative Hopi interpretation recalls stories of a giant bird that came to villages to eat bad children.

What do you think large bird pytroglyph represent? Visitors often say "a stork and a baby," which is a European oral tradition with a different cultural history. Yet the image is similar to a native bird at Petrified Forest. The white-faced ibis is a water bird that eats frogs and other small animals. If you look closely, you can see what might represent water drops below the frog. Instead of a literal interpretation, this petroglyph likely represents aquatic resources and fertility. Around the world, people in arid regions show reverence and give thanks for water through symbols such as fish, tadpoles, and dragonflies. What do you think that these symbols might represent?
Placed ByPetrified National Forest Services
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, September 20th, 2014 at 4:36am PDT -07:00
Sorry, but we don't have a picture of this historical marker yet. If you have a picture, please share it with us. It's simple to do. 1) Become a member. 2) Adopt this historical marker listing. 3) Upload the picture.
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12S E 610103 N 3870885
Decimal Degrees34.97455000, -109.79381667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 58.473', W 109° 47.629'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 58' 28.38" N, 109° 47' 37.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)928
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 301-399 Petrified Forest Rd, Chambers AZ 86502, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

Is this marker missing? Are the coordinates wrong? Do you have additional information that you would like to share with us? If so, check in.

Nearby Markersshow on map
Check Ins  check in   |    all

Have you seen this marker? If so, check in and tell us about it.

Comments 0 comments

Maintenance Issues
  1. Is this marker part of a series?
  2. What historical period does the marker represent?
  3. What historical place does the marker represent?
  4. What type of marker is it?
  5. What class is the marker?
  6. What style is the marker?
  7. Does the marker have a number?
  8. What year was the marker erected?
  9. This marker needs at least one picture.
  10. Can this marker be seen from the road?
  11. Is the marker in the median?