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Ancient petroglyph of a bear hunt

Ancient petroglyph of a bear hunt

C041/5601

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Credit

DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVID PARKER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Petroglyphs of a bear hunt, Canyonlands, Utah, USA. Archaeologists date rock art of this region into 2 periods, Archaic 6,000-1,000 BC, and Fremont 450-1,300 AD. Three human figures with bow and arrow can be seen at the nose, feet and back of the bear, they appear to be protecting the 3 Big Horn sheep. These petroglyphs were 'pecked' with a sharp stone into the 'desert varnish' coating on the surface of the sandstone. Native American groups ascribe religious functions to some of the rock art panels and consider them to be sacred sites and may be interpreted as depictions of migration routes, fertility, hunting magic, ceremonies and cosmic events.

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