Messages in the Rocks #3 – Crooked River Petroglyph!

Rocks are like little history books – sometimes what they’re made of can tell us a lot, and sometimes they record other kinds of history for us!

Here’s a photo of a very special rock at the Cove Palisades. It’s saying something – can you figure out what it’s telling us? I’ll give you a hint – the messages are in another language!

cp5c

This rock is whispering about the secrets of the past.

The amazing basalt boulder is called the Crooked River Petroglyph, and used to reside on the western flank of the Crooked River, not far from the northern tip of The Island. The 18-ton rock was nearly covered by water as Lake Billy Chinook filled in 1964, but was rescued and put on display.

The carvings, called petroglyphs (whereas paintings are known as pictographs), are at least 2,000 years old but reflect a style of carving that is nearly 6,000 years old. People often ask what’s pictured on the rock, but the truth is, we don’t know. Some of these carvings were done by participants during profound spiritual ceremonies; other carvings were designed to warn of particular danger, or to represent an entity protecting the area.

We’ll never know what our petroglyph means, and that’s okay. We live too far out of time and context to understand the drawings, but we can still honor this piece of history by respecting it and the people descendent of its makers. The Warm Springs Confederated Tribes, which include the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Paiute, are still here; they have a vibrant culture reflected in this beautiful high desert landscape, both in material and abstract ways. For more information, visit the Museum at Warm Springs, just about 30 minutes north of the park. (Fun fact to share: the outside of the building is designed in symbols important to the tribes – the round front entrance reflects the opening of a drum, and the brick work around the main building is in the style of a traditional Klickitat basket weave!)

Another way we can honor the history of the first people here is by preserving their art: so we ask visitors to never touch rock art of any sort, as it’s damaged by the oils and salts in our skin. Never graffiti or carve on rock art, or make rubbings of carvings. The two things we’d like you to take from the ancient site are photographs to share, and a respect for all indigenous cultures!

What do you see in the stone? Come visit the petroglyph and see if it has something to tell you!

About coveranger

"One's happiness depends less on what he knows than on what he feels." - Liberty Hyde Bailey

Posted on August 23, 2013, in History and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I see a trilobite. Really like the new blog look!

  2. Wonderful art work. Glad that U are preserving and sharing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Cove Rattler

A RANGER BLOG FOR THE COVE PALISADES STATE PARK

Columbia River GORGEOUS

Ranger's blog for state parks in the Columbia River Gorge

NAI Region 10

NAI R10 is a nonprofit professional organization serving NAI members in Alaska, Yukon, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Our mission is to inspire leadership and excellence to advance heritage interpretation as a profession.

A RANGER BLOG FOR THE COVE PALISADES STATE PARK

High Desert Musings

A RANGER BLOG FOR THE COVE PALISADES STATE PARK

Oregon Observatory RSS

A RANGER BLOG FOR THE COVE PALISADES STATE PARK

Nature Into Action

Connecting with the Natural World

STEAM - EDUCATION

Science rocks!

Pristine farm experience

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Northwest Renewable News

Your Daily Source for Renewable Energy News in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana & Northern California

Volunteer Voice

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

Cottonwood Canyon State Park

Help make an Oregon State Park

Your Parks "Go Guide"

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department

%d bloggers like this: