Newspaper Rock

Newspaper Rock, or Tse’ Hone as the Navajo named it, is a rock that tells stories in southeastern Utah. These stories, though, are somewhere around two thousand years in the making, and told through petroglyphs. People from the Archaic, Anasazi, Fremont, Navajo, Anglo, and Pueblo cultures have all added their carvings to this rock, covering an extraordinary timescale. We know that the prehistoric Archaic culture is there, and we know that some of the story was told after the Spanish arrived, and, of course, every time in between.

As with most rock art, however, we are not sure what is actually being said to us. The meaning of rock art is, by and large, dependent on when and where, and importantly, by whom, it was created as much as what the figures actually are: context is important. We are fairly confident of some symbols and their meaning, but even then, there are doubts. I think that perhaps this is best, for it gives us a chance to interpret the stories for ourselves.

As you look at this panel, one of the most extensive collections known, you’ll find a broad range of stories waiting for you to “read.” I hope they speak as strongly to you as they do to me.

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