Abo Shield


This small pictograph depicts a shield. Abo Shield tells the story of those who created these drawings and how they connect our past to us.


Abo Shield, one of small set of pictographs, is tucked away in a field outside of Socorro, New Mexico.

It is hard to see, or find the pictographs. The location is relatively unknown, and there are no meaningful signs pointing the way. Although archeologically cataloged, they do not garner a lot of attention. No one knows for sure who left them, and, as with all rock art, no one knows exactly what the meaning is.

The pictographs represent the “Abo Style.” Shields, such as the one here, characterize the style.  Distinctly, they tend to have flat tops. And, quite significantly, these are polychromatic, meaning, essentially, painted in different colors.

We’re not sure how old this pictograph is, other than “very, very old,” quite possibly to dating before 1 BC. It is amazing that such art has survived for so long. This site survives because of a very fortuitous geologic location and modern day obscurity.

So what does it mean? That is for your interpretation, but the mask clearly represents something. If you find this site, or any site, it’s imperative that you don’t touch the art or anywhere around it. Sites like this are beyond fragile, and it is up to us to preserve them for the future.

Nearby Abo

Abo Night is nearby and worth the visit!

Additional information


Matted Photograph, Finished Aluminum