Monday, May 16, 2011

Betatakin Ruins Rock Art

The last part of a tour to the Betatakin Ruins site is to view the rock art along a short side trail in the right side of the giant alcove. It is a 5 mile round trip ranger guided hike to Betatakin Ruins at Navajo National Monument in northeast Arizona.

The most eye catching of the rock art is the pictograph of the deer next to a circular design with hand prints in between. There is a small ruin in front of the pictographs. The ranger guide suggested that this might have been the home of an important man in the village who was responsible for the symbols. This ruin is out from under the protection of the alcove and has deteriorated more than those inside.
The park brochure says that Betatakin was the ancestral home of the Deer, Fire, Flute, and Water Clans of the Hopi. The Hopi Reservation is about 50 miles south of Betatakin and it is thought that when Betatakin was abandoned around 1300, the people went to the Hopi mesas where they live today. These and the other sites in the Monument are links between the past and present.
Just to the right is a large circle divided into four quadrants with the northwest quadrant a tan color and the other three pinkish. There are some faint but large concentric circles to the right of the quadrant design.

Further to the right are petroglyphs of three or maybe four mountain sheep that are connected by dotted lines that form a triangle.
Returning back down to the main trail, there are more small petroglyphs of mountain sheep and a small person like pictograph.

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