located near the west entrance of the park. It has some outstanding
examples of petroglyphs. In order to see it you must climb up a stairway
which is about 40 feet high.
The petroglyphs glyphs at Atlatl Rock are out in the open, visible to passers by, about 40
to 60 feet above the ground. The main panel is a relatively flat surface which
faces EXACTLY east. This was verified by taking compass readings from
several vantage points.
Atlatl Rock shows a set of images which appear to tell some kind of
story. There are many interpretations of these images. Some of the
interpretations are controversial.
No one will ever really know what any petroglyph that was made in
prehistoric times means. Through the means of ethnographic analogy,
anthropologists try to interpret the possible meanings of these images.
Atlatl Rock is intriguing because it contains images that we seem to
know the meaning of because they look familiar. The images we think
we know are mixed in with images that we can only guess at.
That is part of
what makes Atlatl Rock such a great puzzle and is the basis for its wide
we look at the specific elements we see feet, sheep, atlatl's, a cross, a
ladder, zig-zag lines, concentric circles and other images.
It seems possible to put these images to some kind of story. This is where the
concept of 'ethnographic analogy' comes in. Ethnographic analogy is the
interpretation of archeological remains by comparison to historical cultures.
The best analogies are those where there is a direct connection between the
historic and the prehistoric cultures. One writer suggests that Atl Atl Rock is a spear wound curing magic site.
is based an interpretation that is somewhat involved in the sense that it is not
based on a direct cultural comparison.