Serpent and Stars
October 09, 2012
Photographer: Bret Webster
Summary Authors: Bret Webster; Jim Foster
The photo above shows a particularly long (approximately 9 ft or 3 m) serpent petroglyph found in the San Rafael Swell of east-central Utah. Very little has changed at this spot since the petroglyphs here were first painted some 2,000 years ago. The serpent, rock face and Milky Way look now much as they did then. San Rafael Swell, a weathered dome-shaped anticline, was pushed up to the surface during the Paleocene epoch. The petroglyphs or pictograms can be traced back to people of the Desert Archaic Culture and perhaps to people of the Fremont culture, more recent arrivals, who inhabited this area from about 1600 hundred years ago to 800 years ago.