Atlatl Rock Petroglyphs - Valley of Fire State Park - Overton, NV
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Marine Biologist
N 36° 25.386 W 114° 33.032
11S E 719599 N 4033666
Quick Description: Atlatl Rock in the Valley of Fire State Park, located northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada, is known for the petroglyphs etched on it.
Location: Nevada, United States
Date Posted: 9/5/2013 2:48:49 PM
Waymark Code: WMJ0J9
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member fisnjack
Views: 13

Long Description:
Atlatl Rock has some very nice examples of ancient Indian petroglyphs, including a depiction of the atlatl, a notched stick used to throw primitive spears.

From the Sunset Cities website:

"Atlatl Rock is 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 appeal. If 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. This is based an interpretation that is somewhat involved in the sense that it is not based on a direct cultural comparison."

Type: Petroglyph

How did you find this "Ancient Evidence": Hiking

Terrain Rating:

Trailhead: Not Listed

Visit Instructions:

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Recent Visits/Logs:
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BFin visited Atlatl Rock Petroglyphs - Valley of Fire State Park - Overton, NV 4/11/2019 BFin visited it
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