Hohokam petroglyph rock art at Hayden Butte in Tempe


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Updated March 10, 2018

The petroglyphs on the rock outcrop shown here are an excellent example of rock art left by the Hohokam Indians, believed to have dwelt in the Valley of the Sun between 700 and 1450 A.D..

Most of the rock art on Hayden Butte Preserve is located on the south slope adjacent to the Arizona State University Sun Devils Stadium.  Sadly, many of these ancient works have been damaged by vandalism. As a result, signs now prevent the public from getting closer than about 100 feet away. I took the pics below with a telephoto lens and tripod to give you an up-close view.

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What’s the difference between a petroglyph and heiroglyph?

Petroglyphs are designs etched into individual boulders or rock outcrops, whereas hieroglyphs are scratched on the surface more lightly. Both were used by ancient people to get their message across, often depicting people, game (deer or bighorn sheep) or geometric patterns ranging from interconnected spirals to squiggles. Petroglyphs have withstood the test of time better, while fewer hieroglyphs are still visible today.

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See them for yourself here:

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