Utah


Utah has many early people sites and a number of its citizens work vigorously to preserve them.  The geology of most of Utah, and in particular its red sandstone, is an excellent canvas for rock art and rock art sites abound.  Most of the glyphs at these sites were made by the Fremont Culture.

The McConkie Ranch Petroglyph Site is located a few miles northwest of Vernal, Utah in the northeast corner of the state in Dry Fork (access off of Dry Fork Settlement Road).   Vernal is only a few miles from Horseshoe Bend on the Green River.  

The many petroglyph panels at this site are etched or drawn (there are both petroglyphs and pictographs) on the tall cliffs of Navajo Formation sandstone.  The Three Kings Panel (pictured below) is about nine feet tall and is located high on the cliff face.  There are many other large glyphs at this site as well as an array of smaller  ones.  

These glyphs are from the Fremont Culture which inhabited the area from about 0 to 1300 CE.  There are several groups within the Fremont Culture, these glyphs were created by the Uinta Fremont.  The Classic Vernal style (named for the pottery the people of this time made) of rock art is prevalent at the site.  It is characterized by anthropomorphic (human-like) glyphs with broad shoulders and narrow waists.  They are often shown wearing necklaces.  Most of the glyphs shown in the photo galleries are of this style.  For example, the Three Kings Panel (below) is Classic Vernal.


The USDA Forest Service has published a document covering the art at this site and others in the Vernal area.

And the glyphs of the Vernal area are only a small portion of the glyphs found in Utah, from Sand Island is the southeast to Parowan Gap in the southwestern part of the state - Utah has a lot of glyph and settlement sites from the early people of the region.


© Robert Barnes 2019 - 2020