Capitol Reef’s Freemont Petroglyphs

Our first stop in Capitol Reef National Park was the Fremont Petroglyphs, a personal favorite. As long-time readers are probably aware, Loren loves petroglyphs. I’ll drive as far to see petroglyphs as I do to see unusual birds.

I’ve managed to see a lot of sites and read several books on the subject over the years, but I was surprised by some of the figures I saw in Capitol Reef.

I’ve never seen human figures with “horns” on the top of their head like these figures.

The second figure from the left in this close-up was particularly fascinating.

It almost seems like an animal head on a human body, though I have no idea what kind of animal has horns and a wolf-like head.

Some of the clearest petroglyphs, perhaps indicating they are more recent, were these Bighorn Sheep,

besmirched by Horace’s obviously recent graffiti.

The worst part of seeing the petroglyphs defaced like this is that you can never be sure what is original and what is more recent.

Did an ancient Fremont artist draw the strange shape to the right of the Bighorn Sheep or was it created recently by someone who felt a sick need for attention?