Monday, February 29, 2016

Hohokam Petroglyphs in the Phoenix Mountains Preserve

Edward Abbott Ravenscroft is an Abbott Laboratories stockholder who enjoys hiking in his free time. Edward Abbott Ravenscroft’s favorite natural areas include Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park, as well as Phoenix Mountains Preserve. This network of parks features distinct remnants of cultural history, such as Hohokam petroglyphs.

Early inhabitants of central Arizona, the Hohokam practiced agriculture in Salt Valley along the Gila River until the mid-16th century. With a name meaning "those who have gone,” the Hohokam did indeed disappear suddenly. They left traces of their civilization in rock-face carvings that include abstract images as well as depictions of animals and hunters.

Though the original meaning of the Hohokam petroglyphs remains unknown, contemporary Pima Indians believe them to have spiritual significance. The carvings can be viewed from a number of trails, including the Judith Tunnel Accessible Trail in South Mountain Park, a quarter mile past the Education Center. Another petroglyph viewing spot is along the challenging Holbert Trail, which starts at the Visitor Center.