Those who came before

One of the coolest things, in my opinion, is when you’re out hiking in the desert and you come across a place that you think has a lot going for it.  Shade from the sun, water nearby, and cover from the wind.  And as you’re sitting down, enjoying the quiet and maybe drinking a bit of water and resting for a moment you take a look around your new (temporary) abode.  And discover quickly that you’re not the only one who’s been there.

The same “perks” that guided you to this spot did the same thing a millenia or so ago to those people who lived, worked and died in the very spot that you’re sitting around enjoying some cool water.


hands down

What would drive these people to put hand prints all over the ceiling of their caves?  Did you use the hand prints to mark births or deaths?  Maybe you did it to mark significant events?  Or perhaps they did the same thing parents today do – and mark their kids’ growth as time went by?  It could have been something as simple as “I was here”….

cougar ??


Now the fun stuff starts.  You could easily spend hours trying to figure out what the various shapes are – and what they meant!  My best guess is that this figure was a cougar – based on the general shape of the body and then what appears to me to be a long tail.   I also interpreted the hand shapes below the cougar to be paws with large claws!  What’s your best guess?


dancing days


And what to make of these two??  To me, obviously human forms – but what to make of them??  Is it, as I’ve titled the image, dancing?  Courtship?  Fighting?

Again, one could spend an entire afternoon in the desert trying to figure it out…..



~ by Derrick Birdsall on March 8, 2011.

4 Responses to “Those who came before”

  1. A budding interior designer must have lived (stopped?) there! They simply cannot help themselves! 😉

    I’m gonna go with lizard on that second one…definitely looks like lizard feet to me. And the last one looks more like turtles than humans to me.

  2. There is some current research where the thinking is hand prints were a way of letting the earth know you were there, kind of like a reunion of sorts.

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