Rock Art

Two-thousand years of rock art line the walls of Canyon de Chelly. Anasazi (ancestral Puebloan) images from all the phases of their long history (100-1300 AD) are commingled with more recent Hopi and Diné art. The passage of Spanish soliders and the American calvary are recorded in the sandstone. The McClanahan’s land is surrounded by pictographs (painted images) and petroglyphs (pecked images) marking the presence of all these groups.

Some of the rock art images are:

In near by Box Canyon (or Bad Trail Canyon) a unique panel containing 166 hand prints and 39 footprints of both adults and children above ruins dating from between 700-1100 AD.

On the cliff above the McClanahan's fields is a scratched inscription by an American cavalryman on a mission to destroy the peach orchards in the canyon in August 1874. (Burned stumps from these trees can still be found in the field.)

Star Cave is an example of a Navajo Planetarium Site. These star panels appear to be unique in North American rock art. The star cave is on Lupita's family land.

Above the storage bins built by Lupita's grandfather (most likely on the site of an Anasazi granary) is a Navajo painting of a horse and a female deity. Next to it are several Hopi pictographs.

A marvelous panel of petroglyphs at the far end of the McClanahan's field probably dating from around 700 AD. The men hold stone clubs.

In Cable Cave at the East end of the site two haunting pictographs of men with turkeys on their head. Turkeys appear very frequently in the canyon rock art. The man on the left has lost half his body because the paint used has vanished with time.

What You'll See