Badass Arizona History: The Note Pad of the Ancients

Latin Lesson: Petro – stone Glyphein – to carve

V-Bar-V Ranch south of Sedona, AZ hosts one of the largest, most prolific examples of Beaver Creek Rock Art. The site consists of over one thousand images spread over thirteen rock panels. Upon excavation, archaeologists unearthed even more petroglyphs. The guide explained that relics were discovered up to six feet under where we stood and were covered back up after excavation. For that reason, you aren’t permitted to walk up to the carvings. Around 1300 AD the Sinaguan residents of the Verde Valley used the site to leave important messages and stories. The glyphs mostly consist of zoomorphs (animal images) and anthropomorphs (geometric designs).

The site is hosted by the National Parks service which means it can only be accessed with a guide. A Red Rock Pass is required for parking and can be obtained online or at the ranger station a short walk from the parking lot.

More from Arizona ancient history? Check out Badass Arizona History: Unreal Dwellings in the Red Rock

This is the largest panel, as you can see the images are prolific.
I love spirals!


This is from the ‘feminine’ panel. The guide told us that most of the images were birth stories and female coming of age symbols.
This is the oldest example of petroglyphs at the site.



Quick Reminder:

  • You will be required to go with a guide.
  • Do be prepared for a walk.
  • Do bring water – Sedona is still a desert.
  • In high season you may need to make reservations – if not they run tours seven days a week – times are subject to change.
  • Do respect your surroundings- or may the fleas of a thousand bison infest your nether region. Check out Archaeology Etiquette. 



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