WACA 503 – Sinagua Pictographs

WACA 503 is located in a Kaibab Formation alcove, just off of the Ancient Trail To Water. Unlike the other pictograph locations documented on this website, WACA 503 has pictograph elements that appear to be closely associated with the Sinagua culture. One such element type is the outlined cross, which some believe are associated in Puebloan rock image iconography with the planet Venus. Others believe the outlined cross represents the four cardinal directions (N/E/S/W), thus speaking to the migrations of people around the area at the time. The other geometric patterns are similar to patterns found at other Sinagua rock image sites. The latter may be representation of pottery designs, or cotton fabric patterns – the Sinagua were known for producing very high quality cotton fabrics with woven geometric designs.

The two different colors suggest two different episodes of pictograph creation; the overlap of some red designs over the lighter orange ones indicates that the red pictographs were created after the orange ones. This is an example of “dating by superposition”, where we can presume that the red pictographs must be younger than the orange ones because some of the red lie on top of some of the orange.

For additional views, go to the “503 – A Closer Look” page.


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