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gem icon Signal Hill Petroglyphs [Suggest Edits]

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No visit to the Tucson Mountain District of Saguaro National Park would be complete without a stop at Signal Hill. Though graffiti is strictly forbidden today, the artists of the Hohokam period approximately 650 years ago had no such inhibitions.

Today, the remnants of Hohokam rock art can be seen at various places in the park, though the Signal Hill Petroglyphs are especially remarkable. A combination of designs are present at Signal Hill, ranging from humanoid forms to abstract shapes. Most of the rock art in the area falls into the category of "Petroglyph", meaning that the figures were pecked into the rock, as opposed to"pictographs," which were painted onto the surface of the rock using clay or plant-based inks.

There are many examples of this ancient art on display here, and scientists have wondered over the age of the images as well as the meaning. The petroglyphs may be ceremonial in nature, might have been used for communication, or may have been artistic expression. Either way, these long-standing images have given archeologists insight into what life in the area was like between 550 and 1550 years ago. The mystery of the glyphs remains today and continues to draw visitors in to further explore the rich history of the area.

With a viewing platform that provides an excellent place to see the multitude of petroglyphs, and easy access, a stop at Signal Hill is well worth your time.

Short Walk: Located not far from the parking area, the viewing platform is accessible by all visitors. Take the Signal Hill Trail to reach Signal Hill.

Gem Type: Prehistoric Site

Shared by:
Mikhaila Redovian

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Shared by Mikhaila Redovian on Jun 21, 2016. All Page Views: 3,345. Last Month: 51.