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The petroglyphs were removed from their original location due to impending destruction by vandals. In addition to the museum and prehistoric earthen architecture, the Crystal River State Archaeological Park also contains two large petroglyph boulders.
The museum exhibits the petroglyphs in the western extension. Often referred to as the “stele,” these upright limestone slabs have carved images resembling human forms. For it was about this time, Indians began to develop a settlement there.
Petroglyphs on isolated boulders also occur along the Missouri River in the Dakotas, in southern Alberta and Saskatchewan, and in central Texas and southern Oklahoma.
Farther north along the Pecos River at Lewis Canyon are more than 250 pictograph sites and more than 900 petroglyphs.
The petroglyphs, many on flat rock surfaces, consist of abstract geometrical designs and representational figures of human hands as well as deer, bison, and bird feet.
Pictographs depicting orange to light red finger lines and handprints in central Montana are believed to be more than 3,000 years old.
Archaic hunters and gatherers in southern Texas, where the Pecos River, Devils River, and Rio Grande meet, created rock art—considered to be some of the most impressive prehistoric art in the world—in dry rock shelters.Rock art in southeastern Colorado, including many zoomorphic or anthropomorphic representations, has been intensively studied, especially in the rock shelters of the Purgatoire River area. Pecked petroglyphs are also documented, especially in Whoop-Up Canyon in the Black Hills.