Many consider the petroglyph panel called The Great Gallery of Horseshoe Canyon to be the most magnificent display of American Indian rock art in the United States. Found in a remote corner of Canyonlands National Park, it is reached by hiking three and a half miles down into the canyon and following a sandy wash to the location of the panel. I made the trip in the fall of 2003 and the experience was one of surprise, awe, curiosity, and reverence for the people who assembled this detailed grouping of unusual anthropomorphic figures.
They have a wide variety of interesting themes; some are ghostly in appearance, others have animals or human-like figures inside of them. Some have small animals perched on their shoulders. These are thought to be "spirit guides" who provided guidance to the shaman depicted in the drawing. Another drawing, one of the largest, looks like a stylized skeleton. Surrounding the human-like figures are a number of little creatures: mostly horses, deer, or coyote.
In my explorations of rock-art panels, I have wondered why the sites were chosen. Any art that lasts until present times needs protection from the weather, so finding sites under a rock overhang could just be a natural consequence of this fact. However, I have another theory. At many of these locations, there is an echo when speaking near the rock art. Since native peoples lacked an understanding of physics and the reason for sound echoes, they might have associated the echo with spirits living in the rock. More primitive art may have served simply to mark the site so it could be found again. Later, more elaborate art could serve a purpose of communication or worship of the spirits thought to live there. I've not heard of anyone else who has proposed this explanation but would be glad to hear from any people, especially Native Americans, who share this belief.
To create this panorama, I took three overlapping 4x5 pictures and then digitally assembled them into a single photo. The result is a seamless view of the entire panel. It includes a very high level of detail throughout the image. Small sizes are appropriate for nearly any location that would hold a standard photograph, but it is possible to reproduce the image as a large walk-up installation that could be as long as 25 feet. Image resolution at the largest sizes is approximately 160 megapixels.
Note: This is a special order item. Please contact me by phone, mail, or email to order. Pricing is listed below for the following sizes, but other sizes can be ordered according to your needs. I can reproduce the image on a variety of surfaces besides standard photographic paper.