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Alaskan Petroglyphs

Petroglyph Beach State Historic Site located on the shore of Wrangell, Alaska barely a mile out of town, it become a State Historic Park in 2000. At least 40 petroglyphs have been found to date. The petroglyphs hold more mystery than history. No one is sure why they were made, or what they say. The point of land that these drawings are on is a very good place to keep lookout or to beach a canoe to wait for the tide to change. There could be many reasons for the artwork to be here. The site itself is about 8000 years old. Some of the rocks strewn around the beach have ancient pictures on them. Many of them are faint, and it takes a little practice to see them. It is also easier to see the petroglyphs if it is raining and the rocks are wet.

The petroglyphs that remain here are found on the boulders and bedrock outcrops on the shore, just below and above mean high tide. It is thought that they were created by members of the Tlingit tribe and most of the petroglyphs can be found close to places of importance such as salmon streams and sites of habitation. They depict whales, salmon, and faces of the community. The rock here is metamorphic and tends to be a dark gray that is finely grained, moderately durable, and easy to fracture, which would make it easier to manipulate for petroglyphs. 
Petroglyph Beach State

The Tlingit of southeastern Alaska,living under most favor-able conditions of climate and food supply, with abundant leisure to cultivate an innate sense of art, evolved in time a rich ceremonial that had for its purpose the glorification of the family in the display of the totem, or the practice of shamanistic rites which constituted his nearest approach to any form of religion or worship.


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