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Painted Rocks (Arizona)

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Title: Painted Rocks (Arizona)  
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Subject: Rock art, Theba, Arizona, Painted Rocks
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Painted Rocks (Arizona)

Painted Rocks
Dense petroglyphs that typify Painted Rocks
Nearest city Theba, Arizona

33°1′24″N 113°2′55″W / 33.02333°N 113.04861°W / 33.02333; -113.04861Coordinates: 33°1′24″N 113°2′55″W / 33.02333°N 113.04861°W / 33.02333; -113.04861

Architectural style Petroglyphs
Governing body State
NRHP Reference # 77000238[1]
Added to NRHP November 25, 1977

Painted Rocks is a collection of hundreds of ancient petroglyphs in Maricopa County, Arizona near the town of Theba. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The petroglyphs are located within the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site which includes an improved campground as well as an informative walking trail showcasing the petroglyphs. The site is operated and maintained by the United States Bureau of Land Management.

Painted Rocks is located along a number of important historical routes, including that of Juan Bautista de Anza's expedition of 1775-1776; the route of the Mormon Battalion; and the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach route. As a result, the site contains inscriptions made by travelers in these and other groups along with the petroglyphs.[2]

The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.[1] Prior to 1989, the site existed as Painted Rocks State Park, and included camping facilities on the nearby Painted Rock Reservoir referred to as the "Lake Unit". When the state turned control of the park over to the BLM in 1989, the Lake Unit was closed due to concerns over pollutants in the Gila River and is not maintained by the BLM.

The petroglyphs

Fifteen miles up the Gila River in the Gila Bend Mountains there are similar ancient petroglyphs with stick figures with long, wavy headdresses and solid circles in the middle of their bodies. These are not common in other parts of the American Southwest.[3]


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