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Artifact Archive: Ancient Petroglyphs


Petroglyphs are always a fascinating find in Southeast Alaska, conjuring images of people and events that have been carbon-dated to at least 1,000 years old. Their exact meaning is not known but they are usually found at or near shorelines. This rubbing was made in 1990 at Sandy Beach, in close proximity to a Native fish trap. These days, archaeologists advise people not to touch petroglyphs to prevent darkening due to skin oils; and rubbings are discouraged to avoid abrasion damage. When photographing petroglyphs, images may be more visible in early morning or evening light, and at a sl...

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