Cup and Channel Petroglyphs and Ancestral Puebloan Migration

Author(s): Michael L. Terlep

Year: 2018


The age, origin, and function of the enigmatic cup and channel petroglyphs of the Arizona Strip have fascinated archaeologists for decades. The petroglyphs size, up to 2 m long, as well as, placement on horizontal surfaces at prominent locations, contributes to the intrigue of the glyphs. Previous hypotheses for the age and function of the petroglyphs include prehistoric navigational markers to water sources, solstice markers, historic tar burners, and ceremonial water channels. Hundreds of cup and channel petroglyphs are reported within a narrow 100 mile radius within southwest Utah and northwest Arizona. Little known evidence beyond this spatially confined distribution exists. The recent documentation of cup and channel petroglyphs at Homo’ovi, Woodruff Butte, and Awat’ovi in eastern Arizona expands this distribution and contributes new insight into temporal, spatial, and stylistic variation of cup and channel petroglyphs. This presentation offers inference into the newly documented glyphs’ connection to the Arizona Strip Region. The data suggest cup and channel petroglyphs are signs of Virgin Puebloan migration to the Hopi Mesas.

Cite this Record

Cup and Channel Petroglyphs and Ancestral Puebloan Migration. Michael L. Terlep. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442618)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -124.365; min lat: 25.958 ; max long: -93.428; max lat: 41.902 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 20764