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Image of the Day — Handprint Rock Art

Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2024


Two handprint pictographs on sandstone near San Ysidro, NM.

Image taken: 12/26/2021
by: Adam Read
© 2021

About this image

Handprints are one of the most common forms of rock art throughout the world. Pictographs (painted rock art) like these are somewhat less common in New Mexico than petroglyphs (rock art that is pecked into desert varnish). These appear to have been created by using hands as stencils and spraying a light colored pigment, probably via a reed or hollow bone, over the hand. The pigment may have been fine clay or gypsum from nearby White Mesa (or a combination of the two).

Image posted: 02-10-2022