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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Anthropology professor to lecture on Pony Hills petroglyphs

The New Mexico State University Museum will present "Making Silent Stones Speak: Recording and Interpreting the Pony Hills Petroglyphs," a public lecture by Monte McCrossin, at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18.

A rattlesnake petroglyph at Pony Hills, north of Deming. A kokopelli petroglyph at Pony Hills, north of Deming.

Petroglyphs are images that have been scratched or pecked onto the surface of rocks. The petroglyphs at Pony Hills, north of Deming, include vivid depictions of people, animals and abstract figures.

McCrossin, an assistant professor of anthropology at New Mexico State, is a biological anthropologist. He will lecture on the efforts to document the Pony Hills petroglyphs and show slides of the site and the rock art images preserved there.

McCrossin said the Pony Hills petroglyphs were probably made by the Mimbreno people who inhabited the area between approximately 850 and 1,250 years ago. He said studies have indicated that the petroglyphs may have served as the inspiration for some of the most notable elements of the art and symbolism of Native American people in the Southwest, such as kachinas and the hunch-backed figure known as kokopelli.

"Our efforts at documenting the Pony Hills petroglyphs, therefore, will serve to place the origins of this symbolism in an archaeological context, allowing us to understand how the artistic expression of the ancient Mimbrenos lives on in the art and religion of the Puebloan people of today," McCrossin said.

The lecture is free and open to the public.

The University Museum is located in Kent Hall, at University Avenue and Solano Drive. For more information, contact Sharyn Hill at (505) 646-3739.

First photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/kokopelli.jpg.
CUTLINE: A kokopelli petroglyph at Pony Hills, north of Deming.

Second photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/rattlesnake.jpg.
CUTLINE: A rattlesnake petroglyph at Pony Hills, north of Deming.

Erin Waldron
April 4, 2002