August 5, 2013

Jeffers Petroglyphs

The day after visiting Pipestone National Monument, I visited Jeffers Petroglyphs, which is part of the Minnesota Historical Society.

On our way, we mostly saw corn fields and wind turbines, occasionally passing through a small town. (I think the smallest town we passed through had a population of about 55.) 

At the Jeffers site, there was (restored) prairie as far as I could see. 

A small portion of the prairie, an area surrounding the rock area with the petroglyphs, is native prairie, only because it was too difficult to plow.

Some of the petroglyphs are as many as 7,000 - 9,000 years old. And some are as recent as 150 - 250 years old.

There are over 4,000 images carved into the quartzite rock.

Many of the petroglyphs are hard to see in the sunlight, so a guide uses a board to provide a shadow and a mirror to redirect the light at an angle that helps for easier viewing.

I still had a hard time seeing the pictures carved in the rocks and understanding why they were that big of a deal.

 I tried to read a sign about them, but I can't read yet, so it didn't help.

The petroglyphs show turtles...



...human figures...


...and various other things.

The carvings represent historical events, parables, and prayer.

The trail to the rock from the visitor center is only 1/4 of a mile (1/2 mile round trip).

It was a fun site to stop at, and a nice follow-up to visiting Pipestone.

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