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Their territory was mainly north of the Colorado River, but overlapped with the Anasazi at Moab.
Both cultures had a complex social structure, and were highly adaptive to the extremes of the environment.
They did not build permanent habitation structures, but lived in caves and in small brush shelters built in the open.
The Anasazi whose culture centered south of Moab in the Four Corners area, concentrated much of their subsistence efforts on the cultivation of corn, beans and squash.
Petroglyphs are commonly found on the black or brown surface (called desert varnish) of rock cliffs.
The straight, smooth, red sandstone found in the Navajo and Wingate formations is a good area to look for pictographs.
The well known "birthing scene" is found on the left‑hand corner of the east side A the boulder (facing the road). Look for various animal forms, such as a centipede and a horse, bear paws and a snake, as well as triangular anthropomorphic (human) figures and a sandal trackway.
Drive north from Moab on Highway 191 and cross the Colorado River Bridge.
Examples of both types of rock art are found along the sites described in this guide. The patterns and motifs may be similar, but are never quite the same.
The Notah (Ute people) lived freely throughout western Colorado and eastern Utah until about 1880, when they were forced onto reservations.
Although it is difficult to establish an exact age of rock art, some dating clues are easily identified.
For example, whenever a horse and rider is depicted, we know the date to be after A. 1540 when the Spaniards reintroduced the horse to the New World.
The presence of bows and arrows is presumed to indicate a date after A. 500, the generally accepted time period for their appearance in this region.
For purposes of this guide, time periods are broken into generalized categories relating to the people believed to have made them.