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Abstract

Robin McAllister recounts his experiences during a Summer 1980 visit to the prehistoric Indian cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, Colorado. There he encountered inscriptions similar to writing, ancient petroglyphs, figures and symbols inscribed in the face of a sandstone cliff, left by the Anasazi before they abandoned their canyon homes around 1300 AD. Hopi Indians, who claimed the Anasazi as their ancestors, have claimed to know the stories behind some of the glyphs. In this essay Professor McAllister tries to judge their interpretation in the light of what he has read about myth, symbol, and prehistoric art.

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