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A carving or incised drawing on rock, especially one made by prehistoric people.

pet′ro·glyph′ic adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Palaeontology) a drawing or carving on rock, esp a prehistoric one
[C19: via French from Greek petra stone + gluphē carving]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈpɛ trəˌglɪf)

a prehistoric drawing or carving on rock. Also called pet•ro•graph (-ˌgræf, -ˌgrɑf)
[1865–70; < French pétroglyphe]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.petroglyph - a carving or line drawing on rock (especially one made by prehistoric people)
carving, cutting - removing parts from hard material to create a desired pattern or shape
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Here one can learn a lot about the meaning of Gobustan rock drawings, archaeological excavations.
Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro, an anthropologist at the University of Islamabad, spoke about how Saudi civilizations reached East Asia, and said identical rock drawings of Arab camels had been found in both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
Riyadh, Safar 26, 1437, December 08, 2015, SPA -- Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, President of Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage visited yesterday rock paintings sites in Gepha in Hail region to stand on the ground on the most important projects being carried out including the exploration at the sites especially after the Commission has succeeded in recording the rock drawings in Gepha and Al-shwimms on UNESCO World Heritage List as the fourth Saudi site after Madain Saleh, and the two historical sites of Diriyah and Jeddah.
The Wilayat of Ja'alan Bani Bu Hassan is rich with a series of other archaeological discoveries and monuments, like rock drawings that reflect a very important aspect of life and culture of the primitive man who lived in this region and religious facilities, as well as a set of silver coins and seals copper, in addition to the archaeological discoveries of the Islamic graves, stone rubbles and watchtowers.
The sites range from the Last Supper fresco at the Church of Santa Maria Della Grazie; to the ancient rock drawings near the charming town of Brescia; to the beautiful city of Mantua; to the Rhaetian Railway, which crosses breathtaking Alpine landscapes.
A few fragments in New Zealand along with rock drawings on Easter Island provide the only clues as to early designs.
There are also narrow canyons and fissures that cut deep into the mountains concealing ancient rock drawings etched by the people of the desert.
Dating back more than 5,000 years, the rock drawings appear to feature the earliest known depiction of a pharaoh, according to Gatto and colleagues.
There is so much to this magical place, and during a 4x4 safari led with great humour by a local Bedouin guide I was shown 4,000-year-old rock drawings of camels and other animals left behind by the ancient people of northern Arabia.