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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 ?
Recommendations from these reports have led to the construction of walking tracks, barrier fences and viewing platforms to help care for the sites by directing tourists to the best places to look at the rock-art while at the same time preventing damage through touching or climbing.
Abstract: Using the general outlines of custodians' interpretations and the existing literature, this article examines the correlations of archaeological evidence and ethnographic information from some Arrernte rock-art complexes in Central Australia and presents an outline for interpreting and assessing the significance of Arrernte rock-art.
Duncan has photographed and here describes many of the rock-art sites found in the Hill Creek and Willow Creek, on the Northern Ute Reservation in Utah.
It gathers research papers addressing some key topics in rock-art studies, and thus becomes essential reading for anyone interested and/or conducting rock-art research today.
Klassen, Michael 1998 'Icon and narrative in transition: Contact-period rock-art at Writing-On-Stone, Southern Alberta, Canada' in Christopher Chippindale and Paul SC Tacon (eds), The Archaeology of Rock-art, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp.42-72.
His account of the project discusses the survey, rock-art motifs, portable petroglyphs, circle-and-line petroglyphs, historic-period rock art, and prehistoric pictographs.
There is no evidence at this time to suggest that the occurrence of distinctive designs in either rock-art or material culture also marks their origin.
Postulating an ancient origin of shamanism, on the basis of entoptic phenomena observed in rock-art, and supported by ethnographic accounts, this study places earlier work, such as that of J.D.
Founded on this well-argued conviction (yet not engaging with the large, mainly British post-positivist archaeological literature), Pearson proceeds to argue that the most parsimonious explanation for various past cultural practices -- and in particular the creative contexts of much rock-art around the world -- can be found in shamanism.
Some experts believe that the rock-art panels of this period are a form of storytelling, with the animals representing the verbs, because they are often depicted facing specific directions with footprints added to illustrate travel or other action.