Online Hopi Petroglyph Archive Launched

Hopi Petroglyph Site

CyArk, the World Monuments Fund, and the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office have gotten together with University of Redlands associate professor Dr. Wesley Bernardini to launch the Hopi Petroglyph Sites Digital Preservation Project Website. (Say that three times fast.) This site contains multimedia, a virtual tour, and educational plans related to Tutuveni, which means newspaper rock in Hopi. Tutuveni contains 5,000 petroglyphs of Hopi clan symbols in its 150 sandstone boulders. You can access the site at http://archive.cyark.org/hopi-petroglyph-sites-intro.

The site starts off with a slideshow but you can access a menu of available content on the main page. The multimedia page contains drawings, photographs, videos, and even 3D models of the Tutuveni site. Whenever I tried to look at a high-resolution version of a photograph or a drawing, I found I had to be a registered user. (Registration is free but this will slow you up.) It appears that the 3D model viewer uses Java; I had trouble getting it to work with Chromium. (To be fair that might just be me and my cranky computer.) I recommend looking at the introductory videos; they’re short but interesting.

Speaking of site registration, you’ll need to have an account to download one of the three lesson plans, including one for Hopi Clan Symbols (grades K-6), History of Tutuveni and Hopi Clan Symbols (grades 7-12), and “Respecting Our Past,” an overview of deterioration and vandalism at petroglyph sites along with preservation efforts (grades 7-12.)

I think my favorite part of this site was the virtual tour, which offered 360-degree panoramas (including up and down views in addition to “spin” views) of the Tutuveni site. Unfortunately despite the zoom capabilities of the virtual tour, it was occasionally easier to read the graffiti on the boulders at Tutuveni than the petroglyphs, but as I explored different parts of the site (there were LOTS of different panoramas) I found some easily-viewable boulders and petroglyphs. The views were stunning.

The virtual tour is denoted as “self-guided,” and I do admit that I wished there was more structure to take me through each of the major boulder groups, but between the introductory video, the lesson plans, and the panorama, you can see (and learn) a lot.

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