Humans have been creating images for as long as they have been, well, human. Long before we learned to capture visual information on digital sensors or film or anything else, we learned how to draw on any kind of flat surface we could find. Nowhere in the U. S. is this more evident than in the desert southwest. People have been leaving visual evidence of their presence for thousands of years. You can find images in places like the Grand Canyon or Capitol Reef or in smaller parks like Valley of Fire SP, NV. This pictograph, for example, can be found along the trail to Mouse’s Tank in VOF (a “hideout” of sorts for a local outlaw about a hundred years ago).
Why did they do it? Did they make images for the same reasons that we do? And who were they trying to communicate with? Were the 4 people pictured above a family? It sort of looks that way – there are 2 that appear to be adults and 2 that might be children, all holding hands. But why do the 2 “adults” have flatter heads? Where had they been and where were they going? Were they part of a larger group?
If, 500 years from now, some poor idiot “discovers” my photographs, will they ask the same questions? Not likely, I’d guess. Far more likely, I think, that they’ll ask what the hell I was thinking when I took them.