Discover Minnesota: The Jeffers Petroglyphs

5:10 PM, Jul 8, 2010   |    comments
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COMFREY, Minn -- In this week's Discover Minnesota, the Jeffers Petroglyphs site features the oldest written record in Minnesota and is one of the oldest sacred sites in the world.  Tucked away in Minnesota's southwest corner, there's great mystery here that may never have defined answers.

"So you're seeing a history of North America," Site Manager Tom Sanders said. "Essentially you're going to see a document that covers much of the human experience in Minnesota."

About 2,500 American Indian carvings representing a time span of seven to nine thousand years ago, covers the rock spanning 300 yards long, 50 yards wide.

"Many of the native people talk about the carvings being made by the spirits, or being made by people and inspired by spirits," said Sanders.  He leads tours bringing the sacred site into the light for visitors.

"Many elders tell me this is an encyclopedia," he said.

With a truck mirror and a piece of wood, Sanders invented a way to see the markings better, especially at high noon.

"The major movements of people are represented in the carvings," Sanders said. 

Each carving means something special, whether it's an animal, shape or human marking.

"The red rock is special, this is a special rock," Sanders said. "This was a place that would've been sacred just for the redness of the rock. It's the color of blood, the color of life."

The site was common ground for several different tribes, coming together for spiritual guidance.

"The styles are so diverse here, it suggests people came from all over North America," Sanders said. 

There's only one place to touch and be this close to the Northstar State's most ancient history.

"If you want to explore Minnesota history, you have to start here, this is your first written document."

RELATED:  More area attractions

After studying the Petroglyph's,  just a short drive away,  Jackpot Junction Casino, Morton is the place for gaming, entertainment, dining, lodging and RV Park.    Experience Germany in Minnesota in New Ulm.  This community celebrates their German heritage with festivals, a 45 foot Glockenspiel ,  August Schell's Brewery and German cuisine.  Near Mankato , visitors can sample the wine, enjoy jazz evenings and festivals at Morgan Creek Vineyards




Discover Minnesota Week 1 Mille Lacs Indian Museum

Discover Minnesota Week 2 St. Paul State Capitol

Discover Minnesota Week 3 Jeffers Petroglyphs

Mystery Photo Week 4 - See the photo and submit your guess

More Discover Minnesota

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