This article presents the earliest period of petroglyph studies in China which the authors have labeled as «Prescientific». The first purposeful fixation of rock-art objects all over the world was created through folklore stories, which later transmitted into written pieces of work such as treaties and annals (among these chronicles was also the famous «Records of the Grand Historian» by Sima Qian). Due to the highly developed written tradition within Chinese civilization, this process was established earlier than in most other countries. The first attempts were made in order to explain the origin of petroglyphs - as a rule, by way of using rather popular mythologems (such as «footprints of a giant»). The most prominent role within this period (during the Medieval and New history epochs) was undertaken by geographical and local history descriptions. Among many, one of the most notable is «The Canon of waters, with commentary» («Shui jing zhu») created by Li Daoyuan in the beginning of the 6th century. This work mentions 19 sites which feature petroglyphs, with accurate descriptions and spatial references, legends connected with these sites (if any), as well as information about the cultic use of these monuments by locals which according to local records (zhi), lasted for a long time. All presented materials about rock-art in China obtained during the prescientific period represent a valuable source of knowledge about the significance of traditional art in the ever-changing Universe.