Monday, April 25, 2011

Trying not to see stars

I've commented before on Native American artifacts that resemble constellations near my home in Southern California (e.g., cupula rock). My comments weren't original: Ray Williamson, in his book "Living the Sky", refers to constellations in Great Basin petro glyphs. In searching for other examples of constellations in rock art, I found this paper: -- but the paper doesn't declare strong support for the constellation hypothesis, and in personal correspondence, the author offered his hindsight that he is now very skeptical of the constellation hypothesis. I've also sent photos of cupula rock to Anthony Aveni (Author of The End of Time: The Maya Mystery of 2010) who saw no reason to interpret the patterns as other than randomly distributed boreholes (see  Ok, I did do the nose).

So it is with caution that I share these photos of a rock at Joshua Tree National Park:

Six, similarly sized depressions, with four in a pretty straight line.

Here is a view of the area. I'm looking approximately South. Center in the photo (and you may need to click the photo to see ths) is the pattern:

 Here is a close up of the depressions, with my size-12 foot for scale:

The depressions look as worn as the surrounding rock and are even in size.

The rock at Joshua Tree is large-grained and crumbly. I believe it erodes quickly, and that people could easily make these depressions (now and thousands of years ago), but I saw no scratches or evidence hinting at human hands at work.

The depressions are in a popular camping and climbing area called Indian Cove. Joshua Tree has other Native American artifacts, so long-term human occupation is not in question. In the following photo, I noticed other patterns. The main group is in the center, but lower to the right you can see an alternating pattern of depressions:

 Here is a zoomed in view showing a right-left stepping pattern:

I see many natural depressions in the rock at Joshua Tree, but I've not seen any that are so consistent in shape as these.


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