“Black Hole Sun” Pictographs Part III – Black Hole Sun

In the previous two segments on this pictograph site, found within a larger habitation complex in the Eastern Sierra foothills in Kawaiisu territory, I talked about how I came across the site, and what elements can be found on the left-hand part of the panel.

Now it is time to look at the last part of the panel, and then look at the panel as a whole.

I’ll note now that this site does have some interaction with the sun at significant times of the year such as the winter solstice, as documented by other visitors. I haven’t had a look at the site at suitable times yet, so I can’t yet comment on it in that regard! I’ve had some unfortunate adventures with two other “solstice” sites to date ( you can read all about the Diamond Solstice site or the Shooting Star site, if you like! ) and those were at dawn on a summer day when the only bad thing was waking up at 4am … there are no Starbucks locations close to any of these sites and I’m not much of a morning person! Then again, I’m not much of a person for resisting interesting things either, so … check back for more occasionally! I may well have shown up on a mid-winter’s day to see what happens then.

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“Black Hole Sun” Pictographs Part II – Catcher On The Wall

In Part One of this series on the “Black Hole Sun” pictograph panel I talk about how I discovered this pictograph panel in Kawaiisu territory in the eastern Sierra foothills and also showed an overview of the panel itself. Now, I would like to take a look at the left hand side of that panel and the elements that can be seen there.

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“Black Hole Sun” Pictographs Part I – Discovery

This is a pretty involved pictograph panel within a larger habitation site. Researchers have tied this panel to solstice events, and the imagery certainly seem to support an astronomical observation angle.

That is very interesting by itself, but I also found this panel in a kind of roundabout way, and I thought this was interesting enough in itself that I would kick off a short series of posts about this site by writing about the discovery.

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“Sun Spangled Surface” Pictographs

We were poking around in the Eastern Sierra foothills one spring day, looking for pictographs, and found a nice little site tucked away in a wide canyon.

First we found some big slabs of granite poking out of the dirt downslope with plenty of bedrock mortars on the exposed surfaces. Then, when we turned around to look at the slope above us, a prominent rock formation caught our eye.

We thought to ourselves: well, maybe we are not the first people attracted to it … so we climbed up to it to took a look, and we found a small pictograph site!

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“Diamond Solstice” Pictographs Part 2: The Solstice

In Part 1 I posted about the pictographs that can be found at the “Diamond Solstice” site in Joshua Tree National Park. In this post, I will examine the theory of this site as a solstice observation site a little more.

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Potwisha Pictographs

The Western Mono are an offshoot tribe from the Paiute, who travelled across the Sierra crest about 600 years ago to trade the desert on the eastern side of the mountain range for the acorns and pine nuts on the western slopes. They occupied a narrow range of land at higher elevation on the west side of the central Sierra and established villages all along the Kaweah River.

One of these villages, at about 2,000 feet elevation, was on our itinerary for the day. The remnants of the village, a rock shelter with pictographs and a lot of bedrock mortars, are right on the banks of the Kaweah River.

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“Diamond Solstice” Pictographs Part 1: The Pictographs

This is a beautiful little site in Joshua Tree National Park that I first visited years ago. I’ve left off writing about it because I kept meaning to find out more about the rumors that this site has a “ray of light” pointing towards one of the elements on the summer solstice.

Well, I have some information about that for you too! Here, I will spend a post just looking at this site. While going back over my photos of the site, taken on multiple previous visits, I was struck by how pretty the site really is.

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Smoke Tree Wash Petroglyphs

Smoke Tree Wash winds its way through Joshua Tree National Park’s southern portion, and if most Park visitors notice it, it is usually when they start wondering who named all these washes ( “Smoke Tree”? “Porcupine”? “Fried Liver“?? ) that the Park’s main road crosses.

If you’re up for a walk you might find some petroglyphs out in the flats, so that’s just what we set off to do one winter morning. We had our choice of walking along in the bed of the wash or kicking out and walking along some ridges, which is what we did. Our hard work mostly didn’t pay off ( so many rocks out there! So many! ) but we did find traces of an old trail – maybe an old Indian trail? Maybe a mining trail? No mining activity in the area that I know of though.

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