Monday, November 3, 2014

Terese Habitation Site - El Paso Mountains

I've posted a lot of photos from my trips to various Indian habitation and rock art sites. This spot, called Terese, doesn't have fancy pictographs, caves, or rock shelters, but it still just might be my favorite of them all. It wasn't discovered until the late 1990's and is just about as pristine as can be. It is also very large (I've yet to see all of it).  Thanks to my friend and fellow wilderness explorer, Death Valley Jim for taking me to this fantastic place.

The great places are usually hard to get to and this one is no exception. Folks, don't try this road in your car or mini-van.

A kitchen with all the built-ins. A mortar, a slick and a metate. It's the trifecta of milling stones. All we're missing is a Cuyamaca Oval. There even looks to be a few cupules.

 Another large, but broken milling stone. 

There were many sleeping circles in the area. The next several were all in the same area. 

Finally to the pictographs. This was my favorite of the day. The largest image appears to by a mountain lion, or maybe a coyote.

The large image is a Coso style Bighorn Sheep. Based on that and what appears to be an "Atlatl" in the right lower corner. These petroglyphs are likely to be from 1000 to about 2500 years old (plus or minus). The atlatl was a dart/arrow "launching device" that pre-dates the bow and arrow. This site is also thought to be the most southern known location of the Coso style rock art.

I believe the symbol in the middle represents a medicine bag or pouch.  

We didn't get to see a lot of the site, because it was getting dark.  Next time...



  1. So many rocks with drawing.
    I bet most people would miss that spot if they were just walking past.

  2. wow, pat, these are awesome! what a neat, neat site!

  3. I see that I have yet a lot to learn about what went before me both here and abroad (for me, that is).

    BTW - we tend to forget that we with our cameras where the first ones to make and appreciate the visual arts. We were not.

  4. Awesome indeed, Pat!! I always look forward to your photos of the incredible trips you take and you do find the the most fascinating places!! Such wonderful rock art!! Thanks for sharing!! Have a great week!

  5. Wow - that is very nice! What a neat place!!

  6. How cool Pat! Your photos always make us feel like we are right there exploring with you!

  7. Amazing to think they were created so long ago. Do you know of any places like this near Telluride, CO?

  8. Alex J Cavanaugh - Yep, and I only posted a few of the rocks with petroglyphs on them. I think you are right about people walking past, but of course, there isn't anybody walking anywhere near this place.

    TexWisGirl - Thanks! I was a neat site.

    visualnorway - I feel the same way. There is so much to see and learn about our past.

    Sylvia K - Thanks so much Sylvia! I love doing it. You have a great week also.

    Montanagirl - I agree! There was also pottery sherds all over the place.

    Brian - That makes me feel good Brian. Thanks for the nice words.

    Wayne - Specifically in Telluride, I can't tell you. I do know that there are a ton of rock art sites in the four-corners area.

  9. Hi Pat, I wish I could have seen your face getting to visit this NEW area. Seeing areas which not many humans have visited (or destroyed) has to be fantastic. I love seeing all of your pictures and especially the pictographs... Wow--how neat!

    Thinking about the kitchen, the milling stones, and sleeping areas made me close my eyes and think about life there many many years ago...

    Thanks so much for sharing. I have a feeling you will be celebrating MUCH more of this area.


  10. Amazing pictographs... and your photos of them!

  11. I really like the look of the area. Beautiful shots!

    No doubt the difficulty of getting to the place is of great benefit to the preservation of it.

  12. Awesome - I don't think my little old Corolla is making it up that trail!

  13. I wonder if the natives felt that rocks were getting scarce as they appear to have all been drawn (chipped)

  14. The rock art is really impressive Pat, but yet all the pictures are.

  15. Betsy - On yeah! It is most certainly a great feeling. Seeing those things does the exact same thing to me. Thanks Betsy!

    Ms. A - Thank you! It is an amazing place.

    William Kendall - It is beautiful and very desolate. I'd say you are exactly right about why it is virtually untouched.

    Al - I know what you mean. There was a couple of spots where it was touch and go, even for our jeep.

    Sage - There were plenty of unused rocks in the area. I forgot to mention that there were a ton of potter sherds and lithic scatter all over the area.

    Jimmy - Thanks Jimmy! It would be interesting to know exactly what it all means.

  16. These places do look remarkable to visit - I hope they remain intact.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  17. Pictographs Wonderful! A handful of good pictures of this interesting place!

  18. You are so fortunate to have been able to get so close for a good look at these petroglyphs. The fact that they are not easy to find is a big plus as vandals are usually way too lazy to destroy something that would take work to get to.

  19. What beautiful pictographs!! I'm amazed at how many areas you still find. Just goes to show how much history is out there.

  20. What an interesting find. I hope the place is a secret.. The petroglyphs are really cool, I like the big horn sheep. Great post and photos. Enjoy your week!

  21. I would not dare to try this road in a car or mini van.

    Pat, that was again another breathtaking adventure with fantastic photos! The rocks are beautiful!

    Best wishes to you from me.

  22. I was going to mention long shadows and then you showed the sun setting! :) What a wonderful place to explore; I love all the pictographs!


  23. What a fabulous site - untouched beauty!

  24. I'm amazed by the fact that the spot was only recently (in the 90s) discovered. Hard to believe.

    Your last photos here, as it was getting dark, are as remarkable as the others, Pat. Gorgeous.

    Be well.

  25. Your have a special brand of magic to bring such beauty into these rocky places with your photos!

  26. So amazing Pat. You got the whole thing -- where they slept, where they prepared their food and at, and where they kept their records. Incredible. I'm a little depressed today about the news and it is good to have this reminder that our old world has existed for a long long time and is unlikely to be affected -- in the long run -- by what happened in yesterday's election.

    The pictographs are just amazing -- you do the best job.

  27. Stewart M - They are remarkable. This one is very isolated, so it has a chance.

    Leovi - Thank you Leovi!

    Mama Zen - Thanks!

    EG CameraGirl - I agree! I do feel fortunate. I believe you are right about the vandalism.

    Baby Sister - Yes they am! There are MANY sites, that have yet to be discovered.

    eileeninmd - Very few people know where it is. It hasn't even been totally surveyed yet. thanks so much and you have a great week as well.

  28. Kaya - that is very smart of you! Even a couple of the four wheel drive vehicles had to turn back. Thanks Kaya! I appreciate the nice words.

    thirtysevenandcounting - I really regret missing the majority of this site, but we saw a lot of other great things that day. thanks Lindy!

    ladyfi - The untouched part, made it all the better.

    Rawknrobyn - I know, right? Thanks Robyn. I always appreciate your comments.

    Icy BC - Thanks you SO much! It might be because I'm so happy to see them.

    sallie ( - I got everything but the man-cave and laundry room. I'm not very happy either, but there is nothing to do now, but try to make it better.

  29. You do take some beautiful hikes and find the most intriguing sights. Love the skies there too!

  30. never heard of sleeping circles but it makes sence. I can see it is an interesting place.

  31. These are awesome! my partner and I did the art element for the Lake Los Angeles Sorrensen Community Center. Now, you don't think of Lancaster and it's environs harboring these kind of finds, but they're there. You should defiantly explore the area. It was, according to the keepers of the nearby Indian museum, the most crossed over area because of the one time lake that was there. It's outline and celestial solstice position is next to the center.

    Two things you mentioned and photographed; the fire rings and the pre bow and arrow petroglyph. When they created the community center, they expectedly dug up Indian artifacts. But i wasn't able to see them because the Indian Museum harboring them was closed for needed rehab. But I did go searching for those fire rings which played an intricate part in the travels (of all people) across the basin. Found what I think was/is partial rings of volcanic rock. And another thing, pre-Shoshone people actually inhabited that basin using those weapons you mentioned. Eventually the Shoshone came up from the south (like the Apache and Piute, their language is related to that of the Aztecs) displacing the first FIRST people. I'd like to know more about that.

    This stuff gets me dizzy excited. Can't you tell? - it's all near Saddle Back State Park.

  32. It struck me looking at the pictographs that today, we still have the same instincts and passions to communicate through images. Kind of connects something fundamental about humanity, all of us, forever, through all of time.

  33. Good thing it wasn't discovered until the 1990s. Can you imagine what Disney would have done with the place?

  34. Robin Andrea - I do my best Robin! It is a beautiful area, that's for sure.

    Nature Footstep - In this area the rocks that make the sleeping circle, usually were used as anchors for willow (or other branches) and allowed them to bend enough to make their shelters.

    Pasadena Adjacent - I'm familiar with the museum, but have yet to go there. It's on my list though. Thanks for the information. Now, I'm going to have to get to that museum sooner, rather than later. Did you mean to type Saddle Back "Butte" State Park? I can tell you really like this stuff. It seems that I live and breath it these days. I need to spend more time up there. Someday I will. thanks for GREAT comment!

    Stickup Artist - I totally agree with you. In fact, calling these images "rock art" may end up being totally incorrect. It all may end up being recognized as "Rock Writing."

    Al Penwasser - I'm sure they would have ruined it! I'm sure there are MANY undiscovered sites still out there.

  35. I don't doubt there will be a next time. And so on. We get to see so much of that part of the country through your eyes.

  36. Sharon Wagner - I hope you are right! There is so much to see around there.

  37. Hi Pat, thanks for visiting Chickens Consigliere today. and for the comments. Now these are some clear photos. I'd love to see this place. I'm going to have to look up sleeping circles, though. In the first photo there's a black shadow of something in the top left hand corner...what is that?

  38. Chicken - It was my pleasure and right back at you! In this case the Kawaiisu Indians made a circle of rocks to support the arched branches that formed their wickiups (the little non-permanent) structures they slept in. That black shadow is a large smashed bug on the windshield of my jeep. Thanks again!

  39. We are always amazed at the beauty you find Pat...and we're a bit jealous too!

  40. To answer your question, I took my night photos with a Nikon D5300. (And I've been underwater in a real submarine!)

  41. Great job. Thanks for showing us those ancient paintings in the rocks.

  42. Fantastic finds. And so gratifying to know people through the years have shown respect for this open-air museum.

  43. Brian - I am also amazed! thanks so much.

    Al - Thanks Al! The submarine adventure, is something I'll pass on.

    Japy - My pleasure Japy!

    altadenahiker - It is good to know that people have left it alone and being very remote also helps.

  44. "These petroglyphs are likely to be from 1000 to about 2500 years old (plus or minus)."

    Wow, Pat, it totally amazes me that they're still there and visible. And you're right, this spot is pristine!

    AWESOME photographs! Those last two shots of the sunset are breathtaking.

    Oh, and forgot to say the last time I commented that I love your blog header.

  45. Pat, yes Butte. My mistake. I found this link to the opening of the community center. It actually sits on a bluff thats below another bluff where houses were built with the expectation of lakeside seats (but DWP and population growth sucked the lake dry) still their are pup fish in tiny puddles.

    It's a short link but it shows my art.

  46. I wonder if you had it to do over again, you'd be an anthropologist, archeologist or historian.

  47. I can tell you're enjoying this trip! Don't worry, to try this is the furthest from my mind, lol!

  48. Ron - Thanks Ron! they might even be older than that! This week, I've been to some more amazing village sites.
    Thanks for saying that about my header. A friend made it for me.

    Pasadena Adjacent - We've just about sucked up all the water up there now. Thanks for the link, I'll check it out

    Karen Jones Gowen - Any of those sound good to me. Thanks for saying that.

    jeannettestgermain - I'm in a different place right now. Not as awesome as this place, but amazing, none the less.

  49. The pictographs always entice me.

    Are you keeping your eye out for your next winning photo?

  50. Wow, what a glimpse into life from so long ago. You've made me think that perhaps I should visit the nearby caves when I go back to S Africa - I believe they have old paintings too.

  51. We may see mortars by the sea, but not the pictographs. These are really, really good!

  52. Lucky you! Very interesting details on this trip - it must have made your day!


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