Monday, March 27, 2017

Unknown Pictograph and Habitation Site - Joshua Tree National Park

This post is not about one of the "secret rock art sites" in Joshua Tree N.P. It's about a virtually unknown rock art site in Joshua Tree N.P. I have to give credit to someone for telling me about this place. Please see his info, at the end of this post.

In case somebody reading this wants to find it, be advised that the landscape photos in this post are not anywhere near the site. I'd like to keep this place as obscure and pristine as it is now.

This photo was taken along one of the well know trails in JT. It is not related to these pictographs 

 Neither is this one

Nor this one

Ditto here

After a long hike, and a lot of climbing in, around, and over boulders, we arrived.  My eyes lit up when I saw two milling slicks hidden in a spot that would be very hard to find. If you don't already know, a "slick," is also known as a "metate," or "grinding surface." Together, they are used to grind acorns, nuts, grains, plants, etc.

The rock has two well used surfaces on it. You see one of them just to the left of middle. As smooth as a baby's behind (as my granny always used to say), That stone wasn't sitting on the slick when I got there. I found it sitting on the ground just a foot or so away.  That rock is called a "Mano" or "hand"(para aquellos de ustedes que no hablan espanol). 😉 The presence of the mano at this site is a really big deal.

Unfortunately, it is broken. I started looking around for the other half. I don't know if this it, but it might be. It is either half of this one, or half of another, Because both were very smooth. I wasn't about to start digging around to find out. I didn't leave them on the rock, and I also didn't put them exactly where I found them. I'd hate for them to be taken by the next person who sees them. I hid them!

 Very close by was this rock shelter. 

Always happy to see the faint remains of pictographs. Note the lines in the upper left corner. I don't think I've seen any violet or purple pictographs in this area (that I can remember anyway).

 A little processing of the photo with DStretch reveals the pictographs

 You can see the grid like symbol much better in this one

 Another little hint of red in this photo

 Even after processing the photo, this still isn't very clear. 

 Another symbol (in the center)

 Look what else showed up!

The sunburst is very cool in it's own right, but look in the middle of it. Another sunburst!   I have never seen that before. The center usually is empty, or solid, or has a "dot" in the middle.
---------------------------------------------
Without the help of my friend Robert, I probably would have never found, or even known about this place. Robert is a professional photographer and has also published several books about rock climbing. You can see his photography here, or here. You can see and/or purchase his books at Amazon.




,






.

58 comments:

  1. Trust me, I would never find it from your photos - well done.
    Wonder if the double sunburst has a special meaning?

    ReplyDelete
  2. looks like aliens are bombing us in those first photos

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sounds like an interesting place to explore and I commend you not sharing too many details as such sites are often ruined when too man y folks discover them.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The fewer people who know about this gorgeous area, the BETTER... We don't need graffiti and human junk all over the place... WOW--this may be one of my favorite areas in Joshua Tree. Thanks so much for sharing... Absolutely beautiful.
    Hugs,
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
  5. That is a very cool place Pat!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks to Robert for sharing his knowledge and thanks for the links to his sites and books, he has some pretty cool stuff. I got goosebumps when you showed the Mano :-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice pictures as always, Pat. As I've said, I missed a lot in my two stays at Joshua.
    Have you ever heard of Campbell Grant? He passed away many years ago, but he was a authority on rock art...lived near Santa Barbara, authored a couple books. He was my wife's cousin, we visited him a couple times in the early 70's.
    Cheers,
    Mike

    ReplyDelete
  8. Alex J. Cavanaugh - Thanks Alex! I'm going to try to find out about that sunburst.

    DEZMOND - It does! It is so amazing to see in person.

    sage - I agree, it is an amazing place to explore. You are also right about what happens when too many people visit these places.

    Betsy Adams - Some people just have to screw things up! I hate them...

    Brian - Thanks Brian! I agree.

    Wayne - Yep! I thank him as well. He is very talented.

    Should Fish More - Thanks Mike! Campbell Grant? Heck yeah! I've seen most of his books, and even have one.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Starkly beautiful, which is what I've come to expect out of Joshua Tree!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Pat
    Well, when Cary and I visited him in '71, he lived in the hills above Carpenteria where he had an avacado grove, I got out of our land cruiser and there was a rattlesnake, coiled and unhappy. I shot it. The Grant's were pissed. I fear I was never a favorite of his....he had a hell of a house, spanish style one level with tons of native art.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow what a great find with that Sunburst. - I'm glad you want to help preserve these so that people don't destroy them.


    If you subscribe to my blog via e-mail for updates you may need to resign up as I recently switched e-mail addresses.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Those rock formations are pretty smooth from a distance.

    Good job identifying the slicks and pictographs. :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. William Kendall - Thanks William! I'm glad you enjoy them.

    Should Fish More - I would LOVE to have my own avocado grove.
    Living in Carpenteria explains why so much of his work revolved around the Chumash. That was the local tribe. Not really local I guess. I think their territory went from Malibu all the way up to the Pismo Beach area. Plus, their pictographs were some of the most colorful and beautiful anywhere.

    Ida - Thanks Ida. Thanks for the info about your updates.

    Vid Digger - Thanks! They are rougher looking up close.

    ReplyDelete
  14. What a great find, Pat!! Love how you didn't give the site location by using unrelated photos. Finding those manos really IS a big deal! Oh yes, and I'm a big fan of Roberts. I own two of his books and his photography is some of the best I've seen.
    PS: Went over near Surprise Tank last weekend and hiked all over the area looking for those pottery sherds, but no luck.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Spare Parts and Pics - Hey Pete! I figure it's a good way to work in some landscape shots. It's so funny I found a post (maybe unofficial JT site) from a year or two ago, that the three of us were commenting on at the same time. It's hard to pinpoint exact locations in the desert. If you didn't find them, then I have no chance. Say, did you count the number of mortars at Surprise Tank? Or maybe you took a photo of them all?

    ReplyDelete
  16. What a beautiful treasure trove of native art and history you found there. Thank you thank you for keeping its location a secret.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love your posts on Joshua Tree! Gorgeous vistas and very interesting information about the pictographs.

    ReplyDelete
  18. This was so interesting to see, Pat! The drawings are so well preserved. Have you thought of revealing these finds to a local university's archaeological team?

    There are red rock formations near where I live in Colorado that had manos and amny other archaeological findings near them, as they were used as shelter by the ancients and Ute Indians. The archaeologists covered up the wall drawings after documenting them to preserve them. As development occurs these treasures are sadly being lost.

    ReplyDelete
  19. robin andrea - My pleasure Robin. I'm glad you like it.

    Liz - Thanks Liz! There are so many great things to see out there.

    Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti Thanks so much Pat! I have given information to them (in this case the NPS). The way this group handles things, is (in MHO), not always in the best interest of the site. It may have already been surveyed. If so, it was a long time ago. Back then, many times they would leave the stone tools (like manos) on site. These days they are usually collected, and either put into a box, in a storeroom, or end up in somebody's private collection. I'm not saying that covering them up is always a bad idea, but I'm not a big fan of it. Maybe some type of barrier, that allows you to see the site, buy not actually get into it. Very close to my house, in San Juan Capistrano, there is a major village site that was "protected" by covering it with a football field! The whole preservation subject is very interesting and complex issue. I'm glad you brought it up. I need to do a post on that subject. Thanks. You got me thinking...

    ReplyDelete
  20. Wow, those are amazing. What a great feeling it must be to see something you know not many people have seen before! And that you respect the place enough to protect it.

    And of course the rest of the photos are wonderful too!

    ReplyDelete
  21. VEG - Thank you my friend! It really is a great feeling.

    ReplyDelete
  22. That was a real adventure! I love the way you respect nature and what has gone before us.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Shammickite - Thanks so much for the nice words. I really do love places like this. Also, thanks for stopping by!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love this post. Where to start...the fourth photo down I think it was the rock looks like a dinosaur and loved the pictographs. It gives you a sense of wonder that the people who lived there have left this info in stone for you to find. Glad you hid things. So much of our history gets destroyed by vandals.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Another great discovery. But I think my favorite shot is the rocks - they look to me like a herd of dinosaurs! (We just watched the Jurassic Park series of movies so maybe I was already thinking in that direction.)

    ReplyDelete
  26. I will probably never get to these beautiful places but I can look at your pictures and say to myself that I love this national park a lot.

    Thank you Pat for sharing with us this wild beauty.

    My very best wishes to you!

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a great discovery ... so that violet/red in the one picture is what it actually looks like, not that dstretch thing you do? Wow. I love that sunburst. Fabulous to see with your own eyes and I'm grateful to you for sharing. (And all the other pictures of Joshua Tree, every one of which is wonderful.)

    ReplyDelete
  28. ...beauty comes in so many different form. These desert beauty is so unlike what I see around here.

    ReplyDelete
  29. Nora - Thanks Nora! I totally agree, it looks like a dinosaur. Yep, I hate it when vandals destroy this stuff. Just like I hate it when old buildings are bulldozed for "modern" structures.

    Kaya - Thanks Kaya! It is my pleasure. I hope you continue loving it, because I'm always finding more things there. Best wishes to you as well...

    Sallie (FullTime-Life) - Maybe that one wasn't the same shade of of violet, but it was that color for sure. Thanks so much Sallie!

    Tom - I agree with Tom! So many different forms.

    ReplyDelete
  30. You are absolutely right not to share too many details of sites like this Pat. They should be left to people like yourself who are sensitive to what they represent and can explain them for the benefit of people like me, who are unlikely to visit Joshua Tree anyway.

    I’m curious about your discovery of the sunburst symbol. There appears to be no trace on the unprocessed photo, so I'd like to ask whether the discovery is a fluke, or could you see some sign of it to make you take the photo for later processing?

    ReplyDelete
  31. Picture perfect skies and a very cool sunburst!

    ReplyDelete
  32. Like Alex, I'd never have seen any of this were it not for your magic with photography and your brilliant eye plus knowledge. I'm even more fascinated by you than I am by the photos, Pat.
    Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Dennis Hodgson - Thanks Dennis! I saw some faint red on the rock in that area. I knew it would be something, but had no idea what. When I get into places like this I take photos of all the walls and ceilings. Just in case. I've posted the photo on a couple of archaeology sites (relating to rock art), and asked for input. So far, nobody has seen one before.

    Lady Fi - Thanks! Isn't it a treat when mother nature gives us some nice skies?

    Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com - I thank you on both counts Robyn...

    ReplyDelete
  34. I can just imagine your excitement at finding this spot Pat and totally understand. To discover something that has been there unaffected by this crazy world we live in is wonderful! The DStretch treatment is brilliant, to the novice eye it looks like not much to see there, which is probably a good thing, and then there it is in all it's exciting coloue.. fantastic!I'm 100% sure you have not given away this location :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Beautiful images of the national park. Nice pictograph.

    ReplyDelete
  36. thanks for sharing but it is good to keep the location safe :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. PerthDailyPhoto - It's always exciting to find things that very few (if any) people have seen. You are correct, I wouldn't give this up to anyone.

    Rajesh - Thanks so much for commenting!

    NatureFootstep - My pleasure! It is as safe as can be.

    ReplyDelete
  38. That starburst is pretty cool.
    Good on you for hiding it. People are unbelievable.

    Great shots. Love the first one the most actually. Looks like from a movie.
    Would make an excellent poster!

    Good on ya Pat.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Very nice!!It reminds me of those old Runes and Helleristninger we have here in Norway.

    Thanx for sharing!

    Anita

    ReplyDelete
  40. Anthony J. Langford - I agree! Thanks for the nice words Anthony.

    ANITA - Thank you so much for commenting on this post! I would love to visit Norway to see those things.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Fantastic images, you take makes photography, thanks Pat.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Bob Bushell - Thanks Bob! I appreciate both your comment, and for signing up here.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Pat, thanks for dropping back to see more of the 16 day concert. It really is an inspiring event, especially as it is held in a pub in a very small town, not a big city like the other attempts at a world record, as in Las Vegas and Detroit.
    there are people in the audience all hours of the day and night, all ages, all types. People bring their babies and children (with ear protectors of course) and even the police were there bopping to the music today. Huge energy can be felt all the time. Lots of clapping and hooting and whistling. I'm loving it!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Those stony "snakes" or "dinosaurs" in the fourth photo were terrific, and the pictographs at the end of the trail must have made you very happy indeed. Really remarkable.

    ReplyDelete
  45. Shammickite - You are welcome. That was interesting and quite a challenge. Especially so because it's a small town.

    visualnorway = I agree and love those formations. I was happy at the end, but there wasn't a trail. It was cross country.

    ReplyDelete
  46. The sunburst is an artistic find. Nice! I was doing a little hiking and hunting this weekend too. For deer antlers. I found one.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Pat, your photographs are always so beautiful! Your images give a great sense of what it looks and feels like to actually be there. I love that first picture because of the contrast between the blue sky and the desert terrain.

    That is so cool about the finding the milling slicks!

    Thanks for sharing, Pat!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Sharon Wagner - I still feel pretty lucky to have found that double sunburst. Doing some hiking is always a good thing, right?

    Ron - Thanks so much Ron! The weather is also perfect out there this time of year. Yeah, I was very happy to see them.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Great set of shots - I assume that people remove the mano stones. I have seen lots of 'grinding holes' in rock - but never seen the stones used.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

    ReplyDelete
  50. Stewart M - Thanks Stewart! Yes, they do remove them (and anything else around). It's not common to find a mano, but sometimes they are in the area (many times broken).

    ReplyDelete
  51. What an awesome place! I feel like I took hike from my desk. Your photos are excellent as usual!

    ReplyDelete
  52. I love how the pictographs jump out of the picture in the processed shots! So beautiful, and it really hammers home the importance of preserving Native American history like this. Kudos to you for making secret the location of this site, to prevent any old a-hole from showing up there with their trash and lack of common decency to ruin it forever. You're a true class act, my friend! Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Sylvia Plathypus - Thanks for all the nice words! I really wish that some people weren't like that. They ruin it for everyone...

    ReplyDelete
  54. You always find amazing place to show us! The last photo is amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Icy BC - I do my best (and sometimes it ain't easy!) I'm glad you enjoy these places. That little sun burst, inside the larger one, blew my mind. I've spent a ton of time on the internet trying to find another example of it. No luck so far!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Beautiful pictures! The surrounding scenery is beautiful, and good job at keeping it hidden. It's so wonderful to see it so well maintained. The sunburst is really cool!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Baby Sister - Thanks Amanda! I was pretty surprised that it was in such good shape. I need to get back to that area as soon as it cools off a bit.

    ReplyDelete

This blog is word verification free.
IS YOURS?
I love your comments and will do my best to respond to each and every one.