Monday, May 8, 2017

Hidden Valley Area Pictographs - Joshua Tree National Park

Although the pictographs at this site aren't spectacular, the site certainly is.
I first saw these pictographs more than 50 years ago. Since that time they have faded quite a bit, and have suffered some vandalism. I think that you will agree with me that the site is pretty cool.

I wonder where the pictographs might be? 

Yes, that is a mortero (mortar) in the foreground. In this case however, it is likely to be ceremonial in nature, rather than for preparing food (or maybe used for both).

 This is a pretty cool boulder. Right?

 For scale.

Not much to see with the naked eye. 



 I believe that the symbol in the middle is a stylized human (anthropomorphic)


 The rest of the photos have been enhanced a bit with DStretch.

A nice little sunburst and what looks like initials and phone number. That part sucks.

 See the number in bottom middle of the photo? At least I think it's a number.


 ----------------------------
This site might not be visible at all (to the naked eye) for much longer. This is part of my problem with "saving these sites for future generations." Pretty soon, there will be nothing to see. It's time to figure out ways to share some of these sites, while still protecting them from vandals, and unintentional damage by viewers.

54 comments:

DEZMOND said...

that boulder looks like the side of owl's head!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Think that was a natural cave in that boulder or did someone carve it out years ago?
Perhaps you should put together a book or website that features a collection of all of these sites and their pictographs?

Shammickite said...

That's fascinating, to find those pictographs. Amazing that they had phone numbers back then!!!!!!! :-) And I was very surprised by the scale of the boulder.

Jimmy said...

Amazing site Pat, I wish there was a way for us to control the vandals, but as long as they have no respect they will continue to vandalize I am afraid.

Tom said...

...what an interesting landscape shaped by the powers of nature.

William Kendall said...

What a beautiful setting to be out in, Pat.

Red said...

Most pictographs are fragile as they are not very deep into the rock. Vandalism makes it worse.

Brian said...

I do like that big donut boulder Pat!

Pat Tillett said...

DEZMOND - I think I see it, but not sure...

Alex J. Cavanaugh - It's totally natural Alex. These boulders have been around for a long time, and They erode pretty quickly (in geologic terms). I've thought about doing a book Alex, but I still have a couple of others in the works, that aren't getting worked on much. Maybe someday...

Shammickite - HA! I wonder if that was the artist's number. Just in case somebody needed some pictos done. The boulders and rock formations are HUGE, and there are many square miles of them.

Jimmy - Thanks Jimmy! I totally agree with you. There are some things that could be done to protect some of them. Considering where this site is, it really hasn't been vandalized much over the years.

Pat Tillett said...

Tom - I totally agree! JT is one of my favorite places in the world. I'be been going there since I was a little kid, and that was a very long time ago.

William Kendall - It really is William. There are not many places that I'd rather be.

Red - You sure are right about that Red. The people who vandalize places like this are subhuman. The penalties for doing it need to be greatly increased. Thanks for the comment!

Brian - Me too Brian! If only it was glazed...

Dennis Hodgson said...

You bring up a huge point when discussing how to preserve such things for future generations Pat. The creators of these pictographs didn't think in terms of immortality, so all you can do now is record what you see now and hope to preserve the record as best you can. But isn't it annoying that there are mindless idiots who have so little regard for such history? Especially when that history is so fragile and only tenuously preserved.

visualnorway said...

From the first pictures one might suspect that Henry Moore had had a hand in the design of the site :-)

Pat Tillett said...

Dennis Hodgson - Yep, it is totally annoying! It doesn't help matters when the "authorities" (in this case,the National Park Service), pretends that virtually none of these places exist. When huge secrets are kept, some people (vandals) will try very hard to solve them. If the NPS would expend even half as much effort in education, protection, and establishing a valid "stewardship" program, I believe that most of the issues would be solved. I know of a some sites, that they have no clue about. Part of me thinks that it is better that they don't know.

visualnorway - It never entered my mind, but now that you said it, this spot totally looks like it could have been created by Henry Moore...

Diane AZ said...

What a beautiful place to explore. The pictographs are fascinating especially with the help of your photo editing. Well done!

Betsy Adams said...

More great pictographs... Love seeing them!!!! I read another blog post today talking about a beautiful waterfall which the Indians enjoyed many years ago being totally destroyed by HUMANS.... Grrrrrr...

We are at the beach enjoying the sunshine.
Hugs,
Betsy

robin andrea said...

What a beautiful place to explore. Love these photos and the work you do to help us see what's really there. Thank you.

Shammickite said...

Pat.... have you seen this? Could be a distant relative of yours. Chack it out. http://bitaboutbritain.com/memorial-to-james-tillet/

Pat Tillett said...

Diane AZ - Thanks so much! DStretch really does allow us to see them better. Sometimes, they aren't visible at all without it.

Betsy Adams - Thanks Betsy! Yep, in addition to trying to kill them all, we've also destroyed so much of their history. Double Grrrr!

robin andrea - Thanks robin! Beautiful it is! I'm really glad you enjoy this stuff.

Pat Tillett said...

Shammickite - I haven't seen it, but if the last name is Tillett, we are most likely related (there aren't that many of us). Also, I have a lot of relatives in the U.K. Thanks for the link!

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Very cool site, Pat, and very few people have the perspective and experience of seeing a pictograph over 50 years plus!! It is a bummer that these are slowly fading and disappearing. That little sunburst reminds me of one you showed me on "hollow rock" along the wonderland wash. Makes me wonder if it's even possible it was made by the same local tribe??

Pat Tillett said...

Spare Parts and Pics - Thanks Pete! I feel pretty lucky to have had these experiences. It's all because of my granny. I think you are right about the sunburst in both locations being made by the same tribe.

Al said...

I do love your boulders - that one seems much smaller until you showed us the photo with the person for scale. It seems as if you've got pictographs everywhere!

Anthony J. Langford said...

It does look like a number - very interesting.

Is that you in the shot? Looks like you don't have a head. Seriously! haha

Great that you can share your passion with us. It's fascinating.
As always, great photography Pat.

Cheers

bill burke said...

That is an interesting looking boulder. The hole is much larger than I thought it was. Makes you wonder how long it had been sitting there being shaped by nature. It's incredible when you think about it.

You were there 50 years ago when you first visited and what a gift it is to have the pleasure to revisit after all those years. Priceless!

Have a wonderful weekend Pat.

Rajesh said...

Beautiful pictographs. Very nice discovery.

Pat Tillett said...

Al - Yep, I love them also. The size of the formations and even the individual boulders amaze people who see them in person for the first time. When you consider the size of Joshua Tree NP, there really aren't that many. It's just that I know where many of them are.

Anthony J. Langford - I'm sure it is a number, how old though, I have no idea. That is me in the photo, and sometimes I do lose my head. Sharing these things is my pleasure, I'm just happy people seem to like (and/or tolerate) my posts. Thanks so much Anthony!

bill burke - It is pretty interesting! According to geologists, these features were formed about 100 million years ago. Much of the time they were underground eroding away and changing shapes. I really do feel fortunate to have seen these places throughout my lifetime. Thanks so much Bill, you also have a great weekend.

Rajesh - Thank you Rajesh. The rocks are great photo subjects...

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful, the hole is precious, I love it.

Pat Tillett said...

Bob Bushell - I also think it's pretty cool. Even if it didn't have pictographs in it...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Your photography with the DSTretch app thingy that you do seems like the best way so far to save them for posterity... which, while they are wonderful photos and much appreciated by those of us who would never be able make the hike, still doesn't seem like the best solution. Future generations should be able to see it in person. (the people who would appreciate it not the horrible ones who would scratch in their phone number.)

ANITA said...

Beautiful place Pat☺

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

That's sad that it's faded so much. Thank you for the D stretch factor, so you could share these with us. And I wouldn't have imagined the hole is so big, without a photo with someone (you?) in it.

Be well, Pat.
I always enjoy your posts.

Pat Tillett said...

Sallie (FullTime-Life) - It really does help. There are some spots that I know used to have pictographs, that even DStretch can't help. Too bad. I agree and they really do need to work something out, so people can actually see these amazing things.

ANITA - Thanks Anita, it really is...

Rawknrobyn - Yeah, it is pretty sad. Yep, that's me looking in the hole. Thanks so much Robyn. I'm very happy that you enjoy them.

Nora said...

Yes I would love to be able to see these pictographs better. I think there should be a way to record them and preserve them. I like how you show them. It is such a great peek into a world I know nothing about.

Lady Fi said...

Those boulders are amazing!

Cloudia said...

These are wonderful. Glad we've [blog] met!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

The site itself is indeed spectacular Pat. It amazes me that people find these out of the way spots unless like yourself they have a special interest, in which case like yourself they would respect and just marvel at finding them, certainly without the wish to tag them. People can be very disappointing at times don't you think!

GreenComotion said...

Wow - man what a place!
Your photos do good justice to this great park, Pat.
Thanks for your visits and kind words.
Have a Happy Weekend!
Peace :)

Nat said...

Great photos as always Pat!
It's sad that future generation may not get the opportunity to see these historical pieces. Vandalism is such a selfish act!

Pat Tillett said...

Nora - It sure would be nice to be able to see them better. It wasn't that long ago that archaeologists pretty much ignored the rock art and concentrated primarily on artifacts. When they did start paying attention to them the photos they took were very poor.That has all changed, but it's too late for many sites. Thanks Nora!

Lady Fi - They certainly are! It's really nice to see them in person.

Cloudia - Thanks so much! I'm also glad, thanks for the comment...

PerthDailyPhoto - It sure is. The pictos are a bonus! Oh yes, I quite often find people to be very disappointing. Especially the morons who damage these places.

GreenComotion - Thanks so much and right back at you! You also have a great weekend

Nat - Thanks Nat! I totally agree. Even if there was no vandalism, it will still be sad to see them vanish.

Ron said...

"This is a pretty cool boulder. Right?"

Pretty cool boulder indeed, Pat! It's absolutely beautiful - the color, shape and texture! And thanks so much for showing the scale because it makes it all the more impressive in its size.

Also, the symbols are so utterly fascinating to me because I love anything to do with history and how people communicated.

Thanks again for sharing another informative, enjoyable, and grrrreat post!

bettyl-NZ said...

I've never had the pleasure of seeing this part of the world but the pictures are always fantastic, and yours are no exception! What a great place and such interesting symbols.

Sharon Wagner said...

I never thought about how you are actually preserving some of these sights for posterity. Good job! No one would have seen those paintings. That boulder is pretty cool.

Pat Tillett said...

Ron - Thanks for all the nice words Ron. Those are pretty much all the same reasons why I love it here so much. I'm glad that you enjoy this stuff.

bettyl-NZ - Thanks so much Betty! I feel the same way about where you live. Maybe someday...

Sharon Wagner - Unfortunately, some of sites are already invisible. Or so much is already gone, that what is left, might as well be.

NatureFootstep said...

maybe phones are not a new invention :)
To bad it spoils the pictographs,

Stewart M said...

Great set of pictures - they way some of these rocks erode is remarkable. I've said it before, but I think you would really like central Australia.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

Pat Tillett said...

NaureFootstep - Maybe not! I just don't understand why anybody would do that.

Stewart M - Thanks Stewart! I'm sure I would love it there. If I was ever able visit your great country, I wouldn't know where to start. I think I'd need about a year there...

Kate said...

These sites are historically special and the vandals are insensitive morons!

Pat Tillett said...

Kate - I think you said it all in sentence! I hate those morons. Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Ida said...

Oh I'm so glad you showed "scale" on that one rock. It's huge. What a shame someone vandalised the inside (looks like the date they were there)

Pat Tillett said...

Ida - I agree Ida. It's terrible that people so these things.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, you do seem to find the great places. I always enjoy seeing the pictographs. The bolder is cool, love the shape. I wish they can be protected from vandals. Great post, thanks for sharing. Happy Friday!

Pat Tillett said...

eileeninmd - I do my best to find them! There are plenty more out there. Thanks Eileen!

Bob Bushell said...

So beautiful images, the holes in the stone and graffit, fantastic.

Pat Tillett said...

Bob Bushell - Thanks Bob! It is an amazing place.