CA, Joshua Tree

"Red Lady" Pictographs

Back in 2010, we visited a couple of pictograph sites in Joshua Tree. Both of these sites have red female figures in small caves. Finding pictograph sites is good enough, but there is more to these sites.

On the spring equinox, the sun makes a unique appearance at each of them. At one of the sites, the "Brunette Red Lady", you can see the sun directly through a small notch on a ridge at sunrise. If you move to either side, you cannot see the sun through the notch. At the other site, the "Red Lady", a ray of sunlight advances and pierces a bedrock mortar only at noon. Is this just a coincidence? Are these solar observatory sites? It is possible Chemehuevi or Serrano used them to mark the first day of spring and the return of fertility to the earth.

Thanks to the Dzrtgrls for showing us these sites.

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About Guy Starbuck

Exploring the American West.
  • Nevada
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