Department

Natural and Applied Sciences

First Advisor

Prof. Todd Guenther

Description

The Central Wyoming Field School discovered a spiral petroglyph, reminiscent of those common in the desert southwest, on a large boulder in the foothills of the Absaroka Mountains. Sighting from the spiral, over the point of an adjacent boulder, leads to a series of cairns on high points extending at least four miles to the southeast. The fact that similar petroglyphs in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico are associated with a variety of astronomical events caused field school students to wonder whether this is a calendric site. Other researchers have documented that a similar petroglyph near Thermopolis marks the Summer Solstice. This paper discusses the results of student research on four possible calendric petroglyph sites near Lander, Meeteetse, and Hyattville, Wyoming.

Comments

EPSCoR, INBRE, NASA

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Spiral Petroglyphs and the Solstice: Archaeoastronomy in the Wind and Bighorn River Basins

The Central Wyoming Field School discovered a spiral petroglyph, reminiscent of those common in the desert southwest, on a large boulder in the foothills of the Absaroka Mountains. Sighting from the spiral, over the point of an adjacent boulder, leads to a series of cairns on high points extending at least four miles to the southeast. The fact that similar petroglyphs in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico are associated with a variety of astronomical events caused field school students to wonder whether this is a calendric site. Other researchers have documented that a similar petroglyph near Thermopolis marks the Summer Solstice. This paper discusses the results of student research on four possible calendric petroglyph sites near Lander, Meeteetse, and Hyattville, Wyoming.