December 28, 2011

12/17/11 – V Bar V HS

The V Bar V Heritage Site is in the Coconino National Forest, so it’s maintained by the USDA Forest Service; it’s run by volunteers and only open 3 days a week.   (I think Coconino sounds like a drink that ought to be sold at Starbucks, don’t you?)  V Bar V is the name of an old ranch where the largest petroglyph rock art left by the Sinagua in the Verde Valley is located. 

Ranch house is gone—this is all that’s left.
The volunteer interpreter showed us how two rocks on the wall are lined up so that their shade highlights symbols for corn.  There's a lot of other cool symbols on this particular rock too.
This sun lines up at the bottom of this slot on the Winter Solstice, and the way it lines up on some rocks that are jutting out of the cliff told the Sinagua when to plant their crops--sort of the Farmer's Almanac of the 10th century.
Some of the symbols are pretty obvious.  A circle in a circle in a circle is the sun…  I have no idea what the squares are.
This thing that looks like a deer is (guess what!) a deer.  This thing that looks like a coyote riding on a deer is supposedly a mountain lion attacking a deer.  And the ones I think are frogs are probably turtles.  The birds might be herons or cranes I (I’m thinking maybe flamingos—check out that bill!)

Apparently petroglyph identification isn’t an exact science, so feel free to use your imagination too.

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