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Front Page » October 11, 2011 » Emery County News » Rock art trip
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Rock art trip

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Group explores San Rafael petroglyphs

The Emery County Historical Society met Sept. 24 at the Museum of the San Rafael for a trek down Moore Road and out to the Sinbad Cliffs across Interstate 70. The following are comments made by Richard Seely of Green River and others as he told the story of the petroglyphs and pictographs the group saw. Along Moore Cutoff Road before getting to I-70 the group stopped at the Snake Rocks where they viewed a large rock with the image of a long snake carved on the rock. Here the group was met by their guide, Seely a first cousin to Montel Seely now deceased.

After introductions, Seely pointed out one of the snake images that had a feathered head. The Indian legend about the feathered serpent is that the feathered serpent came flying down and when its tail touched the ground it changed to a white man. This is a story from the Toltec's of Mexico. The serpent is used in the bible as part of the story of Adam and Eve. The serpent is also used in the story of the Israelites as an ensign for the Israelites to look upon to overcome being bitten by snakes. That is where the medical symbol, the snake on the staff comes from. In one case it is temptation in the other it is deity. We may have forgotten that part about the serpent. There are very few feathered serpents found among the Petroglyphs.

The group did not visit the Rochester panel, but Seely talked about the images in the Rochester panel. He said, my studying of mythology and the Rochester panel, the heaven is up there, hence the feathers and the birds. Down here is the earthy side. That is the way of a lot of mythology. The Hopi's believe that we are now in the fourth world and if you look at the Rainbow on the Rochester Creek Panel it is a half circle. When you look at that rainbow you will see a line that comes from down below up to the fourth line in the rainbow. There are nine lines in the rainbow. The Hopi's believe they have had three other ages and that we are now in the fourth age. In the Rochester panel there is a line going up with knots on it. There are animals in the Rochester panel, some of which are really fierce looking animals, things we do not see around here. Some of them look like crocodiles with huge teeth. A Hopi medicine man went to the Rochester panel and told a lot about that panel. He said that those animals are the guards to the different heavens. If you are not supposed to come in your're not coming in.

When the Petroglyphs story is told and there is a bird there, it is the bird that tells the story. There is also a fertility thing on the Rochester panel. If you go to the Rochester Panel on Dec. 21, the sun will set and shine right on that fertility symbol caused by a crack in the rock to the West.

The group was then taken to see the dinosaur foot prints crossing a huge boulder. The foot prints look like some large animal left large patches of mud on the surface of the rock while crossing. The large patches of mud later solidified and became part of the rock.

Seely said the Pueblo people put some of those symbols up on these rocks before they were driven to the cliffs to try to protect themselves. Because their enemies the Navajo's came in upon them. Then there was the 26 year drought, that started about 1272 and lasted 26 years. These people were farmers. They grew corn, squash, beans and some kind of melon. Because of the 26 year drought they moved South. Richard said, I have found corn and corn cobs out here, we call it blue corn and I have some. The squash they grew is Hubbard squash.

To the East of the Snake Rocks a few feet stands another rock with the image of a man with his arms stretched out and 7 circles varying in size. They looked like planets in the solar system. It has been said that these circles represent various times of the year and that the smallest circle on the right represents the shortest day of the year. At sunrise the shadow of the side of a rock, is 10 or 15 feet East, of this rock with the circles, the sun falls on one of these circles to indicate the time of the year. On the days of the Equinox the shadow will fall on one of the circles. One year on Dec. 21 I was here at sunrise and the little circle on the right was being marked by the shadow from the rock standing between the sun and the circles. That marks the shortest day of the year.

There is a Ute panel over in Thompson Canyon that has horses and it would be within 300 years. Most of the panels that are painted, like the painted Petroglyphs in Thompson Canyon, the archeologists say they are more than 4,000 years old. So when you see those realize these are the newer ones. The painted images are the oldest ones. The Rochester Creek panel is newer and it was done by these people.

A question was asked of Seely, Ferron Canyon and the Indian writings by the narrows are about how old? He replied the painted ones in Thompson Canyon are 4000 years old and I would say that those are at least that old. It looks to me like they have a wooly rhino in that panel. "This is just me. Realize that a lot of this stuff I am telling you, later on your going to find out it was wrong or maybe there is some truth in it. How far South did they go? When they left here they went down into Arizona and New Mexico. They were only in Mesa Verde for 50 years. When the Ute's and Spaniards came in upon the pueblo people they left from here. They were driven to the cliffs to try to protect themselves. They left this area because it got too tough to hold the Ute's and the Navajo's off. The Ute's and Navajo's were hunter gatherers. These farming people would store their beans and corn for tough times. The same as we are looking forward to in this country. When the trucks quit running we will have tough times. The Hopi's in November have a ceremony, called the, "washing of the hair." I do not know if that is the time the young boys get their name, but they wash their hair at that time. In any initiation ceremony there are four elements. One of the marks on this rock represents what just happened yesterday the 23 of September. It would mark the equinox. The equinox is usually the 21st of March and the 21st of September, but this year it was the 23rd of September. Their calendar is way better than ours.

A question about Thompson Canyon was asked. Is that by the town of Thompson? Yes, you turn at Thompson Canyon, go North about 4 miles. There is a Ute panel there. There is a panel like this one from the pueblo people. I usually refer to them as Hopi's. It is Hopi's or Zuni's and other pueblo people. The panel there is seen on television frequently by National Geographic. That is the one that is usually shown when they are referring to flying saucers.

Rosie Arenas from Green River a Mexican American, whose grandparents were from Mexico added some additional information to the things Seely told about. She earned her Ph.D. studying in Mexico City and has studied the Sun Stone or Mayan Calendar in the center of Mexico City. She pointed out two large boulders several feet away from the Snake Rock and the rock with the circles. The two large boulders are about 20 feet apart. Between them is a flat rock about a foot high. Rosie said, there is a lot of energy in this area. The Indians didn't just choose any rock to put Petroglyphs on like graffiti art now. They really chose places that had a lot of energy. A person sitting on the rock between the two big boulders for a period 10 minutes will begin to feel the energy of this area. There is a kind of triangle between the rock with the circles and the two large boulders to the North. If you are really in tune to the spirit, as you walk into the area between the boulders, you can feel the heat. It is a lot hotter there. These places are all considered sacred by the American Indians and a lot of places where I go. I can feel the spirit. There is a lot of spiritual energy in these places.

A couple sitting on the rock of energy, between the two boulders, Van Hamaker of Miller Creek and Sandra Hanson of Emery. They sat on the rock to see if they could feel the energy. However they only stayed long enough for a photo. Leaving Moore Road the group crossed I-70 and followed a rough dirt road back West to the Head of Sinbad Petroglyph Panel. This is a must see for people fascinated by Indian Rock Art. The long rock wall and the plateau is called Sinbad.

Seely said, "Here at the Head of Sinbad, is the place where the formula for that Mayan Calendar is found." Seely brought out a book called The Book Of The Sun, Tonatiuh. Written by Cecilio Orozco, Ph.D. now living in Green River. This book purports to shed some light on the American Indian ancestry and the Sun Stone of the Mexicas. On the cover of the book, there is a large photo of the Sun Stone that some call the Mayan Calendar. Richard said, comparing the photo of the Sun Stone on the book and the images on this rock wall, note the feathered snake there and the feathered snake here, see the four rattlers up there and the four rattlers here, that has to do with their calendar. I have talked with the man that translated this. He first saw a photo of this panel in The National Geographic. He is the one that translated the big stone or Sun Stone in Mexico City. Rosie was a student then. Working on her Ph. D. This book will tell you how to translate the big Mayan Calendar Stone but it won't help you much with this panel.

Here is what you will see in this Head of Sinbad panel and its ratio of 5 and 8. That is the ratio of the Hopi calendar. If you would take and draw the sun and put a line out from it to Mercury first and Venus second and we are the third planet. So every 584 days Venus laps the earth. If you count those strings over there, hanging down from the image, five of them times 548 equals 2920 days. And if you take 8 times 365 days, like our days, it equals 2920 days.

Richard said, Little Wild Horse Canyon is the most sacred place that I know of. The Petroglyphs on the ceiling there are wonderful. I spent a lot of time translating the images in Little Wild Horse Canyon. On the rock wall at the Head of Sinbad you will see from left to right a little animal with arms out stretched, (usually referred to as the supplicator). Next is a figure that looks like eight strings hanging down from a peg. Above the next image is a small circle with a line through the center and a snake, below the snake is an image with arms out stretched. The hands have four fingers each. The figure has two big eyes. Hanging from the shoulders is a long dark robe with two lines of hash marks in the middle. The robe ends and the feet look almost like bird feet. Then next to this image is another figure that looks like five strings hanging from a peg.

Arenas said, This is one of the most sacred sites in all of Sinbad. Dr. Cecilio Orozco found a correlation between this, The Head of Sinbad, panel and the Sun Stone. Most people know the Sun Stone as the Aztec Calendar and it has to do with the planet Venus. (To see the Sun Stone you can go on line to look at it.) This panel is at least 4000 years old. A colleague of mine spent his entire life studying the Aztec Calendar. But it is not Aztec and it is not even a calendar. However everyone knows it as the Aztec Calendar. It is actually the Sun Stone. The Sun Stone center part or the inside part is like a history of the people. Following several generations of the migration of a people and how they got to Mexico. The outer part of the Sun Stone has to do with Astronomy, with the stars, with years and with counting. This people became the Aztec's and made the sun stone in Mexico. These same people originally migrated through this area. We know this because the sun stone and this figure in the panel are so closely correlated.

Rosie added some additional information about the Sun Stone in Mexico City and the Head of Sinbad panel. The Sun Stone has four squares and a fifth one in the middle. Each represents a different sun and corresponds to the different levels of migration caused by drought, flooding, hurricanes, etc. One square talks about a drought, another about flooding, another about hurricanes, and we are now in the fifth sun.

Now as you look at the Head of Sinbad panel, the middle figure, those are not two eyes but a two headed figure and each side represents Venus as the morning star and Venus as the evening star. That is one other thing that corresponded with the Sun Stone. Notice the arms that are stretched out and they have only four fingers not five. The sun stone if you look at the serpent it has four rattles on each side. The snake above this figure represents Venus, it is a beautiful year comment.

Seely said, when the old professor, living in Mexico, saw the Head of Sinbad panel in the June 1980 issue of National Geographic. He realized that here was the 8 to 5 ratio of their calendar. Venus being closer to sun than the earth. Every 584 days it will go past us. So if you count the knots in the strings hanging down there, 584 times 5 and then take the 8 times 365. They used that ratio of 8 to 5.

Above the head of the image is a Chinese symbol and that is a flaw in the rock, but it is equal on each side. Seely referred to it as the Yin and Yang. Similar to the Korean flag. He was referring to the small circle with the line through it in front of the snake over the head of the image. It doesn't mean good and bad it just means opposites. The little animal on the left side is usually referred to as the little supplicator.

Looking at the panel to the left of the Head of Sinbad panel. Seely said, According to the Eskimos they believe they were nurtured by one of the two great trees in the far North. If you look up above that guys head, those are two trees. It is not corn it is trees. See the birds going up and around those trees and coming back down. It means that Indians believe through visions they can return to their tree and learn what they should do in their life. These images are about the same age as those at Thompson Canyon about 4000 years old. That is what the archaeologist say, concerning when these painted Petroglyphs were done. A very gifted medicine man always has spirit helpers that travel with him. Look at the way the animals in the panel are facing, the ones below, there are seven of them. Are they mountain sheep or are they antelope? Those are his spirit helpers.

An accomplished medicine man does not need drugs, peyote or anything to do astral travel. A lot of people can do this. You do not hear much about astral travel, because most of the people think they are nuts. Most Native Americans are right brained. They are more intuitive, artistic, musical, etc. This comes from Joseph Campbell's Mythology. Note the four circles in this panel. Are those North bound birds flying into those openings? Those represent spirits. People that have died. They say in the four heavens there are good people and bad people. You can see that two are going in to each of those four openings or heavens.

The four circles down the right side of the figure. I think they represent Venus because they use Venus for their calendar. When Venus is the furthest South and the morning star, then in exactly four years it will be the furthest North and the evening star. When the Hopi's have a festive day as depicted on the Mayan Calendar as a rosette, that represents those four years. When they put streamers off of it that means a beautiful day. Venus is a beautiful star and it is the most prominent star in the night sky. At the end of the four years they have a festive day and that is called Beautiful Festive Day. Every 52 years they have big festive day. That is when they break up all of the pottery and put out the fire. In Mexico the pottery is so deep in places that they use it for land fill instead of gravel. After the ceremony they restart the fire and start over. Another thing about the American Indians, they use a 360 day calendar. If you go to Black Dragon you will see 360 tally marks up there. There are also some sun marks up there. There is a pretty good sized one decorated and that marks the longest day the 21st day of June. The Indians were very conscious of time. Many of the big buildings built in Mexico were for astronomy. They knew about the alignment of the stars in the solar system. For more information go online to the Sun Stone and look up the Mayan Calendar.

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