Monday, July 3, 2017

Petroglyphs and Bedrock Mortar – Hiking in New Mexico #MountainMonday #TT

One thing I love about living in New Mexico is that you can hike nearly anywhere. In other places, you may be restricted to an official marked hike. Either you're not allowed to hike elsewhere, because most places are private property, or it's impossible to hike elsewhere because of thick vegetation. While there are many excellent New Mexico hikes to be found in guidebooks, adventurous types can also find hidden gems. These pictures are from a loop west of Socorro, in central New Mexico, which features petroglyphs as well as more recent signs of human occupation such as a crumbling cattle trough and a rusty windmill.

I love the handprints of different sizes going up the wall. We like to imagine a family making these. These appear to be pictographs. A pictograph is simply a picture or symbol. The term can be used in many fields, including mathematics. But in archaeology, pictograph refers to a symbol painted on a rock. On the other hand, petroglyphs are symbols created by scratching or carving into the rock. Both are protected by state and federal laws.

 Here's another handprint, but this one is done as an outline.

Can you spot symbols in here? Slightly left of center, in the lower half, the red paint seems to surround something like a castle. Toward the upper right is what looks (to modern sensibilities) like a hash tag. It looks rather like the Zia Sun symbol as well.

The holes on top of this boulder do not appear entirely natural. They are too rounded and smooth, suggesting this may have been a bedrock mortar used to grind grain.

I should note that I am not an archaeologist, and these are simply our interpretations of what we found.

I write novels of adventure and romance involving outdoor adventures and Southwestern landscapes. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. The Mad Monk’s Treasure follows the hunt for a long-lost treasure in the New Mexico desert. In The Dead Man’s Treasure, estranged relatives compete to reach a buried treasure by following a series of complex clues. In The Skeleton Canyon Treasure, sparks fly when reader favorites Camie and Tiger help a mysterious man track down his missing uncle. Each of the Southwest Treasure Hunters books stands alone in this series mixing action and adventure with light romance.

The Mad Monk's Treasure, “Smart romance with an 'Indiana Jones' feel,” is currently free at all e-book retailers.

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