Thursday, February 11, 2010

Astronomy, Cosmology, and Rock Art : California Tree Carvings - Arborglyphs of the Chumash - Could Respresent the Stars - TIME

TIME reads:
California Tree Carving Hints at Early Chumash Astronomy.

graphic by Rick Bury linked from the TIME article

Matt Kettman in his TIME report titled A Tree Carving in California: Ancient Astronomers? writes inter alia about an article published by paleontologist Rex Saint Onge in the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology:
"It became increasingly obvious to Saint Onge that the arborglyph and related cave paintings weren't just the work of wild-eyed, drug-induced shamans — which has been a leading theory for decades — but that the ancient images were deliberate studies of the stars and served as integral components of the Chumash people's annual calendar."
See in this regard:

Hudson and Underhay: Crystals in the Sky: An Intellectual Odyssey Involving Chumash Astronomy, Cosmology, and Rock Art, review by Albert B. Elsasser.

For a sceptical view of the astronomical interpretation, see: Philosophy of Science Portal - Saint Lucia Mountains yields an arborglyph with astronomical graphics

There is little doubt in our mind that Saint Onge is correct, but an arborglyph of this nature - standing alone - is most certainly not as conclusive a proof as the figures found carved into stone systematically over larger territorial areas. See my book Stars Stones and Scholars.

Co-author of the Chumash arborglyph article with Saint Onge was anthropologist John Johnson of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, who was quoted as saying:
" "Whether we're right or not, I don't know, but we keep finding things that strengthen the idea," says Johnson. "And if we keep finding ethnographic support for it, I feel we're on safer ground.
Not just ethnographic support, but much other evidence is also available. People publishing in this field of archaeoastronomy should first read my book, consult my many related websites, including, and also look at the decipherment FILES (left column menu there) at the LexiLine group on the History of Civilization (slowly being moved to the LexiLine Journal, or its mirror here).

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