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The Hunt for the elusive Carrizo Gorge Pictographs Messages in this topic - RSS

surfponto
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3/18/2010
surfponto
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Took a solo trip out to hunt for the Carrizo Gorge Pictographs and wildflowers.
I was succesful on both counts. On my hike up to the cattleman's house in Rock House Canyon (BLM) I was surrounded by Desert Dandelions, Chuparosa, Desert Chicory, Sand Verbena and many others. The smell was amazing!

Drove back down to Carrizo Gorge jeep trail and headed west. Road has gotten really bad in places. You definetly need a 4wd with a low range to get past many areas. There was tons of water in Carrizo Creek which I haven't seen before.
Finally after much bouncing around I parked my Landcruiser and began to explore the area. I had sketchy directions for the pictographs but within 15 minutes I was able to find them. smile
They are really cool. I would love to hear if anyone knows about these. I read somewhere that they are the Rumarosa style of cave art and that at some point they may have been touched up. Either way they are pretty cool and the cave is awesome,
Bob






edited by surfponto on 3/18/2010
edited by surfponto on 3/6/2013

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hikerdmb
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3/18/2010
hikerdmb
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Nicely done Bob! Any other pics to share?
David
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surfponto
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3/18/2010
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hikerdmb wrote:
Nicely done Bob! Any other pics to share?
David


Trying to organize them now. Lot of work :-) Here are some more











edited by surfponto on 3/18/2010
<em>edited by surfponto on 3/18/2010</em>

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hikerdmb
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3/18/2010
hikerdmb
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I see what you mean about the pictographs looking touched up. They are very dark. I like the pic of the cruiser and the creek. The hills in the background are amazingly green. That is a lot of water for Carrizo. How far down the canyon was the water flowing? Seeing the flowers makes me even more excited about my trip this weekend.
David
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surfponto
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3/19/2010
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I didn't notice the water until that big sand dropoff where the sign used to be near the end of the jeep trail.
It was really nice back there. Not a soul around for miles smile
The trail gave my Land-Cruiser a real work out.

Bob

hikerdmb wrote:
I see what you mean about the pictographs looking touched up. They are very dark. I like the pic of the cruiser and the creek. The hills in the background are amazingly green. That is a lot of water for Carrizo. How far down the canyon was the water flowing? Seeing the flowers makes me even more excited about my trip this weekend.
David

<em>edited by surfponto on 3/19/2010</em>

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quidditian
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3/19/2010
quidditian
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Oooooooooooooooooooh! What delightful pics! The cacti with pink blooms are to die for. Um, yeah, my car would be the equivalent of trying to tool around on a tricycle out there. The little horn on the handlebars could be my cell phone.

What's the little stone building? Is that just another angle of the Harper stuff, or a mine entrance, or...?

Also love the long windy road to the mountains pic...now I'll have the Beatles tune stuck in my head all night. That's preferable to the Prince in neighbor is blaring at the moment, though. :]
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surfponto
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3/19/2010
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Prince ! Do people still play that smile

That rock house is actually in the southern area of Anza Borrego. It is about a 2.7 miles each way from where park.
It looks like the build date is 1942

I am not sure the history of that one. It is in a really nice spot. It overlooks this huge valley

Not a soul around

Bob

quidditian wrote:
Oooooooooooooooooooh! What delightful pics! The cacti with pink blooms are to die for. Um, yeah, my car would be the equivalent of trying to tool around on a tricycle out there. The little horn on the handlebars could be my cell phone.

What's the little stone building? Is that just another angle of the Harper stuff, or a mine entrance, or...?

Also love the long windy road to the mountains pic...now I'll have the Beatles tune stuck in my head all night. That's preferable to the Prince in neighbor is blaring at the moment, though. :]


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quidditian
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3/19/2010
quidditian
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Heh. Prince...I'm just glad to know there are people who still know who he is (for better or worse).

So many wonderful little mysteries out in the desert. Maybe the structure was a little hobbit vacation home. :]
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surfponto
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3/23/2010
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Hey all,
I just added the post for this trip at http://www.anzaborrego.net
Let me know what you think?
wink

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hikerdmb
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3/23/2010
hikerdmb
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I like it. Makes me want to go there. I have been pretty far up that canyon but never knew there were pictographs. It seems I remember talk of a cave being used by illegals a few years ago. Maybe that is the same one.
David
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surfponto
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3/23/2010
surfponto
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Quite possibly.
It is a really nice cave with a great view.

Funny, now that I know where it is I can't believe I missed it.
What is weird is that the sign that used to say "Closed Area" at the end of the trail is now gone.
I was pretty turned around driving out there since I kept looking for the sign.
Let me know if you want a Google link?


Bob
hikerdmb wrote:
I like it. Makes me want to go there. I have been pretty far up that canyon but never knew there were pictographs. It seems I remember talk of a cave being used by illegals a few years ago. Maybe that is the same one.
David


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quidditian
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3/23/2010
quidditian
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Oh so THAT'S what these "water drops" are...you guys were talking about them in another post, and I didn't know what they were. Well, that's nice. Never one to encourage illegal behavior, but...well, I think we can all give a collective sigh here.

You've got a nice readable writing style, perfect for keeping people engaged; I'm appalled at the number of intelligent illiterates who wander the earth (or at least the internet).

About the pictographs... I guess it's sort of a big deal to me whether or not they've been retouched, so I tried to stalk out some info, but came up empty handed. I found them on another site, but the author didn't really make any qualitative statements about them. He mentions some other nice spots, though...the pictographs around the Inkopah Mountains call to me...or perhaps it's more the burial ground that's bellowing out. I know many of these are familiar to you guys...

http://home.sandiego.edu/~gennero/Petro.html

Billions and billions of years ago (thank you, C. Sagan), I bought an old Russian icon at an estate sale. It wasn't a lot of money (though $80 seemed like a million, being freshly out of college), but I loved it because it had a genuine historicity to it -- it looked like it had been dragged across countries by persecuted families for several generations. I had it appraised at one point, more interested in learning a time frame for it than its value (which is good -- it seems that when Russia fell, the market was flooded with these icons, making them relatively monetarily worthless). The owner of the antique gallery said it appeared to be late 17th century.

Anyway, the kicker about the thing is that there are some Greek letters (symbols?) that were originally in gold leaf. The letters had so worn away (as had/has much of the face of the painting) that some well-meaning person along the way went over the letters with...*shiver*...one of those god-awful gold metallic pens one finds at any craft store.

The moral of the story is that retouching (in my opinion, even when its done by museum-quality restorers) takes so much away from an object of antiquity. I'd much prefer the deteriorated/authentic state... It sort of harshly slaps one back into the present to know something has been "restored."

When I was looking around for the blue sun pigment info a couple of weeks ago, there was info out there of the types of binders used for pigments on the pictographs, and while there were a variety available, apparently it's thought the most sturdy was a binder made of bone marrow. Sap was also mentioned. Now, I've had a couple of dark encounters with sap, and it can seem like the stuff will NEVER come come off whatever it's gotten on. I can't say I've had any close encounters with bone marrow, so can't speak to its adhesive properties. I'm wondering, though, if the pictos in question are relatively newish (don't know which tribe they're attributed to), were made of a SERIOUS binding element and charcoal, AND had the added protection of being somewhat sheltered from the elements in that cave...whether they might indeed be in an unadulterated state. The five-year-old in me wants to believe that.

There must be a scholar on this area wandering around somewhere...not that they might not also have to go on speculation. I'll add it to the lengthy "sniff this out when I get a chance" list.

Great blog post, Bob -- loved the reference to people desperately snapping pics of anything with a spot of color. When I was out there, I felt bad for all of the tourists that were going to be loading in that weekend for the flowers, b/c the flowers simply weren't cooperating yet...

As an aside, how do you guys embed the full images in posts? Do I use the <img src=web link from photo host> or some variation thereof?
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surfponto
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3/23/2010
surfponto
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Funny that is one of the pictures I saw also that made me want to find them.
I think they are really cool. Almost spooky smile I agree though, I would prefer them untouched.
I have heard that they may have been touched up in the 40s but noone seems to have any concrete evidence either way.

I basically try to write how I think. Sometimes it works, other times not so well.
Writing is fun. Wish I had paid more attention during my college writing classes since it would have come in useful for BLOGGING

To answer your question about the pics copy and paste your image path such as

http://lh5.ggpht.com/_7UktrJ96AFU/S6LyboXAohI/AAAAAAAAAkg/kT2Wvev-TFc/s800/IMG_0276_1.jpg


Hilight it and then click on the button up top that looks like a picture (5th one from left)

Oh and whatever you could dig up about the pictographs would be awesome!

Bob

quidditian wrote:
Oh so THAT'S what these "water drops" are...you guys were talking about them in another post, and I didn't know what they were. Well, that's nice. Never one to encourage illegal behavior, but...well, I think we can all give a collective sigh here.

You've got a nice readable writing style, perfect for keeping people engaged; I'm appalled at the number of intelligent illiterates who wander the earth (or at least the internet).

About the pictographs... I guess it's sort of a big deal to me whether or not they've been retouched, so I tried to stalk out some info, but came up empty handed. I found them on another site, but the author didn't really make any qualitative statements about them. He mentions some other nice spots, though...the pictographs around the Inkopah Mountains call to me...or perhaps it's more the burial ground that's bellowing out. I know many of these are familiar to you guys...

http://home.sandiego.edu/~gennero/Petro.html

Billions and billions of years ago (thank you, C. Sagan), I bought an old Russian icon at an estate sale. It wasn't a lot of money (though $80 seemed like a million, being freshly out of college), but I loved it because it had a genuine historicity to it -- it looked like it had been dragged across countries by persecuted families for several generations. I had it appraised at one point, more interested in learning a time frame for it than its value (which is good -- it seems that when Russia fell, the market was flooded with these icons, making them relatively monetarily worthless). The owner of the antique gallery said it appeared to be late 17th century.

Anyway, the kicker about the thing is that there are some Greek letters (symbols?) that were originally in gold leaf. The letters had so worn away (as had/has much of the face of the painting) that some well-meaning person along the way went over the letters with...*shiver*...one of those god-awful gold metallic pens one finds at any craft store.

The moral of the story is that retouching (in my opinion, even when its done by museum-quality restorers) takes so much away from an object of antiquity. I'd much prefer the deteriorated/authentic state... It sort of harshly slaps one back into the present to know something has been "restored."

When I was looking around for the blue sun pigment info a couple of weeks ago, there was info out there of the types of binders used for pigments on the pictographs, and while there were a variety available, apparently it's thought the most sturdy was a binder made of bone marrow. Sap was also mentioned. Now, I've had a couple of dark encounters with sap, and it can seem like the stuff will NEVER come come off whatever it's gotten on. I can't say I've had any close encounters with bone marrow, so can't speak to its adhesive properties. I'm wondering, though, if the pictos in question are relatively newish (don't know which tribe they're attributed to), were made of a SERIOUS binding element and charcoal, AND had the added protection of being somewhat sheltered from the elements in that cave...whether they might indeed be in an unadulterated state. The five-year-old in me wants to believe that.

There must be a scholar on this area wandering around somewhere...not that they might not also have to go on speculation. I'll add it to the lengthy "sniff this out when I get a chance" list.

Great blog post, Bob -- loved the reference to people desperately snapping pics of anything with a spot of color. When I was out there, I felt bad for all of the tourists that were going to be loading in that weekend for the flowers, b/c the flowers simply weren't cooperating yet...

As an aside, how do you guys embed the full images in posts? Do I use the <img src=web link from photo host> or some variation thereof?

edited by surfponto on 3/23/2010
<em>edited by surfponto on 3/23/2010</em>

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quidditian
quidditian
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3/24/2010
quidditian
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I wrote Don Gennero -- the guy with the pics in the previously referenced link, and asked a bunch of random questions. Following is his reply...looks like definitive answers might be hard to come by. Gotta love a mystery...



Hi Cayenne,

Blue seems to be a very unusual color for pictographs, at least around here.
Most of the pictographs are either black, red or yellow. These colors are easy
to come by, charcoal and iron oxides with binders added. The blue might be of
modern origins. I suspect modern day artists have enhanced both the Indian Hill
site and the Carrizo Gorge site. I heard that somebody had darkened the ones in
Carrizo and that modern day Indians had enhanced the Indian Hill site. Who
knows?

I enjoyed your random comments and checking out the other websites. I am always
interested in any traces left behind by the former inhabitants of our deserts.
The Indians of the Carrizo area were the Kumeyaay and there is a lot of
information about them in various books, at the visitor center, Museum of Man,
local libraries and online.

The pictographs in the In Koh Pah Mtns. are in various locations, including
McCain Valley, DeAnza Springs and upper Canebrake (location of the burial ground
and skeleton pictographs). The search is almost as much fun as the discoveries.
I don't have any first hand information about the meanings of the rock art.
Some Indians were interviewed by anthropologists early in the century about the
meanings of the symbols, but, who knows if they really knew or wanted to tell
the truth to the interviewers. Some of the symbols are obvious, such as hand
prints and suns. There are many sites that depict astronomical events that have
pictographs of sunbursts. One amazing site which depicts the summer solstice is
far up in Indian Valley. Check out the "Forgotten Artist" book.

Yes, many rock are sites depict directions to resources or
other places or mark an important location. Hidden Spring above Clark Dry Lake
has a water symbol petroglyph above it. There are petroglyphs in the Valley of
Fire in Nevada and in other areas that depict journeys by foot, showing a path
of footprints.
I hope to spend much more time exploring rock art when I retire in the not so
distant future. I have friends who live in Utah who have tantalized me with
many amazing rock art panels.

See you on the trail.

Don



Cayenne here again. I tested the pic function, but I'm getting no love. I would insert the path between **, correct?

***SIGH**** --- I'm trying to type out the front end and back end of the image code when I ask about insertion above, but of course it's reading it as the actual code and making it invisible. So, would I insert the path to the pic in between those two pieces of image code that appear when one hits the image icon above?

Oh lord, sorry you guys are getting a thousand emails because of all my updates.

As always, I'm sure it's user error. :}


edited by quidditian on 3/24/
edited by quidditian on 3/24/2010
edited by quidditian on 3/24/2010
<em>edited by quidditian on 3/24/2010</em>
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surfponto
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3/30/2010
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Hi Cayenne,
Thanks for doing all the research on this.
I think I may pick up that book and see what other sites I can find....due credit to oyu of course.
Regards,
Bob

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sddarkman619
sddarkman619
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3/5/2013
sddarkman619
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That sign that says road closed, is that at the drop down ledge in the gorge? I used to drive down that drop off and park the truck at a hill of rocks and hike to the trestle from there. It's a bit of a workout hiking UP to the trestle from below near that drop off, but it's a nice hike too.

I've also been looking for these pictographs for a while, anyone care to message me and help me out? I'm supposed to be heading there this weekend for photos.
Thanks
Larry
edited by sddarkman619 on 3/5/2013
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surfponto
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3/6/2013
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Hi
Same here. They closed off that drop off a while back. That is a hard way to get to Goat Canyon. I have done that with Daren which you can read about here.
Spring Hike to the Goat Canyon Trestle

Bob

sddarkman619 wrote:
That sign that says road closed, is that at the drop down ledge in the gorge? I used to drive down that drop off and park the truck at a hill of rocks and hike to the trestle from there. It's a bit of a workout hiking UP to the trestle from below near that drop off, but it's a nice hike too.

I've also been looking for these pictographs for a while, anyone care to message me and help me out? I'm supposed to be heading there this weekend for photos.
Thanks
Larry
edited by sddarkman619 on 3/5/2013


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sddarkman619
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3/6/2013
sddarkman619
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Sounds like you took the easy way out. smile
We hiked all the way to the bottom of goat canyon beneath the trestle, then hiked up that to the trestle. and man was that an experience, and yeah that was the hard way, see my page here:
http://www.gothicsandiego.com/shoots/geotrestle/index.html

We actually took the easy way out too, on the way out. Instead of going back the way we came we hiked the tracks and cut down the side of the hill when we got close to our trucks.
edited by sddarkman619 on 3/6/2013
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3/6/2013
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Here's a photo of the drop, and a water drop. Is this near the Carrizo Picto's?

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tommy750
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3/7/2013
tommy750
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The Carrizo shaman cave is a great site and I'm glad you visited it. Was at an archaeology meeting a few months ago and met an old timer who told me there's another cave upstream. Forgot to bring his map when I was last out there January 27 and never found his site. Regarding the overpainted figures, they've been noticed since at least Treganza's report in 1942:

"Another group of pictographs in the Carrizo Gorge contains two elements that suggest a rather late origin. One painting is a human figure seated in what appears to be a chair and near the figure a "Christian Cross" is represented. The other figures are human and geometric. The pigment used appears to be a commercial oil paint or lamp black. This suggests either a very late origin for the paintings or retouching by some over-ambitious photographer."

Found another report stating the father of Colorado Desert archaeology, Malcolm Rogers, made a habit of overpainting all the pictographs he encountered! He may be the one who touched up Carrizo. Oh, well. Tom


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surfponto
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3/7/2013
surfponto
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Hi Tommy
Daren, Mary and I found another cave further up with a few dark pictos. Hard to find. In fact when I was out there a year later I couldn't locate it.



Bob


tommy750 wrote:
The Carrizo shaman cave is a great site and I'm glad you visited it. Was at an archaeology meeting a few months ago and met an old timer who told me there's another cave upstream. Forgot to bring his map when I was last out there January 27 and never found his site. Regarding the overpainted figures, they've been noticed since at least Treganza's report in 1942:

"Another group of pictographs in the Carrizo Gorge contains two elements that suggest a rather late origin. One painting is a human figure seated in what appears to be a chair and near the figure a "Christian Cross" is represented. The other figures are human and geometric. The pigment used appears to be a commercial oil paint or lamp black. This suggests either a very late origin for the paintings or retouching by some over-ambitious photographer."

Found another report stating the father of Colorado Desert archaeology, Malcolm Rogers, made a habit of overpainting all the pictographs he encountered! He may be the one who touched up Carrizo. Oh, well. Tom




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sddarkman619
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3/7/2013
sddarkman619
sddarkman619
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tommy750 wrote:
The Carrizo shaman cave is a great site and I'm glad you visited it. Was at an archaeology meeting a few months ago and met an old timer who told me there's another cave upstream. Forgot to bring his map when I was last out there January 27 and never found his site. Regarding the overpainted figures, they've been noticed since at least Treganza's report in 1942:


Tom, you mention someone visitied the Shamans Cave, but which is the Shamans cave? that's the cave I'm looking for near the palms. Can you help with the location? Are you speaking of the cave near the palms or where the carrizo pictos are?

Thanks
Larry
edited by sddarkman619 on 3/7/2013
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tommy750
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3/7/2013
tommy750
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surfponto wrote:
Hi Tommy
Daren, Mary and I found another cave further up with a few dark pictos. Hard to find. In fact when I was out there a year later I couldn't locate it.



Bob

That might be it. Have no info except a general area. Need to get out there again. That's an interesting pictograph. Looks like a globe with lat/lon marked out. Tom
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tommy750
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3/7/2013
tommy750
tommy750
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sddarkman619 wrote:
tommy750 wrote:
The Carrizo shaman cave is a great site and I'm glad you visited it. Was at an archaeology meeting a few months ago and met an old timer who told me there's another cave upstream. Forgot to bring his map when I was last out there January 27 and never found his site. Regarding the overpainted figures, they've been noticed since at least Treganza's report in 1942:


Tom, you mention someone visitied the Shamans Cave, but which is the Shamans cave? that's the cave I'm looking for near the palms. Can you help with the location? Are you speaking of the cave near the palms or where the carrizo pictos are?

Thanks
Larry
edited by sddarkman619 on 3/7/2013


Hi Larry. If we're talking about the Carrizo Palms NW of Indian Hill, I'm not aware of any pictograph sites near these groves except the cave at Indian Hill. If we're talking about further up Carrizo Canyon, there is the cave Bob just posted on. Looking at the pic you recently posted of the rock formation, I'm thinking you walked right by it. Bet you'll find it next time out. Tom
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