It is currently Thu Oct 29, 2020 4:48 am

All times are UTC




Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 180 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ... 12  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Journal excerpts, Part 4
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:34 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah all,

Here's the most recent entry... for the moment. I still have a lot more to write up in the meanwhile! :D


Tuesday 12 Mar 2013

Went back to the Cleft today to see about getting more data on the sun from inside the caldera. I couldn’t find a position where I could see both the sun and the caldera tip. But I did get a couple useful photos anyway.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Standing with my back to the sun, the tip is to my right
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Standing with my back to the tip, the sun is to my left
Image

I'm not able to stand perfectly underneath the tip as there are boulders in the way.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Aligning myself outside with the caldera tip, the sun is in the same relative position as from inside
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: A second view from the same position
Image

Sadly, it appears that the sun is in the same position in the sky when viewing from inside and outside the caldera. So I only have two data points for deducing the cardinal directions here. Ah well.

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:18 pm 
Your theories about the water are confirmed on page 18 of the Myst Reader: "Here, water bubbled up from and underground spring, seeping through a tilted layer of porous rock, macking the ancient steps wet and slippery."

Comparing the view out of the Cleft with my star chart of the area on the day in question, the only possible way for Atrus to be able to see the moon and Orion from where he was sat is if the Cleft is aligned roughly east-west. That is, the lower end of the cleft points about west. Which lines up the the seasonal sunrise shift drawing in the book. So, observing once more from the Cleft, I would estimate that the month is June or July, and the time of day is around 5pm, local time, for sunny Cleft, and maybe 6pm, local time, for rainy Cleft.


Top
  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Wed Apr 17, 2013 9:37 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah all,

It's official, the next research road trip has been scheduled for this Saturday. I'm heading up northwest to Chaco Canyon, hoping to search out D'ni/Bahro petroglyphs while I'm in the neighborhood, as well as visiting the Sun Dagger there. As always, I will keep my eyes peeled for any suggestive landforms.

Stay tuned! :!:

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Back from Chaco
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 1:44 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah all,

Another interesting road trip has come and gone and I have finally sorted through the 700 photos I took last weekend. An illustrated synopsis of the Chaco Canyon adventure is below.

Sadly, I was unable to visit the sun dagger there. Because of the visitor foot traffic, one of the large slabs has become misaligned and so public access is no longer allowed. It is a fascinating piece of archeoastronomy that we can visit only vicariously these days.

[Reveal] Spoiler: We head north from Albuquerque, passing by the Sandia Mountains to the east
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Upon reaching Bernalillo, we head westward and cross the Rio Grande
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The red cliffs of the Jemez River valley evoke Tomahna
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: These reds are fairly common in this part of New Mexico, though not so much elsewhere
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Interesting landforms are everywhere
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Reminds me of the view from the Tomahna windows
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: There are dramatic layers to the landscape here
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Cabezon Peak, a renowned volcanic neck
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Nearby is Cerro Cuate, with its very suggestive shape
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: More interesting rock forms along the roadside
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: An ocean of sagebrush with high-altitude clouds in the distance; weather is blowing in from northern parts
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The malpais, or badlands, just before the turnoff to Chaco Canyon
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: We have reached the park entrance; there still is a several-mile drive to the visitor center
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Fajada Butte, home to the sun dagger
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: A closeup of the top; the sun dagger rock archeoastronomical observatory is somewhere up there
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: We pause at the visitor center for a quick picnic lunch and are joined by in inquisitive visitor
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The wind is brisk and so we finish lunch and head along a nearby trail to the first village; the cliff face shows an interesting dark band
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Una Vida is the closest old settlement to the sun dagger; the old walls were quite thick, with larger stones in the middle and smaller finishing stones outside
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The stones are cemented with a sandy mud mixture from the old days as well as a concrete-based mixture from modern restoration work
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Climbing up the cliff face there, we find a series of petroglyphs there
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The petroglyphs are tricky to photograph as the bright sun makes them hard to spot; shaded ones are much easier
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Farther down the road, I take a cliffside footpath toward Chetro Ketl and find more petroglyphs there
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Petroglyphs here are pecked into the rock just as at Three Rivers; the rock here differs though, providing no contrasting subsurface tinting
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Chetro Ketl sports a mostly-excavated kiva
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Some of the crumbled walls with the cliff face in the near distance; we were told that this settlement was in perfect condition back in the 1800s but collapsed fairly quickly when ranchers and cowboys removed the wooden ceiling-floor beams to use for firewood
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The cliff face is in a slow process of crumbling all along its south-facing walls; here is a huge chunk that has almost completely separated from the main cliff surface
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Smaller chunks that have tumbled down the cliff sides
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: This one is the size of a small house
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: A high ground vista of Pueblo Bonito, the most well-known of the settlements here
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: There is a similar kiva here
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Like Chetro Ketl, Pueblo Bonito was once a multi-storeyed complex; we can see some remaining upper-level windows all about
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: We find a rare patch of stucco on an interior wall; nearly all the stucco has crumbled away long ago
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The remains of two celing beams
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: A fully restored interior room
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: I take a cliffside footpath to visit the Wetherill cemetery and find some more historical rock inscriptions
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: One of several honeycombed rocks along the footpath
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The old family cemetery for Richard Wetherill; Richard Wetherill operated a local trading post and did some early excavations at Chaco Canyon. For his time, he was probably typical, digging randomly for pots and other smaller artifacts to sell to collectors and museums, caring little about the architecture. This practice changed toward the turn of the century as more national interest developed for aboriginal archeology as a research pursuit rather than a curiosity.
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: From the cemetery, I can see the Kin Kletso settlement in the near distance
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Along the cliffside footpath back toward the parking area, I find another historical inscription
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Another cluster of petroglyphs
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Pueblo Arroyo is unusual, being at the old riverside rather than tucked against the cliff face; the arroyo is visible through the windows
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: There are numerous small kivas here; the original stonework can be seen in contrast to the more recent restoration stonework
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: I spot a hawk hunting for dinner through one of the windows there
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The constant winds today have drained our energy but we head back toward Fajada Butte for another long look
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: We are too tired to hike the trails leading to the rest of the old settlements and the other petroglyph and pictograph sites; it is late and we head back toward civilization
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: I am disappointed that I was not able to complete my petroglyph survey; the westering sun makes the sagebrush fields and cloud masses even more dramatic
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: We pass some of the locals on our way back to the main road
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The Continental Divide, a few miles east from the Chaco Canyon turnoff
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The sun sets as we continue back toward Albuquerque
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The afterglow
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Cerro Cuate and Cabezon at dusk
Image

No Cleft caldera quite yet, but I think a trip to visit Cabezon and Cerro Cuate is in order! Plus, I really do need to return to Chaco and visit the more distant petroglphs.

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 3:23 pm 
Very impressive photos, Ainia!


Top
  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Next research road trip
PostPosted: Thu May 23, 2013 9:35 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah all,

Another research road trip is in the works. I am aiming for the northwestern parts of New Mexico (the Four Corners area) and may even wander across the Colorado border and visit Mesa Verde; or Monument Valley in Arizona. Since we have an upcoming holiday here in the states (Memorial Day on Monday), a longer trip is within easy reach.

More later!! :D

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject: Road trip accomplished!!
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 8:35 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah all,

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I survived the two-day road trip, visited four different sites and took more than 1100 photos. Whew!!! :D

I hope to sort through all those photos "in my spare time" and post a synopsis here. Because it was such a lengthy adventure, I will probably have to split the "synopsis" into at least two rather lengthy posts.

Stay tuned!! :D

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:42 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah again,

I have made good progress with sorting through all the trip photos. I will split them into four separate posts, one for each of the four destinations visited.

===

Day 1, Saturday 25 May 2013, Salmon Ruins

The drive to the site is a moderate distance from the Chaco Canyon turnoff of our last road trip. After driving past more oceans of sagebrush, we find ourselves approaching our destination, Bloomfield New Mexico, a current-day hub for the natural gas industry. In the 1800s, the Salmons chose the site for the same reason as the former occupants, the Anasazi: its location along the northern banks of the San Juan River.

[Reveal] Spoiler: A view of the San Juan river valley as we approach Bloomfield; the mountains of southern Colorado are in the distance
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: We head west from Bloomfield and after a couple miles have arrived
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The visitor center has a nice little museum, a gift shop filled with local arts and crafts, and a crusty old archeologist and caretaker to welcome us
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Local flora is in bloom on the downward trail, here a Prickly Pear
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: We must walk through the old homestead first; here is the old residence
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: A closeup of the house wall, old timbers plastered with mud and straw
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: There is an old orchard nearby with fruit trees and a blooming Black Locust
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: A crumbling old corral
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Past the homestead area we find the first old pueblo wall
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: As with other ruins of this era, there are numerous kivas throughout the complex
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: An excavated kiva which contained the bodies of adults and children; archeologists believe they died in a ceremonial mishap when the kiva caught fire
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The largest kiva is set apart from the other buildings, in the center of the old plaza
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The trees and scrub along the river can be seen just off to the side
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: We encounter a local denizen, a Collared Lizard
Image

Sadly, I find no petroglyphs at this site.

_________________
ImageImage


Last edited by Ainia on Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 7:59 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:46 pm
Posts: 985
great pics! :P


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:39 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:38 am
Posts: 730
Location: France
very well done :shock: :D

_________________
Le difficile prend du temps, l'impossible, un peu plus...

Membre du quartier Mystpedia - KI 9392
Alts : EG Jan (gone) / Sleeper Jan KI (coming soon)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:20 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah everyone,

Thanks for the warm thoughts Acorn1 and janeerah! I'm pleased to know that you are enjoying the virtual journeys here.

Here's the synopsis of the second destination.

===

Day 1, Saturday 25 May 2013, Aztec Ruins

The second stop for the day is at Aztec Ruins National Monument, located in the town of Aztec New Mexico, about 10 miles north of Bloomfield. Both the town and the ruins sit on the banks of the Animas River, flowing down from Colorado and feeding into the larger San Juan River to the west at Farmington. Aztec was named by the 19th century Anglo settlers who mistakenly believed that the Aztec civilization in Mexico traced its roots to the Anasazi ruins here.

The site was excavated in the early part of the 20th century by Earl H. Morris through the American Museum of Natural History. Morris was a local lad who went on to become an archeologist, returning to his childhood home specifically to excavate the Aztec Ruins. He made a career of this work; his crowning achievement was the reconstruction of the Great Kiva here.

Archeologists believe that as drought in the area intensified during the later 1000s, the Chaco peoples emigrated to the San Juan riverbanks at Salmon Ruins only to abandon that settlement after about 20 years in favor of the more predictable Animas River area we now know as Aztec Ruins.

[Reveal] Spoiler: We drive through barren lands on our way to the town of Aztec
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Approaching the ruins, we cross the Animas River
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: We have arrived at the visitor center
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Manos and metates are clustered throughout the site
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Stripes of green slate stones are something of a signature for this old site
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The long back/western wall of the main site
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: A solitary outlying round building consisting four walls, three of which can be seen easily here
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Looking back toward the main site from the outlying building, the trees lining the Animas banks can be seen just beyond the ruins
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: As with the other Anasazi sites, there are numerous small kivas throughout the complex
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Some original wooden beams remain in one of the larger kivas
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: And some original ceiling poles and thatching remain in one of the rectangular interior rooms
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: A cluster of rooms to the west
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Some unexcavated walls on the far size of the plaza
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The doorways facing the plaza are T-shaped; the remains of the top wooden beam can still be seen
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: As at Chaco, there are a number of corner windows here
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Many of the stone bricks show clear chisel marks; the bricks were quarried several miles away and original construction of the complex took 20 years to complete
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Tree ring samples helped to date the site and established the timespan for its construction
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: Descending into the interior of a series of rooms, the original bricks, roofing and plaster can still be seen
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The doorways between rooms are quite low and one must stoop to walk through
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The great kiva is in the plaza and was reconstructed by Morris in the 1930s; he was forced to use modern construction techniques as all attempts to emulate the Anasazi were unsuccessful
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: It is like a church inside
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: The ceiling is an impressive web of wooden beams
Image

[Reveal] Spoiler: One of the four support pillars was left unfinished to demonstrate its construction technique
Image

Still no petroglyphs.

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 8:17 am 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:06 am
Posts: 639
Location: UK: Now with added Magic
Ainia, wonderful pictures as always, a real sense of being there. I'm sure you will find the cleft location one day, and until then we have the added bonus of your pictures and travelogue.

You say that Earl Morris was unable to reproduce the Anasazi's building techniques: has later research lead to a better understanding of their construction methods? Experimental archaeology seems to have become much more popular now that it makes good television - has any been done recently with Anasazi buildings?

_________________
KI numbers:
11981 AlanD
12305 AlanDJ


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 6:02 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:46 pm
Posts: 985
those beautiful walls reminded me a bit of Great Zimbabwe which wikipedia tells me was begun in the 11th Century

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Great_Zimbabwe_Closeup.jpg


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:36 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:01 am
Posts: 219
Location: 4mile dwn1200milesENE 1mile up
I find your explorations fascinating Ainia :) :). The pictures are amazing! Do you have a explanation of what kiva means? (like house/hole in ground) I know they seem to be ceremonial structures,could they have been for some thing else, in your eyes or thoughts?

Nice Acorn1 :) I wonder how closely the building technology follows each other?

_________________
DaVinci
no I haven't completed the Code
Shorah and be well
KI 00142411


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 11:48 pm 
Offline
Obduction Backer

Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:46 pm
Posts: 847
Location: The Cleft, New Mexico
Shorah everyone,

Lots of interesting questions! :)

AlanD wrote:
You say that Earl Morris was unable to reproduce the Anasazi's building techniques: has later research lead to a better understanding of their construction methods? Experimental archaeology seems to have become much more popular now that it makes good television - has any been done recently with Anasazi buildings?

I have found nothing yet on the internet about further research into *recreating* the Anasazi architectural techniques themselves. It's fairly likely that some graduate student or other out here in the Four Corners region may have investigated this but finding theses posted on the internet is rather hit-and-miss. Thus far, I've found no comprehensive databases of such stuff. I will keep looking in the meanwhile.

Acorn1 wrote:
those beautiful walls reminded me a bit of Great Zimbabwe which wikipedia tells me was begun in the 11th Century

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Great ... loseup.jpg

Thanks for the mention of Great Zimbabwe. :) I'm not terribly familiar with African archeology, so this is a very nice find for me! Upon first glance, there are some interesting similarities as well as some clear differences between the two architectural styles, though it is interesting that both civilizations were flourishing at about the same time. Two differences of note are that the Great Zimbabwe stone bricks are all of a similar size whereas the Anasazi used larger stones in the middle of their walls with smaller finishing stones on the outsides; and the Anasazi used a mud-based mortar between the bricks while the Africans used none at all. Some other differences are that the Great Zimbabwe seems to be more of a fortification rather than a housing complex, so it's not clear whether the two cultures were building with the same purpose in mind. I cannot tell if there was any finishing work done on the interiors of the Great Zimbabwe, which is another potential difference between them. The Anasazi finished the interiors with plaster and painted decorative patterns (the latter which I have not seen personally just yet, I've only read about them).

In the case of both cultures, I find it fascinating that such effort was poured into these structures. One of the paradoxes here in the southwest is how so many of these impressive communities were occupied for relatively brief periods of time. An enormous effort was poured into building these stone pueblos, giving one every impression that the inhabitants intended to live there indefinitely. Yet they moved on. An interesting mystery that archeologists continue to debate (climate? conflict? safety? agriculture? hunting? etc.).

DaVinci wrote:
I find your explorations fascinating Ainia :) :). The pictures are amazing! Do you have a explanation of what kiva means? (like house/hole in ground) I know they seem to be ceremonial structures,could they have been for some thing else, in your eyes or thoughts?

I think in the common vernacular "kiva" is something of a catch-all term for any round sub-surface structure (and is how I tend to use it here in my descriptions). In a more formal (and present-day) sense, a kiva is a strictly ceremonial structure. Part of this apparent paradox is that it can sometimes be difficult to know the original purpose of some of these archeological structures. They vary greatly in size and location within a pueblo; and all pueblos have numerous kivas scattered throughout with one or two larger ones located in a central plaza. Archeological evidence suggests that many of these structures were clearly used ceremonially and were built with similar features. Other groups of these structures are quite plain and appear to my eye more suited for storage.

One of the difficulties I am finding in visiting these restored sites is in differentiating the restoration work from the original. In the end, any restoration is an attempt to emulate what the experts believe to be the "truth" at the time the restoration work is being done. But research continues in the meanwhile, techniques improve, old theories are discarded for better ones, etc.

Generally, southwestern archeologists have found that community structures pre-dating the Chacoan era consist of round pit-houses which were used for pretty much all the natives' needs--homes, storage, religious rites, etc. Archeologists believe that these pit-houses evolved to the puebloan architecture of the Anasazi, with the sub-surface round structures taking on a more ceremonial purpose and with four-cornered multi-storey village rooms meeting the daily needs of residents.

Architecturally, any sub-surface structure is more stable if it is round rather than four-cornered. There are a number of examples of four-cornered surface rooms in these Anasazi pueblos being converted later to round rooms. Part of the complexity of understanding all this is that the original builders of these pueblos abandoned their homes and moved on, with these deserted buildings being occupied later by other wandering peoples. So it's still unclear who converted these rooms and why (custom? need?). Toward the end of both Salmon Ruin's occupation and Aztec Ruin's occupation, it looks like some surface rooms were used as garbage dumps, latrines, etc. while other rooms were occupied. To me, this sounds very much like what later wanderers would be likely to do in finding an abandoned stone village ready for inhabitation.

_________________
ImageImage


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Forum locked This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 180 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ... 12  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: