Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Death Valley Petroglyphs: "Spectre Wash"

Spirit Bighorn
Once again out in the remote wild lands that compose most of Western Death Valley, we stumbled upon a site I have found little documentation on. Interestingly, it currently has no vandalism anywhere, though equally interesting was the lack of lithic scatter at the site, or flecks from point making by the natives.

The rock here is a porous basalt/andesite, and the petroglyphs here were very deep, and many were also clearly very very old. Many of them were completely varnished over, detectable only by standing at the right angle with the sun glare exposing the divots where the glyph is. 

Panels here were largely Coso in style, with a few bighorns and a few anthropomorphic people in the mix as well. More recent glyphs are probably from the Timbisha Shoshone, a few hundred to over a thousand years, while the oldest are likely at least 8,000 years old.

Small snake


Curvilinear doodles

Huge sunburst about 16 inches across.

Extremely old and heavily varnished snowman-like design.



This is a great place to ponder the designs

Most glyphs were on the flat tops of the boulders here

Grinding slick in the middle?


Very old and very deep designs

New and old

One of the larger panels here

Glyphs are scattered over a large area.

A huge variety of ages here

Crosses over circles

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