Saturday, January 18, 2020

ANIMALS IN ROCK ART: PALEOLITHIC SPOTTED HORSES - REAL OR FANCIFUL?




       Spotted horses, Pech-Merle
Cave, France.
   Internet photo - Public domain.

Students of rock art have learned to always be on the lookout for representations of rare or extinct animals as a guide to their actual appearance. This is a case of a cave painting of animals that were for some time thought to be imaginary or symbolic, and now have been proven to be real.

"Prehistoric representations of animals have the potential to provide first-hand insights into the physical environment that humans encountered thousands of years ago and the phenotypic appearance of the animals depicted. However, the motivation behind, and therefore the degree of realism in, these depictions is hotly debated and it has yet to be shown to what extent they have been executed in a naturalistic manner. Neuropsychological explanations include 'hyperimagery,' in which an internally generated image is perceived in external space, whereas others have argued for shamanistic significance or simply art for art's sake. Some paleontologists argue that cave paintings are a reflection of the natural environment of humans at the time, but not all researchers agree with this opinion." (Pruvost et.al. 2011:1)

In a nutshell, the argument has been whether the animal depictions represent the appearance of real animals, or whether they represent "spirit animals" of some sort. As "spirit animals" their overall appearance (shape, coat color, conformation, etc.) need not be considered as representative of a real horse.

One animal where these questions have been raised is the horse, specifically the depictions of spotted horses.

Coat colors and patterns
of Paleolithic horses.
Internet photo - Public Domain.


Bay and Black horses,
Chauvet Cave, France.
Internet photo - Public Domain.

"Where animal species can be confidently identified, horses are depicted at the majority of these sites. With more than 1,250 documented depictions (~30% of all animal illustrations) ranging from the Early Aurignacien of Chauvet to the Late Magdalenian (several post-12-kyBP sites in France and Spain), and from the Iberian Peninsula to the Ural mountains, horses are the most frequent of the more than 30 mammal species depicted in European Upper Paleolithic cave art. Depictions are commonly in a caricature form that slightly exaggerates the most typical 'horsey' features.
Although taken as a whole, images of horses are often quite rudimentary in their execution, some detailed representations, from both Western Europe and the Ural mountains, are realistic enough to at least potentially represent the actual appearance of the animals when alive. In these cases, attributes of coat color may also have been depicted with deliberate naturalism, emphasizing colors and patterns that characterized contemporary horses. For example, the brown and black horses dominant at Lascaux and Chauvet, France, phenotypically match the extant coat colors bay and black. However, the depictions in the cave of Pech-Merle, France, dated to 24.7 kyBP, featuring spotted horses in a frieze that includes hand outlines and abstract patterns of spots, have led prehistorians to argue for more complex explanation for several reasons. First, the juxtaposition of elements in this depiction raises the question of whether the spotted pattern is in some way symbolic or abstract, and second, a spotted coat phenotype is, at least by many researchers, considered unlikely for Paleolithic horses." (Pruvost et.al. 2011:2-3)


 Spotted horses, Pech-Merle
Cave, France.
   Internet photo - Public domain.

Most researchers before now had considered a horse with a spotted coat to have been improbable before domestication. Indeed, most non-domesticated wild animals have coats that are relatively solid in color, often darker above and lighter below. Now, a new genetic study has indicated that there was a strong genetic possibility of spotted horses back in the Paleolithic period.

"Now, a new study of prehistoric horse DNA concludes that spotted horses did indeed roam ancient Europe, suggesting that early artists may have been reproducing what they saw rather than creating imaginary creatures." (Balter 2011)


Bay horses, Lascaux Cave, France.
Internet photo - Public Domain.


Close-up of bay horse,
Lascaux Cave, France.
Internet photo - Public Domain.



Close-up of bay dun horse,
Lascaux Cave, France.
Internet photo - Public Domain.


"In a 2009 analysis of DNA from the bones of nearly 90 ancient horses dated from about 12,000 to 1000 years ago, researchers found genetic evidence for bay and black horse colors but not sign of the spotted variety." (Balter 2011) This led researchers to suggest that the spotted horses had been imaginary, spiritual beings.

"But in a new paper published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the same team reports finding that spotted horses did indeed exist around the time that cave artists were doing their best work. The researchers, led by geneticists Arne Ludwig of the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin and Michael Hofreiter of the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed DNA from an older sample of 31 prehistoric horses from Siberia as well as Eastern and Western Europe ranging from about 20,000 to 2200 years ago. They found that 18 of the horses were bay, seven were black, but six had a genetic variant - called LP - that corresponds to leopardlike spotting in modern horses. Moreover, out of 10 Western European horses estimated to be about 14,000 years old, four had the LP genetic marker, suggesting that spotted horses were not uncommon during the heyday of cave painting." (Balter 2011)

This is not proof that the Pech Merle spotted horses were painted after real models, but it is proof that they could have been.

NOTE: Some images in this posting were retrieved from the internet with a search for public domain photographs. If any of these images are not intended to be public domain, I apologize, and will happily provide the picture credits if the owner will contact me with them. For further information on these reports you should read the original reports at the sites listed below.

REFERENCES:

Balter, Michael
2011 Was the Spotted Horse an Imaginary Creature?, November 7, 2011, Science Magazine, https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2011/11/was-spotted-horse-imaginary-creature

Pruvost, Melanie, Rebecca Bellone, Norbert Benecke, Edson Sandoval-Castellanos, Michael Cieslak, Tatyana Kuznetsove, Arturo Morales-Muniz, Terry O'Connor, Monica Reissmann, Machael Hofreiter, and Arne Ludwig,
2011 Genotypes of Predomestic Horses Match Phenotypes Painted in Paleolithic Works of Cave Art, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, Nov. 15, 2011.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

BIGHORN SHEEP HEADDRESSES AND HORNED ANTHROPOMORPHS - PART 2: FREMONT AND LATER.

Bighorn Sheep Headdresses, Continued:


Fremont horned figures, Utah.
Photo Sherman Spear.

Last week I presented Part 1 of this look at Bighorn Sheep Headdresses and Horned Anthropomorphs in rock art of Archaic peoples. This continuation looks at examples from the Fremont and later Ancestral Pueblo and Navajo cultures.

Bighorn sheep headdress, Utah
State University Eastern Prehistoric
Museum, Price, Utah.
Photo provided by Tim Riley, curator.

"An amazing artifact, a prehistoric bighorn sheep headdress, is part of the Tommy Morris collection exhibited at the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah. The artifact was apparently found on the eastern edge of the San Rafael Swell near the Colorado or Green River. This region is home to both Desert Archaic and Fremont peoples, both regularly hunted bighorn sheep and created rock art galleries featuring horned anthropomorphs and bighorn sheep imagery." (Garfinkel 2014:2)


Fremont, McKee Springs, Dinosaur
Nat. Mon., Uinta County, UT.
Photo Peter Faris, Sept. 1994.

The radiocarbon age for this material provided a measured determination of 720 plus or minus 30 before present (BP) with a conventional age of 950 plus or minus 30 BP. With a 2 sigma calibration that radiocarbon date converts to a calendar age of AD 1020 to 1160 (cal 930 to 790)." (Garfinkel 2014:8) This date establishes the bighorn sheep headdress as a Fremont artifact.


Fremont horned figure, McConkey
Ranch, Vernal, Uintah County, UT.
Photo Peter Faris, 1986.

"The Fremont culture or Fremont people is a pre-Columbian archaeological culture which received its name from the Fremont River in the U.S. state of Utah, where the culture's sites were discovered by local indigenous peoples like the Navajo and Ute. - It inhabited sites in what is now Utah and parts of Nevada, Idaho and Colorado from AD1 to 1301 (2,000 - 700 years ago). It was adjacent to, roughly contemporaneous with, but distinctly different from the Ancestral Pueblo peoples located to their south." (Wikipedia)

Fremont horned figure, Moab, UT.
Photo Peter Faris, 2000.
The horned headdress is actually
created by the superimposed 
heads of two bighorn sheep.

Many of the anthropomorphs portrayed in Fremont rock art are shown wearing horned headdresses. A few of these can be identified as pronghorn antelope horns or deer antlers by branching shapes but most are un-branched projections upward from a headdress - often curved - and are assumed to represent bighorn sheep headdresses.


Muyingwa, Hopi horned kachina.
Alph Sekacucu, 1995, Following
The Sun And Moon, p. 24.

The tradition of horned headdresses can be followed down to the present day with the example of the Puebloan people's Two-Horn Kachinas Aalosaka and Muyingwa, and the Two-Horn society members, all of whom wear two-horned headdresses.


Two-Horn Society priests,
Photo chaz.org.

"Aalosaka is a supreme being, a deity of the Two-Horn society. He is revered by the society members as supremely wholesome and spiritually powerful. He is one of the Mongkatsinam, appearing singly with the mixed katsina group. Muyingwa is a Germination god possessing the great knowledge and duties related to agriculture. He ritually insures that the processes for plant life will properly develop and the plants sprout for eventual life sustenance. He is one of the Mongkatsinam, appearing singly with the mixed katsina group." (Secakuku 1995:25)



Two-horn society headdress,
15th Annual report of the Bureau
of American Ethnology to the
Secretary of the Smithsonian
Institution, 1893, Pl. 60,
facing p. 301.

Members of the Two-Horn Society seem to act as security for some Hopi ceremonials. On the fourth night of the Wuwuchim - - "the One Horn and Two Horn Societies close all the roads that lead to our villages. They do that so as to clear the spiritual highway that leads from there to the rising sun." (Tyler 1964:16) And on other occasions - "another fertility god, Germinator, who may be called either Muingwu or Alosaka. Germinator is highly specialized as a fertility god, and his underworld aspects are closely confined to the subject, although the Two Horn Society members represent him on the night of the dead." (Tyler 1964:19)


Navajo Ganaskidi petroglyph,
Largo Canyon, New Mexico.
Internet photo, Public Domain.


Navajo Ganaskidi impersonator,
Photo Edward S. Curtis, 1904,
Public Domain.

The Navajo equivalent of Muyingwa is Ganaskidi (meaning humpback), the "God of harvests, plenty and of mists. He is said to live at Depehahatil, a canyon with many ruined cliff dwellings north of San Juan. According to tradition he is the apotheosis of a bighorn sheep. His priest wears a blue mask with no hair fringe but with a spruce crown and collar." (godfinder.org)

NOTE: Some images in this posting were retrieved from the internet with a search for public domain photographs. If any of these images are not intended to be public domain, I apologize, and will happily provide the picture credits if the owner will contact me with them. For further information on these reports you should read the original reports at the sites listed below.

I wish to thank Dr. Tim Riley, Curator of Archaeology of the Utah State University Eastern Prehistoric Museum, in Price, Utah for providing the photograph of the Bighorn Sheep headdress and accompanying information.

REFERENCES:

Garfinkel, Alan P.
2014 Age and Character of the Bighorn Sheep headdress, San Rafael Swell, Utah, July 9, 2014, AGG Associates Research Paper Number 3, Bakersfield, California, Available on Academia.edu.

godfinder.org/index.html?q=Navaho

Powell, John Wesley, editor
1897 Fifteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1893-94, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.

Secakuku, Alph H.
1995 Following The Sun And Moon, Hopi Kachina Tradition, Northland Publishing, Flagstaff, AZ.

Tyler, Hamilton A.
1964 Pueblo Gods and Myths, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman

Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremont_culture

Saturday, January 4, 2020

BIGHORN SHEEP HEADDRESSES AND HORNED ANTHROPOMORPHS, PART 1 - ARCHAIC PEOPLES:




Bighorn Sheep, Archaic petroglyph,
Nine-Mile Canyon, Utah.
Photo Paul and Joy Foster, 
from Colo. Rock Art Archives.
(Note - the figure on the left
has his head posed in a rare
frontal position.)

Here in the west images of anthropomorphs with horned headdresses are found from the beginning. From Archaic rock art to present Puebloan katcina, headdresses with two bighorn sheep horns can be found. In an April 18, 2019, webinar titled Southwestern Rock Art and the Mesoamerican Connection presented to the Colorado Rock Art Association, Dr. James Farmer suggested that southern images such as Tlaloc were influenced by northern Barrier Canyon Style rock art (2019 Farmer, and 2019 Farmer, personal communication).

This may have also been the case with influences transmitted down through time, as well as from north to south, from Archaic cultures to the historic and modern Native American tribes of the Southwest. One theme which is common in Barrier Canyon Style rock art as well as rock art of the Fremont people is an anthropomorph wearing a horned headdress. Some of these headdresses are recognizable as pronghorn antelope horns, or deer antlers, but many appear to feature bighorn sheep horns. This is also the case with present day Puebloan peoples whose Aalosaka and Muyingwa kachinas wear bighorn sheep headdresses. Many of the Puebloan peoples also have Two-Horn Societies whose members wear two-horned headdresses. Indeed, a photo of such a headdress was included in the Fifteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1893-94, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., 1897.


Bighorn Sheep Headdress, as
exhibited in Utah State University
Eastern Prehistoric Museum,
Price, Utah. Photo by Courtesy of
Dr. Tim Riley, Curator of Archaeology.

"An amazing artifact, a prehistoric bighorn sheep headdress, is part of the Tommy Morris collection exhibited at the College of Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah. The artifact was apparently found on the eastern edge of the San Rafael Swell near the Colorado or Green River. This region is home to both Desert Archaic and Fremont peoples, both regularly hunted bighorn sheep and created rock art galleries featuring horned anthropomorphs and bighorn sheep imagery. The San Rafael Swell is also the core area for the distribution of Barrier Canyon Style pictographs, and all major river canyons in this area include painted rock art galleries containing anthropomorphs, many of which are adorned with horn headdresses." (Garfinkel 2014:2)

Perhaps the most remarkable manifestations of the creativity of Archaic peoples are the Barrier Canyon style rock art panels mentioned above.

"The bighorn sheep headdress, as it appears in the display case in the Eastern Utah Prehistoric Museum today, is tied together with cordage and is decorated with fifteen Olivella shell beads. This present configuration is partially a reconstruction of what Tommy Morris and previous museum curators thought the headdress might have look like when it was in use. It does not appear to be representative of how the artifact was originally found in the 1960s. Notes at the museum document that the headdress was found in two pieces with drilled holes in the cranium with six Olivella shell beads scattered around it." (Garfinkel 2014:2)



Barrier Canyon Style painted figures,
Sego Canyon, Utah.
Photo J. & E. Faris, June 1999.


Close-up of central figures,
Barrier Canyon Style painted figures,
Sego Canyon, Utah.
Photo J. & E. Faris, June 1999.

The Archaic culture in the American West is represented by the pre-agricultural hunting and gathering lifestyle. 


Coso rock art, Little Petroglyph
Canyon, California.
Photo Stephen Bodio.
Coso rock art, California.
Photo Gettyimages.ca.

One place that exhibits Archaic horned figures in great abundance is the Coso Rock Art District in California. These figures are presumed to date to many thousands of years BC, and represent one of the greatest concentrations of Archaic rock art in North America. Indeed, the early people who inhabited the Coso area also produced huge numbers of images of desert bighorn sheep, indicating a very early significant correlation between the sheep and horned anthropomorphs.


Barrier Canyon Style painted
figures, Sego Canyon, Utah.
Photo Peter Faris, August 1993.

In Utah and western Colorado this lifestyle culminated in the people who produced the distinctive Barrier Canyon Style rock art. "Barrier Canyon Style (BCS) describes a distinctive style of rock art which appears mostly in Utah, with the largest concentration of sites in and around the San Rafael Swell and Canyonlands National Park, but the full range extend(s) into much of the state and western Colorado. - These panels are believed to have been created during the archaic period (probably late archaic) and are estimated (from direct and indirect carbon 14 dates) to be somewhere in the range of 1500 to 4000 years old, possibly older - - clay figurines of a similar style found in Cowboy Cave (in a tributary canyon to Horseshoe Canyon) have been dated to over 7000 years old." (Wikipedia)


 Harvest Scene, Maze District,
Canyonlands, San Juan County, UT.
Photo Sherman Spear, June 1978,
with Marian Spear.


Harvest Scene, Maze District,
Canyonlands, San Juan County, UT.
Photo Don I. Campbell, May 1983.

"Given the need for more accurate dating of the headdress discussions ensued with the analysts at Beta Radiocarbon Laboratories. It was decided that the most accurate dates would not be on bone or shell but on the textile materials - that is the milkweed cordage that served to attach the beads directly to the bighorn sheep cranium. The radiocarbon age for this material provided a measured determination of 720 plus or minus 30 before present (BP) with a conventional age of 950 plus or minus 30 BP. With a 2 sigma calibration that radiocarbon date converts to a calendar age of AD 1020 to 1160 (cal 930 to 790)." (Garfinkel 2014:8) While this date is later than the Barrier Canyon Style art presented here, the fact that so many BCS figures possess horns suggests that earlier examples of the bighorn sheep headdress existed, but may not now survive. 


Horned Figure, Hueco Tanks, TX.
Photo Peter Faris, March 2004.

To be continued next week. 

NOTE: Some images in this posting were retrieved from the internet with a search for public domain photographs. If any of these images are not intended to be public domain, I apologize, and will happily provide the picture credits if the owner will contact me with them. For further information on these reports you should read the original reports at the sites listed below.

I wish to thank Dr. Tim Riley, Curator of Archaeology of the Utah State University Eastern Prehistoric Museum, in Price, Utah for providing the photograph of the Bighorn Sheep headdress and accompanying information.

REFERENCES:

Farmer, James, Dr.
2019 Southwestern Rock Art and the Mesoamerican Connection, April 18, 2019, online webinar presented to Colorado Rock Art Association.

Garfinkel, Alan P.
2014 Age and Character of the Bighorn Sheep headdress, San Rafael Swell, Utah, July 9, 2014, AGG Associates Research Paper Number 3, Bakersfield, California, Available on Academia.edu.

Powell, John Wesley, editor
1897 Fifteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1893-94, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C.

Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremont_culture
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barrier_Canyon_Style


Saturday, December 28, 2019

2019 C.R.A.P. AWARD - THE HOHOKAM WERE MASONIC PHOENICIAN HEBREWS:



Hohokam rock art.
Internet, Public domain.

It is time again for the RockArtBlog coveted annual C. R. A. P. (Certifiable Rock Art Prevarication) award, and boy, do I have a really deserving recipient this year?


Hohokam rock art.
Internet, Public domain.

One of the great rock art traditions of the American southwest was created by the Hohokam people, and to properly try to evaluate, understand, or just admire, their rock art we have to have a fair, accurate, and unbiased picture of their culture.


Hohokam rock art.
Tucson, Arizona.
Internet, Public domain.

Now the Gnostic Warrior website and Cult of Demons podcasts have written articles about how the Hohokam of the American desert southwest and northern Mexico were really Hebrew Phoenicians and members of the Masonic order.


Hohokam carved shell birds.
Internet, Public domain.

These articles declare first that the Hohokam were actually Jewish Phoenicians. "Many people are not aware that the name of the red rock spiritual place in the Southwest of the United States that we know as Sedona, Arizona, was founded by a biblical people we know as the Sidonians from the island of Crete. The Greeks had called them Phoenicians, the Egyptians knew them as the Sea Peoples, and they are also known in the Scripture(s) as the Hebrew people." (Gnosticwarrior 2)


Hohokam carved shell birds.
Internet, Public domain.

So, based on the name of Sedona, Arizona, the conclusion has been drawn that the people who lived there prehistorically were actually Sidonians from the island of Crete. Predictably this is wrong as well. "The Sidonians were the inhabitants of ancient Sidon, a seaport on the Mediterranean Sea in modern Lebanon. Those familiar with the Biblical text will recall that Sidon was an influential, wealthy Phoenician city." (biblicalarchaeology.org)  Sidon was in Lebanon, not on the island of Crete.



Hohokam carved shell
bird pendant and drawing.
Internet, Public domain.

Now that their actual ethnic affiliation with the peoples of the Middle East has been established, Gnosticwarrior goes on to prove their membership in the Order of Freemasons based upon a resemblance he sees between a Hohokam bird pendant carved from shell and found at Casas Grandes and the Masonic symbol of the square and dividers.

"This Indian Masonic compass and square is made of sea shells and dated to over 1,800 years ago. The manufacture of the square and compass using sea shells would indicate they were a people of the sea, just like the Phoenicians whom the Egyptians knew as the Sea Peoples. It is well known that the Freemasons trace their craft back to the chief mason working on Solomon's Temple as Phoenician King, Hiram Abiff, son of a Tyrian widow. Hence, the Widow's son. He was chief architect sent to Solomon by the Phoenician King of Tyre." (Gnosticwarrior1) (Yes, it is truly this confusing. In two sentences back to back Hiram Abiff is the Phoenician King and he is also the architect sent by the Phoenician King - perhaps he sent himself)

In other words, he found a carved shell image that he identified as the Masonic square and dividers and that proves his case. See how simple that was?

The problem lies in the fact that the carved shell pendant in question does not represent the Masonic square and dividers at all - it is a bird. The Hohokam left large numbers of carved shell figures, bracelets, pendants, etc. Among the popular subjects were birds. This image is found attached and within a curved base. Given the prevalence of carved shell bracelets left by the Hohokam this may either be a broken piece of a bracelet carved from shell, or a pendant which was originally surrounded by a circle of shell. I find the latter more likely although I cannot see enough detail in the photos to determine whether or not there are broken surfaces.
Hohokam carved shell
bird pendant, base removed
by computer manipulation.


Masonic square and
dividers symbol.
Internet, public domain.

Its identity as a bird is easily determined by using a simple computer program to remove the arced base leaving the center isolated. The head is obviously a bird, and the other elements can be identified as downward sloping wings, a body, and either spread legs or a spreading tail.

So, when Gnosticwarrior spews his nonsense about Masonic Hebrew Phoenicians he not only contributes to misinformation and ignorance, he insults one of the great early cultures of the American southwest, and for this all, Gnosticwarrior has earned the 2019 Certifiable Rock Art Prevarication award. Perhaps he should change that name to Agnosticwarrior.

We will be doing this again next year - send me your candidates.

NOTE: Some images in this posting were retrieved from the internet with a search for public domain photographs. If any of these images are not intended to be public domain, I apologize, and will happily provide the picture credits if the owner will contact me with them. For further information on these reports you should read the original reports at the sites listed below.

REFERENCES:

Anonymous,
2017 Biblical Sidon - Jezebel's Hometown, Who Were the Sidonians?, Staff writer,June 19, 2017, https://biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-near-eastern-world/biblical-sidon-jezebel-hometown/

Gnosticwarrior
1. Undated The American Indians and Phoenician Hebrews: Masonic Square and Compass, https://gnosticwarrior.com/indian-masonic-square-and-compass.html
2. Undated The Phoenician Sidonian Hebrews of Sedona, Arizona, https://gnosticwarrior.com/hebrews-of-sedona-arizona.html



Saturday, December 21, 2019

CHRISTMAS 2019


WE ARE HOOKING UP THE

TEAM TO

WISH YOU A VERY

MERRY

CHRISTMAS 2019    

FROM RockArtBlog   


Hooking up the team!

 Have a very Merry Christmas, 

A Happy New Year's Eve, 

and all the best in 2020.

Spirit Mountain, Grapevine Canyon, NV. - after desertusa.com.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

2018 C.R.A.P. AWARD - SPACE ALIENS IN ROCK ART: This was last year's award, watch for the 2019 C.R.A.P. award coming soon.






Petroglyphs, Swelter Shelter,
Dinosaur National Monument,
Utah, Photograph Peter Faris,
1984.

I am going to break with my usual practice this year, and instead of giving the 2018 C.R.A.P. (Certifiable Rock Art Prevarication) Award to an individual or organization for egregious falsehood in the field of rock art, I am awarding it this year to a whole sub-category of fringe rock art research - SPACE ALIENS IN ROCK ART. Many years ago I naively assumed that something as silly as that just could not be taken seriously. After a 1984 field trip to Dinosaur National Monument I found out differently when I showed a co-worker the picture  above taken at Swelter Shelter. His instant reaction was "see, that proves that aliens have visited us." He was totally serious and I was smart enough to immediately drop the subject.

Supposed UFO pictograph,
Charama, Chhattisgarh, India.
timesofindia.org, Public Domain.

The amount of material devoted to so-called evidence of alien visitation nonsense is truly vast, and also half-vast (say that latter quickly). I assume that most serious rock art researchers really have not looked at the quantity of books and web sites devoted to this, and don't. If you are any sort of real scholar or serious researcher what you find will only depress you. The other examples I am illustrating come from a 2014 discovery in Chhattisgarh, India.
Supposed space alien
pictograph, Charama,
Chhattisgarh, India.
timesofindia.org,
Public Domain.

This was taken seriously enough that a conference was convened to examine the so-called evidence. "A couple of years ago, several influential scientists from across the globe, including Prime Minister Narenda Modi, attended a presentation at the Indian Science Congress where ancient flying "spaceships" in the Solar System were discussed. It was a historical event as nothing of the sort has ever occurred in the history of the Congress ever before. And every year, this subject receives more and more recognition and debate." (Stephani 2017)

Supposed space aliens
pictograph, Charama,
Chhattisgarh, India.
timesofindia.org,
Public Domain.

This subject is a pictograph site at Charama, Chhattisgarh, India. "Chhattisgarh state department of archaeology and culture plans to seek help from NASA and ISRO for research on 10,000-year-old rock paintings depicting aliens and UFOs in Charama region in Kanker district in tribal Bastar region. According to archaeologist JR Bhagat, these paintings have depicted aliens like those shown in Hollywood and Bollywood flicks. Located about 130km from Raipur, the caves come under village Chandeli and Gotitola." (Drolial 2014)

Unfortunately, this is only one example out of very many. So this year the prestigious 2018 C.R.A.P. Award is given to any and all of the hundreds of books and websites devoted to convincing people that there is proof of outer space alien visitation to be found in rock art - especially "Ancient Aliens". This is for all of you. Keep it up people and you will convince the aliens that there really is no intelligent life on this planet.

HONORABLE MENTION: This year I am also awarding my first Honorable Mention in the C.R.A.P. Awards to Marietta Eaton, Monument Manager of Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, for her lying e-mail to me on September 19, 2018, claiming that here really was not much rock art to see in Canyons of the Ancients (See my editorial response from October 1, 2018). Marietta, your own staff confirmed to me that there are thousands of examples of rock art in your monument so I am awarding you the very first Honorable Mention C.R.A.P. Award. Congatulations!


NOTE: Some images in this posting were retrieved from the Internet with a search for public domain photographs. If any of these images are not intended to be public domain, I apologize, and will happily provide the picture credits if the owner will contact me with them. For further information on these reports you should read the originals at the sites listed below.

REFERENCES:

Drolial, Rashmi
2014 10,000-Year-Old Rock Paintings Depicting Aliens and UFOs Found in Chhhattisgarh, July 15, 2014, The Times of India, https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/10000-year-old-rock-paintings-depicting-aliens-and-UFOs-found-in-Chhattisgarh/articleshow/38435091.cms

Stephani
2017 Incredible10,000-Year-Old Rock Paintings Depict Extraterrestrial Visitors, February 13, 2017, https://www.disclose.tv/incredible-10000-year-old-rock-paintings-depict-extraterrestrial-visitors-313374