Saturday, March 26, 2011

E=MC2 inscription, near Los Alamos, NM. Photo. Betty Lilienthal.

At one point early in the formal study of rock art, it was assumed that much of the art addressed the question of success in the hunt and game animal fertility. This was about the same period when any artifact that an archaeologist found but could not identify specifically was listed as “ceremonial object”. Now, as I have written elsewhere, the favorite catch-phrase for rock art imagery not specifically otherwise identified is that it is “shamanic”. I doubt that this is much truer today than it was during the preceding periods of dubious assumptions in labeling rock art.

This modern inscription is illustrated in Dorothy Hoard’s book Los Alamos Outdoors (1993:75). It is assumed to have been produced by an Anglo scientist from the Los Alamos atomic project. Dorothy cites Betty Lilienthal with photo credits for that volume.

Researchers have always assumed that much of rock art consisted of inscriptions of a spiritual nature. That has apparently not changed much in our modern era. After all, what could go more deeply and directly to questions of an ethical nature, a spiritual sense, or of man’s relationship to the divine, than Einstein’s equation E=MC2. It directly addresses a view of creation and it opened up research into nuclear energy that led to the atomic bomb and much of modern science. As such, it seems to fit perfectly into the tradition of rock art as a spiritual expression. It may even be the modern version of Shamanic.

Hoard, Dorothy
1993 Los Alamos Outdoors, Los Alamos Historical Society, Los Alamos, NM. – illustration on page 75.

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