Interpreting an ancient shamanic site requires the use of many tools. To start, an understanding of the symbolism that was meaningful in that region. Also, assessing the context of the site and it’s placement on the landscape. There are, of course, many other factors, but one that is frequently overlooked is the site’s relationship to the night sky. Here’s a little peek at how I used my amateur archaeoastronomy to understand and date a cave in Carrizo Gorge, in the Anza Borrego Desert, that is famous for its pictographs. I date the cave using a cupule petroglyph that most people probably wouldn’t even notice.

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