Black Canyon and Inscription Canyon were part of my exploration of the Mojave desert (California) lava landscape this winter. These was what I saw and some thoughts. These videos are partly visual notetaking for me. I look back at them later when researching further. I was on this journey knowing that next I would be going to see how the petroglyphs in this region differ from the Virgin Anasazi region just to the east. There is a lot of overlap where these homelands meet, so I was trying to develop a keener eye to discern between timescapes, image styles, and occupation periods.

2 thoughts

  1. Hi Angeline, So glad you made it to Inscription Canyon! It’s one of my favorite places in the desert. I was just there a few weeks ago. There is a dry lake bed right near there that’s the best place to be for meteor showers and laying under the stars. I often wonder if the lakes are the reason for so many petroglyphs there. I think I told you about another volcanic location on the other side of the highway called Hidden Tanks or Surprise Tanks. I believe it’s the same clan since many of the petroglyphs are very similarly styled and even look like they were done by the same hand. There are two really obscure geoglyphs there too. Let me know if you don’t know about this place already. Glad to see we’re all getting out of the house for a change! Bob

    Sent from my iPad


    1. Hi Bob. Did I ever reply to this message? I was just looking through old messages and now wonder if I ever replied to you. Please let me know. I agree with you about the lakes. I am constantly trying to establish how the landscape would have looked a the time the images were made or even a bit prior. It is certain that a large proportion of the imagery I have seen have been placed near particularly prominent or chemically potent water sources. I haven’t tried lying under the stars in the dry lake bed, but on my way home that night I did get lost in one trying to get back to the highway. That night I learned that the whole basin in that area is one enormous ancient dry lake bed or at least wetlands. Flat flat flat and sandy sandy sandy with bushes on the periphery of the sandy areas. Not fun to try to navigate in the dark! Anyway, I would love to know more about the geoglyphs you are referring to. I am aware that there are many throughout the Mojave Desert, but have only visited a few. I do enjoy looking at aerial views of them in the scholarly books Jay Von Werlhof published during his long and illustrious career studying the Mojave and Anza Borrego deserts. I highly recommend you look up his work or visit the Imperial Valley Desert Museum which is now his legacy. Please stay in touch!

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