Re: Anasazi Astronomy

Rolf Meier (
17 Apr 1995 13:01:34 -0400

In article <> Robert Roosen <> writes:

> The examnple I gave includes the hand, the symbol for the
>Pleiades. The Pleiades are in the shoulder of Taurus, the Bull, which

Handprints are also extremely common as "signatures".
I hadn't heard of the Pleiades symbol.

>pinpoints the location within about two degrees (as viewed from the

The Pleiades may be within 2 degrees of declination, but are separated
from M1 by over 2 hours of RA, or more than 30 degrees of arc. This
is the same separation no matter where on earth you are.

>American Southwest). That does not show up as often. If you have other
>examples of
>crescents, spirals, etc., bring them forth. Other people than the

I don't understand. Spirals are one of the most common features of
all, appearing by themselves or with various other pictures. Every
site seems to have spirals, whether or not there is a crescent.

>Anasazi may have recorded this. I didn't see anything in Hawaii that
>looked like this record. I did see Skylab reenter. That was an
>incredible sight, with most of the colors of the rainbow progressing
>across the sky for a period of several minutes. I would have no idea how
>to represent that in a petroglyph.

I did not understand how the rentry of Skylab relates to this
discussion any more than July 4th fireworks.

>The sun was on the wall, below the horizon. The fat plus sign, or symbol
>for Venus was the brightest known object at that time. For all we know,
>Venus jumping in its place may have been bad news.

Plus signs also occur frequently, often in goups, and probably
just represent stars.

>As I recall, it was visible in the daytime sky for over a month. The
>only more spectacular supernova was the Gum Nebula Supernova that blew

There is a difference between simply being visible in the day, and
being spectacular and obvious. I believe that the supernova *was* visible
in the day, but you had to look for it, and be *interested* in looking
for it. Venus is also visible in the day, but you have to look for
it carefully. Many comets of the last 2000 years have been visible
in the daytime, and I would argue much more spectacular than the
Crab supernova. Why are there no records of anything resembling comets
by the AnasazI?

I believe it is because the important celestial objects in their
lives were the sun and the moon, for reasons related to calendars,
not as records of what was visible in the sky.

>Real simple. Get some radiocarbon dates from the pictographs. Has that
>been done?

What would you date on the rocks? Stuff has been pecked away, not added.

Most dating is done on the nearby ruins of habitation.

Rolf Meier usual disclaimer applies