What led to the Great Google Earth Image Mystery?
Steve Burdic asked me some weeks ago by email whether the petroglyphic Judaculla Rock in Jackson County, North Carolina (near Cherokee, Cullowhee and Sylva) could be ancient astronomy in some form.
Steve (LinkedIn, Facebook) is a University of Nebraska graduate (Beta Theta Pi), former Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Missouri, former President of the Missouri Farmers Union Credit Union, former Energy Conservation and Renewable Grant Manager, Technical Assistance Program-Household Hazardous Waste, Missouri State Parks Grant Manager, and currently Principal Investigator, Resource Management Consultants, Jamestown, Missouri.
In addition to those credits, Steve should also get credit for being the instigator of this specific research. He has long followed my work on the history of civilization at Lexiline and I am thankful that he turned to me with this question.
Science means asking questions. Too many people in the field of archaeology and related disciplines think they know all the answers and have stopped asking the right questions, with the result that their research is often far off the mark.
I have previously been to this geographic area of the U.S. Southeast, having relatives in East Tennessee, and so I have overnighted and dined in Helen, Georgia (alpine "Bavaria" in the USA) and lunched in Clayton, Georgia (the Cherokee "Dividings"). As written at the Wikipedia under Clayton, Georgia: "The area that would eventually become Clayton was called the Dividings because it sat at the intersection of three important Cherokee people trails."
Although I have already fully deciphered Judaculla Rock and surrounding petroglyphic sites, in the interest of interactive participation, I publish only a small decipherment area of Judaculla Rock in the next posting and will go from there to explain not only Judaculla Rock, but also major related petroglyphic sites in the region of Northeast Georgia and Western North Carolina.
For online photos of the Judaculla Rock and area see Tripadvisor.com.
The GPS coordinates for Judaculla Rock are 35.301233°N 83.110142°W, confirmed via Google Earth.
"Official" information and photographs -- I use these for analysis of the Judaculla Rock -- are found at the National Register of Historic Places - Registration Form, Supplementary Listing Record, NRIS Reference Number: 13000116, Judaculla Rock, Jackson County, North Carolina
which is the document NPS Form 10-900-a (Rev . 01/2009) OMB No. 1024-0018 (Expires 5/31/2012), U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places Continuation Sheet, Judaculla Rock, Jackson County, North Carolina. I will refer to this record -- NRIS Reference Number: 13000116 -- from time to time. It is most certainly a nice job of recordation, but for the most part, far off the mark in terms of ultimate -- correct -- analysis.
I say that as a former employee of the Nebraska State Surveyor's Office,
who understands something about land, surveying, landmarks, etc.
There is much more here than meets the immediate eye. Stay tuned!