Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Crystal River Mounds Megalith (Stela #1) Deciphered as Astronomy: Aries Andromeda Pegasus Cetus Pisces Aquarius: A Hummingbird Proves to be the Key Probative Figure

The "Next" Great Google Earth Image Mystery is upcoming in the next posting, but we first wanted to publish this, our last posting about Crystal River, because its "hummingbird" image (see below) led us to many subsequent discoveries.

Sometimes the smallest details provide the best proofs -- and in the instant case a Native America hummingbird has the honor. writes that "the Ruby-throated hummingbird [Archilochus colubris] is eastern North America's sole breeding hummingbird ... by early fall they are bound for Central America, with many crossing the Gulf of Mexico in a single flight."

That hummingbird will feature in some spectacular decipherment postings soon to come about stars elsewhere in Native America, decipherments that we have to thank to the hummingbird, which led us on the right and surprising track.

In support of our previous general decipherment of the Crystal River Mounds as marking stars of Cetus, we prepared an astronomical decipherment of so-called Stela#1, as marked in the graphic image in our previous posting. Below we show our clipped image of a photograph of that megalithic stone found in the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,, where it is written, inter alia, that: "In 1964, archaeologist Ripley Bullen discovered this limestone ceremonial stone (stele)."

In making our decipherment, we concentrated on the large anthropomorphic and other carved figures on Stela #1 that we saw, and on the main stellar constellations in terms of star interpretations. These seemed clear, but lacked any significant probative value. Critics could argue that anyone might see figures in the stone, or see none at all.  We ultimately noted a small whitish figure on the photograph of the stone that we initially mistook to be a smear perhaps made by vandals. It looked like a hummingbird. Could it be a stellar hummingbird, whose outline was marked in the stars  that we claimed to be marked on the stone with other figures? That would be remarkable.

Indeed, that turned out to be the surprising case.

Our decipherment of the "front side" of the Crystal River Stela #1 is shown below in three side-by-side but separate illustrative images to avoid overlap of carved figures. We are not affiliated with any of the sources named.

Relying on the fair use doctrine, our decipherment tracings are shown directly on clipped sections of the photograph above so that one can see that we do try to follow the darkest visible lines and cupmarks viz. dark etchings. Note the key figure of the hummingbird, which was added just at the close of decipherment. We did not previously know that figure in the sky, but the stars in that part of the sky do in fact form what could easily be seen as a small bird image.

Please be aware that we present stone decipherments such as this with mixed feelings because many people already have enough trouble seeing what we view to be clear and obvious star interpretations of large earth mounds.

Anthropomorphic figure interpretation on megaliths -- small by comparison to mounds -- by contrast, is far more subjective in nature and far more demanding on powers of observation and systematization. Indeed, identifications must ultimately fit into a larger astronomical marking system to be useful.

It would be better to have neutral Swiss watchmakers trace lines and cupmarks (cupules) on photographs of megaliths or other artifacts so that interpretations could be based on lines drawn by skilled third parties. However, no skilled volunteers have stepped forward to take up this task, so we do the best we can to trace lines and cupmarks (cupules) as accurately as possible ourselves. Those who doubt our results should try to duplicate our work. We say, "trace it" !

Indeed, in a somewhat later posting we will look at some megaliths in the far North of Native America whose darkest "lines" were "redrawn" by "an artist", but, as we have discovered by comparing the drawings with the actual stones, those particular drawings do not provide a viable alternative to actual tracings, with the latter being far more accurate in showing any lines, cupmarks or figures on stones. "Artistic" reproductions are simply not useful for analysis.

Our Crystal River megalithic decipherment here is speculative also because there are few useful photographs of Stela #1 available. The main photograph of the front side of the megalithic stone that we rely on, as already noted, is Limestone stele (Stele #1), Crystal River State Park, Crystal River, Florida, as found posted online at the State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory,, additional corporate creator: Florida Board of Parks and Historic Memorials.

As written at the Wikipedia:
"The [Crystal River State Park] is also home to a limestone slab, possibly a "stele", on which is a crudely carved human face and torso.... The slab is today housed on the site within a metal cage."
The stele viz. stela not only appears to have a carved human face and torso on it, but a careful tracing of the heaviest lines on the stone in that photograph shows that there seem to be substantially more figures etched onto the stone, as can be seen in the decipherment image below, reduced in size. Click on the image to see it in full size (you can do that with all images).

In the left image of the three side-by-side images of the graphic below, we see at the top of the image and looking to the right a tasseled hairdress on the head of a human head in profile. Below that we see the image of the hummingbird. We have marked cupmarks (cupules) that we see at the top marking the stars of Andromeda, and to the right in the human profiled face we see the nose at Enif in Pegasus.

In the middle image of the three side-by-side images of the graphic below, at the top left we see a ram with horns marking Aries and have marked the cupmarks (cupules) we see. At the bottom of that middle image we see Pisces as two fish, Cetus the whale as a whale, and  and to the right we see a round fish and a sea horse frontally, the latter of which seems to mark the "bucket" stars of Aquarius. The largest cupmarks viz. cupules mark principal stars.

In the right image of the three side-by-side images of the graphic below, we see that the entire stone looked at as a whole has the figures of a horse, i.e. Pegasus, and we have marked the principal cumparked stars as the head. The horse's mane is also shown, together with a pattern that shows either a horse's blanket or "scale" horse armour, which raises some interesting questions about the origin of the megalith makers.

The stars represented by the figures, cupmarks and other markings on the Crystal River Stela #1 above correspond to the following stars as we have marked them on the appropriate section of the heavens using Starry Night Pro and adding blue circles for the stars represented:

Our analysis indicates that the Crystal River Archaeological State Park Stela #1 via its front side figures and cupmarks (cupules) marks stars of Aries to Pegasus including Andromeda, and below that marks the stars of Cetus to Aquarius including Pisces.

To our astonishment, there are a group of stars above Gamma Piscium, the brightest star in the circlet of Pisces, that show the clear shape of a small bird, as one can see above, that we presume to mark the hummingbird shape on the front of Stela #1.

The positions of what we presume to have been smaller original cupmarks on the back side of the stone appear to be marked now by large holes on the megalith, positions that are "approximated" in our very speculative and by no means probative decipherment image, as based on a photograph by Doug48 at Virtualtourist at The stone  is useful to us primarily in that it "could" be interpreted as supporting evidence, but not much more than that.

The date of ca. 1500 B.C. that we provisionally assign to Stela #1 is not essential to decipherment of this megalith. We strongly doubt the date of 440 A.D. assigned to this stela previously by others. The stela more likely dates to about the same era as the Crystal River Mounds and/or the Miami Circle, a site whose decipherment we present -- spectacularly -- in postings that follow the "Next" Great Google Earth Image Mystery in our next posting. Have fun!

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 51 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America 

The Crystal River Mounds Megalith (Stela #1) Deciphered as Astronomy: Aries Andromeda Pegasus Cetus Pisces Aquarius: A Hummingbird Proves to be the Key Probative Figure

Most Popular Posts of All Time

Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1:
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2:
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.


    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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