Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Rock Formation at Big Butte Montana Marks the Stars of Boötes, whence (speculatively) perhaps the Name Butte, but Did Humans Have a Hand in It?

Notice: The previously posted decipherment is a cinch. Here the situation is just the reverse. There is no way presently to prove any of the following, so this can only be regarded as speculative fun, until and unless more evidence turns up. We know of no evidence that the Big Butte landform has been humanly "worked", so until such evidence turns up, perhaps  via research instigated through this posting, it remains an interesting "coincidence" of forms.

The Big Butte landform, the eroded neck of an ancient volcano, is the most significant landmark of Butte, Montana and gave the city its name. See Walter Harvey Weed, Geology and ore deposits of the Butte district, Montana, Government Printing Office, 1912.

In a paper by Carrie K. Boetgger, The Legacy of Butte Mining, GEO 422 Winter Term, Ronald Doel, 22 March 2001,, we find written:
"Settlers named a distinctive volcanic cone in the valley’s northwest corner “Big Butte” and a granitic, thousand-foot rise to its east “the Hill.”  The hill was a treasure trove worth billions of dollars in gold, silver, zinc, lead, manganese, and above all, copper."
The assumption that one reads in the literature that the original name of Big Butte came from the French-origin term "butte" meaning "small hill" appears to be shaky. The name of "Big Butte" could trace back to a similar Indian word adapted by settlers to the known French-origin term.

We suggest "Big Butte" could have come from Boötes. The region has been inhabited since prehistorical times. That the rock formation of Big Butte represented the stars of Boötes in the ancient land survey of Native America by astronomy can be theorized after viewing the art of Buddy Bunting, who has created several art works that incorporate Big Butte's rock formations. We find the match that we suggest with the stars of Boötes to be to close for all of it to match naturally, the same argument we made previously about Virgo and La Piedra Pintada, viz. Carisa Rock as the Painted Rock of California. Obviously, the main rock formations are naturally made, but has there been "tweaking" by human hand? We think it possible.


We work a lot with images and that linked piece of art is a beauty, showing the artist's great powers of observation, and perhaps suggesting some essential man-made carvings on the rocks.

Below is our decipherment of the Big Butte landmark, a landform likely selected by the ancients for its natural resemblance in shape to the stars of Boötes, and equally likely tweaked here and there by human hand to finish the rock picture. There also appear to be some figures carved on the rocks, but this is unclear.

Big Butte Montana as the Stars of Boötes

The numbers assigned to various rocks in the Big Butte landmark formation in the top half of the above image correspond to the number assigned to the stars of Boötes in the lower half of the image. We see the large stone (number "0") at the bottom as Arcturus, and the remainder of the numbers as marking groups of stars in Boötes.

It could be that we are right. It could be that we are wrong. It is one of our most fun theories but one least supported by probative evidence.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 122 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

The Rock Formation at Big Butte Montana Marks the Stars of Boötes, whence (speculatively) perhaps the Name Butte, but Did Humans Have a Hand in It?

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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