Saturday, August 08, 2015

Tuxedni Bay and Clam Cove Alaska Wall Carvings and Rock Art Pictographs Southwest of Anchorage Mark Stars in the Sky: Tuxedni is Cygnus and Clam Cove is Aquila But There is Much More

Unexpectedly, in a far north region where rock art is rare, the Tuxedni Bay and Clam Cove rock shelters of Alaska at Cook Inlet southwest of Anchorage  provide some of the most amazing pictographic rock art sites in North America.

Our decipherment of those two neighboring sites shows that these rock art sites are astronomy, with the pictographs arguably originating ca. 750 B.C. or 250 A.D. depending on how one views potential Solstice and Equinox markers  -- with the underlying wall carvings (as we see them) being much earlier in time, perhaps ca. 1750 B.C. or even earlier.

The Tuxedni pictographs, as deciphered below, do not cover one part of the sky -- the Winter Solstice to the Vernal Equinox -- but that part of the sky is then  covered by the Clam Cove pictographs. We see the underlying much older wall carvings at Tuxedni to cover also that part of the sky, but that is a different era.

We have previously deciphered a similar procedure of splitting the sky into two or more panels at the Eel River Slakaiya Rock Petroglyphs in California.

Tuxedni Bay Rock Shelter Pictographic Rock Art 
Shows the Starry Sky starting at the Summer Solstice at Cancer
(Wall Sequence = Left Group - Middle Group - Right Group)

The Individual Tuxedni Pictograph Groups
 The Left Group of Pictographs at Tuxedni Bay

The Middle Group of Pictographs at Tuxedni Bay

The Right Group of Pictographs at Tuxedni Bay

A Section of the Tuxedni Bay Rock Shelter Wall
Shows that Older Wall Carvings are Beneath
the More Recent Pictographic Rock Art on the Wall
From Vernal Equinox (at the left) to Winter Solstice (at the right)
Note how the pictographs "jump" from Taurus to Cygnus
That Section of the Sky from Winter Solstice to Vernal Equinox

The Neighboring Clam Cove Rock Shelter Pictographic Rock Art 
Shows the Same Section of the Sky in Pictographs
That is Missing from the Pictographs in the Above Image
(click on the graphic to obtain a larger image)

The Fornax/Sculptor star correspondence is a spectacular proof of the general correctness of the decipherment, also showing the rib-bone-type "ladder" to mark an area of the sky with no visible stars, a type of marker then also used in marking an area of empty space under Andromeda that points to the Vernal Equinox ca. 750 B.C.

According to our analysis, these sites mark stars in the heavens, with a focus on Cygnus viz. neighboring Lyra and Aquila in the land survey of Native America by astronomy. Carved figures and extensive pictographic rock art on site show even more stars, as the ancients present their artistic version of the heavens.

Linguistic analysis helped us here. How about that strange Eskimo name Tuxedni? The oldest name record version of Tuxedni (Donald J. Orth, Dictionary of Alaska Place Names, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1967) is Tukuzit (i.e Tu-Kuzit), and later given as Tuk-sed-ni, either of which would possibly fit Cygnus,  i.e Cygni as Sedni, or Kuzit arguably similar to the Arabic term Katat (Al Katat) an ancient Arabic term for Cygnus. We will never know of course for sure, but those terms are not that far off from the name Tuxedni.

We might also note for comparison the Indo-European e.g. Latvian tuksna, tuksnesis meaning "desert, wasteland" with the root of tuks- tukš- "empty" whence also tuksnītis meaning "anchoret, hermit".

The location of Tuxedni is just southwest of Anchorage, a city whose surely false name origin, as we read at, is said to be as follows:
"Would-be entrepreneurs flocked to this bustling frontier town, and brought with them everything necessary to build a city. A popular hardware and clothing store, “The Anchorage,” was actually an old dry-docked steamship named “Bertha.”

Although the area had been known by various names, the U.S. Post Office Department formalized the use of the name “Anchorage,” and despite some protests, the name stuck."
That shows how folk etymologies develop, since the name "Anchorage" already existed before that, being called by the Russian name M[ys] Yakorniy "anchor cape"] as early as 1848. The Anchorage store may have been named after that, but the actual name origin of the place is earlier than that.

The Tuxedni Bay rock wall -- according to our graphic zoom image examination of photographs -- is sculpted to mark the stars. Those carvings are the oldest feature, dating by our analysis to ca. 1750 B.C. or perhaps even earlier. On top of those rock carvings, later pictographs (rock art, painted symbols) have been added in a different era -- which was likely ca. 750 B.C. or 250 A.D. judged by the more recent Winter Solstice marker on the wall of Tuxedni. Since our main concentration here was not on dating, those dates are provisional speculations.

We repeat here for the umpteenth time and emphasize again especially for the archaeological community that many if not most pictographic locations feature rock art that has been added at a later time on top of previously carved rocks. Many archaeologists seemingly do not appear to even consider this possibility, preferring to drill where drilling is easiest and looking only for what is most easily apparent.

Even the famous cave paintings at Lascaux and Chauvet in France are in our opinion painted on top of carved rocks, as we already noted years ago in our book, Stars Stones and Scholars: The Decipherment of the Megaliths.

Finding images online of the pictographs at Tuxedni Bay and neighboring Clam Cove, Alaska proved a daunting task until we found the book Where We Found A Whale: A History of Lake Clark National Park & Preserve, by Brian Fagan, Archeologist, National Park Service, which presents photographs and drawings of Tuxedni Rock Shelter in Chapter Five and Clam Cove in Chapter Six.

Those images allowed us to decipher essential segments of the Tuxedni Bay site and the Clam Cove Site, although even that book presents no complete single overview image of the pictographs at either site, so we have had to stitch them together from scattered photographic and illustrative pieces here and there. Let us know if we have made any significant errors in presentation of the material. Star positions used in the graphics have been calculated via Starry Night Pro

Alaska’s Rock Art online relates the same marvelous story by Brian M. Fagan as found in the above book. As written there (excerpted below by us):

"The [Alaskan rock shelters of Tuxedni and Clam Cove] contain some of North America’s most intriguing rock art. [emphasis added here by us]

[At Tuxedni] "The red claw symbol set high on the rock face is immediately noticeable. It is a painting so prominent that it can be seen from a helicopter hovering overhead. Most visitors agree that it depicts a raven....

Melissa Baird identified 26 images, all painted with red ochre, scattered over an area about 4m long and 3m wide.... I first noticed a painting of a large, open skin boat like an Alutiiq angyap, with at least four crew members. Immediately to the left, a human figure with outstretched arms ... holds a club perhaps used in the hunt.... three images on its left, one of which may depict the oblong body of a whale. Another whale with a significant dorsal fin, perhaps a swimming whale breaching, completes the panel. [Annotation by Andis Kaulins: We identify those images [in the "Left Group"] as Taurus as the boat, Orion as the clearly drawn "male" human figure, Gemini as the two figures one above the other to the left of Orion, and Cancer as the figure to the left of Pisces.]

Another panel, set at 45 degrees, shows a swimming bird, perhaps a swan, its eye defined by a dark mark on the rock. A killer whale follows the bird, in turn pursued by a figure in a kayak. De Laguna thought the paddler was wearing a hunting helmet with a brim ‘like those worn . . . by the southern Eskimo and the Aleut.’ A short gap, then an anthropomorphic figure cavorts, with the usual outstretched arms and legs, but with a unique element: an unpainted circle in the middle of the torso.... An angyap-like boat, this time with a large crew, follows the human figure. [Annotation by Andis Kaulins: We identify those images [in the "Right Group"] as Sagittarius as a top-finned fish of some kind (dolphin?), Scorpio as a whale to its right, Libra as a kayak with a brimmed-hat paddler further to the right of the whale, the human figure with a circle in the torso as Virgo -- signifying the female, and the angyap-like boat as Leo.]

The paintings continue under a low overhang close to the ground.... It was a painting of an eyelike symbol, connected to ... [a number of] evenly spaced lines... like another image immediately to the right...." [Annotation by Andis Kaulins: This small group of petroglyphs helped to "prove" the correctness of our decipherment, as they had to be stars below Leo. We identify the left of those low images as the stars of Sextans with a row of stars above them pointing to the Summer Solstice (see the image further below), and the right fishbone-like image as representing a row of stars above the head of Hydra as if fixing the Ecliptic.]

[At Clam Cove] "The interior is deeper than Tuxedni, which is little more than a rock face – 7m deep and 9m wide.

The paintings are denser here, many of them close to a crack that separates the south and west walls. On the south wall, a large bird with outstretched wings, [emphasis added] perhaps a thunderbird, lies close to groups of human figures, one of them apparently waving rattles and perhaps dancing. The most interesting paintings lie on the west wall, among them a ladder-like sign with what appears to be a crab claw above it, and two human figures attached to the ladder’s top rung with a line.

The right hand figure is more abstract, with an object extending between its legs, perhaps two whale’s tails or a small human. I followed the jumble of images across the wall — mostly unidentifiable figures, except for an isolated profile of a quadruped, with ears and tail clearly shown. Nearby, two human figures and a whale cavort together, the human having the usual outstretched arms and legs, a grouping surrounded by a dashed line. An abstract figure below them wears some form of headdress and appears in profile, legs bent as if it is dancing. Baird thinks this may be a therianthrope, a beastlike human, for it is quite unlike any other human figure from the shelter.
Then the pictographs fade away to faded blobs. Dancing humans, breaching whales and, perhaps, memories of actual events: the images were immediate, yet elusive, their symbolism long vanished into history. All I could do was extrapolate from diverse sources of evidence."

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 126 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

Tuxedni Bay and Clam Cove Alaska Wall Carvings and Rock Art Pictographs Southwest of Anchorage Mark Stars in the Sky: Tuxedni is Cygnus and Clam Cove is Aquila But There is Much More

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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