Thursday, July 23, 2015

Blythe Intaglios on California and Arizona Border as Tribal Landmarks Sited by Astronomy and Involving Environmental Suits by Colorado River Indian Tribes against the Bureau of Land Management and Planned Solar Power Projects in the Desert

The ancient Blythe Intaglios of California ("intaglio" means "incised image") are also called the Blythe Geoglyphs or simply Blythe Glyphs. Although otherwise not so well known, they are modernly involved in environmental lawsuits due to large planned solar power projects in the desert of their site location.

In December 2014, the the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (hereafter "BLM") was sued by Colorado River Indian Tribes ("CRIT"). See Zachary Matson at the Palo Verde Valley Times in Colorado River Indian Tribes sue feds over Blythe's Solar Power Project. The suit alleged that the Blythe Solar Power Project would entail cultural and environmental damage to the Blythe geoglyphs such as:
"Kokopilli, Cicimitl, El Tosco, the 16 layer Temple, and other features.... La Cuna de Aztlan Sacred Sites Protection Circle, a Native American cultural protection group, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court, of California, challenging the [BLM] permitting processes regarding six large solar facilities planned for the Mohave, Sonoran and Colorado deserts of Southern California (Case No.10CV2664 WQH WVG), including Imperial Valley...."
An injunction was not granted. As written at Parker Pioneer News:
"In the BLM lawsuit, a federal judge earlier this summer rejected the tribes’ request to grant an injunction against the solar project from moving forward and will hear oral arguments on the merits of the case later this month, said Sara Clark , an attorney with San Francisco-based firm Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger, which represents the tribes.
In June 2015 a second suit was filed. See CBS Los Angeles in Native American Tribes Sue To Block Solar Plant In Mojave Desert.

Parker Pioneer News covers the matter at CRIT pushes back on “fast-tracked” solar projects and writes:
"We are always behind the eight ball, we aren't listened to, our concerns aren't taken into consideration," said CRIT Tribal Council-
woman Amanda Barrera, of Parker, during a Wednesday interview. "These have always been and will always be our land; we are always going to be here, listen to us, pay heed to us."

CRIT is a group of four distinct tribes – Mohave, Chemehuevi, Hopi and Navajo – with a council of nine members. Barrera is a Chemehuevi. She said she has seen the impact of solar projects first hand, joining a delegation that visited a San Diego warehouse housing around 3,500 tribal artifacts turned up during work on a solar development in 2012.

"What hurts the most is when you go out with solar companies that don’t know this area, and they say there is nothing in the desert..." Barrera said." [emphasis added]
There is indeed something in the desert, and that includes the Blythe Intaglios, which have already been seen correctly by others to be astronomy of some kind. See the video at this link as a courageous -- if in our view incorrect -- try at astronomical identification of the glyphs in a nicely done presentation.

As we have seen from the ancient system of astronomical land survey of North America revealed in previous postings, rock art sites in southwestern Native American Arizona marked the stars of Leo. See in this regard

Similar to the shape of Leo is the pattern formed by the southern California and Arizona sites at the Megalithic Map at at However, not all of the locations marked there have to do with ancient sites of Native America, so one can not be sure about that particular figure and we do not rely upon it.

The southern California Blythe Intaglios are so named because of their location near Blythe, California, on the Colorado River, which even today is a natural border between California and Arizona. As written at the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM):
"There are a total of six distinct figures in three locations, including a human figure at each location and an animal figure at two locations. The largest human figure measures 171 feet from head to toe. Geoglyphs are difficult to date, so archaeologists have no way of knowing their age. According to Mohave and Quechan tribes of the lower Colorado River area, the human figures represent Mastamho, the Creator of Earth and all life. The animal figures represent Hatakulya, one of two mountain lions/persons who helped in the Creation. In ancient times, sacred ceremonial dances were held in the area to honor the Creator of life. These intaglios are best viewed from the air."[emphasis added]
The  Wikipedia writes about the Blythe Intaglios as follows, citing to Amy J. Gilreath, California Prehistory: Rock Art in the Golden State. In Colonization, Culture, and Complexity, edited by Terry L. Jones and Kathryn A. Klar, pp. 273-290, Lanham, MD, Rowman Altamira, 2007. ISBN 978-0-7591-1960-4:
"One of the notable mythic figures is a 20- to 25- meter long humanoid figure located next to a second glyph, this of a quadruped resembling a mountain lion.[4] Additionally, 18-foot (5.5 m)-tall figures bearing a likeness to Mastamho and Kataar, the "hero twins of the creation myth," can be seen near Fort Mojave in Arizona."
In our decipherment below, based upon the geoglyph locations in Google Earth, one instance of the Blythe Intaglios thought to resemble a mountain lion does in fact represent the heavenly lion Leo, marked as the front stars of Leo with a serpent below, i.e. Hydra, and a human figure, surely representing the stars of Ursa Major, above them. Click the graphic for a larger image.

The stars represented by the Blythe Intaglios are shown in the following graphic clipped from Starry Night Pro, to which thick red-colored lines, circles, figures and text have been added by Andis Kaulins, not affiliated with Starry Night Pro, to show the stellar correspondences.

In the other group of glyphs we see a similar four-legged animal glyph, which, because of the three stars prominently marked on the ground, we think can only be a larger animal figure formed by Centaurus with Virgo marked above them as a human figure. Three prominent stars toward the back of Centaurus are the stars Theta Centauri (Menkent), Iota Centauri and Nu Centauri (plus other bright stars right nearby) and appear to be marked on the ground near the Geoglyph.

To the right of that triumvirate of three stars we see an additional fletched arrow-shaped figure, presumably representing the right line of stars at Gamma Centauri, Delta Centauri etc., that we have marked in red, and below that we see a cross-like figure that we identify as Crux, the Southern Cross.

The middle of the three stars of Centaurus marked the Celestial Meridian at the Autumn Equinox in ca. 1 A.D. while Spica in Virgo marked the Celestial Meridian at the Autumn Equinox in ca. 350 A.D. In that general time period the star Alphard in Hydra virtually marks the Celestial Equator. Regulus in Leo always marks the Ecliptic.

Further above all those glyphs is then a lone human figure geoglyph which we suggest could have marked the stars of Boötes (here locally only and not in the earlier and broader Native America land survey).

Between Boötes and Leo we find the North Galactic Pole, of which the ancients appear to have been aware, perhaps marked here as a round area on the ground, forming the eye of the head of a goose, whose neck extends to the left. This is in the area we today assign to Coma Berenices and Canes Venatici.

Other figures marked on the ground are possible, probably from earlier eras, but they are by no means certain, and we have marked them accordingly.

THIS POSTING IS Posting Number 114 of
The Great Mound, Petroglyph and Painted Rock Art Journey of Native America

Blythe Intaglios on California and Arizona Border as Tribal Landmarks Sited by Astronomy and Involving Environmental Suits by Colorado River Indian Tribes against the Bureau of Land Management and Planned Solar Power Projects in the Desert

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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."