Last week we made several visits to our mountain. We also had several visitors request to see our site for themselves. It really makes me happy when I can share what we have found and learned with others who are sincerely interested in seeing how amazing our Ancestors are. When someone says to me "I read your book and was fascinated by what you found there, can I see it myself?" I feel that part of my calling is being fulfilled. The part of sharing this wonderful treasure with the wold and reminding them with their own eyes that these were not primitive cavemen as we were taught in school. They were great hunters, fishermen, herbalists, botanists, parents, navigators, craftsmen, astrologists, and artists.
I can report that everyone who visited left with a healthy respect for what they saw and felt at the site.
In between folks visiting we did get some work done. This time of the year is great for exploring and finding new things. But, it's also deer hunting season. Because of this I implement some rules for our team to keep everyone safe.
First, I confine our visits to our site only. While I do have permission to walk the majority of the mountain we don't own from the neighbors, I also know that they may be hunting on their land. While I love watching deers and I gave up deer hunting many years ago I also know that it's important to have a annual deer harvest by hunters to keep the deer population under control for their own long term good and also protecting our vehicles and crops as well from too many deer.
Another rule is we wear orange while walking our land. Mistaken identity happens nationally with the results every year of someone being accidentally shot.
While these rules are a bit restricting we know they are temporary. Deer hunting season, specifically rifle season is just a few weeks long. After rifle season, we are able to resume our searches to our neighbors land.
Ok, so onto our latest finds. We have concentrated most of our time exploring the upper cliff area of our site. Team members Ingrid, Jimmy, Jason and Yani all turned into mountain goats as they went up and down these steep mountain hill sides. I was so impressed watching them knowing this is not easy and a little bit dangerous on some of the steeper, slicker grades. But they pressed on. And they were rewarded. First with the absolute beauty of the cliffs themselves, the views they saw from them and with some great new finds of petroglyphs and pictographs.
We learned that many of the rock cliff faces are ideal surfaces for placing glyphs. The soft Oriskany Sandstone that composes the majority of the rock there is a perfect medium for carving or painting. As a result many of the rock faces are covered with many different glyphs. Below is an example of some of the rock cliff faces.
Rock face Glyphs. Rock Face Glyphs
Note the face in the bottom right I missed.
Something that I noticed while processing these images is that these artists would have had to carve or paint these images from their knees or sitting down. The vast majority of these images are at the ground line that meets that rock face. That wouldn't be easy.
However it then occurred to me that the current ground line is made of thousands of years of composted leaves and soil. This has raised the ground line by several feet (at least). When they created these images they were actually reaching straight out from their chest or slightly raising their arms upwards in a more comfortable position. Now it made sense to me.
Then another epiphany hit me. If the ground level is higher, then what is under those several feet of compost that has built up over time? I believe there are even more glyphs and possibly even the rock tools they used to create these wonderful images. They may have also left "caches" of tools, spear points, etc. at the base of the cliffs as gifts to the Creator. This is an incredible ramification for the future findings at our site. It not only applies on the rock cliffs, it also affects the other rock cairns and effigies on the plateau ceremonial site. The application applies the same way.
Thank you to our team of volunteers that scoured the cliffs helping us get these images.
While we found many new images up on the cliffs the discovery around the ceremonial site on the plateau did not stop.
I had been eyeballing a couple of large boulders that are located very close to one of our favorite base stone cairns we call "The Snail." As I wrapped up the mountain goat ventures in the cliffs there was still some daylight left. So Ingrid & I decided to investigate these two boulders. We were certainly not disappointed. As is the theme of this mountain we found two more Lion heads. Lions here, lions there, lions everywhere. So many Lions!!!!
Ok, sorry. Back to our discoveries. They are amazing.
One is a petroglyph carved into a large boulder face looking directly at the Winter Serpent Wall and Sun effigies. He is also facing SE, or the Winter Solstice.
The second one is a outline glyph in which the entire boulder was used to create an outline of the Lion head and they carved details inside the outline. It has a large male Lion mane and an open jaw showing off his teeth. He is looking to the the NE, or Summer Solstice.
The American lion was estimated to weigh up to 930 lbs. for large males. It is estimated to have measured from 5 ft to 8 ft from the tip of the nose to the base of the tail and stood 4 feet tall at the shoulder. It was the second largest predator during the Pleistocene period behind the Short Face Cave Bear.
There has been speculation and debate from the Archaeological and scientific community regarding the North American Lion (Panthera atrox or Panthera leo atrox) of the Pleistocene period. Some have said these male Lions did not have a mane and looked like the female Lioness but larger. When I first heard that last year I immediately thought that didn't sound right to me. And this was before I had found anything to prove or disprove what they had said.
Since that time I have located multiple male Lions that have manes. The evidence is sitting on our mountain.
Below are the photos of these new finds.
Male Lion Outline Glyph Lion Face Petroglyph
By contrast we have also identified female Lioness's at our site. See below photo.
The American Lion was an animal that my Ancestors greatly respected, feared and even revered. I see more Lion effigies left on our mountain than any other animal by far. Our site Archaeologist Jack Hranicky, RPA even went as far as to call the people who created this ceremonial site the "Lion Clan." I certainly see that as a fitting name.
Until next time, take care my friends.