- As a result of research conducted in the ancient settlement of Castle Rock Pueblo in Coloado, it is thought that the spiral-shaped engravings on the rocks are calendars used to mark special dates and keep track of astronomical observations.
- Researchers say many more people may have lived in the area than previously thought, based on newly discovered calendars and other diagrams.
- Work continues to map the region in greater detail using LIDAR technology.
Located on the Mesa Verde plateau on Colorado’s border with Utah, the Castle Rock Pueblo settlement is known for its buildings in cliffside cavities and rock art dating back thousands of years.
A research team from the Jagiellonian University in Poland has made new findings at the site, including several previously undiscovered rock carvings covering a distance of approximately 4 kilometers. reported.
Considering how thoroughly experts have studied this part of the world in the past, exciting findings about new carvings or petroglyphs could change the way we think about life in the region up to about 3,000 years ago.
“I used to think that we were doing extensive excavations, geophysical surveys and digitization work in this area,” said archaeologist Radosław Palonka from Jagiellonian University. “I got some hints from older members of the local community that other things might be found in the higher and more inaccessible parts of the canyons.” he explains.
About a half-mile above the famous settlements, researchers found various lines, swirls and a number of other designs etched into the walls. Some of the spiral-shaped engravings, up to one meter in diameter, are thought to be calendars used to mark special dates and keep track of astronomical observations.
Palonka says the findings completely change the perception of the region known as the Basketmaker Period in the 3rd century AD. At that time, Pueblo people lived in semi-subterranean pit houses surrounded by wooden fences; He was engaged in activities such as farming, wicker and basket making.
“Agricultural Pueblo communities developed one of the most advanced pre-Columbian cultures in North America,” Palonka said. They perfected the craft of building multi-storey stone houses that resemble medieval townhouses and, later, even apartment blocks. “The Pueblo people are also famous for their rock art, intricately decorated jewelry, and ceramics with distinctive motifs painted with black pigment on a white background.” he adds.
Researchers say more people may have lived in the area than previously thought, based on newly discovered calendars and other diagrams. Palonka: “We are waiting for the final results of their work and especially hope to detect new areas that were unknown from previous periods.”
Work is now underway to map the area in even greater detail using LIDAR (Beam Detection and Ranging) technology, which could go down to a resolution of 5-10 centimeters and perhaps reveal more carvings.
Compiled by: Esin Özcan