Sunday, November 1, 2015

PETFO: Lacey Point.

  Lacey Point is an archeological site near a little butte a couple miles out in the desert from....Lacey Point. Like most other spots, there isn't a trial or any markers, not is Lacey Point identified on a map or tourist guide.  I got permission, being AIR, to go, but I don't think they thought I would really hike out there.

  But I did.  

  So....without a clear idea of destination or route, I dropped a Hasselblad in a bag, added a couple bottles of water, grabbed binocs, dropped off the mesa and started angling my way to what I thought was probably Lacey Point site.  

  The desert is deceptive in that it may look flat and featureless, even with binocs, but then washes and canyons open up and landmarks drop out of sight then reappear in different shapes depending on where you are.  I kept an eye on where I came from, where the sun was, how much water I had left and ran a clock.  There wasn't a trace of anything except paleo open-air petrified wood mining.  Lithic scatter.  Then, a mile or more out, at the end of a little low boulder ridge I found myself face to face with a nice concentric circle petroglyph. Next to a dog.  Or a deer.  Or a labyrinth.

I'd been using the binoculars on any likely-looking site or varnish/patina looking for petroglyphs.  Harder to spot than you might think.  Lacey point is known for petroglyphs.

  Just beyond that I saw a big shard of pottery.  Use-ware.  Corregated.   Then a flake of flint.  After a few more twists and turns,  the site.

I climbed the butte after a little poking around.  More shards and a metate.  I don't think I had ever seen a metate in the wild.  The grinding stone was next to it.  Has odd little drill or fracture holes in one corner.  Nice place to sit and grind and watch the wash.  If they had only had binoculars...

  Some of the butte has fallen away.  With an eye for it, you can pick out the blocks that have fallen in the boulder field below. 

  The site is set like Martha's Butte- most of the activity on the East face, to catch morning light and shade in the afternoon, overlooking a much larger area with water, (or at least a wash), close.

Several different pottery styles.  Trade-ware.

Some petroglyph boulders had moved around with time.  Some hadn't.

Another nice set of concentrics.

Impressive toes of the leadership.

Good dogging.

Woman giving birth.  Or a man with big fingers.  Nobody knows though the Anasazi were very close to writing.

Shot a couple rolls of film.

More gorgeous pottery.  I put every piece I looked at precisely back where I found it.  This red ware may be a piece of really late Anasazi-ware that was fired with coal.  That turned the normal glazes red with the higher temps available.  Another hundred years, with coal, you start smelting iron.  They didn't get it.  The Spanish were among them.

Finally time to work my way back, far up the mesa just right of center horizon.

Hugging the cliff to avoid running in and out of washes.

Back at the overlook just as the terminator firmed up.

1 comment:

Len Kowitz said...

Very nice work Robert!
Thank Katie for waking me up to the blog posts.