Archaeologists Uncover Astronomical Carvings and Paintings in Colorado's Pueblo Region

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The unveiling occurred at the Castle Rock Pueblo settlement complex situated on the Mesa Verde plateau, straddling the Colorado and Utah border in the United States.

Previous investigations in the vicinity had unearthed Pueblo petroglyphs from the 12th and 13th centuries AD, as well as rock panels from the 15th-17th centuries AD featuring hunting scenes associated with the Ute tribe.

The Puebloans, or Pueblos, an early Native American civilization emerging around AD 100, spanned regions encompassing Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado.

Renowned for their advancement, the Pueblo culture showcased multistorey stone houses, intricate rock art, ornate jewelry, and ceramics adorned with painted motifs.

Prompted by local community reports, archaeologists embarked on exploring the challenging terrains of Sand Canyon, Graveyard Canyon, and Rock Creek Canyon at the Castle Rock Pueblo settlement complex. Positioned 800 meters above the cliff settlements, the team discovered petroglyphs on expansive rock panels stretching over 4 kilometers around the vast plateau.

These rock panels featured spirals up to one meter in diameter, utilized by the Pueblo people for astronomical observations and determining solstices and equinoxes.

Additional findings included painted depictions portraying warriors and shamans, believed by researchers to date back to the 3rd century AD during the Basketmaker Era.

Professor Radosław Palonka from Jagiellonian University in Kraków remarked, "These discoveries compel us to revise our understanding of this area. We have certainly underestimated the number of inhabitants in the 13th century and the intricacy of their religious practices, which evidently occurred adjacent to these outdoor panels."

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