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Pictographs, Caves and Sandstone Ranch Houses

January 19, 2019 (Arizona)



North of Wilcox, a series of 11 alcoves on a rhyolite butte (ten of which contain rock art) contain interesting painted rock art (pictographs) in a west facing aspect. While faded, there are a variety of images in several colors that can be enhanced by the use of D-Stretch technology (available for smart phones in the app store). Most elements are abstract but there are anthropomorphs as well. In addition, cultural material, primarily ceramics, are scattered over a 20-acre area below the rock shelters. Numerous bed rock mortars are also present near the alcoves. Nearby to the same site is an historic ranch, the Gilman Ranch with exquisitely worked sandstone. Bill Gillespie, retired Coronado National Forest archaeologist, will be our guide as we visit these two sites.

We plan to meet in Wilcox at the Chamber of Commerce visitor center north of the interstate I-10 but will arrange carpooling from Tucson. Be forewarned: bees have been occasionally observed in the largest cave but in January they might not be a problem. If you are allergic to bee stings, take precautions if you want to participate in this field trip. High clearance vehicles are required to visit the site although hiking to the sites is a  short distance (less than 1 mile). As an optional extension to the day, we will visit a pictograph site known as the Eye of the Cave on the San Pedro near the remains of the late 19th century town of Charleston. It is a little over an hour from the other two sites and then another 1.5 hour drive back to Tucson. To register for the trip contact Katherine Cerino. The trip is limited to 20 people.


January 19, 2019
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Katherine Cerino