dinsdag 8 oktober 2013

the sun dagger - chaco canyon

Rising nearly 400 feet above the desert floor in a remote section of ancient Anasazi territory named Chaco Canyon stands an imposing natural structure called Fajada Butte. Along a narrrow ledge near the top of the butte is a sacred Native American site given the name Sun Dagger that a thousand years ago revealed the changing seasons to Anasazi astronomers. After the ancient people abandoned the canyon for unknown reasons 700 years ago the sun dagger's secret remained hidden except to a special few. In 1977 it was inadvertently "rediscovered" when known or suspected rock art and petroglyphs on the butte were being studied and cataloged.
Many years before the rediscovery, I, as a ten-year old boy, joined my Uncle on what he called a "bio-search" trip to Fajada Butte. My uncle had field searched thousands and thousands of plants, herbs, and mushrooms, even to having had several previously undiscovered species named after him. We had gone to the butte because it has its own micro-climate which creates an environment that grows a variety of plants used by the indigenous population for traditional and ritual purposes, plants that are not generally found on the surrounding plain. Special plants also grow on the mounds thought to be the one-time homes of the ancient astronomers. Although others felt that the plants were equally powerful wherever they grew my uncle thought that the power of the plants was increased by...

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