Spiral Petroglyphs and the Solstice : Archaeoastronomy in the Wind and Bighorn River Basins

Bales, Sara
Lewis, Bailey
The Central Wyoming Field School discovered a spiral petroglyph, reminiscent of those common in the desert southwest, on a large boulder in the foothills of the Absaroka Mountains. Sighting from the spiral, over the point of an adjacent boulder, leads to a series of cairns on high points extending at least four miles to the southeast. The fact that similar petroglyphs in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico are associated with a variety of astronomical events caused field school students to wonder whether this is a calendric site. Other researchers have documented that a similar petroglyph near Thermopolis marks the Summer Solstice. This paper discusses the results of student research on four possible calendric petroglyph sites near Lander, Meeteetse, and Hyattville, Wyoming.
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