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“It’s a time machine for the gods…”
An astonishing discovery has been made in Arizona’s Verde Valley.
Researchers have come across an ancient calendar carved into stone that has remained hidden for nearly one thousand years. The calendar.
More than 1,000 petroglyphs were most likely created by the ancients as a way to ‘track time’ using the sun, say experts.
According to the Arizona Daily sun, around 1,000 intricate petroglyphs were carved into the rack more than 900 years ago by the Southern Sinagua people. The Sinagua culture inhabited the region between the seventh and fifteenth centuries, farming the region growing corn, cotton, squash, and beans.
More than thousands of symbols were etched by ancient man in the distant past on the red rocks of the V-Bar-V Historic Site.
At first glance, these symbols may appear nearly impossible to decipher as one symbol was etched next to the other one. However, what experts did not know is that they needed the help of the sun.
Once the sun sits in the right place, every symbol tells a different story.
Now, experts believe that the red rocks in Arizona’s Verde Valley may have been used by ancient cultures as a calendar, or even as a device that helped them track time using the sun.
“It’s a time machine for the gods to tell you it’s time for a ceremony,” said Scott Newth, an officer with the Arizona Archaeological Society, who tracks rock art across the region.
The symbols etched in stone were intricately carved to mark the passing seasons and onset of important agricultural periods, using only the position of the sun.
Researchers found that at the beginning of summer, and the longest day of the year, two specific crocks from Arizona’s Verde Valley cast a shadow onto a corn plant.
Six months later, the sun instead shines through the space between.
According to the BBC, this ancient calendar remained unnoticed for centuries, until volunteers rediscovered it at the site in 2005.
Researchers found that as the sun would change position in the sky, it would light and cast shadows on features carved in tock, aligning with specific images that held both an agricultural and ceremonial meaning.
Some of the petroglyphs highlight solstices, equinox and other important astronomical events throughout the year.
Kenneth Zoll, Executive Director at the Verde Valley Archaeology Center and Museum, said in an interview with BBC that: ‘This was a way to track time.’
However, experts note that the calendar created by the Sinagua people isn’t the only one out there.
Many other calendars exist in the Verde Valley that may have been used by the inhabitants of the region to track time and important astronomical events.
These calendars and symbols may have been the work of ancient travelers, who taught local tribes in other nearby sites how to follow the sun, the BBC reports.
However, experts note that much about the ancient sites remains shrouded in mystery.
Featured Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons.