Atlatl Rock Engraving Marks Equinoxes

Valley of Fire State Park, NV, USA

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Welcome to my Atlatl Rock web site!

When travelling through the southern part of the US, we visited the Valley of Fire State Park, NV first time on September 12, 2008.

Beeing interested in historic places, we followed the signs to the Atlatl Rock engravings (Petroglyphs) not knowing what to expect. We took some pictures of the rock art and enjoyed the beautiful park.

Back home in Germany, when I started to screen the 4000+ pictures I had taken during the 4 week long trip, I stumbled upon the pictures taken at the site and realized, that the shadow of the rocks just passed through the concentric circles and the cross of the rock engravings. Beeing an professional astronomer and beeing interested in the history of astronomy I had seen similar alignments in books, but never had I expected to see such an alignment myself.

Immediately I realized that this was probably set up to mark the autumnal equinox. We were there on September 12, i.e. 10 days before equinox 2008 at about 11 am local time, almost the right time so see the shadow connect the circles and cross if their purpose is to mark the equinox!

September 12, 2008   11:32 PDT (18:32 UT);
10 days before autumnal equinox 2008


If you hapen to have photographs of the Atlatl Rock Petroglyphs with the shadow visible, please send me the picture with time and date of the exposure. If you agree it can be to be included here!
Thank you!
Helmut Steinle

I checked books on ancient astronomy (archaeoastronomy) to find out if Atlatl Rock was listed there, but so far without success.


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last update 2017-04-29 by   Helmut Steinle