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Under Chumash Skies

Celestial Connotations of Chumash Rock Art

A Presentation by Dr. E. C. Krupp

More than four decades have passed since Travis Hudson and Ernest Underhay opened a door on California Indian astronomy with an examination of Chumash ethnography and rock art and provided a foundation for additional studies in Chumash territory. Since then, seasonally significant light-and-shadow events have been examined at Condor Cave, in the San Rafael Wilderness; Burro Flats, near the northwest corner of the San Fernando Valley; at Sapaksi, on the Sierra Madre Ridge; at Mutau Flat, in the neighborhood of Mount Pinos; at Honda Ridge, on Vandenberg Space Force Base; at Pinwheel Cave, in the San Emigdio Mountains, and elsewhere. The Carrizo Plain’s Painted Rock may have hosted the observer’s location for a solar horizon calendar, and the Alder Creek shelter in the Sespe Wilderness appears to be affiliated with the north pole of the sky. Some celestial imagery and cosmological symbols may be embedded in the rock art of Burro Flats; Indian Creek, in the Los Padres National Forest; Saucito Ranch, on the Carrizo Plain; and the Brandeis-Bardin Institute, in Simi Valley. E. C. Krupp will sample these and other efforts to illustrate the role of rock art in our evolving understanding of Chumash interactions with the sky.

E. C. Krupp is an astronomer and Director of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles. Since 1973, he has been active internationally in the study of ancient, prehistoric, and traditional astronomy and on the relationship between astronomy and culture. He is the author and editor of six books on this subject and has published dozens of research papers and hundreds of articles. He has personally visited, studied, and photographed nearly 2200 ancient, historic, and prehistoric sites throughout the world, including darkest California, and owes a debt to the rock art community for showing him where it is and how it’s done.

San Diego Rock Art Association Virtual Meeting

Sunday, October 9, 2022, 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time






Chumash rock art

This meeting will be held via Zoom

October 9, 2022, Starting at 4:00 p.m. (Pacific Time)

Meeting room will open approximately 15 minutes early

Free Registration Required

Click Here to Register