GILA CLIFF DWELLINGS

This photograph shows my first glimpse, in 1990, of the Gila Cliff Dwellings as my wife, Abby, and I climbed up the precipitous trail leading to the caves.

We both had retired some four years earlier and the trail was a real workout for us. By chance we arrived at this site a few days after the autumnal equinox and near noon, when I made this photo.

Weeks later as I examined this image I realized I might be looking at a prehistoric clock - a noon marker as well as an indicator of the equinoxes and the solstices.

Many prehistoric sites in the southwest have been described as solar markers. One is Signal Hill which I discuss in another part of the Archaeoastronomy section.

I will show you other places that I have photographed as I describe the Gila structure because each demonstrates an astronomical alignment or solar marker.

These sites, which include some that others have documented are:

HOVENWEEP CASTLE, TAOS, CHACO CANYON and ACOMA.

My first view of CAVE 2 in 1990

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