This is an impressive set of pictographs inside of a rock shelter high in the Santa Monica mountains above Malibu. The cave itself is a natural overhang near a local landmark. The site is particularly interesting because it portrays four mounted riders.

The Chumash Indians were in the area at the time of first contact by Spanish explorers. This would have been the first time the Chumash would have seen horses, not to mention men riding horses. This probably impressed them. This site is the only known depiction by the Chumash of humans in profile or of mounted horsemen. It is possible that the horsemen are from the Portola expedition of 1769 who were on their way to Monterey.

The site is on residential private property and not open for public visitation. I was invited on site. Please don’t trespass.


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