Deep in the El Paso Mountains, at the site of a fossil spring, is an extensive Coso native American village site. We found rock circles, grinding slicks, mortars, manos with metates and petroglyphs spread out across a wide area.
Each time we revisit the site, we seem to discover more. This is the southernmost known extension of the
Coso petroglyphs and one of the few sites not found inside the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station.
Most of the petroglyphs found here are the Coso Representational and Classic styles. I think I spotted some Western Desert Archaic ones here too. The Coso petroglyphs seem to have been created between a few thousand years ago to AD 1300. My friend Dr Alan Gold has researched them extensively and written several articles on them.
We scout around the hills looking for the site.
It doesn’t take long before we start coming across rock circles.
Possible mano stone.
Placed rocks. Some are worked.
I spot this grinding slick.
Grinding slick next to a rock circle.
Alysia, Bill and Aiden on the trail.
Our search continues.
The trail soon grows quite hot as we come into a field of petroglyphs on small boulders.
There are many small petroglyphs here.
Not much else out here though.
A small grinding slick.
Very faint petroglyph.
Anthropormorph and possibly a bighorn sheep.
We find a group of petroglyph boulders.
A closer look at some intricate petroglyphs.
Rectangles next to sun?
Grinding slick with petroglyph on the side.
Mano stone with grinding slick.
Another grinding slick and hand stone.
This area has been cleared and ringed with rocks.
Another grinding spot.
This petroglyphs shows evidence of being worked at two very different time periods.
Bisected circle and design.
Grinding stone here.
More complex circles and falling lines.
More recent petroglyphs over older ones. Again a complex abstract design.
This is an interesting one too. It reminds me of a shooting star or comet.
This boulder is covered.
It is hard to get a good shot in the fading sunlight.
Newer petroglyphs over older.
Small petroglyphs are everywhere out here.
A closer view.
Lichen grows over these.
More petroglyps with lichen.
It is hard to see but a small mortar is in the center of the boulder. The stone is possibly a hand stone for grinding.
A few bighorn sheep.
Sun, among others.
Wedge shape and circles.
I can’t tell if these are animals or not?
Heading up the hill to the village site.
Lone concentric circles petroglyph.
Coming into another site.
We find a Coso style bighorn sheep petroglyph! Not many of these outside of China Lake.
Late period Coso solid body Bighorn Sheep.
Side view of the Coso bighorn sheep rock.
Another solid body Coso bighorn.
Bill and Augie at “Mountain Lion” rock.
This looks like a mountain lion surrounded by bighorn sheep?
Nearby rock circle.
Bighorns and coyote or dog?
More faint bighorns.
We found this rock ring down by the spring.
Grinding slick and cupules.
On another visit, we find a rock circle on a hillside.
Better view of this mortar.
Petroglyphs and possilbe rock ring.
Another mortar and maybe a mano stone.
Note the circles connected by a line.
Thick lines on the sunburst.
Back to the Coso bighorn rock.
Large Coso bighorn sheep.
Two very round cupules.
Rock circle and broken metate in the foreground.
Walking away from the main site, I spot these faint petroglyphs.
Another more remote petroglyph.
Walking to another site.
These appear older to me. Perhaps Western Desert Archaic?
Many circles with lines connecting them.
Bighorn sheep. Some grinding has been done on top of them.
These sheep are going up.
Very faint circles.