Chumash archaeo-astronomy?

12 Feb 2010,8599,1960661,00.html  February 9th ... a tree in California was carved with astronomical signs representing constellations, it is alleged. The scorpion tree, a gnarled oak in the Santa Lucia Mountains, has the image of a six legged lizard meticulously scrawled across it's trunk, nearly 3 feet in length and topped with a rectangular crown and two large spheres. It belonged to the Chumush, it is thought, as they were responsible for similar painted rock art elsewhere in California. The appearance of the crown and it's relation to one of the spheres is similar to the way the constellation of Ursa Major is related to Polaris, it occurred to one of the two authors of the article published in the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology. Ursa Major rotates around Polaris every 24 hours and would have been a visible feature in the sky for thousands of years, they claim. They rubbished the idea the carving had anything to do with drug induced shamans and said the image was a deliberate pictograph of the stars. In the 1970s Travis Hudson in Crystals in the Sky also claimed observations of the heavens were a feature of rock art in California. Hudson's archaeo-astronomy came under fire as too tenuous - and it may well have been. The authors have therefore adopted a cautious interpretation as they expect a similar line of criticism. The oak tree itself may be just two or three centuries old but it is the image that may have survived, like Aborigine Dream Time images, for a much longer period of time. The abstract does not mention if the two authors have an identity in mind for the lizard - or why such a shape should have been seen in the sky. It does in fact resemble (picture available at Discovery News of February 10th) one of those plasma images on rock art that was shown on slides at the 2007 SIS Cambridge Conference. Check it out.

 the lizard tree

For the resemblance see