Odious and Peculiar
Philology and esoterica: scribblings, ravings and mutterings.
O&P's Current Pick:
Friday, April 18, 2008
...scarcely more than a hundred Gallina remains have ever been found, said Tony Largaespada, an archaeologist with the U.S. Forest Service who made the discovery in 2005.More, with photos, here.
Like the six other bodies found at the site—all members of a now vanished culture called the Gallina—Stargazer met a brutal end. Her neck had been broken, with her head snapped back so far that her skull rested between her shoulder blades.Also interesting: '"Probably the most famous thing about the Gallina is the towers they made," said Tony Largaespada, a U.S. Forest Service archaeologist. "[People] call them Gallina towers, and they almost looked like medieval European castles."'
Though there were no such towers at the location we visited, the site's defensive aspects were pretty unmistakable, with two separate structures set away from the main alcove, commanding views of the canyon. Here's a rather lousy photo of the upper one:
It also seems noteworthy that no modern Puebloans claim any ancestral connections with the Gallina. The Jemez, for instance, seem remarkably vehement on the subject.
To add one final, even more Lovecraftian touch, the site contained several deep holes that reached horizontally back into the sandstone. The largest was remarkably deep, perhaps 25 feet. It seemed as though it extended even further, but was blocked with a large stone that looked for all the world like it was deliberately placed. Another such crevice was similarly blocked. For all the progress in Southwestern archaeology, there's still a lot of room for play of imagination.
As you say, the massacres have been known since the 1930s, but they did not fit into the "peaceful, corn-growing ceremonialists" narrative pushed by the National Park Service at its Ancestral Puebloan sites.
I learned about this culture years back from an NPS archaeologist at Chaco, who pointed out that the Chacoan road system ran in every direction but towards the Gallinas area. So he figured that the two groups were enemies.
The same archaeologist said that in the 1940s, one of the national magazines such as Saturday Evening Post had run an article on them with a title like, "Towers of Silence," but I never have tried to track it down.
Maybe the Chaco Police raided them after accusations of child abuse.
Fantastic ruin! The curves of the overhang and rock blending with the curve of the masonry is really striking. Very different than the Mesa Verde ruins, for example. Thanks for the photos & links!
Yeah, these folks seemed to like curvy walls. Pretty elegant masonry, really. There were some funny little niches walled in with gracefully bending little mini-walls.
Very cool eagley thunderbirdy pictographs. So far this has been a rock art free season but we're still looking for geoglyphs.Post a Comment