This panel, tucked under the roof of a small overhang (maybe 15 feet up) is found overlooking a prominent river in Central Arizona.

Many ancient sites are found in the area, but this is credited to the Apaches, suggesting a more recent date than other rock art; probably up to 500 years.

Decades ago (as recently as 1955, or so I’m told), an old medicine man was known to live amongst the outcropping where these are found — which, BTW, I believe my friend and I found that location, too. He claimed, according to someone I know, that the image represents a calendar.

The panel features what appears to be 13 turtles surrounding and facing a central figure — likely the sun. Many ancient cultures divided their years into 13 months, though I’m not sure the Apaches ever did. However, if they did, you can figure what the “turtles” represent. If each turtle is a month, and since all 13 surround the sun-figure, this would seemingly represent a year.

According to a friend who once lived in the area, offerings are still being made here by the local Apaches, to honor the medicine man.

Today, It also serves as a logo for the Rim Country Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society.

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