It is no secret that the autumn leaves mimic the mountains of Red- Rock Secret Wilderness  area of Sedona. The secrets lie in the abandoned dwellings, water-sculpted pinnacles, mysterious caves, and spiritual vortexes It just happens to be narrated by magnificent overlooks. IMG_2414

Palatki Heritage Site  encompasses two trails.  Once leading to ancient cliff dwellings and the second to an alcove of rock art.  Reservations are required to enter.

Sinagua Cliff Dwellings  The walk takes you through fields where corns and beans once grew and the through water-sculpted pinnacles.

A climb up the natural steps along the cliff wall brings you to the  ruins and evidence of ancient civilizations. fullsizeoutput_27a1A closer look will reveal handprints from packing the mud homes and rocks for grinding mesquite pods into flour.

Petroglyphs and Pictographs 

The second trail takes you back through the fields and dry river beds to another rock staircase to the alcove.   The black soot from campfires and the paintings of ancient people tell a story of animals they hunted and an appreciation for Mother Earth.    fullsizeoutput_279fThe photo of a young woman was given to the heritage site to show the proper hairstyle. This corner was most likely specific to fertility or attraction.  Once married hair was worn down the back.

There are over a thousand images drawn on the walls with speculation about what they mean.  Archaeologists and local native Americans have analyzed the site and found similarity throughout the country to signify certain events, like the rising sun or solstices.    Below, the photo on the left shows a circle on the upper right.  The zig-zag line has black markings under it indicating some sort of a time line.  The consensus seems to be that it signifies the rising of the sun over the specific ridges and it mimics the mountains on the left.

True?  It is up to us to decide.

Thanks for taking a minute to read.