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This pile of seemingly natural rocks is the Fajada Buttes Sun Dagger Calendar.
Near the top of an isolated butte in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, three large stone slabs collimate sunlight in vertical patterns of light on two spiral petroglyphs carved on the cliff behind them. The light illuminates the spirals each day near noon in a changing pattern throughout the year and marks the solstices and equinoxes with particular images. At summer solstice a narrow vertical form of light moves downward near noon through the center of the larger spiral. At equinox and winter solstice corresponding forms of light mark the spirals. We found that the relationship between the shape and orientation of the slabs and the resultant light patterns on the cliff is a complex one and required a sophisticated appreciation of astronomy and geometry for its realization. The site is unique in employing the varying height of the midday sun during the year to provide readings of solar declination. In this respect it is clearly different in concept from the many archeoastronomical sites throughout the ancient New and Old Worlds that tell the passage of the year by marking the rising and setting points of the sun and moon (1).
More on the butte itself
Fajada Butte stands prominently in the south entrance of Chaco Canyon (Fig. 2), rising 135 meters above the valley floor to an elevation of 2018 meters. The butte is difficult to climb, and there is neither water nor soil on it. Yet from bottom to top are many examples of Indian rock art carved and painted on the cliffs (7), the ruins of a number of small Pueblo buildings, and countless pottery shards. This concentration of remains attests to its active use by the Indians. The butte is a natural site for astronomical observations, with its clear views to distant horizons (4).
The last 10 m to the summit of the butte on the southeast face is formed by a vertical cliff with a narrow ledge at its foot. The assembly we will describe consists of an unusual arrangement of three stone slabs 2 to 3 m in height, standing on edge on this ledge and leaning against the cliff. The slabs are slightly off the vertical (Fig. 3) and fan out radially (Fig. 4). They are close together, separated by only 10 centimeters at their inner edges, but do not touch. The slabs keep the cliff face behind them in shadow except near midday, when the sun shines between them to cast patterns of light (8).
Again anasazi rock art comedy into play.
Two spiral petroglyphs are carved (''pecked'') on the cliff immediately behind the slabs (Fig. 5). The larger and more prominent spiral is located behind the opening of slabs one and two. It has 9 1/2 turns and is elliptical in shape (34 by 41 cm). The smaller spiral (9 by 13 cm) is above and to the left behind the opening between slabs two and three. It has 2 1/2 turns and a loop extends out of its upper right side. The spirals can be seen in their entirety only from the right of slab one. From this position, the larger spiral appears circular, suggesting that this was the intended viewpoint (Fig. 6). The length of time the sun shines between the slabs onto the spirals varies from 18 minutes near noon at summer solstice (when the sun is highest in the sky) to 3 hours or more at winter solstice (when the sun is lowest)
Not surprisingly, moonlight generally creates the same patterns on the spirals as the sun, on nights when the moon is between first and third quarter. The periodic changes in these patterns reflect the complexity of the moon's apparent motion (9), and certain combinations of patterns are associated with specific lunar eclipses.
Not only does this calendar track the sun but it does so for the moon as well.
The sun dagger as it pierces the spiral.
The small spot of sunlight can just be seen at the top.
The light dagger moves downwards.
One aspect of the genius of this system is that it i symetrical on either side of the equinoxes/solstices,
and it works in moonlight as well
My battery is dying,
I hope I've given everyone something to ponder
All of the sourced material was from this site.