Skip to comments.Hallucinogenic Plants May Be Key to Decoding Ancient Southwestern Paintings, Expert Says
Posted on 11/16/2014 9:42:34 AM PST by SunkenCiv
Dozens of rock art sites in southern New Mexico, recently documented for the first time, are revealing unexpected botanical clues that archaeologists say may help unlock the meaning of the ancient abstract paintings.
Over a swath of the Chihuahuan Desert stretching from Carlsbad to Las Cruces, at least 24 rock art panels have been found bearing the same distinctive pictographs: repeated series of triangles painted in combinations of red, yellow, and black.
And at each of these sites, archaeologists have noticed similarities not just on the rock, but in the ground.
Hallucinogenic plants were found growing beneath the triangle designs, including a particularly potent species of wild tobacco and the potentially deadly psychedelic known as datura.
Researchers believe that the plants may be a kind of living artifact, left there nearly a thousand years ago by shamans who smoked the leaves of the plants in preparation for their painting...
The region that Loendorf and his colleagues have been exploring was once home to the Jornada Mogollon, a culture of foraging farmers similar to the early Ancestral Puebloans, who occupied the territory from about the 5th to the 15th centuries.
Among the marks the Jornadans left on the land were sophisticated and colorful pictographs, ranging from recognizable plant, animal, and human forms to more abstract patterns.
They also crafted painted pottery in signature styles of red, brown, and black, known today as El Paso phase ceramics, which vary by era and design...
The triangle motifs first showed up at about 20 sites that the team surveyed at Fort Bliss, Loendorf said.
But it was during their second survey of the lands around Carlsbad that they noticed tobacco and datura growing under similar pictographs found there.
(Excerpt) Read more at westerndigs.org ...
A rock art panel found at Dripping Springs, New Mexico depicts abstract triangle motifs. At this panel and others like it, potent wild tobacco was found growing beneath the image. Photograph enhanced with DStretch. (Courtesy L. Loendorf)
a sidebar, not sufficient to be a topic:
The cave paintings of Valltorta-Gassulla could be dated in absolute terms thanks to new analyses
So is that what VanGogh was smok’n?
Its as good an excuse as any I guess. lol
Maybe, but he was probably just flakier than Tony the Tiger.
Datura would definitely give them some hallucinations, but boost the dose just a little, and it goes all “Serpent and the Rainbow”, just like that. :’) In between the subject wouldn’t be able to paint, just sort of sit there with a fixed stare and the o-sign.
The datura "hallucinogens" are atropine, and it's natural derivatives. Some hallucinogen all right. Get that heart pumping right out of your chest.
... or maybe they were just marking the spot where their favorite hallucinogens were growing with a semiotic that struck them as appropriate given their altered mental state at the time, a sort of prehistoric set of roadsigns to guide them on their trip.
He may have been licking his brushes, loaded with Lead paint, then chased down with Absinthe after a long day at work. At least that’s one theory.
No doubt this will require lots of hands-on university research funded by the taxpayer.
I’m not saying it’s aliens, but...
Yeah, it could be early gangsta tagging.
Absinthe makes the art grow fonder.
“Hallucinogenic Plants May Be Key to Decoding Ancient Southwestern Paintings, Expert Says”
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