AIA_New_logo_300February 21, 2017 Lecture
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May Dinner details
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Old Pecos Trail Cafe
     2239 Old Pecos Trail

Dinner:                      5:30 PM

Our May Meeting is
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Old Pecos Trail Cafe

Meeting:                   7:15 PM
Lecture:                    7:30 PM

Local Speaker: Justin St. P. Walsh
Subject: “
To Boldly Go Where No Archaeologist Has Gone Before”: An Archaeological Investigation of a Human Habitation Site in Space

Lecture Details

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Ringing Rocks of the Southwest
Ron Barber
Los Alamos National Laboratory

The Stone Calendar Project has been studying rock art sites throughout the southwest and northern Mexico identifying glyphs that mark specific times of the year using unique light and shadow interactions. Many of the rock art sites exhibit evidence of additional cultural rituals that occurred at or near the calendar sites. One of the interesting findings is the presence of "ringing rocks", sometimes referred to as gong rocks in other parts of the world. These rare basaltic rocks have a unique microstructure that generates a ringing acoustic sound when struck. Ethnographic reports from the southwest reveal use of these rocks but with little additional technical information.  Most of the ringing rocks identified have been elevated and supported at a few points, which provides free edges that are less damped, producing a clear bell like ringing tone. The locations at which the rocks are struck are easily identified and still produce a wide range of tones. The ringing rocks are generally located at rock art sites, occasionally with some glyphs and cupules engraved onto the ringing rocks.

Ringing or gong rock sites are well known and documented in Africa, India, parts of IndoChina, and a few locations in the southwest. Several sites have been located and studied in New Mexico and Arizona, consisting primarily of basalt composition, with a few of granitic origin. Even at the locations where ringing rocks are found, only a small fraction of the rocks exhibit these ringing acoustic properties

Ron Barber

Ron was born and raised in the oil fields of South America, out in the middle of the boondocks.  His parents hauled their kids through the mountains, deserts and jungles; always in search of new adventures.  Encountering indigenous cultures and ancient sites has led to a long-term interest and curiosity about lost civilizations.  He is an explorer by nature, an engineer by profession.  He’s a mechanical Engineer with over 30 years at the national laboratories; Lawrence Livermore in California and Los Alamos in New Mexico.

Over the last 4 years he has focused an effort to study rock art throughout the southwest, specifically looking for glyphs that might provide insights into early astronomical knowledge.  He has applied his engineering background to develop a systematic approach to surveying and identifying glyphs for potential study.

The Santa Fe Archaeological Society. PO Box 31603, Santa Fe, NM 87594

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