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Rubens Brandão

Pedra do Cruzeiro

Patrick Born

4,000 Year-old Rock Painting: White Shaman of the Lower Pecos River

Lower Pecos River near Comstock, Texas, USA

02H11 December 22, 2007

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© 2007 Patrick Born, All Rights Reserved.

Caption

I was invited to visit the rock shelter where approximately four thousand years ago, the White Shaman pictograph panel was finger-painted by the locals. I decided to take advantage of the invitation by photographing for the Wrinkle in Time event.

The Studying Human Use of Materials Land, & Art (SHUMLA) School's Executive Director, Dr. Carolyn Boyd, and Board Member Kim Cox, invited me to accompany them to the White Shaman Rock Shelter in order to view the pictographs at full-moon.

I photographed using only the light of the moon, so you'll need to look carefully to see the White Shaman. As the VR image opens, the Shaman is located left of the center of the image. Rotate the image slightly counter-clockwise, see the black glove in the shadow of the moon? That is an adult-sized glove, which should give you an indication of the size of the pictographs.

Rotate some more, see the full-moon, notice how it is illuminating the lower section of the pictograph panel. Several hours later, the moon partially illuminated the upper section of the panel. Here is a time-lapse sequence of the illuminated pictograph panel. Here's a crop of a 60 degree section that I shot at 03H08 that will help you see how the panel was illuminated by the moon. The experts hypothesize that the moon may swing over more during June and better illuminate the White Shaman.

Rotate some more and you will see Orion's Belt near the top of the image. We were intrigued to see that Orion's Belt was clearly visible just below the rock shelter's ceiling throughout our early morning vigil.

Pan down now to see the Pecos River High Bridge as it carries US-90 over the Pecos River, just before the Pecos River's mouth flows into the Rio Grande River.

Need some help identifying the White Shaman? Take a look at The Rock Art's gallery image of The White Shaman and read their interpretation of what the pictograph represents.

Here is Bill Worrell's impression of a shaman overlooking the Seminole Canyon at the Seminole Canyon State Park

The Rock Art Foundation organizes tours and learning events if you're interested in learning more about rock art.

Read more about the Lower Pecos and Dr. Boyd at My San Antonio's article entitled Gateways to a Spiritual World

Location

USA-Canada / USA-Texas

Lat: 29° 42' 37.51" N
Long: 101° 20' 58.28" W

Elevation: ~1,400 ft above sea level

→ maps.google.com [EXT]

Precision is: Medium. Nearby, but not to the last decimal.

OpenStreetMap: © OpenStreetMap contributors

Equipment

For this immersive image, I used:
  • Nikon D70 DSLR, photographing in raw mode (NEF)
  • Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8 lens @ f/2.8 with a 10 second exposure and camera sensor @ISO 500
  • Lighting provided by moon
  • Gitzo G2220 tripod
  • Manfrotto 303 SPH panorama head
  • Photoshop CS2
  • PTGui (5.84)
  • Pano2QTVR (1.66 pro)
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