Granite Spring

granitespring1b-190  The Granite Spring rock art site is a medium size site consisting of both great Basin Abstract style (Pre-Numic in affiliation) and Grapevine style petroglyphs (Patayan / Ancestral Mohave).  There are also several rock shelters and at least two bedrock metates / grinding slick areas.  Granite Spring has a permanent spring, which at the time we visited the area was more like a seep.  The area at certain times of the year has water, game, and natural shelters making it a natural for a seasonal habitat, gathering place, or a campsite while traveling the trade trails. granitespring1b-026  This is one of two parking areas for Granite Spring. granitespring1b-002 granitespring1b-050
granitespring1b-310  There are several rock shelters near the spring that appear to have been occupied at sometime in the past. granitespring1b-294 granitespring1a-093 granitespring1a-095
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granitespring1b-056  In the stone below the shelters we found two metates / grinding slicks. granitespring1b-046 granitespring1b-052 granitespring1b-021  Most of the petroglyphs are about 10’ to 20’ above the wash.
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granitespring1b-019  A single pottery sherd and a stone tool was found near the entrance of this shelter. granitespring1a-152 granitespring1a-153 granitespring1b-014
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granitespring1b-084 granitespring1b-081 granitespring1b-079  This shelter also had signs of being occupied.  One interesting thing about this shelter is the presence of Native Desert Tobacco.  The plants at the lower far right and middle far left are Nicotiana obtusifolia, or better known as Desert Tobacco.  One of the signs of a shelter having been used is the presence of tobacco growing at or near its entrance. granitespring1b-077  Desert Tobacco.
deserttabacco  The photo and description is courtesy of 321go explore Facebook page.  Desert Tobacco in bloom:  Desert Tobacco was generally not used for pleasure. Leaves were chewed, smoked or used in a drinkable decoction as part of rituals in many groups, such to control rain, increase crop production, divining and improve health of community, to drive away malevolent powers. It was smoked by travelers to clear away all danger and ensure blessing from spiritual guides.  Aside from being smoked, tobacco was also used medicinally. A poultice was applied to cuts, bruises, swellings and other wounds. An infusion was used as an emetic. Leaf smoke blown into the ear and covered with a warm pad treated earaches.   Name Scientific Nicotiana obtusifolia Synonym: Nicotiana trigonophylla  Plant Characteristics Duration: Annual, Biennial, Perennial Growth Habit: Subshrub, Herb/Forb Arizona Native Status: Native Habitat: Desert, Upland Flower Color: Cream to greenish white Flowering Season: Spring, Summer, Fall Height: Up to 3 feet (91 cm) tall Description: The flowers are tubular, 1 inch (2.5 cm) long, and have 5 short lobes. The lower leaves are large, oval to egg-shaped, and short-petioled, while the upper leaves are smaller, narrower, and clasp the stems. The stems and leaves are green, hairy, and sticky. Special Characteristics Poisonous – All parts of the plants are highly poisonous and contain the toxic pyridine alkaloids nicotine and anabasine. Classification Kingdom: Plantae – Plants Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants Super division: Spermatophyta – Seed plants Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons Subclass: Asteridae Order: Solanales Family: Solanaceae – Potato family Genus: Nicotiana L. – tobacco Species: Nicotiana obtusifolia M. Martens & Galeotti – desert tobacco granitespring1b-086 granitespring1b-087 granitespring1b-090
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granitespring1b-099 granitespring1a-067 granitespring1b-102  The upper parking area for the site. granitespring1b-104
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granitespring1b-186 granitespring1b-188 granitespring1b-199  This rock was one canyon over from the main site.  The elements are very interesting, but probably new copies of some very cool glyphs. granitespring1b-200
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granitespring1b-214 granitespring1b-218  A possible directional marker, or … granitespring1b-220 granitespring1b-221
granitespring1b-224 granitespring1b-226  This shelter is exactly why I suggest that people use Google Earth.  When making preparations for this trip I checked the area surrounding the rock art site for about a half mile in all directions, and lo an behold, someone had tagged what they called, a cave.  I downloaded the coordinates and after visiting the main site we made the short hike to the shelter / cave.  We did not see any rock art, but we did find an old rock ring – possible fire ring – at the entrance to the shelter.  Someone had lived there a long time ago. granitespring1b-230 granitespring1b-231
granitespring1b-258  Looking out of the shelter towards the valley below.  The Granite Spring site is about a half mile from this shelter. granitespring1b-266  The ring is the right arrow, and the left arrow points to a possible older second ring. granitespring1b-241 granitespring1b-315
granitespring1b-264 granitespring1b-244 granitespring1b-250  A fractured metate. granitespring1b-238
granitespring1b-240  A fire blackened ceiling. granitespring1b-234