Terese Petroglyphs / Village (Coso Style Petroglyphs / El Paso Mountains) – {REBOOT}

Terese - The famous "boat-shaped" sheep of the "Coso People"
Terese Petroglyphs & village

Terese Petroglyphs & village

 

It has been a little over a year and a half since I first wrote about the Terese petroglyph and village site (CAKER6188) in the eastern portion of the El Paso Mountain Range. At the time of my first visit, there hadn’t been any documentation of Terese on the internet, with the exception of a passing mention in a couple of scientific papers. Public information, and photographs were nonexistent. I published my original article on Feb., 15th 0f 2013, with what I believe to have been the first public photographs documenting the site. Several other amateur archaeologists, explorers and photographers have since visited Terese, all adding their own interesting perspectives on the site.

Since that initial visit, I have returned to Terese on several occasions, and with each visit I become even more impressed with the site based on its extensive geographical area, and its still nearly untouched state. On these return trips, I have managed to find two additional sites within three-quarters of a mile from what I believe to be the main village site. Both of these sites sit along a north facing wash.

The closest of the two, was likely a small extended camp from the main village, due to its close proximity. It contains several panels of petroglyphs, as well as mortars, metates and manos. There is also the presence of several large stone circles, which would have been used in the construction of wickiups (a type of dwelling made of wooden poles, with brush placed on top of the poles as a covering).

Terese - A very rare combination of a petroglyph and a metate

Terese – A very rare combination of a petroglyph and a metate

 

Terese - Stone circles like this are found over an area of 900 x 600 feet. Many are not this well pronounced.

Terese – Stone circles like this are found over an area of 900 x 600 feet. Many are not this well pronounced.

 

The third site is located on a hill-side, three-quarters of a mile from the village site. It contains a few boulders with petroglyphs on them, but no signs of habitation. These isolated designs could have been intended as direction information, or held a spiritual purpose.

Back at the main village site, there are a documented eighty-six petroglyph panels, many of which can contain up to a dozen or more designs. Stone circles, the only remaining testimony of the wickiup dwellings, sporadically cover an area of roughly 900 feet by 600 feet. In close proximity to the stone circles, there is evidence of ancient kitchens, in the form of both mortars and metates. Pottery sherds, and the flint-knapped remains (also known as lithic scatter)  of arrowheads and spear points can be found littering the harsh landscape.

The discovery of Terese was only in the last twenty-five years, but an amazing discovery it was. Previous to Terese, it was thought that the “Coso People,” hadn’t inhabited areas this far south; with their main area of occupation being in the Cosos Mountain Range, some thirty miles north of Terese. The stylized “boat-shaped” sheep petroglyphs found at Terese told a different story, and Terese has become known as the most southern village of the “Coso People.”  My friend; archaeologist, and expert on the “Coso People,” Dr. Alan Garfinkel Gold has dated the Terese site to between AD 1 and AD 1000, based on radiocarbon dating.

Terese - Part of the "ancient kitchen" - yet another rare occurrence of a petroglyph and metate.

Terese – Part of the “ancient kitchen” – yet another rare occurrence of a petroglyph and metate.

 

Terese - The famous "boat-shaped" sheep of the "Coso People"

Terese – The famous “boat-shaped” sheep of the “Coso People”

 

Terese - The famous "boat-shaped" sheep of the "Coso People"

Terese – The famous “boat-shaped” sheep of the “Coso People”

 

It is also very likely that Terese was occupied by other groups of Native people, during different periods of time. The Kawaiisu were known to inhabit the El Paso Mountains, and there are at least two Kawaiisu petroglyph sites within three miles of Terese. Many of the petroglyphs at Terese  match those of the Great Basin curvilinear style, that the Kawaiisu is known for.

The El Paso Mountains, and all the Native American sites contained within its rugged, basalt covered landscape are an amazing testimony of the people who came here before us. If you find Terese or any of the other prehistoric or even historic sites, respect them. Leave them as you found them, and take only photographs.

Terese - More Coso Style designs at Terese.

Terese – More Coso Style designs at Terese.

 

Terese - More Coso Style designs at Terese.

Terese – More Coso Style designs at Terese.

 

Terese - Sheep are well represented at Terese.

Terese – Sheep are well represented at Terese.

 

Terese - These sheep designs are more in the style of those found at nearby Sheep Springs, a known Kawaiisu "rock art" site.

Terese – These sheep designs are more in the style of those found at nearby Sheep Springs, a known Kawaiisu “rock art” site.

 

Terese - One of the more interesting sheep designs that I have encountered.

Terese – One of the more interesting sheep designs that I have encountered.

 

Terese - Heavily covered boulder in the Great Basin curvilinear style, that the Kawaiisu is known for.

Terese – Heavily covered boulder in the Great Basin curvilinear style, that the Kawaiisu is known for.

 

Terese - Heavily covered boulder in the Great Basin curvilinear style, that the Kawaiisu is known for.

Terese – Heavily covered boulder in the Great Basin curvilinear style, that the Kawaiisu is known for.

 

Terese - Great Basin curvilinear style, that the Kawaiisu is known for.

Terese – Great Basin curvilinear style, that the Kawaiisu is known for.

 

 

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.

  • Jessie Wych

    wow wow wow – do I make myself clear? The metates with petroglyphs are exquisite. Thank you.

  • pat

    Great “reboot” Jim. Even better than the original. I’ve been to the main site (thanks!) and need to get back there to see the rest. What most interests me most (from this post) are the two rocks with petroglyphs, being used as metates. If these symbols were done by Shamans (as many think), it seems like bad joo-joo for somebody else to use the same rock with a symbol on it, as a metate at a later date. What do you think about that?

    • I’m not a believer that all petroglyphs or pictographs are made by shaman. I’m not convinced that shaman created any more designs than anyone else.

      • pat

        A mystery that probably won’t ever be solved.