Encore - Serpent and Stars

July 29, 2017

Serpent Stars r (3)

Today and every Saturday Earth Science Picture of the Day invites you to rediscover favorites from the past. Saturday posts feature an EPOD that was chosen by viewers like you in our monthly Viewers' Choice polls. Join us as we look back at these intriguing and captivating images.

Photographer: Bret Webster 
Summary Authors: Bret Webster; Jim Foster

October 2012 Viewer's Choice The photo above shows a particularly long (approximately 9 ft or 3 m) serpent petroglyph found in the San Rafael Swell of east-central Utah. Very little has changed at this spot since the petroglyphs here were first painted some 2,000 years ago. The serpent, rock face and Milky Way look now much as they did then. San Rafael Swell, a weathered dome-shaped anticline, was pushed up to the surface during the Paleocene epoch. The petroglyphs or pictograms can be traced back to people of the Desert Archaic Culture and perhaps to people of the Fremont culture, more recent arrivals, who inhabited this area from about 1600 hundred years ago to 800 years ago.