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Pinto Wash Petroglyphs Messages in this topic - RSS

tommy750
tommy750
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11/13/2012
tommy750
tommy750
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Been wanting to check out the petroglyphs in Pinto Wash so hiked out there yesterday. Read a few online stories that seemed to exaggerate the difficulty of the hike. Now, it doesn't seem so exaggerated! Uploaded waymarks to my GPS to make it easy for me but was in the wrong canyon before my second waymark. The maze of deep canyons makes it a real challenge your first time out.

Parked on Old Hwy 80 and crossed over into Boulder Creek under I-8. Quick stop at the old shack nearby. You can see my Tundra in the far distance through the hole in the shack on the right.


Miner's Shack by tomteske, on Flickr

Few hundred yards upstream found a lot of morteros on the stream bank.


Boulder Creek Morteros by tomteske, on Flickr

Few miles south, came upon this nice palm grove with a presumed campsite on a ledge above the stream bank. Morteros and lots of fairly large pottery fragments all around.


First Palm Oasis by tomteske, on Flickr


First Palm Oasis Sherd by tomteske, on Flickr

First petroglyph site in Pinto Canyon is a hundred yards downstream of a wash branch heading due north from Mexico containing a large palm grove. Faint figures and shapes seen on two boulder surfaces.


Site F Panorama by tomteske, on Flickr


Site F 2 by tomteske, on Flickr

Downstream, the well known shelter cave with the alleged boat glyph. Looking at all the bizarre stuff out there, I'm not so sure it's really a Spanish sailing vessel.


Site E by tomteske, on Flickr


Site E Ship by tomteske, on Flickr

Farther downstream on a boulder midstream is supposed to be a very faded glyph, maybe this.


Maybe Site D by tomteske, on Flickr

There's reportedly another site on rocks well outside the wash which I didn't find. The biggest site is supposedly on both side of the canyon on boulders with dark brown varnish and I just couldn't seem to locate it. Kept walking down the wash till I hit this nice oasis with running water. Found a monument dedicated to a Martin Zamora Torres.


Last Palm Spring by tomteske, on Flickr


Cruz Azul2 by tomteske, on Flickr


Cruz Azul by tomteske, on Flickr

Was getting way too late and dark when I turned around and I couldn't find my hiking poles I left stuck in the sand while I hiked downstream taking photos. Was not motivated to turn around and search for them so they're down there as a nice nearly new freebie for someone.

Past the petroglyphs, I saw something white and round nearly buried in sand which I didn't notice hiking by just an hour earlier. Closer inspection revealed a human skull. Was a pretty somber moment. Don't know this individual's story but Rest In Peace, fellow traveler.


Skull RIP by tomteske, on Flickr

A little excavation confirms the object's identity.


Skull2 RIP by tomteske, on Flickr

Fifty yards further upstream, came across a single bone, possibly a metacarpal bone.


Possible Metacarpal Bone RIP by tomteske, on Flickr

Had the usual meet and greet with two USBP agents when I finally hit Boulder Creek next to I-8. Gave them the coordinates of the human remains and they said they'd be out today checking it out. It's an easy drive out there if you have a gate key to Davies Valley. 16 miles, few wrong turns but a great hike overall. Would like to head back and find those other glyphs. Any one have any clues where they are? Enjoy. Tom
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surfponto
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11/13/2012
surfponto
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Wow that looks like it was an exciting hike!

Your pics are great.
Petroglyphs, human skull and a burial cross, geesh crazy.

I was going to try to decipher the cross with my rudimentary Spanish skills but....wink



Bob
<em>edited by surfponto on 11/13/2012</em>

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harmono
harmono
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11/13/2012
harmono
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"Do not fill your hearts with pain and sorrow more memories each morning memories the laughter and joy they quiver solemente ad I've gone though I rest a bale Ascencia dollar and cause" best I could do to translate it.

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IMG_1032 by harmono619, on Flickr
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surfponto
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11/13/2012
surfponto
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Thanks
Better than what I came up with smile


harmono wrote:
"Do not fill your hearts with pain and sorrow more memories each morning memories the laughter and joy they quiver solemente ad I've gone though I rest a bale Ascencia dollar and cause" best I could do to translate it.


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mrkmc
mrkmc
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11/13/2012
mrkmc
mrkmc
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Wow! What is one supposed to do if they find human bones in the desert? Let it be and forget about it, or do you report it to authorities? For that area its likley from someone crossing the border, but how do you know its not from foul play?
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ziphius
ziphius
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11/13/2012
ziphius
ziphius
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Great trip report and photos Tommy! smile

Maybe a naive question, but why the assumption that the skull is 'modern'? I've seen skulls on the Channel Islands that are thought to be at least several hundred years old that didn't look any more weathered than that one. Border patrol might remove the skull without giving any thought to the age of it.

I wasn't familiar with Pinto Canyon until I read this thread. There's an old Reader story / trip report here: http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2009/jun/03/cover/
<em>edited by ziphius on 11/13/2012</em>
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anutami
anutami
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11/13/2012
anutami
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Tom, That human skull is amazing! My thoughts and prayers go out to the unfortunate soul. It looks like it has been there awhile and I wonder if they will be able to identify them. Did the BP agent take down your info to report back to you any info? I wonder how many other people just walked right by without noticing, or with noticing and kept going. Were you hiking solo? It really makes you think twice before heading out alone in the desert...

One of my good friends was backpacking in the sierras and came across a rock climber who had fallen to his death. He kept on his hike and reported the guy to the authorities a few days later when he was done with his backpack trip. They really read him the riot act for not reporting it right when he found the guy.
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tommy750
tommy750
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11/13/2012
tommy750
tommy750
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Obviously, these remains have been around for a while since not much soft tissue is present. The upstream watershed of Pinto Wash is big and a lot of it arises in Mexico. If someone was reported missing in the previous years in the area, maybe DNA or dental records (didn't check out the teeth) could give a family missing a loved one closure. I asked the USBP agents who this needs to be reported to and they said they'd take care of it. Was somewhat surprised I walked away into the night after describing human remains with neither agent asking my name or number. They probably already knew because they were aware of my pickup and may have ran the plates. Tom
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dsefcik
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11/13/2012
dsefcik
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Without looking up specifics my memory thinks it is a federal offense to remove human bone from anywhere except under certain conditions like sanctioned archaeological projects. You may be able to find more by researching CEQA rules.


mrkmc wrote:
Wow! What is one supposed to do if they find human bones in the desert? Let it be and forget about it, or do you report it to authorities? For that area its likley from someone crossing the border, but how do you know its not from foul play?


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dsefcik
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11/13/2012
dsefcik
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Great trip Tom, I always wanted to go out there. There are some pictos you passed by also but they are very faint.

here is what I got from the sign:

"In memory of Martin Zam Torres born 11/29/1969 and passed on 07/20/2008 Do not fill your hearts with pain and guilt instead remember me each day, remember the joy, the smiles and the laughter. I have gone to rest a bit even if my absence causes pain and .....diminishes my pain..."

Every time I find undocumented packs and such I wonder how they do it and why it is worth so much......next time you are out hiking with your cushy Camelbak and name brand boots think of that sign and skull......

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surfponto
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11/13/2012
surfponto
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Thanks for the translation Daren,

I agree.
It is amazing what migrants must endure to come over the border .


dsefcik wrote:
Great trip Tom, I always wanted to go out there. There are some pictos you passed by also but they are very faint.

here is what I got from the sign:

"In memory of Martin Zam Torres born 11/29/1969 and passed on 07/20/2008 Do not fill your hearts with pain and guilt instead remember me each day, remember the joy, the smiles and the laughter. I have gone to rest a bit even if my absence causes pain and .....diminishes my pain..."

Every time I find undocumented packs and such I wonder how they do it and why it is worth so much......next time you are out hiking with your cushy Camelbak and name brand boots think of that sign and skull......


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harmono
harmono
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11/14/2012
harmono
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Daren Sefcik wrote:
Great trip Tom, I always wanted to go out there. There are some pictos you passed by also but they are very faint.

here is what I got from the sign:

"In memory of Martin Zam Torres born 11/29/1969 and passed on 07/20/2008 Do not fill your hearts with pain and guilt instead remember me each day, remember the joy, the smiles and the laughter. I have gone to rest a bit even if my absence causes pain and .....diminishes my pain..."

Every time I find undocumented packs and such I wonder how they do it and why it is worth so much......next time you are out hiking with your cushy Camelbak and name brand boots think of that sign and skull......


Could you explain what you mean by "undocumented packs and such I wonder how they do it and why it is worth so much" - I'm lost here.... I guess I'm a new b.

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IMG_1032 by harmono619, on Flickr
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BorregoWrangler
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11/14/2012
BorregoWrangler
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tommy750 wrote:
It's an easy drive out there if you have a gate key to Davies Valley.


Wait, key? Does some have a key to that gate? I went out there a few years ago expecting to be able to drive the trails around Davies Valley but was stopped by a few locked gates. Anyway, great report! That's crazy that you just came upon a human skull. I found one a few years ago out at my in-law's ranch in Delzura. Authorities said it was an immigrant who probably died of exposure.

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dsefcik
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11/14/2012
dsefcik
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I think he means the gate where the BLM closed off the road to Davies Valley. It is S-SE of Ocotillo.

BorregoWrangler wrote:
tommy750 wrote:
It's an easy drive out there if you have a gate key to Davies Valley.


Wait, key? Does some have a key to that gate? I went out there a few years ago expecting to be able to drive the trails around Davies Valley but was stopped by a few locked gates. Anyway, great report! That's crazy that you just came upon a human skull. I found one a few years ago out at my in-law's ranch in Delzura. Authorities said it was an immigrant who probably died of exposure.


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dsefcik
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11/14/2012
dsefcik
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Undocumented travelers backpacks...they are discarded all over the desert. How they do it as in how do they cross such rough terrain over such long distances and sometimes deadly weather with little water or food. To be in the USA for them is worth risking their lives crossing to get here.

harmono wrote:
Daren Sefcik wrote:
Great trip Tom, I always wanted to go out there. There are some pictos you passed by also but they are very faint.

here is what I got from the sign:

"In memory of Martin Zam Torres born 11/29/1969 and passed on 07/20/2008 Do not fill your hearts with pain and guilt instead remember me each day, remember the joy, the smiles and the laughter. I have gone to rest a bit even if my absence causes pain and .....diminishes my pain..."

Every time I find undocumented packs and such I wonder how they do it and why it is worth so much......next time you are out hiking with your cushy Camelbak and name brand boots think of that sign and skull......


Could you explain what you mean by "undocumented packs and such I wonder how they do it and why it is worth so much" - I'm lost here.... I guess I'm a new b.


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dsefcik
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11/14/2012
dsefcik
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This really was a great TR Tom, thanks for sharing. Best pictures of the glyphs out there I have seen.

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harmono
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11/14/2012
harmono
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Daren Sefcik wrote:
Undocumented travelers backpacks...they are discarded all over the desert. How they do it as in how do they cross such rough terrain over such long distances and sometimes deadly weather with little water or food. To be in the USA for them is worth risking their lives crossing to get here.

harmono wrote:
Daren Sefcik wrote:
Great trip Tom, I always wanted to go out there. There are some pictos you passed by also but they are very faint.

here is what I got from the sign:

"In memory of Martin Zam Torres born 11/29/1969 and passed on 07/20/2008 Do not fill your hearts with pain and guilt instead remember me each day, remember the joy, the smiles and the laughter. I have gone to rest a bit even if my absence causes pain and .....diminishes my pain..."

Every time I find undocumented packs and such I wonder how they do it and why it is worth so much......next time you are out hiking with your cushy Camelbak and name brand boots think of that sign and skull......


Could you explain what you mean by "undocumented packs and such I wonder how they do it and why it is worth so much" - I'm lost here.... I guess I'm a new b.



Oh that's what I thought. I'm not sure if it's just ignorance maybe they don't know how difficult it is, or they are just used to the hot dry climate, and lack of food. At any rate I'm sure they really value getting work here.

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IMG_1032 by harmono619, on Flickr
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tommy750
tommy750
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11/14/2012
tommy750
tommy750
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BorregoWrangler wrote:
tommy750 wrote:
It's an easy drive out there if you have a gate key to Davies Valley.


Wait, key? Does some have a key to that gate? I went out there a few years ago expecting to be able to drive the trails around Davies Valley but was stopped by a few locked gates. Anyway, great report! That's crazy that you just came upon a human skull. I found one a few years ago out at my in-law's ranch in Delzura. Authorities said it was an immigrant who probably died of exposure.


I also remember driving out to Davies Valley all excited to use those dirt roads I spotted on Google Earth and discovering "The Gate." It's part of the Jacumba Wilderness and only USBP gets to drive back there. AND the guy who abandoned his Chevy Blazer out there which is slowly being reclaimed by scavengers. Suspect he used the unlocked Southern Entrance.

Yeah, pretty weird coming across the skull. Would be interesting to know if there's some kind of clearinghouse for border crossers who disappear. Tom
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tommy750
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11/14/2012
tommy750
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Daren Sefcik wrote:
This really was a great TR Tom, thanks for sharing. Best pictures of the glyphs out there I have seen.


Thanks Daren. Found an old 1973 Pacific Coast Archaeology Society Journal that described "Sites A through I" with B,C,D,E and F containing petroglyphs. Found F and E and maybe D but missed C and B. Will see if I can post a copy online. Looks like the sites were labelled consecutively and start at Davies Valley. There's sketches of the glyphs but not a lot of locational info. Definitely up for a second trip out there sometime. Tom
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tommy750
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11/14/2012
tommy750
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anutami wrote:
Tom, That human skull is amazing! My thoughts and prayers go out to the unfortunate soul. It looks like it has been there awhile and I wonder if they will be able to identify them. Did the BP agent take down your info to report back to you any info? I wonder how many other people just walked right by without noticing, or with noticing and kept going. Were you hiking solo? It really makes you think twice before heading out alone in the desert...

One of my good friends was backpacking in the sierras and came across a rock climber who had fallen to his death. He kept on his hike and reported the guy to the authorities a few days later when he was done with his backpack trip. They really read him the riot act for not reporting it right when he found the guy.


Was pretty weird seeing that out there and wondering about the zillion other things you walk right by. Was out solo which is the usual unless I can get the girlfriend to go. My 11th essential has been a sat phone which seems kinda extravagant at first but is a cheap insurance policy if you need to make that one call. Fortunately it's only been needed for important stuff like drunk dialing Mom from deep in Baja smile. Going to check back with USBP to see if they recovered the remains. Tom
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surfponto
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11/15/2012
surfponto
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I was laughing when i read that ,At least it wasn't from Tijuana jail smile

tommy750 wrote:

....... Fortunately it's only been needed for important stuff like drunk dialing Mom from deep in Baja smile........ Tom


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tommy750
tommy750
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12/18/2012
tommy750
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FYI: The skull I found 11/12/12 in Pinto Canyon and reported to the USBP the same day was apparently not recovered. Was subsequently found by the Adventure Hikes of Anza Borrego meetup group when they recently visited the area. Noticed a pic of the skull in their posts (http://www.meetup.com/Adventure-Hikes-Of-Anza-Borrego/photos/12136782/187932592/#187200562) and their subsequent re-reporting to USBP. The coroner did recover the skull and according the coroner's office (spoke with them today), they recovered additional long bones, etc. nearby. They'll be making a f/u visit out there soon. Informed them of the possible metacarpal bone found upstream to the skull. Also, noted a pic of one of the adventure hikers carrying one of my lost hiking poles! At least someone gets to use them smile Tom



Frontal View by tomteske, on Flickr
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ziphius
ziphius
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12/18/2012
ziphius
ziphius
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Tom, thanks for the update on the skull. Quite the sleuth job re-locating your hiking poles on 'meetup'. Glad to hear that your hiking poles are being put to good use. smile
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dsefcik
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12/20/2012
dsefcik
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Great follow up, thanks Tom.

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Rocko1
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14 days ago
Rocko1
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Is it considered safe to hike this area?
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Britain
Britain
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14 days ago
Britain
Britain
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Ran into some local tribe members there in 1999. From what I understand that the area in Pinto wash with all the petros was an old burial ground. I had a BP living next door and we spent a lot of time there and surrounding area back then. As far as safety when your next to the border there's always a risk. I never had any problems though. Check in with any border patrol you find they will tell you if there's been any issues. Does anyone know how the Indians laid to rest their dead?

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tommy750
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13 days ago
tommy750
tommy750
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Rocko1 wrote:
Is it considered safe to hike this area?



Guess it all depends on one's level of risk aversion. Have yet to see a single person on any hike I've done in Davies Valley/Pinto Canyon including BP. Have bumped into BP in Boulder and Myer Creek a lot. Suspect most of the cross border traffic occurs at night and that's my reason I've only day hiked there or anywhere south of I-8. Been wanting to head out there again for years but just haven't got around to it.
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tommy750
tommy750
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13 days ago
tommy750
tommy750
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Britain wrote:
Does anyone know how the Indians laid to rest their dead?


My understanding is by cremation with the remains then buried or sometimes placed in ollas and hidden. This would be true for the late prehistoric period but not before that and maybe not after European contact.
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