Thursday, July 25, 2013

Visiting Ancient Villages Part II

On this current trip, I stopped a few miles further on up the road at a village site known as Pahdin or Hospital Rock. Here was a large village which housed a couple hundred Potwisha at a time. This village was inhabited year round, and camp fires were kept so that at least one was never allowed to be extinguished. This was the last village before the summer hunting camps and trade routes above.

A rock palette of red paintings is clearly shown. No one knows the true meaning of these pictographs, but from all the one’s I’ve seen in the area, they appear to be a record keeping of the many plants and animals that inhabit the area. Sort of a natural history record not unlike what Lewis and Clark or Charles Darwin made on their journeys.


Here, many large boulders provide caves for protection from the elements. But the Potwisha’s main shelter were thatched conical houses 9 to 12 feet in diameter. Their structure was made from willows and oaks, and thatched with brush, long grass mats, or fine willow bunches.

Archaeological excavations here and above have shown that this area had first been established as a village in the 1200’s. The Monache had come over the mountains from the eastern deserts and found the West side of the Sierra’s a much more hospitable area.


Rock formation at Hospital Rock. Took this pic on the way back down as it was 102 and raining!

Leaving the foothill woodland and chaparral behind, my final destination for the day was a 2 mile hike to a village site I had never visited before. What I found was a location that I believe anyone who would be so inclined to live in the forest, or even just to camp, would find as a paradise of monumental proportions! For this camp was on a ridge in the middle of the Giant Forest.

Marble Gardens

Trailhead Meadow

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