Saturday, February 5, 2011
The Zipper Glyph
The Zipper Glyph is the most prominent petroglyph at Parowan Gap. At first blush, it looks like a bunch of mixed up ancient graffiti, but in fact it is an ancient calendar used by the Fremont to track the movement of the sun from the vernal equinox through to the winter solstice. They had figured out that they should plant 41 days after the vernal equinox to ensure the frost wouldn't kill their maize (there are 41 dots in the box at the right). After watching the animals mating patterns, they learned that if they conceived eight weeks after the summer solstice, there babies would be born in the spring and have the best chance of survival. This is marked by the male sign of fertility at the bottom of the circular part of the petroglyph.
I have only described a tidbit of the meaning of this petroglyph. If you'd like scientific information about this and other petroglyphs, I recommend THE PAROWAN GAP by V. Garth Norman, which can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com/.