ArchaeoBlog 2006 by James Q. Jacobs

Big Horn Medicine Wheel

Summer Solstice, 2006

My first impression, WHOA, that's a cold summer wind! Above 9,000 feet, the snowbanks are fast melting, pouring water to the desert rivers below, and still chilling the winds and bones on the longest day of the year.

Second impression, this is a much smaller monument than I realized. The publications on the alignments seemed so much more impressive when I did not know how close to each other the cairns are.

Third impression, this incredible monument has been destroyed by a fence around it and the outhouse in plain view right next to the wheel. Is someone trying to ruin these sites?

(I'm on the road to Devils Tower, catching a caffeine buzz in Java Jae's, downtown Gillette, WY. )

Solstice Sunset was beautiful, with the sun appearing briefly below a cloud before setting.
View of the summer solstice alignment, from the outside cairn over the center cairn.


Central Cairn has 28 spokes leading to an outer ring of stones and cairns.

Wide-angle view of Big Horn Mountain Range from the west. Click for larger images.


Above view is looking southeast.


Several cairns are embedded in or directly adjacent to the outer circle.

One cairn is set outside the outer ring, with an attaching spoke.


Overall setting of Big Horn Medicine Wheel atop Bign Horn Mountains.

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Several small stone figures are nearby (modern additions?). View is southwest.

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