Cerro Pedernal stands tall (9,862 feet /3,006 meters) on the western horizon, as seen from northern Santa Fe, Española Valley, and Taos Plateau. Cerro Pedernal (“Flint Mountain”) was a source of chert for prehistoric Gallina people who lived in this area between A.D. 1050 to 1275(1)Skeletons of War: Migration and Violence in the Northern Southwest in Late Prehistory, by Lewis Borck University of Arizona. Bulletin of Old Pueblo Archeology Center, Tuscon, Arizona. March 2011, Number 65.
“Pedernal” is portrayed in many (28) of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings. When Georgia O’Keefe passed away in 1986, her ashes were scattered on the summit of Pedernal.
When I look at Cerro Pedernal, I see a “sentinel” that appears to mark a boundary. It marks the northern end of the Jemez Mountains. Pedernal also stands out as a marker where ancestral peoples migrated from the Ancestral Pueblo regions of Aztec, Salmon, and Mesa Verde to settlements in lower Rio Chama and the upper Rio Grande.
Pedernal decorates the western skyline in many of my landscape photographs.
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