The winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. The Sinagua depended on accurate predictions of major astronomical events such as a solstice or equinox to allow them to prepare for important ceremonies, dances and rituals. The task of making accurate astronomical events, such as the summer and winter solstice, was assigned to the Sun Priest. To assist in determining these important dates, tools such as rock art and shadow interactions were created. The V bar V Heritage Site is one of the areas where the Sinagua created a "solar calendar" to mark the winter solstice as well as other important dates.
On December 22, Ken Zoll, author of "Sinagua Sunwatchers" will give a presentation at the V Bar V rock art panel. The talk will begin at 1:30 with the first sun dagger appears on the ground below the rock art panel at 2:00 pm. About one hour later, a second sun dagger will appear and pierce a "Father Sun" concentric circle on the panel.
The U.S. Forest Service V Bar V Heritage Site is located 2.8 miles east of the junction of I-17 and SR 179 on FR 618. Watch for the entrance on your right less than one-half mile past the Beaver Creek Campground. A Red Rock Pass or equivalent is required for each vehicle. There is no charge for the program.