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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Lovell in Big Horn County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
 

Mystery Shrouds the Medicine Wheel

 
 
Mystery Shrouds the Medicine Wheel Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
1. Mystery Shrouds the Medicine Wheel Marker
Inscription. "Eventually one gets to the Medicine Wheel to fulfill one's life." -- Old Mouse, Arikara

High in the Big Horn Mountains at nearly 10,000 feet above sea level, lies the Medicine Wheel - a place of worship, a National Historic Site, and an archeological mystery.
It is believed that between A.D. 1200 and A.D. 1700, hundreds of limestone rocks were placed in the shape of a wheel roughly 80 feet in diameter. Twenty-eight spokes radiate from a central cairn to six smaller cairns around the rim. Who built this and why? No one knowns for sure, but Native Americans beliefs and archeological evidence point to its use as a spiritual site. Many people still come to the Medicine Wheel and Medicine Mountain for inspiration, solitude, meditation and vision questing.
The Medicine Wheel was given protection and nominated to the National Register by local Big Horn communities. The site is protected by federal antiquity laws under administration of the Forest Service. Please do not disturb the site in any way and respect the solitude of those visiting the Medicine Wheel and Medicine Mountain.
 
Erected by Mary Alice Fortin Foundation of Florida and Big Horn Mountain Medicine Wheel Association.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the
The Medicine Wheel and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
2. The Medicine Wheel and Marker
The marker cairn is upper center in the distance.
National Historic Landmarks marker series.
 
Location. 44° 49.579′ N, 107° 55.311′ W. Marker is near Lovell, Wyoming, in Big Horn County. Marker can be reached from 12 near U.S. 14A. Touch for map. The Medicine Wheel parking lot is at the end of Forest Service Road 12, about 22 miles east of Lovell via U.S. Highway 14A. A trail about a mile and one-half long takes you to the Medicine Wheel site. Marker is in this post office area: Lovell WY 82431, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Five Springs (approx. 0.4 miles away); Medicine Wheel (approx. 1.2 miles away); a different marker also named Medicine Wheel (approx. 1.2 miles away); Bighorn Basin (approx. 2.6 miles away); Big Horn Basin (approx. 2.6 miles away); Reconstruction - Finally! (approx. 3.5 miles away); The Original Dayton-Kane Highway (approx. 3.8 miles away); a different marker also named Medicine Wheel (approx. 4.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lovell.
 
Also see . . .  Bighorn Medicine Wheel - Stanford Solar Center. The wheel was constructed by Plains Indians between 300-800 years ago, and has been used and maintained by various groups since then. The central cairn is the oldest part, with excavations
The Medicine Wheel image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
3. The Medicine Wheel
showing it extends below the wheel and has been buried by wind-blown dust. It may have supported a central pole. The star alignments are most accurate for around 1200 AD, since slight changes in the Earth's orbit have caused perturbations since. The solstice alignments remain accurate today.
(Submitted on December 6, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 
 
Categories. AnthropologyNative Americans
 
The Medicine Wheel image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
4. The Medicine Wheel
Medicine Wheel/ Medicine Mountain image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, September 14, 2015
5. Medicine Wheel/ Medicine Mountain
has been designated a
National Historic
Landmark
This site possesses national significance in illustrating the history of the United States of America
Designated 1970
Renamed and Boundary Expanded 2011
National Park Service
United States Department of the Interior
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 6, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 234 times since then and 62 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 6, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.   5. submitted on December 7, 2015, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.
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