Shiprock (the prominent peak in the middle center) is located in the 4 corners region of New Mexico, near Farmington. It is surrounded by 3 dikes, one of which is seen in the foreground in this photo. It was given the name Shiprock by the early western explorers, becaus they though it resembled a large clipper ship. The Navajo name is Ts� Bitʼaʼ�, "rock with wings" or "winged rock", and is believed to represent the bird which brought the initial inhabitants to the area. Shiprock represents the bird plunging head first into the ground, and the dikes represent the bird's legs and wings. Shiprock has great religious significance to the the Navajo (or Dine). Geologically shiprock is composed of volcanic breccia and is termed a minette. It represents the the erosional throat of an old volcano and formed about 1000m below the ground. Shiprock formed about 27 million years ago and is part of the Navajo volcanic field, comprised of minettes and kimberlites in the 4 corners region. It has been a rock climbing destination, but climbing is illegal, due to the religous significance of the peak to the Navajo people. Ah interesting historic tidbit, the first bolts used for rock climbing in North America were placed in Shiprock in 1939.
March 9th, 2013
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