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Big Horn National Forest, Wyoming

Big Horn Medicine Wheel

Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain National Historic Landmark Bighorn National Forest, Lovell, Wyoming. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain National Historic Landmark Bighorn National Forest, Lovell, Wyoming. Photo courtesy of NPS.

Constructed in pre-Columbian times, this native stone structure consists of twenty-eight spokes radiating from a central cairn. The circular shape is meant to represent the sun, and the twenty-eight spokes correspond to the length of a lunar month. Around the perimeter of the wheel are several additional cairns, which archaeologists and astronomers believe were placed in order to indicate the location of certain key astronomical events, the timing of which were important for various religious observations.

Today, the Medicine Wheel is still considered a sacred site by various native groups who visit it for vision quests, healing ceremonies, and as part of religious observations connected with solar and stellar activity.

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