Located in a shady grove atop the Santa Lucia Mountains in San Luis Obispo County, the centuries-old gnarled oak had the image of a six-legged, lizard-like being meticulously scrawled into its trunk, the nearly three-foot-tall beast topped with a rectangular crown and two large spheres.
“I was really the first one to come across it who understood that it was a Chumash motif,” says Saint Onge, referring to the native people who painted similar designs on rock formations from San Luis Obispo south through Santa Barbara and into Malibu.
But the discoveries didn’t stop there. After spending more time at the site, Saint Onge realized that the carved crown and its relation to one of the spheres was strikingly similar to the way the constellation Ursa Major — which includes the Big Dipper — related to the position of Polaris, the North Star.
Complete article: time.com