The evidence seems thin – there’s no dating of this rock art mentioned, just a general comment that carbon dating isn’t accurate to a specific year. The main item that seems to serve as the scientists’ smoking gun is this:
“The Hohokam petroglyph depicts symbols of a scorpion and stars that match a model showing the relative positions of the supernova with respect to the constellation Scorpius.”
Here’s a good shot of the said constellation, admittedly taken telescopically, but bear in mind that ancient native Americans would be seeing a much clearer night sky, so they would see at least some of the details shown in this image:
I assume Native Americans wouldn’t have known about the concept of Ptolemy’s Zodiac before Columbus.
Would they nevertheless have identified that scattering of stars as a scorpion?
It just seems like perhaps wishful thinking on the part of the scientists involved to find a symbol they take to represent a scorpion in relatively the same position to a symbol that might or might not be the supernova that a constellation the Greeks identified with a scorpion shared with the supernova itself.
Am I reading too much into this? I thought the “constellations” were pretty much just agreed-upon groupings of essentially random dots, and not objectively identifiable objects in the night sky. Would the ancient Hohokam really have known “the constellation Scorpius”?