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For years academics and scholars have been recording and interpreting petroglyphs. They call the glyphs “art” because they cannot determine the meanings of the various figures and representations inscribed upon the rocks by ancient people. The concepts that we cannot prove the petroglyphs are ancient writings, because we cannot speak to the authors, is misleading and outdated. In the strict context of a Eurasian 'alphabetic writing system' this would be a true assessment, but in fact, the authors of the petroglyphs left behind clues of their 'intent' to record monumental events, making the petroglyphs 'written' records of Native American historical events which pre-date the arrival of Columbus.














The lithic formation displayed in the photo above is called Conjugation Rock, because it demonstrates how ancient authors assimilated our current day passage of time in conjugated text...past, present and future tense...


The following materials were extracted from the author’s research notes and are intended for public distribution, but do not provide a comprehensive explanation of petroglyphs, pictographs, intaglios or other representations of events in Native American history. The materials are intended to provide only a brief overview of the Black Mountains Complex and explain some of the unique data that can be extrapolated from the rock writings, relevant to pre-Columbian Native American history.


In her opening statement of an article, “Fresh vandalism and theft reported at petroglyph site” (April 29, 2010) by staff writer, Jessica Cejnar, of the Desert Dispatch in Barstow, California succinctly stipulates the problem associated with the Complex, “the only security system that protects it is secrecy and a harsh landscape”, referring to Inscription Canyon and the petroglyphs inscribed upon its walls. The security problem does not apply only to Inscription Canyon; it applies to the entire complex. The entire mountain complex is a Native American text book on an event which actually occurred five to seven thousand years ago.


The entire Black Mountains Complex is unique; the placement of thousands of petroglyphs, at forty-one (46) sites throughout the complex suggests that the layout of the petroglyphs was by design and managed for a specific purpose. It is conjectured that the petroglyphs document the events of a battle between the Hokan and Uto-Aztecan speaking people; along with their respective allies. One glyph appears to stipulate that the Uto-Aztecan army consisted of twenty-six (26) separate groups, another suggests that both armies consisted of as many as six thousand (6,000) warriors, each, for a combined total of twelve (12,000) thousand active participants.


There are several unique and original concepts and theories that the author has developed after ten years of field research. Among, but not limited to, these unique concepts and theories are:


  • That five-to-seven thousand years ago two Native American groups fought a long, protracted war over the control of Southern California, the Great Basin and the Southwest,

  • That the petroglyphs within the Complex document the finial battle of that war,

  • That two scaled replicas of the battlefield were manufactured by human hand,

  • That the design and layout of the petroglyph sites (41) are not random, but were designed, developed and managed over hundreds of years in order to create a memorial for those who gave their lives in the monumental struggle between peoples,

  • That the intent of the petroglyph authors can be established by the rock faces upon which the petroglyphs are inscribed, due to their resemblance to associated terrain features,

  • That many of the symbols, while they appear to be different, mean the same thing in different languages and/or dialects,

  • That some petroglyph clusters within the Complex suggest a rudimentary syntax which can be translated by terrain association,

  • That many phallic symbol interpretations originate from an actual terrain feature within the Complex and represent the mountain spur, not a phallus,

  • That the two original warring groups of Native Americans can be identified by language; Uto-Aztecan and Hokan,

  • That petroglyphs were produced primarily by Uto-Aztecans and pictographs were produced primarily by the Hokan,

  • That there are additional recordings, of the same battle, that have been produced in remote locations throughout California, the Great Basin and the American Southwest.

  • That the Barstow Tortoise Intaglio was a spring time gathering place, for various groups of Native Americans descended from the original survivors of the war, prior to participating in periodic mourning and/or memorial ceremonies conducted in the vicinity of Inscription Canyon prior to the early 1800s.


There may be another thirty or forty year’s worth of field research to conduct before we can understand all the minor nuances of the petroglyph symbols, but first we must protect the petroglyphs from these reoccurring attacks. We cannot study the writings that have been destroyed, but we can protect those representations that remain.


The President should declare the entire complex a National Monument...


* There are those who object to the idea of the Black Mountain Complex being designated a National Monument, but the author suggests they ask themselves if their motives are not self-centered and selfish ... after all ... the petroglyphs may have been on the black, basalt walls of the mountain and canyons for as long as five thousand years. Is a twenty minute drive through a canyon worth more than five thousand years of history?

The purpose of this site is to inspire awareness, preservation and research of all rock art/writings. As the site grows and develops, it is hoped that YOU will help in these efforts by submitting questions, comments and suggestions: Our primary means of communication is the 'Contact' button above.






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