Primary Attack Route:
The beginning of the main attack route is Ant Hill, a small, basalt outcropping covered with several thousand years of windblown desert dust, dirt and sand that supports a small forest of creosote bushes, large and small.
The graphics above provide a perspective of Ant Hill in relationship to the main attack and the complex, as a whole. On the left, the arrow, left/center of the graphic, indicates the location of Ant Hill in relationship to the surrounding environment and the Complex. The fact that Ant Hill, in the photo, is barely a dot, relative to the entire Complex, suggests the monumental significance of the petroglyphs located on this insignificant rock pile. In the main attack graphic, on the right, the line of attack crosses Ant Hill (barely visible).
This graphic demonstrates how the attack swarmed over Ant Hill, progressed over the western most corner of Tortoise Mountain; then continued into the Black Wash Gap. The concept of the attack 'swarming' over Ant Hill sounds a bit melodramatic, but the reality is that thousands of Hokan warriors were running, in an all out bloodthirsty attack charge.
The few Uto-Aztecan warriors on Ant Hill paled by comparison, they died within seconds of contact with the enemy. Conjecture over the mindset and motivations of the Uto-Aztecan warriors atop Ant Hill and on the west most corner of Tortoise Mountain does not seem out-of-line. Their lives were forfeit; but they stood their ground, harassing and insulting the enemy warriors into a murderous rage…it appears the idea was to distract the leading elements of the attacking Hokan, in order to disguise the execution of a well-planned ambush hidden to the right around Sandal Hill, just inside the Black Wash Gap.
There are very few glyphs on Ant Hill (6):
However, the size, quantity and quality of the petroglyphs on Ant Hill are irrelevant in relationship to the fact that they (the glyphs) are even present. Someone remembered those who gave their lives, remembered the purpose of their sacrifice, and remembered they had even existed…an amazing tribute in consideration of the massive size and fury of the initial attack on the first day and the eight days of violence, that followed.
Turner observed that many large black, basalt panels on the west end of Minor Hill were void of glyphs, an artistic observation that Turner admitted could not be explained, at the time. Turner did not record the same observation for Tortoise Mountain nor any of the other sites, which are also void of glyphs over three-quarters of their available drawing surfaces. The interpretation of this phenomenon is that the blank rock faces stipulate, “nothing happened here”, which is consistent with a working hypothesis that petroglyphs are written Indian history. Written history is a concept repeatedly assimilated in several site locations throughout the Complex, despite the commonly accepted conjecture that Indians had no forms of writing, which sound or no sound communicates and documents an idea, thought or concept for posterity… Archibald Hill’s 1906 catch phrase “All writing represents sound” was political pandering, not demonstrative fact; many writings communicate without any allusion to sound, beginning with Sanskrit…
The yellow lines superimposed upon the outside edges of Tortoise Mountain (above) demonstrate the concentrated petroglyph clusters, which seem to be consistent with two separate events. The first event was the initial attack; the second event occurred two days later when the Uto-Aztecans, having experienced catastrophic losses during the repeated skirmishes of the first two days of fighting, executed a tactical withdrawal through Black Canyon…Exiting at Black Knob.
To understand this minor quantum leap from the initial attack of the Hokan to the withdrawal of the Uto-Aztecans, it is necessary to understand the entire composition of the initial battle area and the suggested events surrounding the first two days of fighting. The first graphic below shows the initial attack route, the second demonstrates the reaction of the attackers, redirecting attack (RED line), when the defenders emerge from the canyon at Black Knob (lower right) along their planned escape route.
Black Wask Gap
This third graphic shows an enlarged representation of the Black Wash area.
This is where the first two days of fighting occurred. Based upon the size, quantity and quality of the petroglyphs in this confined area, which contains fifty-one percent (51%) of the petroglyphs within the Complex, suggest that this is the most important site within the Complex itself. This further implies that it is plausible the Uto-Aztecans had pre-planned an ambush and lured the Hokan into the confined space in order to achieve weapons parity with their enemy.
Weapons parity, in the context of this battle, alludes to the introduction of the superior Atlatl and Dart weapons technology introduced by the Hokan against the ancient handheld thrusting spears and war clubs used by the Uto-Aztecans. On the ground, the Black Wash area appears the size of several football fields, but filled with several thousand men swinging war clubs, each in an average personal fighting space or area of only nine (9) feet, at best, the area becomes very confined. This confinement precludes the use of reloadable weapons that require several seconds to rearm…while attempting to fend off counter-attacks by angry defenders armed with bone crushing, head smashing war clubs. Researchers with no military training or combat experience cannot be expected to comprehend this fact, it was hand-to-hand combat…it is neither Tom and Jerry cartoons nor made-for-TV wrestling.