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However, a large 'monument' petroglyph on the side of Flat Top suggests that the ambush may have been executed as a flanking attack from the right as the attacking forces of the Hokan assaulted the Uto-Aztecan forces arrayed across the base of Flat Top, directly opposite the Black Wash Gap opening.













In either case, the battle progressed to the right…












…as evidenced by the distribution of petroglyphs, identified as the first and second events, demonstrated in the following:












Note: Do not forget that the current subject is the cluster of petroglyphs (2nd event), as displayed by the yellow line, on the right side of Tortoise Mountain. The following helps to understand the reaction of the Hokan attackers and the Uto-Aztecan defenders after the Uto-Aztecan in Black Wash executed a tactical withdrawal 'down and to the right through Black Canyon'. Exiting Black Canyon at Black Knob and Long Hill.


In the graphic below, the white line follows the battle route, moving left-to-right, over Ant Hill, into Black Wash, down Black Canyon, between Black Knob and Long Hill and then follows the base of Black Mountain toward the Heel-of-the-Boot, discussed later.












The overall map is a bit confusing; but it demonstrates the distribution pattern of the petroglyphs and the 'blank' spaces. It is, however, too general in its representation to discuss the impact of the fighting, in relationship to the petroglyphs, which populate individual sites. The following observations about the individual sites may help eliminate the confusion:


Minor Hill












The white line shows the basalt panel configuration void of glyphs discussed by Wilson Turner. The small yellow markers indicate mini-clusters of small petroglyphs. These factors suggest that while isolated incidence of fighting occurred on or around Minor Hill, no major fighting took place anywhere on the hill, except the point where the hill forms the western edge of the Black Wash Gap; and then, only on the inside edge…not the exterior.


Sandal Hill












The yellow line indicates the concentration of petroglyphs associated with Sandal Hill. The unmarked areas indicate areas devoid of glyphs, which further suggest no major fighting occurred in those areas. These alternating collections of glyphs and void spaces provide a progressive method for tracking the movement of the battle. It also suggests that the petroglyphs were NOT aimless fragments of 'art' nor 'Indian Graffiti', but a well-organized effort to document the historic events, which occurred within the Complex as far back as seven thousand years ago.


Flat Top












Flat Top provides a different pattern for the display of the glyphs. The site configuration is triangular. The size, quantity and quality of the glyphs in this area suggest a high degree of importance, which further suggest the intensity of the fighting and violence associated with this location. Note that the areas adjacent to the site on the left and right are void of glyphs. This suggest that no fighting occurred along the gap between Flat Top and Minor Hill, to the left of the triangle, and a change in the flow of the fighting between Flat Top and Black Canyon, Site 'P', to the right of the triangle, refer to graphic below…the white bracket shows an area devoid of glyphs.












This suggests that when the defenders at Flat Top had been defeated, the attackers rejoined the fighting along Black Wash, which had begun to move to the right.


Black Canyon, Site P












Black Canyon, Site 'P' is home to the famous “Spiderman” petroglyph. However, from an Indian historical perspective it is an indicator of the fierce defense mounted by several, yet, unidentified groups of Uto-Aztecan guarding the eastern escape route. This site has over two hundred (200+) glyphs, most of high quality. Some are at foot level, many are high on the hill, but the suggested message is this is a very special location…200+ of 453 petroglyphs or over forty-four percent of Black Canyon’s total. Let’s see; Black Wash and adjacent sites contain 1866 glyphs or 51% of all the glyphs in the entire complex, in a single location. These figures themselves begin to show the mounting evidence contrary to those who continue to speculate that Indian’s had no form of writing…and, that any attempt to translate the 'ART' is pure conjecture...


…speculation is not science; neither is the elitist rewriting of Indian 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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