BLACK MOUNTAIN COMPLEX PETROGLYPHS
Recovering Indian history from ancient Native American rock writings.
Except for Site 'P', Black Canyon is the south side of the southwest drainage from Black Wash. It extends from the site 'A', the southwest entry into Black Canyon, to Site 'Y', which abuts Dragon Hill at the northeastern narrowing of Black Canyon at Big Bend. Both the northeastern and southwestern portions of the drainage leading into and out of Black Wash were planned escape routes. About one-third of the canyon walls are close enough to Sandal Hill to hurl spears and rocks, from elevated ambush, at enemy combatants, in support of friendly forces relocating to positions that were more defensible.
The next four sites are outside the Black Wash and Canyon area, but are vitally important to tracking and understanding the flow and course of the battle…
The defenders exited Black Canyon, rounding Black Knob on both sides, circumscribed by the white lines, as demonstrated by the distribution of petroglyphs indicated by yellow linage in the right half of the graphic.
From left-to-right, four sites play a major role in tracking the progress of the battle: They are Smokey Knoll, Finger Point, Black Knob and Long Hill.
The two small glyph clusters at the top of the graphic demonstrate that some of the defenders took the longer route around Black Knob, the quadrangle and small line on the right mark the route taken between Black Knob and Long Hill.
The red line indicates a general route taken by the attackers when they discovered the defenders escaping through Black Canyon.
The layout of petroglyphs on Smokey Knoll is triangular, it is consistent with the sites at Flat Top, Black Knob and Black Canyon, Site 'P', this pattern suggests 'importance', but the exact definition of that 'importance' has not yet been determined. However, the fact that Smokey Knoll is the first site the attackers encountered after changing the direction of their assault may be an indicator. What is more important now is that no glyphs have been found on the 'back' side of the site.
The lack of glyphs on the backside of Smokey Knoll, which clearly had open space between Tortoise Mountain and Black Knob, suggests that the escape of the defenders was highly successful. The majority of the pursuing attackers 'bypassed' the canyon exit and chased after their escaping pray. Damages to glyphs on this site suggest Native American cultural differences of opinion in historical accuracy or interpretation of events by the descendents of those on both sides of the issue.
To the right of Smokey Knoll is Finger Point; again the distribution of glyphs suggests that the majority of attackers were moving fast and bypassed the canyon exit in favor of pursuing the escaping defenders.
Black Knob was the site of major fighting, because it is located at the exit to the canyon. The safest escape route was the elevated area between Black Knob and Long Hill to the right. However, glyphs to the lower area to the backside of Black Knob indicates that some of the defenders came around Black Knob on the Finger Point side (graphic left), while others may have used the backside of Long Hill, an escape route that required a great deal of steep climbing that wore this author out!
Not much to say about Long Hill; the graphic on the left shows a small glyph cluster, while the graphic on the right shows the two escape routes. The lower route appears to have been the primary route for the mass of defending forces. The upper route required a lot of climbing, slowing the escape down, but the advantages of available rock ammunition and elevation may have offered a tactical advantage while drawing off pursuing attackers from the primary chase. This tactical maneuver seems a little out of character with the flow of the battle, but then major strategies and tactics by groups of warring Indians appear to have been ignored by mainstream cultural anthropology and archaeology.
Tortoise Mountain Summary:
The point of presenting these sites, with their associated petroglyph clusters is to establish the relationship between the second cluster of glyphs (yellow) on Tortoise Mountain and the events recorded in stone, which can be assembled into a coherent text, documenting an actual event, in Native American cultural history, perhaps seven thousand years ago.
It would be repetitive and tedious to reiterate the sites associated with the first two days of fighting, indicated by the RED line. The graphic above demonstrates a quick overview of initial assault on Black Wash, the tactical withdrawal executed by the Uto-Aztecan and the change in the direction of movement (dotted yellow line) by the Hokan when their warriors began chasing the defenders eastward along the base of the ridgeline.
To the right, the yellow triangle indicates the area of Ancient Falls, the yellow line demonstrates the movement of the Uto-Aztecan as they executed their tactical relocation.
The graphic below demonstrates the seclusion of the Ancient Falls site and the glyphs. The location suggests that some of the defenders made a short stop to access water before continuing to move down the ridgeline. In a running battle, this short stop would have cost several warriors their lives, but the need for water may have demanded the sacrifice.