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The Red Bird Petroglyph

    One of the strangest rocks on display is found in Manchester Kentucky. For it is here that the Marked Rock is preserved and on display. Also known as the Red Bird Petroglyph, this rock bears numerous carvings like no other ever discovered in Kentucky. While we are all familiar with so-called turkey tracks and numerous other rock carvings none resemble the strange symbols left by someone ages ago.
    The Marked Rock has been studied by many and while some of the symbols clearly resemble samples of ancient scripts from different lands, no one can say for certain exactly what they mean.

     On display with the rock is an interpretive sign that offers samples claimed to be from ancient alphabets and amazingly do resemble extremely close the carvings on the rock. So why would such a variety of scripts, all now dead, be left on a large boulder in Clay County Kentucky?

    The boulder was actually brought to his present resting place in a city park along the banks of Plum Creek in the city of Manchester, Kentucky. Known from early pioneer days at its original site the rock was part of a rock shelter along the road side. It was a well known land mark until its unfortunate fall in a rock slide a number of years ago. A local citizen interested in preserving the amazing bit of prehistory enlisted help of a lot of folks and brought the massive stone to its present location.

    What do the markings represent? No one has ever figured that out for sure other than the speculation. Whether they truly represent ancient alphabets or the idle doodling natives, the answer will probably never been known. The rock is a wonder to see and certainly worth stopping by and seeing.

    A shelter and fence stand today protecting the Red Bird Petroglyph from the elements as well as vandals wishing to add their own graffiti to the rock. 

        So what do you think these strange markings mean? We'd love to hear your thoughts and theories on the strange rock located in Manchester, Ky. Leave your comments in the space below.
        Thanks for visiting and your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Just leave them in the box below. And why not join up and follow this blog. You will be notified when a new post is available. Just click on the follow button on the right side of this page. 

Ed Henson


  1. Do you know who translated this? I was trying to compare to ancient egyptian hieroglyphics or ancient arabic and nothing matches up. It kind of looks more like they were tracking the stars and moon for directions.

  2. No, I do not unfortunately. I went back and reviewed the markers but no credit is given to who interpreted the markings. It seems to me that your theory is just as valid as the claims made about ancient writings. More and more is being discovered about ancient carvings. In fact, this up coming weekend (April 4-5,2014) a conference event open to the public concerning rock carvings is being held at Natural Bridge State Resort Park at Slade, Kentucky. It is called the 2014 Eastern States Rock Art Research Conference. My guess is there will be folks there that have ideas on the Red Bird Rock.


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