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The High Rock Petroglyph

  What do you think the strange symbols carved on this sandstone boulder represent? The High Rock Carving is certainly one of the most mysterious antiquity found in the Red River Gorge country.  We did a previous post  about this strange rock in August, 2012. Discovered underneath a small rock shelter near the High Rock fire tower, the carvings were discovered on one loose boulder in the shelter. In the late 70's the boulder was removed from the rock shelter by the Red River Museum and Historical Society placed at the museum in Clay City, Kentucky. It was felt that vandals and artifact collectors would soon end up destroying the unusual carved stone. In fact some of the surface appears to have been chipped away, perhaps portions already removed by vandals. 
  The carvings have many varied, curved shapes including concentric circles and shapes that may represent animals. Additionally, there are numerous holes and other features. Some of the rock has been lost likely by the weathering of the rock itself.  For example looking at the carving that kind of reminds me of turtle with all the circles and a head made of a circle within a circle, below that one appears what me another of the same thing but the bottom part has been lost to effects of relentless erosion.
  Did early stone age peoples occupying this shelter spend time doodling on this rock? Or perhaps a form of communication, a written language if you will, that has passed with the ages along with those that created it.
Maybe these are the workings of our mysterious John Swift. After all, this stone boulder was found on the South Fork of the Red River in cliff country just like the Gorge. Perhaps, Swift and his company of miners and counterfeiters carved out a map on this rock that was used to locate their precious mines and caches of counterfeit silver crowns. As noted in a previous post one very interesting mine searcher conducted excavations a very short distance down the mountain from this rock. Though he never stated anything about this rock I often wondered if it was an identification marker that help him determine the place to start his actual dig for the ore.  He did find some kind of ore on that mountain, I do not believe it to be silver but it was near this carved boulder.
  Perhaps the carvings represent some group of humans that we have yet to discover their existence. Or maybe the carvings and symbols of alien visitors. The fact of the matter is that no one knows the meaning of these strange markings on this sandstone boulder. I invite you to share your thoughts and post in the comment space below. And you can see the boulder yourself if you drop by the Red River Museum in Clay City, Kentucky. The museum is open on weekends and has an amazing collection of historical artifacts representing the history of the region.


  1. i would try to match this to a topo map of theimeadeate area as this to me is what it appears to be rgb1


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