Tuesday, March 18, 2008
More on Carvings
By now, most of you know the basics of how to interpret carvings and how to look for terrain features that may fit some of the symbols. What I am going to try to do in several articles is to take carved symbols I have run across and break them down to how they worked at a particular site. This is not so much a definition of a particular symbol but more of an explanation on how the symbol worked so that you can make your own interpretations of symbols as you find them.
As I show different carved symbols I will say what type of carving they are such as outlaw or Spanish or maybe even the illusive KGC symbol. I will tell you that I mostly hunt for outlaw and Spanish treasure and I consider 85-90% of the signs used by the KGC to fall under the same umbrella as outlaw symbols. There are a few specific symbols the KGC were known to use to denote a site as theirs and I might discuss those sometime in the future. You should keep in mind that even though I identify something as outlaw or Spanish that doesn’t mean the sign can’t mean the same thing for both groups or even something different but was used by more than one group. Some of the information learned about signs/symbols came from different groups and times and seems to have carried over from one group to another on occasion.
The carving I have posted a photo of with this article is outlaw in nature and is just one symbol of several in a carved map. I am only discussing the one symbol and for ease of pointing out, I have cropped out the rest of the map. You bought that reasoning, didn’t you?
When looked at in context with the rest of the map this symbol appears as a small letter “b”. There can be several interpretations of this symbol such as a trail or valley that leads you to a box canyon or follow a line/trail to a spot where you can take a second trail around or a hole or cave in the side of a tunnel or it could even actually be the letter “b”, just to mention a few. In the case of the map this letter was carved in, it was not used as a letter. This symbol was meant to tell you to “take a line across the base of the hill”. I have laid the photo on its side to better illustrate this interpretation. At the point along the trail where the “b” comes into play there was a large rock, the shape of this rock was carved in the map and this rock had a straight line carved in it to give a specific direction. This rock was at the base of a hill.
I know, a lot of you are saying; wait a minute; the letter wasn’t carved on its side. That is correct but in carved maps the symbol does not always have to be oriented the way it is to be looked at. To further explain and maybe confuse you a little, this particular carved map was made so that every other symbol was an object that you would find such as another carving, a large rock, etc. The other symbols in the map were instructional. So, you had a symbol that told you what to do and then a symbol that would show you what you would find when you followed the first symbol. This continued throughout a specific portion of the map.
Another interesting thing about this map was that the symbols that told you what to do alternated on how to read them. They were carved so that you would read everything from left to right but also each of the instructional symbols was made to read from top to bottom and then bottom to top alternately. So you weren’t only using every other symbol for instructions, you were switching how you interpreted the symbols from reading top to bottom on one and then bottom to top on the next and then back to top to bottom on the next.
I have only run into one map that has been this organized, or confusing depending on how you look at it, but because this one is out there I would be willing to bet there are others. This mapmaker was a genius. In my opinion he was an evil genius but a genius nonetheless.