Thursday, January 29, 2009

Those Sneaky Outlaws

As with all of my articles about interpreting symbols I want to remind you that just because a symbol works a certain way at one site doesn’t mean it will work the same way at another site. By letting you know how things have been interpreted on sites that have been worked, we hope to give you some insight into how you might interpret a symbol on one of your sites.

I have found this particular symbol, what looks much like an O, used on three occasions. Two of those occasions were in the same map and the third was at a different location on a map made by a different outlaw. This particular carving was left behind by an outlaw.

To start the interpretation of this symbol you need to pay close attention to the fact that the top of the O is not closed. This is very important. In all three uses of this symbol what I found was a large rock protruding from the ground. The open part of the O was indicating that this end was attached or covered and you could not see it. That is why the O was not finished because as you stood and looked at the rock the back edge was not visible because it was protruding from the ground. Keep in mind that this is one of those symbols that I couldn’t begin to interpret until I actually found what I was looking for. Is that confusing?

When you are working with maps you will find symbols that don’t make any sense. At least not until you actually see the shape in the field. Most maps are fairly precise in giving directions or the information you need to get from point A to point B. Once you get to point B or C or D, etc. you will see what you are to find even if it doesn’t make any sense until you get there. You have to remember that with the outlaws and some other groups these symbols are just pictures of what you are looking for or what you are to do. They work in the same manner as modern day road signs do. A sign with an S or squiggly line on it tells you that there are curves ahead. The same thing applies in a treasure map. I should also mention that the three times I found this symbol each was just a little different in shape but the tops of the O’s were always open. I will also say that the shapes of these symbols were almost identical to the rocks they depicted when found in the field.

Keep in mind these O’s were almost all the way closed and could not be confused for a U. The U symbol which has a lot more open space at the top can and probably almost always will mean something completely different.

Some outlaws are a little more anal than others and put more information into their carvings. In the case of the photo of the “O” I have posted with this article, look at the bottom right side of the O. Do you see how the carved line is flared or beveled out away from the actual line of the O? This particular outlaw used this technique to indicate the “downhill” side of something. This beveling told the outlaw that the ground sloped away from the rock he was looking for. This meant the rock was on a slope or in this case, the side of a hill. The outlaw who made this carving used that technique several times in the carved map on other symbols.

Not all maps will have this much detail in them. This particular outlaw was very detail oriented for some reason and once I figured out the little nuances that he added to the symbols it made the map easier to work. Sometimes it’s the little things that help.

It’s not what you look at, but what you see.


proberod said...


okie treasure hunter said...

Thanks roberod hoe to see you at the meeting.