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Southeastern Petroglyphs compared to Parowan Gap, Utah

Southeastern Petroglyphs compared to Parowan Gap, Utah


There is still much that we cannot currently explain about North America’s past. This is certainly one of those situations.  Until this past week, the geographical specialization of anthropological research in the United States kept the shared glyphs of two widely separated, indigenous archaeological sites unknown for over 200 years.  What we can do is show the reader those glyphs, but until more research is done, the explanations of those similarities must remain in the realm of speculation. 

In Part Two of this series, we compare specific glyphs in the two regions. Special thanks goes to Archaeologist Garth Norman for permission to reproduce the drawings in his book, The Parowan GapIt should be noted that most of the petroglyphs in Parowan Gap are dissimilar to those found in the Southern Highlands.  However, the far more numerous Parowan Gap glyphs were produced by many peoples, over a long period of time.  In general, most Southwestern petroglyphs are painted, whereas most of those in the Southeast and Parowan Gap are inscribed on boulders and cliff faces.

To read Part One, go to:    Parowan Gap


  1.  Calendar symbols

Apparently, the exact same symbols for a Solar Year,  Winter Solstice, Spring Equinox, Summer Solstice and Fall Equinox were used in both regions . . . or at least by the people, who carved this glyph at Parowan Gap.


2. Concentric Circles

Perfectly executed concentric circles are a prevailing theme on both the petroglyphic boulders of North Georgia, County Kerry in Southwest Ireland and Southern Scandinavia.   The concentric petroglyphs in County Kerry have been dated to the Pre-Celtic Bronze Age when a people with black hair, bronze skin and non-European facial features dominated western Ireland.  The concentric circles and sun circles in Southern Scandinavia have also been dated to the Bronze Age and ascribed to people having very similar features to the aboriginal Irish.  No date has been officially assigned to the Georgia concentric circles by the archaeology profession.

Among the Uchee Priests, the concentric circle motif symbolized a time portal that was the boundary between the world of the living and the spirit world.  Among Creek Wind Clan priests, it also symbolized a “star gate” that would enable on to travel to other worlds.

What is immediately noticeable in a comparison with the Georgia concentric petroglyphs is that they are much better executed than the Parowan glyphs and also contain some stars, sun-cross circles and hexagons.  There does seem to be a cultural connection, however, between the three regions.


3. Celestial Symbols

The two symbols above seem to portray a star constellation and either a comet or a meteor.   However,  the Lakota in the Great Plains and the North Georgia Creeks both have traditions of extensive contacts with very tall humanoids from a another galaxy.   There were supposedly “star gates” in the Nacoochee Valley on the Kenimer Mound, plus large spiral mounds at the Rembert Mounds (Elberton, GA) and at the Lamar Mounds (Macon, GA)  Thus, the symbol on the left may be a planet with three moons.


5. Itza Maya Glyph for Mako

Lattice-like symbols may be seen on the pubic guards of Proto-Creek nobility in their art.  These are derived from the Itza Maya glyph for mako or  ruler.   The lattice-like symbols at Parowan Gap may also represent rulers.


6.  Royal Suns

The Maya glyph for hene or Royal Sun was adopted by the Itsate Creeks.  Both among the Itza and the Itsate Creeks the combination of Hene with the glyph for Mako was the symbol of the Great Sun or High King.  The Royal Sun symbols are seen in cruder forms on several sets of petroglyphs at Parowan Gap.


7.  Track Rock Month Symbols

These symbols and similar ones seem to be on several of the petroglyphs in Parowan Gap,  but the resolution of the image in the book is insufficient to confirm or deny this suspicion.


8. Royal Sunflower

Among the Itza Mayas and Itzate Creeks a sunflower with a stylized flower symbolized the royal family that ruled a province.  Each family had a unique version of the flower.   This is especially apparent on the Judiculla Rock in Western North Carolina.  The inscriptions on this boulder appear to be a fairly accurate map of that region, with each unique sunflower representing a separate province.  These symbols are also seen on the Squirrel Mountain petroglyphs in the Nacoochee Valley of Georgia.


9.  Astronomical symbols on the Forsyth Boulder

All of the astronomical symbols on the Forsyth Boulder and some of the Track Rock Boulders in Georgia may found scatter among the many petroglyphs in Parowah Gap.


9. Land Surveying on one of the Tugaloo Rocks

Two of the Tugaloo Rocks contain symbols similar to those found on petroglyphs in the Nacoochee Valley, about 20 miles to the west.  However, the third one contains Creek surveying symbols, plus what appears to be at the top, the subdivision of family cultivation plots in the bottom land.   Almost all these symbols can also be found on the petroglyphs in Parowan Gap, but are not common in other petroglyphs of the Southwestern United States.

Parowan-Feet 001

11.  Footsteps over older petroglyphs

Both Boulder Six of the Track Rock Petroglyphs and some of the petroglyphs in Parowan Gap contain footprints that have been carved over existing petroglyphs.  The meaning is not certain.  They footprints may represent directional signs on a trade path, but also could celebrate the conquering of one province over another.

Why these petroglyphs, separated by 1600 miles, are so similar remains a question.  Did the same people visit or occupy both locations or did communication symbols travel long distances between dispersed parts of North America.  More research is needed to answer that question.

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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history. Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.



    About a decade ago, my husband and I visited Chaco Canyon and, while there, we met one of the Elders from the Mesa Verde area. He spent quite a bit of time walking through the ruins with us and he explained a few things. One thing he told us was that the spiral petroglyph always signified some type of journey. It was only years later that I realized how much the spiral petroglyph resemble a spiral nebula.


    Richard, If you look at the Earth from the Southern landmass Antarctica (Pi shon) the earth only has 3 land masses above it? Much like the ancient graphs found in Utah and Georgia and that would indicate… like some of the elders stated… that Native people left from an island and made sailed here by boats. Perhaps these ancient people built concentric circle sea ports on all four landmasses. Fisherman people became hunters using the “atlatl” harpoon /spear throwing device with the points called “arrow heads” by most people.
    There has been found 2 locations that have these circle city designs, Pakistan, Spain and perhaps one is here in the Americas….


    I’ve always understood the spirals to be a portal of some kind. Also, could the footprints also symbolize a land claim?

    • That’s what I suspected . . . Leroy done walked all over you and seized yo’uns land!


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