The following article was originally printed in Ancient American magazine, Volume Four, Issue #27. This was an early report on what is certainly an important artifact. Although well documented since the 1930's, this site has been largely ignored or overlooked. Since this article was written, more information has developed, and some of my ideas about the artifact have changed. I therefore plan to post at least two additional articles about this rock. I don't believe I can overstate its importance.
is a rock not far from here, not far from where I live.
Locals call it “Indian Rock,” or sometimes “Baby Rock.”
friend and I found it on a warm, sunny afternoon.
We had both been searching for it for weeks.
Oddly enough, we only discovered our mutual quest when we happened
to meet at the County Museum, where we were both looking for references.
We discovered we had each been trying to find the same rock at the
same time, for different reasons.
afternoon we found it, I climbed an embankment, looked, and said one word
– “Yes.” Then we were
both silent a long time. It
was a silence of reverence and wonder.
I tell you more about this rock, I find I must tell you something about
the place where I live, so that you will understand something of why this
rock is so special.
friend Suzanne and I live in Lake County, California.
This place is different from most other places in the world, and
most people here are pleased about that.
We’re located only about 150 miles north of San Francisco, but it
sometimes seems like another planet.
County is dominated by two main geographical features- a dormant volcano,
Mt. Konocti, and Clear Lake, possibly the oldest lake in the western U.S.
and the largest in California. Before
the European invasion, Pomo Indians, Mi-Wok and other peoples lived here
in peace and prosperity for about ten thousand years.
No one saw any point in going elsewhere.
County is surrounded by mountains, which tends to keep outsiders away.
The Spanish missions never got this far. Neither did the railroad.
Even today, the only roads in or out are narrow and winding.
So we tend to be insular. There
are a lot of old things around, that haven’t yet been changed,
destroyed, or even discovered. After
living here five years myself, I’m only now beginning to find the great
wealth of archeological treasure that lies around and beneath us.
had heard of “Indian rock.” I
had heard there were markings on it.
Vague descriptions made it sound as if it might hold some kind of
writing. Based on these
descriptions, I was eager to find it.
was looking for this rock for a different purpose – she was working on
her master’s degree in History. We
found references to Indian Rock on file at the museum library.
The only picture we could find was an old photocopy, which showed
almost no detail. The
earliest record was in 1936.
reason this object was called “Baby Rock” was because of what Pomo
Indians had told early investigators: That it was used as a “healing
stone” and that it could help infertile women become pregnant.
Rock” is situated on a private ranch in Lake County; this is as much as
I will mention about its location in a public forum.
There are two reasons for my reticence: To protect the ranch owners
from trespassers, and more important to protect the rock from vandals and
souvenir hunters. According
to local legend, there was another inscribed rock here at one time, but it
has since disappeared.
and I had to cross a dry creek bed and climb the opposite bank to reach
the stone. I believe it’s
significant that it’s located on the bank of a creek; such places were
often regarded as “energy points” by native peoples.
There are several similar rocks nearby, higher on the hillside, but
we could find no inscriptions on them.
far, I have already told you all that we knew about Indian Rock before
actually laying eyes on it. I
had wanted to track it down simply because I had heard vague descriptions
that sounded like writing.
I had heard or read prepared me for what I saw.
course, I had seen other pictographs in this area, as well as various
Indian artifacts. I had even
seen one or two that looked vaguely like Ogham.
But this was different.
walked slowly around this rock, silently amazed.
Rock is entirely covered with
there was any doubt in my mind at the time, it was later dispelled as I
studied my photographs and compared them with other examples from various
reference books. This is
unmistakably and unequivocally Ogham.
I looked at the surface of the rock it also became clear that it had
astronomical functions. There
is one obvious marker near the top, shaped like a pointer.
In the exact center is a tiny round hole, where a wooden peg could
be inserted. The pointer
points southwest, so that the sun rising in the northeast would cause a
peg to cast a shadow across the point.
I believe this was most likely a marker for Summer solstice
at the site I took a compass bearing for the pointer, using a lensatic
pocket compass. I read 2400,
which would give a back bearing of 600.
That is, a sun at 600 would cause a peg inserted in the
center of the figure to cast a shadow at the point.
This bearing would be perfect, since summer solstice sunrise at this latitude in theory occurs at 59038’. However, this leaves out two factors – magnetic deviation, and the hillside to the northeast of the rock. After thinking about the problem, we have concluded that the only way we can prove this is actually a summer solstice marker is either by means of surveying instruments and an ephemeris, or by visiting the rock at dawn next June 21st! The latter solution would seem easier and more accurate, provided it doesn’t rain.