Intaglios

Just over the Colorado River in California, near the towns of Blythe and Yuma, and also in Sacaton Arizona along the Gila River, lay etched into the desert floor huge geoglyphs called Intaglios. These mysterious images measure up to 175 feet long and can only be fully seen and distinguished from the advantage of aircraft. First discovered in 1932 by Army Air Corps fliers in California while flying from Hoover Dam to Los Angeles. The intaglios were created by scraping off the darker top layer of rock, this rock having been the product of something called (desert varnish), revealing the lighter colored soil underneath. The dark rock was then lined along the edge of the images to outline and further define them. Usually accompanying these massive drawings are cleared circles, cairns, and rock piles.

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Blythe Intaglio, believed perhaps to be Hipahipa, the long-armed hero who carried their people across the Colorado River.

Although much smaller, these Intaglios are almost identical to the infamous Nazca Lines found in Peru. These images carved into the desert include a woman with outstretched arms 175 feet long, a man 95 feet, a coiled snake, a four-footed animal of some kind with a very long tail 53 feet long. Many think this animal to be a horse, coyote, or a panther. A debate smolders on as to who created these works of art and what they could possibly mean. If in fact, the 53-foot image is that of a horse it would mean it was created post-Spanish Conquistadors and that they were created by local modern tribes such as the Mojave and Chemehu

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Intaglio viewed from the ground

evi. Or would it? The Mojave and Chemehuevi make no claim to these works and say they were already there when their ancestors discovered them. This could mean that there were already horses on the North American continent before European arrival. There is a growing number of biologists who believe that the horse lasted much longer on this continent before going extinct, or that perhaps didn’t go extinct at all. Could these works of art depict these horses? Choral Pepper and Brad Williams cover this topic in their book “The Mysterious West”. It could also be completely possible that the horse came with other explorers before the Spanish whose accounts were not recorded for history.

The Mandan Tribe

Mandan woman. Note the light skin. Many members of their tribe also had blue eyes.

The story of the Mandan tribe in North Dakota is another example of this. The Mandan were discovered by Louis and Clark on their infamous cross-country expedition. To a somewhat shocked Meriweather Louis, many of the Indians in the Mandan tribe had blonde hair and blue eyes. Whats more is the layout of their village was not like any other tribe in the country at the time. They had a European style layout of their village/town and the joints of their log cabins were fitted together was that of a northern European style. The Mandan claim that their great father came from across the great water from the east, they were referring to the Atlantic ocean. Many people are unaware that a Welsh Prince by the name of Madoc, landed in the Americas in 1170 and decided to take the party inland west to begin a new colony. He reportedly returned home to get yet more countrymen and brought them to the new world as well. Many think it was this genetic line who eventually integrated with the natives of this continent and became the Mandan. Unfortunately, they were wiped out shortly after Meriweather’s discovery by smallpox and the survivors more than likely migrated into neighboring tribes. Blonde hair and blue eyes being recessive were lost. The earliest printed report of Madoc’s story is reported by David Powel’s “The History of Cambria” published in 1584. Why haven’t you heard of this before? Because it contradicts the official narrative.

 

The Patayan Culture

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Intaglio – Perhaps a deer or a dog.

Back to Intaglios. These Intaglios lay in the heart of the ancient Patayan Culture. The Patayans were those people who lived along the Colorado River from Yuma to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. These people were traders, gatherers, and limited farmers, in that order. They were diverse and archaeologists have broken them up into two main groups; Upland and Lowland. The lowland group eventually grew into the Maricopa, Yuman, Mojave, Quechan, and Cocopah, while the uplanders solidified into the Havasupai, Hualapai, and Yavapai. These groups stretched from the extremely low hot deserts around Yuma and Lake Havasu City to the higher regions around Kingman and Seligman, the south into the Prescott area.

In their book “The archaeology of the Ancient Arizona” Jefferson Reid and Stephanie Whittlesey make a good argument connecting the modern day Yuman peoples with the Intaglios. The Yuman religion centers on the creation of the Yuman world. In Yuman religion, their people were created at the sacred mountain, Avikwaame. To this day the Yuman peoples perform a four-day ceremony which involves a sacred pilgrimage to the mountain. Many of the Ingalios are thought to h

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The Fisherman Intaglio. Bouse Arizona

ave been used for parts of this ritual, which they call keruk. There is dancing that takes place during the keruk and the cleared circles are thought to be a part of this. Reid and Stephanie offer that the other figures may have represented symbolic journeys to the sacred mountain where dreamers created an entryway to the spirit world. Perhaps they represented heroes or gods, such as the creator twons and the hero Hipahipa, who saved the people by carrying them across the Colorado River. The largest Intaglio is that of a female with very long outstretched arms.

 

The Nazca

I recently watched a documentary about the Nazca people of Peru and my ears perked up when it was mentioned that their culture collapsed around 600 AD due to drought. They were then pushed out of their homelands by the Wadi people and thought to have faded off into history. The Nazca People are thought to have been the ones who created the Nazca Lines. The Nazca Lines are huge geoglyphs covering many hundreds of feet across their desert homeland, The largest being around nine miles long. They recreated images of spiders, monkeys, a hummingbird, a spaceman looking guy, along with hundreds of miles of straight lines as well as circles, triangles, spirals, and trapezoids. There are over 900 geoglyphs in all. 600 AD is about the time the Hohokam culture started building their large platform mounds and developing more complicated religious practices. I find it completely possible that the Nazca migrated north, and once passing through Central America followed the Gulf of Cortez to the Colorado River where they integra

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Nazca Geoglyph

ted with the Patayan peoples who were already living there. This makes perfect sense as rubber and abalone were already being traded north from Central America to the Hohokam people in the Phoenix area at this time. I cant think of a more similar landscape and climate to the Nazca area than the lower Colorado drainage. One can imagine that after generations of drought and starvation in Peru that the Blythe

area would have seemed like a paradise. Is it possible that it were these people who incorporated this art form into our deserts here? Is it possible that not only goods but people and ideas migrated north to the southwest United States? I think it more likely than not actually. Could this also explain why the Hohokam went from building small platform mounds to the massive ones that resemble Central American pyramids around 650 AD? After all one of these Intaglios is located in Sacton along the Gila River which lies right in the middle of the Hohokam civilization.

 

Thoughts

Perhaps these Intaglios have something to do with the great mounds found throughout the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys. After all, thousands of ancient mounds dot the landscape between the

southwest and the east coast, the most prominent being the serpent mound near Peebles OH, which just happens to be the largest serpent effigy in the world and can only be appreciated from the air as well. Constructing huge geoglyphic works was obviously something that had been going on for quite some time in the Americas before Anglos “discovered” this continent.

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Nazca Geoglyph

The truth is, is that not much is known about geoglyphs as very little is known about those who were here before us. The little that is known has been painstakingly scratched out of the desert floor by early archaeologists who have done their best piece together the fragments and clues. In

my opinion, however, the problem is is that all the findings have been filtered through the classic mainstream lens of archaeology. The Smithsonian, Oxford, Harvard, the Royal Geographical Society, etc have all defined archaeology and created the narrative which in turn has set the perimeters of acceptable theories. They maintain the schools, the research, the findings, and the future development and direction of our human species. Is this bad? Unethical? Not always, but let’s not pretend that there isn’t an agenda always at hand when it comes to science and research.

Cory Daniel is a professional certified interpretive guide and writer/researcher who currently lives in the Valley of the Sun.

One thought on “Intaglios

  1. Greetings: My research has allowed me to date the Blythe Intaglios to 50,000 years of age. That is the currently accepted age for the Meteor Crater impact in Arizona. The Blythe Intaglios rest under the orbital track of the rock that caused the crater and as such can date them to the time of the impact, probably just before. Read more in my short essay The Blythe Intaglios on my blog : black2tell.wordpress.com. You can also email me with your comments at black2tell@yahoo.com. Mr. Black

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