Elephant Mountain Ancient Quarry and Petroglyphs

Elephant Mountain

Elephant Mountain

 

Elephant Mountain is located northwest of the town of Daggett. The volcanic mountain was named because of its elephant like appearance. During the mining boom of the late 1800s a mill, and a half-dozen mines were located along the south side of the mountain. However, the miners of the 1800s were not the first people to mine Elephant Mountain, research has indicated that the mountain could have been mined as far back as 3,500 years.

Those ancient miners were not in search of precious metals, but rather in basalt tablet stone that could be used as portable metates, or grinding slicks. The quarry site is believed to have been used for thousands of years by the Native Americans of the region. Metates made of stone from Elephant Mountain have been found throughout the Mojave River region.

The quarry site is accessible today via a dirt road. Two water tanks are situated on the same volcanic mesa. While the quarrying efforts are not visibly noticeable there are still large basalt tablets that can be found with minimal effort.

Below the quarry on the basalt cliffs are a half-dozen scattered petroglyph panels.

 

Elephant Mountain Petroglyphs - This is the only ground level petroglyph boulder. If you look at the center of the photograph a few faint designs can be made out.

Elephant Mountain Petroglyphs – This is the only ground level petroglyph boulder. If you look at the center of the photograph a few faint designs can be made out.

 

Elephant Mountain Petroglyphs - A very simple shield like design on this boulder.

Elephant Mountain Petroglyphs – A very simple shield like design on this boulder.

 

Elephant Mountain Petroglyphs

Elephant Mountain Petroglyphs

 

Elephant Mountain Petroglyphs - On the left, what appears to be a female anthropomorphic figure.

Elephant Mountain Petroglyphs – On the left, what appears to be a female anthropomorphic figure.

 

Elephant Mountain Petroglyphs - On the left possibly a snake, on the right a "rake" motif.

Elephant Mountain Petroglyphs – On the left possibly a snake, on the right a “rake” motif.

 
Secret Places in the Mojave Desert Vol. 7

About the author

Jim Mattern

Jim is a scapegoat for the NPS, an author, adventurer, photographer, radio personality, guide, and location scout. His interests lie in Native American and cultural sites, ghost towns, mines, and natural wonders in the American Deserts.

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