The Swansea Petroglyph site is located along what was once the bank of Owens Lake.
The Swansea site is unusual from most petroglyph sites for a few reasons. Most petroglyphs are carved into basaltic rock, however there is no basaltic rock present at this site. Instead these petroglyphs have been pecked into marble, this has allowed the preservation of these glyphs to stand the test of time.
Researchers believe that the petroglyphs at this site were made in several different cycles over a period of 1,000 years. Six different generations of petroglyphs have been distinguished based on the erosion and patina. Early research pointed to the Owens Valley Paiute as the creator of these petroglyphs, but members of the Paiute Tribe believe that they had been created by a pre-Paiute people.
So who did make the petroglyphs at Swansea? The Equinox Project, a group that was created specifically because of this petroglyph site believes that the Swansea petroglyphs were created pre-Columbus by the Celts and Native people. The group has come to this conclusion based on what they believe to be the depiction of Christian and European symbols being present among the petroglyphs. While the Equinox Project has some pretty far-fetched ideas, they have done a lot of research on the Swansea site. You can visit their website and read their findings at: www.equinox-project.com
Vandalism of the site has been an issue since the 1920s. A mining operation was approved at the exact site of the petroglyphs. It wouldn’t be surprising to find out that some of the petroglyphs had been destroyed from this operation. There is also evidence of modern vandalism in the form of scratches over ancient designs, and the adding of new work.
While we don’t know the true story behind the Swansea site, all the speculation and controversy behind it makes it all that more interesting.
Interested in visiting this site?
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