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The "Marked Rock" in Manchester, KY
Page 2: The Petroglyphs


[image ALT: A more or less rectangular boulder, appearing to be sandstone, and measuring roughly 1.5 meters high, 7 meters long and 0.8 meter thick. It is an overall view of the so‑called 'Marked Rock' in Manchester, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

By now, at least if you've come from page 1, you've seen the entire rock, and read its recent story; here all we'll do is keep our eyes open and look at the markings.

Things are never quite so simple, mind you. First, inevitably, I've made a selection of what to show you, although it's a pretty large one, including many of the glyphs that are not lined out in modern paint. Then, more subtly, the very framing of my individual photographs, and even more so that blasted paint, might suggest groupings: a trap we shouldn't fall into, since we can't read the marks and therefore can't possibly know whether adjacent or superimposed signs might not have been carved hundreds of years apart and have nothing to do with each other — or conversely, that signs now separated by others might not be part of the same "sentence"; assuming they mean anything at all, of course.

We don't fall into anything, on the other hand, by calling these things petroglyphs. A petroglyph is merely a sign carved in stone; it need not mean anything.


[image ALT: An area of sandstone rock, about 10 cm on a side, with an incised marking, or a small group of markings, highlighted in paint. It is a detail of the so‑called 'Marked Rock' in Manchester, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

[image ALT: An area of sandstone rock, about 10 cm long by 4 cm high, with a number of overlapping incised markings. It is a detail of the so‑called 'Marked Rock' in Manchester, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

[image ALT: An area of sandstone rock, about 10 cm long by 4 cm high, with a number of overlapping incised markings, or maybe they\'re just the result of some natural process. It is a detail of the so‑called 'Marked Rock' in Manchester, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

The marks on this particular patch, at the base of our boulder: just plain natural processes?


[image ALT: An area of sandstone rock, about 40 cm long by 15 cm high, with several dozen incised markings, some of them highlighted in paint. It is a detail of the so‑called 'Marked Rock' in Manchester, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

[image ALT: An area of sandstone rock, about 20 cm long by 7 cm high, with several incised markings, two of which (one of them a very clear pentacle) have been highlighted in paint. It is a detail of the so‑called 'Marked Rock' in Manchester, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

[image ALT: An area of sandstone rock, about 20 cm long by 7 cm high, with several incised markings, some of which have been highlighted in paint. It is a detail of the so‑called 'Marked Rock' in Manchester, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

[image ALT: An area of sandstone rock, not quite a meter long by about 30 cm high, with several incised markings, some of which have been highlighted in paint. It is a detail of the so‑called 'Marked Rock' in Manchester, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

Some items, though, we can safely interpret as much less mysterious:

[image ALT: An area of sandstone rock, maybe 20 cm long by 5 cm high, with an evenly carved line of letters, appearing, as far as can be made out, to read 'RO HESLE'. It is a detail of the so‑called 'Marked Rock' in Manchester, Kentucky (central eastern United States).]

My best reading: RO HESLE (?)

(and a Hesle family is in fact recorded in rural Kentucky; but similar names must also be found in the area as well).

And now we're ready to look at page 3: theories.


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Page updated: 12 Apr 10