Saturday, June 14, 2008

field trip for boot camp graduates

To celebrate Jean and Joan's successful graduation from the Scanlin Weaving Boot Camp we took a field trip across the mountain to the Folk School. Along the way we stopped at Track Rock Gap to see the petroglyphs; I haven't stopped in many years and have never had a camera along with me when I had. This time I took a few shots of the marked stones.

These petroglyphs are probably the best-known in Georgia. They were first noted in publication in 1834 by Dr. Matthew Stephenson, who is also associated with the 1800s gold mining in Lumpkin County, Georgia. In a quick google search this morning I came across quite a few links. These give brief information and more photos.

The Georgia Botanical Society, Wikipedia, Waymarking, Roadside Georgia

The iron gratings that were built over the stones to protect them unfortunately obscure much of the stones. Still, there's enough of the ancient markings to cause one to wonder about the people who made them, when and why. According to information at the site, the stones may date as early as 8,000 to 1,000 BCE or as late as 900-1500 CE or even to the Cherokee, the last Native Americans living in the area.

The interpretive page available at the site says the Cherokee name for the location of the stones is Datsu'nalsagun'yi (where there are tracks) or Degayeelun'ha (printed or branded place).

The most clearly shown symbol is identified as "Circle and Cross--Four cardinal directions on earth, four winds." The morning light caused the shadows of the protective grating to fall strongly on the stones so the other symbols in the markings were harder to see than that circle/cross found on one stone that wasn't covered by grating.

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