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Welcome to my Puerto Rico El Yunque photo exhibit.

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Petroglyphs Inside the Jungle

 
All photos shot by and copyrighted by me, Rex Cauldwell. Enjoy but do not copy without permission. Please read the text below since a couple minutes are needed for the photos to download.

Beware: High quality photos--slow download zone!

My apologies, but this site may not be for sightseers who only have a fast, passing intrest. Throughout the entire site there will be large photographs with many photos per page. This is needed to show how impressieve El Yunque is--but this translates out to be slow downloading unless you have a fast computer system with a fast internet hookup. The average download time for the page is around two minutes. If you are serious about seeing some quality photos of the El Yunque rainforest then this is your site otherwise you may not have the patience for the downloading.

My advice here is just to prop your feet up, relax, and read something for a few minutes to allow the page to download--it will be worth it. Got your feet up? Take a few deep breaths--we shouldn't be in that much of a hurry anyway.

Petroglyphs are normally found carved into rocks adjacent to riverbanks. These glyphs were found in the jungle and not close to any large bodies of water. Robin Phillips found these about 10 years ago and then lost them. There were allegedly found a long time before that and then lost again.

The one large rock is naturally shaped like a ships prow--pointed as to cut through the water. If whoever cut the rock thought water was magical then perhaps that is why they chose this rock for so many carvings.

Close to this rock is another with several chief head carvings on it and then another rock with horizontal cuts on it lying on the ground.

By the way these cuts are made, it seems to me that two things are obvious: First, they were trying to control water flow (Robin's theory is little more gruesome. He thinks it was to control blood flow coming from a sacrificial victim. To me it seems they were wanting water to flow from the little pools in the top of the rock and onto the drawings so that would take shape in the rain.

The indentations are marked with chalk so they can be photographed.

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This rock is about 5 foot tall, 20 feet long, with the opposite side going down a slope. Note the notch cut into the ship's prow. To cut a notch like this into the sharp edge of the rock would take very small-edged tools, very hard-edged tools, and a lot of skill and patience. The glyphs go down into the soil around the rock. It would seem that this would be a very good site for the archeologists to find pieces of the tools the carvers used to cut the rock. Simply excavate the soil around the rock. Normally this can't be done because the glyphs are in the river rock.



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Close-up of the notch cut into the sharp edge of the rock. With the tools we have today this would be hard to do without splitting out the upper lip of the cut.




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Close-up of one of the circle cuts. Note it is fed from the small overhead pool. On many of the cuts, I've noted that they feed from an overhead circular pool (you find a pool and then a cut bringing the water from the pool into the drawing). The pools may not have been cut to have been created. I've noted many such natural pools on the rock. The carvers may have used the natural pools as a starting point and enlarged them or did nothing more than cut the circle and spiral drawings immediately below the pool (doing nothing to the pool). I've noted cuts that feed water from pool ot pool all over the top of the rock here and along many parts of one of the main rivers a long ways from here.

The vertical pools couldn't hold much water so they might have poured in water from a vessel to watch it flow over the cut glyph.



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Notice anything unusual here? Here we have small rock melted into the boulder. It's like a splatter painting. Melted rock is splattered and fused into the boulder all over it.

So what's unusual about that you ask? Just liquid rock spewed from an ancient volcano from long, long ago, right?

Right. But on different parts of this boulder the splattered rock has melted into the drawings. This would make the drawings a lot older than previously thought. This would mean they were created before the last volcano erupted--which doesn't make sense at all.



Notice anything weird going on here? The carving down the sharp edge of the rock continues under the over-lying boulder. Thus the carver had to have made the drawing before this giant boulder fell on top the carving (the boulder is immovable). Or, somehow the carver made the cuts sideways which would have been very hard to do with no vertical clearance for the tool and whatever he/she was using for a hammer.

Assuming this was done with the boulder in place, this gives credence to one theory that the carvers used some type of acid to eat its way through the rock. Further credence to that theory comes from the cut down the rock pointed edge. Tapping in the rock with a straight-edged chisel would have made the edges break off very easily--having an acid to make the rock softer would have been a great help. It is known from Roman times that they used acid (wine on heated rock) to cut their way into the heart of many a mountain and to make passes where there were none.




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This boulder looks like any other, right? This proves that finding petroglyphs is an art. There are several "Chief Head" carvings in this inconspicuous looking rock. As well as many that are so worn that you can't make them out.



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The Chief head carving is on the upper left side of the boulder with a very worn one immediately below and to the right.