Eel River

Spy Rock

ER 085

I had heard tale of petroglyphs somewhere on Spy Rock road for years and years, and I only recently was fortunate enough to visit them. I read that this rock serves a territorial boundary marker for the Cahto Indian tribe. This site is right off the main road and if you weren’t looking for it, you would drive right by it – which I did several times before I was tipped off. An old white oak tree is next to the rock and contains all kinds of trinkets and talismans, some presumably from local Indians, other prayers of people who live in the area.

Looking closer, there are dozens of engravings covering the rock. According to some reports, many of the carvings are thousands of years old, and are the oldest known on the North Coast. There is no clear interpretation of what the carving mean, or meant to the people who did it. The spirals, which are thought to be the oldest could be related to fertility rites, like ‘cupules’. They could hold spiritual meaning, or perhaps are not so different than the graffiti of today – out of boredom…

Here is a diagram of the site. I belive this picture was taken in the 1980s, and the entropy since then is very much evident.

Here is a diagram of the site. I belive this picture was taken in the 1980s, and the entropy since then is very much evident.

 

Here is another interesting article on Spy Rock and petrohglyphs in our region.

http://www.dstretch.com/Eel/others/MendocinoRA.pdf

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