The Secret Swansea Petroglyphs

There is a secret place near the ghost town of Swansea in the Owens Valley, California, where you can find dozens of ancient petroglyphs dating from as far back as 4,000 years ago. No one knows with certainty who made them. Researchers believe that the petroglyphs at this site were made in several different cycles over a period of  a few thousand years.  Many generations of petroglyphs have been identified. Early research pointed to the Owens Valley Paiute as the creator of these petroglyphs, but members of the Paiute Tribe maintain that they were created by an earlier people.

The site is unmarked, unprotected; the ancient relics sit alone under the open sky just as they always have. If they knew where to go, people could just hike right to the site. For that reason, its location is a secret; wherever crowds of people go, vandalism and desecration always follow.

I did some sleuthing and had a little luck; Stephanie and I managed to locate the site; I photographed every petroglyph we saw. We felt calmly elated and awed to have found these ancient treasures, and to be able to walk quietly and respectfully alone among them in their atmosphere of ancient ceremonial meaning.