Indian Pictographs of Mesquite Nevada
The Mystery To This Lost History
Documented by Timothy Draper
Sometimes, you really must sit back and look at the markings on the wall when it comes to solving a treasure mystery at a historical site. This site still needs more investigating but for now, I am going to help you understand what I found and describe what I saw in the interesting hills just outside of Mesquite, Nevada.
Indian Pictographs of Mesquite Nevada 2015 Adventure
THE BACKSTORY OF HOW WE FOUND THIS SITE
Shaun and I spent many years in the Mesquite, Nevada area. I used to work in Mesquite before I went full-time with Treasures in America. I spent many years researching and learning about the territory so I could have more success in finding lost treasures in this area. Often, Shaun and I would leave during our lunch break to scout out a new possible site of interest. This time was not only fun, but we lucked out and found a great treasure troll of Indian Pictographs.
After researching on the web, I discovered a picture on Google that someone posted from a forum that caught my attention. There was no information about it, except for a hiker asking if anyone knew more information about his newfound discovery. To my surprise, a few people commented back, but no one seemed to know much information about it. When I took a second look at the pic, I knew I had to find it.
We didn’t have much information (except a ‘general area’ of where to look) but Shaun and I were sold an adventure for the day. It wasn’t the first time in our friendship where we just hopped in the car to see what we could find, and it wasn’t our last.
WHERE THE ADVENTURE BEGINS | INDIAN PICTROGRAPHS OF MESQUITE NEVADA
Shaun and I arrived at a little parking spot off Interstate 15, just about a half-mile west of the truck parking area. I believe the road is called, Carp Elgin Road. We parked the truck and trailer there and unloaded the Polaris RZR and loaded it up with our gear. It was exciting because we really did not know where we were going, and we didn’t know much about the area. It was a mystery that needed to be solved.
We traveled north for several miles and we found a few interesting structures along the way. Every time we found anything, we pulled over to investigate it.
We pulled out our maps and discovered that we were several miles to the east from where we were intending to be, but we were in luck as we soon found a narrow dirt road that would take us west, to where we were wanting to go. This old, rough, road was not something you would want to travel in just any “off-road” vehicle. Shaun’s RZR was quite capable of handling rough roads, but this road made us question if we should even keep following it. Honestly, it felt like an old horse trail. In many areas, it seemed that the road completely disappeared but then start back up again.
We finally came to a fork in the road just south of the Moapa Peak area. Now we were closer to the area I had in mind of where we wanted to look. We found another fork in the road, and it took us northwest on what is called, the Hackberry Springs Road. At the end of this road, there was a small parking area where we left the Polaris RZR. From there, we headed out on a trail that quickly took us into a narrow canyon. We still didn’t know what to expect and we weren’t even 100% sure that we were in the right area, but there was a trail to follow, and Shaun and I like an adventure and exploring the unknown. After all, some of the greatest finds have happened when people were lost and not sure what they were looking for, or even looking for anything at all. If everything of significance were easy to find, it would no longer be significant. This trail proved to be a great choice for us because about 500 yards in, we found a BLM plaque stating that we had wandered into an Archeological Site. After seeing this, we were confident we had found the location, now we just had to keep a lookout for lost history.
THE WRITINGS ON THE WALL HAVE A STORY | INDIAN PICTOGRAPHS OF MESQUITE NEVADA
We first came up to some remarkably interesting and cool Pictographs! There were three different panels on the rocks that told a story by the Indians. At first, it seemed to be a normal Indian panel, but after taking pictures and studying the artwork, I started to wonder if maybe there was more to the rock artwork than what it seemed.
I noticed, what looked like, a picture of a dagger with blood dripping down and many of the symbols made of red. Some of the artwork looked somewhat typical, but there was also faded, black art that was hard to decipher at first. After carefully examining the black figures, I recognized some of the symbols and had a hunch of what they might mean… I hollered out to Shaun who was about a football field away, “Shaun! You need to come and look at this!” He hustled down to me and I pointed at the black figure and said, “Do you see what I see?”
We decided it looked like a man on top of a horse wearing a strange hat. Then we discovered that it appeared that the strange man also had a long object running down his waist like a sword. I told Shaun that I think they could be Spanish Conquistadors. After a few minutes, I found three other similar figures, and then three more, all in black paint. We determined that three of them were Spanish Conquistadors/Riders, and the other three were Indians riding their horses.
I was only aware of a few Indian panels within Arizona, Nevada, and Utah, that had Spanish men in the artwork. I had to sit down for a few minutes to think about what I was looking at. Then I realized that the Indians must have been telling a story about coming across some Spaniards traveling on horses, and it seemed that it didn’t turn out good for the Spaniards, a bloody dagger with blood dripping down the knife could only mean one thing, there was a fight! Possibly a blood bath! I took several pictures and we decided to explore the nearby area to see if we could find any more clues.
THE AGAVE PITS
After about another half-mile hike, still following the narrow canyon, we came across the first of three roasting pits called Agave Pits (roasting pits) made by Indians. They appeared incredibly old and well used from many years ago. I took pictures of each one, marked the locations on my GPS, and continued further and further into the canyon. After roughly an hour more of hiking, we stopped finding anything worth mentioning but, on the way back, we sat down to rest and reflect on what we had discovered.
We concluded that perhaps, this had been a sacred place. This site likely wasn’t where the fight had taken place, but possibly a place where the Indian people would go in large numbers, feast on food, and talk about their culture, past stories, and mother earth. But what about the Spaniards and Indians on horses? What about the bloody dagger?
THE AFTERMATH OF THE DISCOVERY OF ROCK ARTWORK | INDIAN PICTOGRAPHS OF MESQUITE NEVADA
For the next few days, I spent several hours searching online for anything that could be linked to this story and/or area. I didn’t find much at first but then tried researching using a different angle. Finally, I was able to come across a few (and I mean a few) articles that “started” to reveal the possible explanation for this story.
A BATTLE OF THE INDIANS AND THE SPANISH BURIED TREASURE
I discovered that a few men, years before me, thought this panel was a story about the Spanish passing through the old Spanish trail in the Moapa Mountains. The Indians at this time had many encounters with the Spanish and most of them were not good stories. In fact, most of the past stories had to do with terror, slavery, and greed from the Spanish. The local Indian tribes were usually the ones that paid the cost, simply because they lived there. The Spanish only cared about plundering, glory, and riches.
These couple of men, years before me, thought that the panel told a story of the Indians, killing the Spanish, and burying them somewhere out in that area. The old men also went on to write that they believed the Spanish, their horses, and all their belongings, were buried in one pit somewhere in that desert. If there is some truth to this story, it could be a great discovery! Not only could someone uncover the truth, but the Indian’s story could be told here and now, in the present time. A story like this can tell a lot by the contents of its artifacts from the ground. If you use a metal detector, please check with the state and county laws before doing so.
I feel that this story should be investigated much further than what Shaun and I did. I would love to visit this area again, but I have so many sites that I would like to revisit; it’s hard to come back to all of them. Extra time is hard to find these days, and some of my other sites take too much of my time. If you would like more information, or if you have more information about this story and site, please reach out to me. I would be more than happy to help as I feel that sites like this should not be forgotten and left untold.
I would like to also mention that if you visit this site or any other ancient sites, please do NOT destroy them in any way. Be careful not to touch the rock art, because the oil from your skin can decay the art faster, and please DO NOT graffiti! Sites like this are all we have left from the past and I believe every site has a great story to be told. If these sites are destroyed, tampered with, or graffitied, then no one will be able to discover and solve their history.
Good Luck. Be Safe out there. Find Your Adventure. Preserve Lost History.
Indian Pictographs of Mesquite Nevada – 2021 By Timothy Draper
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