Rock carvings of Idaho 4

Individual symbols Idaho 4

This list is comparing Idaho Script with Indus Script and some of them are much alike. That together with the number of symbols seems to be clear evidence that seafarers from Indus culture visited Idaho. Maybe they were searching for metal and precious stones

Idaho Script, Indus Script, symbol script, syllable language, cupmark, algebraic meaning, Indus symbolism, moon cycle, urn-symbol, offer cauldron, bear paw, Boöetes, Bearwatcher, snake, dragon, Serpent Mound, grid,

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On this Thunderbird Rock we find the clearest symbols of Indus script

 …the figure in centre seems to be of the same kind as the Indus Script symbol. Generally in North American symbolism they used the symbol Thunderbird. We can call the deep clear Indus symbols on this rock First Generation Idaho Script. Most of the "standardised" glyphs we find on this rock among the pictures I have from Snake River.

These are easy to see and copy. But most of the lava boulders have script that must be rubbed into film or pictured in night-light if we want an exact documentation. But for my preliminary interpreting the pictures are enough. I cannot travel around and must use photos as the best documentation.

I name the freer copied Indus symbols on the boulders Second Generation Idaho and Third Generation Idaho is of course the local inventions if we want to make categories. But before we start we must state that there are no readable texts, however explaining the glyphs and ideograms one by one give a feeling what it was all about. Secondly let us start with some essentials about ancient scripts and rock carvings

Normally I use glyph = defined script symbol … ideogram = pictorial idea /concept … symbol = undefined small sign. In the early ancient symbol script and syllable languages are some rules that we should now when we look at unknown texts. Figures that are filled or negative are on "the other side" and generally below ground or invisible. Metal they mark with dashed lines. Dashing or painting figures make them different from the normal reference: Sometimes they use in fact "…" too more than 6000 years ago.

In Scandinavia they mark "the other side or time" wit double lines as for instance winter half year. They mark the beginning of winter season with two big dots … and the beginning of summer season with one smaller dot of course alternatively an empty little boat like in Egypt.

In Scandinavia the old integers build on 1 to 6 times 2 alternatively 1 to 12. They counted integers and fractions in geometric series like 1, 2, 4, 8, 16 or 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 alternatively series 1, 3, 6, 9,12. Observe that in the world there were several systems so we have to know the local culture behind.

Initially were the series in language "one, two, many/ several" and in grammar singular, dualis and plural. That means one symbol is the infinitive, two symbols is the ongoing action and three symbols is the idea / concept. For instance is single wave line = flow … double line is river … and three lines are water, ocean or water-god. In the beginning there were no grammar with tenses so the action was pictures with doubled symbols.

I find it natural to assume that the great cultures Sumer, Indus and Egypt followed the same pattern in creating the syllable language in 4th millennium. That means the symbols are generally a syllable consonant -- vowel or vowel -- consonant with some exceptions and even consonant - vowel - consonant. Some of the symbols could be used as ideograms since they were extracted from some known feature.

We see much of that in Sumerian, i.e. before 2000 BC while the Egyptian syllable language is covered by later inventions and the Indus script we do not know much about. The phonetic system covered it all in late Bronze Age and we can not use rules from that on the syllable languages so working with them is much of reconstruction.

The same rock from another direction with the umu-ti-symbol

On this rock are many standardised glyphs we for sure can se are from the Indus Script. Some well-educated person must have visited the place and wrote down this message. It must have been a novelty even for the writer since the only samples we have are made on clay tablets and tokens in a standardised size. Here they are "king size" and without the order of a string.

Normally we think those bigger culture influences smaller and the rural side of the world. Small influence in the other direction is harder to put a label on. Still for instance in for instance in Egyptian noble tombs we find items that can be traced to small cultures far away.

Symbols like the following row indicates abstract thinking and organisation we normally meet in city cultures: Exception is my province with organised writing even in a rural society. We have to remember that all people were furnished with the same capacity of thinking. But mankind is lazy and uses that capacity only on demand when necessity forces to develop things. It is always easier to borrow from other cultures and adapt it to the local cultural environment.

In the following I describe mixed the different generations of symbols in Idaho. There is no point in dividing into categories from the material I have and the time span is fairly short.



The cupmark or little handmade hole defined by the diameter is the most numerous rock carvings in the world. In logic of geometry it is a point and in words "there is". It could be used for units as well as for drawing figures that are airy or above ground.

A line is many points in a row. If they are separate in a line they are identical individual points in a row and the length could be counted in points and represent time. We can give the points an understood algebraic meaning and give shape to the line and add more meaning. It is the same method as in mathematics when we use letters to represent or be icons for hidden values.

The encircled point could be whatever we will associate to it as for instance "an eye", the sun and whatsoever. The bigger cupmark means that it is an opening to underground or under ground.

In Snake River Valley SRV the strokes are made equal long and we see some system behind it that is like what we know from the Indus = black and whit figures borrowed from Asko Parpola. There are finds of around 450 symbols in Indus, but not so many different symbols since there are several variations of symbols.

Then we have to think of their numbers that could be the long stroke is 1 and the others maybe 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16. A line in slight angle means "beginning to" and in Scandinavia it is derived from the division of the circle in 16 parts. The line in angle means "turning point" and it is understood that we follow the outline.

… …If there is a carrier line the strokes are enclosed to a category. If the strokes are units the line could be the carrier. The symbol is also used for an ear of seed. Some goods were surely put on a string in a standardised way we know that from old systems of measurement. In an economy of bartering they needed some standards of course.

 … in Scandinavia this symbol used to mark likeness or conjunction, i.e. equal with

….… the glyph is derived from compasses that surely was needed for making the perfect circle. We know similar symbols in Minoan and Middle East cultures. The three stokes in the circle could mean "mountain" and also three stones of the fire place. The mountain was time mark and so the fire-ritual and the symbol below is "fire-place".

… maybe this shape marks a year and the little tongue marks the beginning. In the Indus year every season began with fire ritual according to Rigveda. In Scandinavian rock carvings they mark the beginning of season with a cupmark alternatively a little empty boat. Maybe the circle / oval with strokes means the first month in season and then especially the growing season



The circle enclosed one unit and we can make it a standard or something else by giving it some algebraic value. Usually people connect ancient circles to the sun and sun-cult without any proof. The sun as such have no value and mankind has been interested only in the life giving "beams". Today we call it photon flow but already in the Egyptian symbolism we see the beams as flow of units. We see beams around also on some circles and then they surely meant the sun. But for everyday life the moon and its cycle was the pace giver of life.

People were interested in the sun as counter of days or nights. It is like the big hand on the clock while the moon is the short. In Scandinavia the plain circle was used to picture quarter of a year in some places. But the main symbolism is the crossed circle that is used for a year, half a year, a quarter of a year. So they were symbolising Time and not the sun as such. We can also say that Time was their god, as it is still today in our world.

… … These symbols means then "pair of moons" and in the right case divided in fortnights. Furthermore they divided in 3 seasons in the monsoon environment. In Indus symbolism number 3 and 6 are frequent in ritual astronomy in which the zodiac /animal round was divided in 6 and the moons were seen as pairs. There are signs of the same in early Egyptian and Sumerian practical astronomy.

…If we only concentrate on the outline we get an orbit or uniform motion and the length and duration has to be understood. A circle with a dot gives the concept a reference point. In some cases they add a point or something on, inside or outside the circle. That is the starting point of the understood circulation. We can also see it in the poetic way as an eye and even as the sun. Then we have to understand everything behind the icon.

The use of the circle for a quarter or as orbit in circular motion implies that we / they knew that the sun / or earth make circular motion depending on our observation point. Otherwise it would be pure abstract logic. But when we picture the year as a motion coming back to one point the shape of a circle would be natural. Only in few cases we see a spiral that pictures the real motion of earth in Time that never reach the same point again. But they used also the square as model in places where it was natural to divide in four seasons as for instance in Scandinavia.

In India the square occurs too. We can not know how they taught. But in Indus symbolism we see in some seal the god / idol and above the head is a wheel with six spokes. That surely pictures the Indus Time Wheel…. See The Naked Gangaur

9000 year old painting of the moon's cycle from Canchal Mahoma Spain

Fig. 1 and 3 are the less visible nights before and after wane. Fig. 2 is full moon and maybe Fig. 4 should read "moon", i.e. 29,5 days as the moon cycle. We meet the same symbol in the Egyptian calendars where it in some cases also could be the Saros Cycle of 18,61 years.

From this example we see the natural symbolism in Fig 1 and 3. We can note some kind of standard and conventions about practical astronomy in occasional European artefacts from the 10000 -- 30000 years before present time. Many symbols surely "wandered around the world" with travelling people discussing astronomy. At least for sailors and navigators the stars were essential. They had to know how the starry sky appeared wherever they travelled.

Surely it was convenient to draw the oblong figure instead of the circle. Then it also gave the special meaning to the symbol. As mentioned in pre-Vedic time, i.e. before 2000 BC they counted the moons in pair. They surely even divided the time in two natural fortnights.

… New Moon was the most frequent turning point of a moon period and the Sumerian Inanna was the model for many moon goddesses. The symbol for wane and new are international and used often in the subtropics besides the horizontal bow symbols

For the circle with dots see "umu ti" in Idaho 2



Knowing about time or we should write "space-time" has always been essential for mankind. Knowledge helped them foresee what should and would happen in time and space. Maybe we sometimes can see that their leaders used knowledge for their own gain. That would only be humanlike and up top the individual mind. But I suppose that the mind of many would outnumber the dictator in time.

The horseshoe shape we see on many stones for instance in the passage grave in Gavrinic, Carnac Bretagne but also in other places. On some stone we see many bows over a pillar. I suppose that it pictures the "moon turn" in which some days are open since the moon is invisible. They simply counted turns to get the values for the moon cycle and fortnight.

We know for sure that they knew about the 18,61 years Saros Cycle before ca 3100 BC. From that follows that they also knew about eclipses of the moon. They could predetermine them at least in places where local astronomers followed the knowledge and made continuous observations of their own. Knowledge frees from fear in most cases and humankind has observed the sky since thinking began. Moon cycle and comets would not shake many trousers I presume.

It is far to early for me to conclude the kind of local astronomy. But the pictures I have do not show advanced local astronomy so far. However the occurrence of some ritual rocks and the symbolism tell us that they planned their year influenced by the Indus Culture. That means the moon and at least some leading asterism became the lead of the year.

That kind of guiding star needs only a simple observation place and knowledge of how to follow one star in the night sky. It will pass different points during the year depending on the latitude. That has to be decided locally. But one observation would be enough as model for future.

Most important is that the up and down shaped U was used as number unit in Egyptian, Sumerian, Greek and maybe other cultures. The short stroke read "i" or "one"

… One swallow does not make a summer …however often we find only one sample of an special image in a place … but sure the motif with the "boiler" feed curiosity. We know very little about Chinese high sea ships during Bronze Age. They think they were of the same type as the riverboats with broad cut off stern and stem but higher than at the riverboat. … see more on ritual carvings

We do not know anything about a "dragon" in stem. They have found rock carvings on Hawaii showing high stem and possibly a dragon. Still we do not know much about the boat in entire Asia. We see much Egyptian influence in Indian and Polynesian boats of today.

… the "roof" symbolises heaven or maybe the circumpolar stars that was the upper sphere of the gods … and it is maybe still. In the glyph below with the trisection we see it look much like the Egyptian symbol for heaven. The "Urn" they name Coma Berinece nowadays but it looks much like some round vessel on my star map. It was suitable as opposite fix-stars around 2000 BC after Head of Serpent and before Bearwatcher.


… …if we firstly see this as a pot it could be asterism urn, but more often just some vessel. The big amphora and other storing containers were necessary during the seasons and naturally also when transporting goods. In Sumerian and Indus symbolism we see many water carriers and it was naturally an important invention in everyday life. The "Urn" was in fact the major mean for creating cities that could store food for later distribution.

We have also to be open for the function as pot and boiler and with all synonyms we can think of. The glyphs are often furnished with wings and Randall suggests that it mean size of vessel. It could also be that they under a period named season as an Urn and then marked the three different seasons.

We can also see it as an outline and then it is a connection between opposite points / stars.

 Second Generation light rock carvings


……… …

"As far as three seasons, one would not see a fall in such canyon country. Sage is the most prevalent brush in this country and second being juniper. These vary little in foliage in the seasons. Grass is green and seed barring plants very little through the year in this temperate country".

In Ritual Age solstice and equinoxes were important turning points in the year. In Europe the Celts found that the dates half-way between were better division. In last millennium we got the trisection in three terminuses from Candlemas or winter thing, summer thing and law thing in October that lasted to our time.

In Ritual Age they maybe followed the stars and time more rigidly than in later times when they had to follow the weather. The Indian climate, subtropics and monsoon climate have sharper turn points and trisection was the natural order.

In several rock carvings we see three symbols with different shape. Maybe they wanted to point out three different entities or seasons.

…The rock with the three "bear-paws" shows clear trisection.and the cross strokes tell us that they are virtual reality. Then we can suggest that they symbolise Boötes / Bearwatcher that was current after 1700 BC. We know from Scandinavia that they used the opposite asterism to asterism of spring equinox for determining beginning of the season … Still today Church determines the beginning of ritual year as first moon after spring equinox. Most of the world use the traditional calendar they developed after 4000 BC.

The conclusion is then that they used the bright star Arcturus as fix star and followed that the entire year. Since we see the Indus influence and three of them we can assume that they celebrated three seasons and knew where the star was at that time. By now I have note half a dozen rock carvings showing the 3-symbolism at Snake River Valley. One example is the three entities symbolised with different connected symbols … se also Bear Dance

Local symbolism but we see little of the original Indus ideas here


……… maybe we should read the first Idaho figure from right with the empty bowl, next season the bowl with growth and the last the winter store. The Indus trisected symbol is under the heaven meaning the divided Animal Round. Next symbol maybe is "a round that continues after the New Year point".

In the collection of pictures there are only a few sun-symbols with beams. The one with a point in centre is maybe more poetic showing the "heavens eye" = the sun. But the three circles with beams maybe mean moons.



One wave-line shows infinite movement in time and as verb it is the infinitive. The symbol is on the same rule as mentioned in the beginning. In Scandinavian ancient language I set the wave LA--LA-LA while the saw-tooth is IA-IA-IA and the short string fits in places with seemingly written lines.

As verb two parallel wave-lines is "running water" and as noun a river. Three parallel lines are the water as noun such as seas and even the water god. In Sumerian symbolism we see Enki/ Ea steps up on the original hill. Above him flows the heavenly river Watergate drawn with two lines and we see fish jumping.

In Egyptian symbolism they usually use the saw-tooth line that perhaps was easier to draw. But in Scandinavian symbolism it seems that they use that for time. The logic shows it with two turning points and we can count the flow in units. We can also assume the difference between material and abstract flow.

The longer wave-line is for sure sometimes meant as a snake. But often it is marked with a head and sometimes also a tail. Special feature in American snake drawing is that we see a parrot at the mouth. That connects it to the Old World with a bird on a pole in front of Water-snake. These are among the symbols that show ritual influence from the Old World.

There are several snakes including Dragon on the night sky and naturally it could mean something else such as a real snake. The snake expresses definite flow since it has length, beginning and end. It is like the Scandinavian ritual ships that are furnished with symbols "from -- to" in stem and stern.

In the animal round the Watersnake / Hydra symbolises the womb of the earth and it begins at the sowing point Cancer and ends at the harvest symbol Scorpio. Along the Watersnake there is symbols for watering, picking, sowing, waiting for growth and the Bearwatcher guard the new growth in fact In Sumer and some other places we see instead the Archer guarding the Lady Virgo and we should understand "the Little One" below.

Maybe the symbol "Turtle and Snake came from India to China" and the Turtle is of course Cancer. In the climate of monsoon they developed the heavenly dragon symbolising the heavenly waters. In China they still make space between skyscrapers so the Dragon can fly between the house and leave moisture outside the buildings.

In East Asia they have still the sense of poetry since they have the pictorial script and speak in pictures and flowers so to speak. They develop the other half of the brain. Westerners somehow manage to live without fantasy and imagination. The Dragon on top of the night sky is a good symbol for the heavenly Dragon = the Monsoon.

Even Americas have the Snake. In south the feathered Quetzalcoatl that naturally can fly like the snake in the sky and it is big try co let the eye catch it on the night sky. In north they have the Serpent Mound in Ohio biggest man made serpent in the world. The embankment is 405 m/ 1330 ft long, 1,3 m/ 4 ft high and about 6 m/ 18 ft across. It has an egg in the mouth.

There are rock carvings in many places in America and in some cases the egg is in the other end. It shows the fertility space-time and to ask if it is influence from India becomes natural. In Indus symbolism it sometimes means the upper square or the always-visible stars.


In SRV we find squares alone or in merged figures, but no the clear "heavenly square" as far I can see. Otherwise to associate to fence is easy and it could be just a logic symbol with some algebraic meaning. The parted square means the entire year in halves and the cross stroke marks "the other half"

The grid could be a net, a field or partitioning something like harvest or fields. Especially in inundation cultures it was custom to part the fields in the beginning of season. Even in Scandinavia we have example of small Celtic fields and in other cases indication of calculation with fields for a certain population.

Continues Idaho 4 a …