Monday, December 1, 2008

Leo Petroglyph

According to the Ohio Historical Society, Leo Petroglyph contains 37 carvings that depict humans and animals. The Fort Ancient Indians are the likely creators.

The carvings appear on a large piece of sandstone on the edge of a large ravine, making it susceptible to weather and erosion; it’s isolated location and minimal barriers make it a target for vandals who like to add to the ancient carvings.

With tightening budgets, I wonder how well this attraction is patrolled. Sadly, the signs have been damaged and the rock is protected by what is basically a picnic shelter. It seems odd, somehow, to be able to have a picnic near what may very well be a religious or ceremonial relic.

Nobody knows for sure what the carvings mean, though to me it appears to be a hunting scene of some sort. Most intriguing is a monster-like horned figure that may represent a shaman or mythical beast.

If you are ever in the Chillicothe or Jackson areas, this site is worth a visit. Unfortunately, I have been unable to pin down an exact street address, but these directions from the state got us there:

Leo Petroglyph is near the village of Leo, five miles northwest of Jackson, in Jackson County. Turn off of U.S. Route 35 on County Road 28, then left in Leo on Township Road 224.

It’s also wise to call ahead to make sure there are no unexpected or special closings. When we attempted to visit Fort Hill on the same trip, the trails were closed for deer season.



1-800-686-1535 (toll free)

1 comment:

Michael Clauss said...

The Leo Petroglyphs resemble a style of Pictography and may have similar meanings as images used by the Ojibwa people of the great lakes region. The Ojibwa used Pictographs to record many things. Such ideographs when used in messages conveyed Names of people and tribes. They were also records of events and places. They conveyed time, numbers as well as direction and distance. Some pictographs drawn on Birch bark Scrolls depicted the outlines of rivers, lakes, trails and landforms; these Native American Maps were designed as mnemonic travel aids. A Geocontourglyph is a Petroglyph that represents a landform. Search the web for "Geocontourglpyh" to learn more.