Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Hemet Maze Stone

They say you have to start a story with the end in mind. That has no bearing on this post at all, but I thought it would be cool to say it. Sorry...

The petroglyph (yes, just one) we were going to see is about 1/2 of a mile up this road. It is a very important piece of prehistory. Not because of what it means, because we have no idea what it means. We are going because it is EXTREMELY unusual. I guess all of this is lost on my wife, because she is lollygagging walking up the hill and taking photos of every little thing that catches her attention. Don't worry, she probably won't even see this post.

This was a well used back county road at one time. However, it runs very close to the amazing petroglyph we are walking up this hill to see. Rather than subject the site to the traffic and unavoidable vandalism, they CLOSED the road. A simple and effective way to protect the site; the fewer people that see it, the safer it is. Sometimes though, the opposite is true.

This has nothing to do with the post, but doesn't that boulder in the center look like the head of an eel? It even has a black eye.

Based on all the fencing around those rocks, that must be the place.


Not just one fence but two! One of them is even topped with barbed wire. 

So hard to get a good photo without the fence screwing it up. 

Finally, I my wife climbed up the fence enough to get a good photo. You can now see why they call it the Hemet Maze Stone. Maze, because it's a maze, and Hemet Maze, because it is outside of the town of Hemet. The one and ONLY bit of vandalism is visible in this photo. It's hard to see, but in the lower left hand corner, somebody scratched in a swastika. If I had a drone, you'd get a better view of what I'm talking about.

 As you can see, this is an amazing piece of work. It is clearly a"maze"ing.

Doesn't this rock look like some kind of a sea mammal, covering it's ears with both flippers?

Here is some actual (but maybe not so accurate) information on the Maze Stone
People much smarter than me, have weighed in with their opinions relating to what this maze actually is, and when it was created. Some of those opinions area:

  • It was created by shipwrecked Buddhist missionaries.
  • It was created 15,000 years ago, by the "Cascadians" who were thought to be Mayan ancestors.
  • The most balanced opinion, places the creation of the maze, at about 2000 years ago. 
  • I (not unlike the really smart people) have no idea what-so-ever...
There are many other "maze" stones in the American southwest (and very few anywhere else), and this one seems to be the most intricate. I think it would be pretty cool if it was created by ancient Buddhists or Cascadians, but it was most likely the Cahuilla, or Luiseno tribes who deserve the credit. 



  1. I can see why they placed a fence around it. It's impressive. Hopefully no one else vandalizes it.
    Two thousand years ago? Hmm....

  2. In European culture, this kind of miniature maze was created for the faithful to trace the true path with their fingers while reciting some religious bullshit or other. I imagine this one had a similar purpose.

  3. What an interesting find!

  4. Fascinating, whatever they are and your captures are terrific as always!! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  5. Amazing formations and we really like the sea mammal!

  6. Wow! I love being able to "discover" these treasures with you.

  7. That is awesome. Would be cool to know how old it really is.

  8. It is a beautiful petroglyph.

    Considering the desecration, understandable that they would take such measures. There's a nice corner in hell waiting for the neo-Nazi.

  9. That is an amazing petroglyph, especially considering how old it is. Definitely worth the walk, although it's a shame it needs to be fenced off because of the idiots.

  10. Fabulous!!! Interesting bit about the road...I'm amazed that was accepted by Cal Trans or whatever government entity controls the roads...but good for them!!! The petroglyphs in Bishop are not advertised in any way. First, you have to know about them...we had friends in Mammoth who knew about them and pointed me in the right direction...when I couldn't find them by their directions, I went to the visitor center in Bishop. They wouldn't give me the directions until I explained who I was and why I wanted to go there. I felt quite like the clandestine operative in a spy novel!!! I have to say though...there was nothing like this one!!!

  11. Hello, the Hemet Maze is amazing. I am glad they put a fence to protect the petroglyph. Awesome captures of the eel boulder and the sea mammal. Enjoy your day!

  12. Love this post! What a beautiful maze. I am so glad that it is protected. I will never understand why anyone would deface something like this, and with a swastika no less. Yikes. Beautiful rocks out there, and each telling us its silent story.

  13. Hahahaha....nice start to the post.

    That is certainly one protected petroglyph. I would love to be able to go back in time and look into their minds to see why they drew what they drew. It's so intricate!

  14. Alex J. Cavanaugh - It's really hard to set a date for this stuff, but if we're talking 500, or 2000 years (or even longer) ago, there were no advances that would lend it's self to people at either end making this type of a petroglyph. Heck, the bow and arrow has only been in the southwestern part of the US, for about 1300 years!

    Dennis Hodgson - Until the Europeans arrived (several hundred years ago). There was no religious groups, or even thought of religion. The spiritual part of Native american life, was tied to nature and couldn't be separated from day-to-day life.

    ladyfi - I agree! Very interesting.

    Sylvia K - "Whatever they are" is as good a description as anything I've found on it.

    Brian - They sure are! It seems like there is always an image or two in the rocks.

  15. #1Nana - It is my pleasure! I'm really happy that enjoy this stuff.

    Bouncin Barb - It sure is awesome! I would be interesting to really be able to date it.

    William Kendall - Yep! Unfortunate, but sometimes necessary to keep the idiots at bay.

    Al - I'm really on the fence about the fencing. I know it's needed in spots like this, but I think some idiots, look at it as a challenge.

  16. The Chieftess - This one is a county road, so probably not a problem. I know about the "clandestine" feeling. I have more than a few unpleasant encounters with rangers and other "officials." Yes, there has been some damage to petroglyphs up there, but not nearly as much as they would lead us to believe. I don't want to leave the impression that all my encounters have been negative, because that isn't true. I recently hiked to a rock art site with the Superintendent of a CA State Park.

    eileeninmd - Thanks Eileen! I appreciate that. I hope you have a good day as well.

    Robin Andrea - Thanks Robin! Yep, so much to see and enjoy in these places. I agree that the fences are needed, but usually, I'd rather hike a long way to find a totally unprotected site, that maybe a handful of people know about and only gets visited a couple of times a year.

    Baby Sister - Thanks! I agree with you, that would be an awesome thing to witness.

  17. Thanks for ignoring that sign and taking us on up the road to share with us this "A-Maze-ing" rock. Now for the graffiti-ite to come along with a magic market and show the clue to traversing the maze (just kidding)

  18. I came here for the "a-MAZE-ing" joke and I was not disappointed! :) It is a very cool rock for sure. I also hastily read it as being created by "Canadians" and was slightly confused (those darn snow birds!), but Cascadians makes so much more sense.

  19. I totally understand why the petroglyphs need to be protected. We have some near Peterborough, Ontario that are behind glass and are inside a provincial park that you have to pay to get into to see. It's so sad that some people cannot be trusted to look, photograph and appreciate them without doing something to mar them!

  20. A good find ( I am glad it is somewhat protected now) ... I'd rather make up my own stories than read somebody else's theories about what it all means . ( I might be talking about more than just the maze rock here ;))). Also glad you or your wife took pictures of every little ...and not so little ...thing along the way. I love seeing this country!

  21. It looks intriguing indeed with a very special kind of near-symmetry in the pattern. As for who made it ...

    For starters, the simplest solution is usually the best.

  22. Love that shot of the closed road. Fascinates me for some reason.

    That rock looks like a T-Rex!
    Its a good thing that its closed off. Wish more of them would be. Cant believe some 20th century fucktard messed with it. All for some temporary cracked ideology.

    Great photos are always Pat and thanks for sharing your love of history, art and nature.

  23. Sage - My pleasure! After spending quite a bit of time trying, I finally realized that it's not actually a maze at all. It sure looks like one though.

    VEG - Thanks to Sage and yourself for being corny enough to use it. I'm surprised more folks didn't. Canadians..HA!
    Speaking of which, the deserts are filling up with them about now.

    EG CameraGirl - I know exactly what you mean. There are some spots like that here also, I think "they" need to educate people about these places more. Many people don't understand why they are so important.

    Sallie (FullTime-Life) - Although it's protected like this, you can see where some folks have climbed over anyway. Maybe just to take photos. Thanks Sallie! I'm glad you enjoy this stuff.

    visualnorway - I think you are right about the "simplest solution."

    Anthony J. Langford - I agree! Of course the maze was great, but I really loved that first view of the area also. I'm thinking there probably wasn't a lot of ideology involved in that swastika. Probably just an idiot. Thanks so much for the nice words Anthony!


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