On a family farm located near the Guyandotte River in Salt Rock, WV, lies two rocks that contain markings known as petroglyphs. These markings hold many cultural messages and meanings for the tribe of Native Americans suspected as the carvers. Once the petroglyphs were found, other archaeological searches were conducted in the area, finding more evidence of a Native culture long gone from society. The petroglyphs are an important part of today’s society for the Salt Rock community who are attempting to preserve the markings, while decoding the messages.
Salt Rock Petroglyphs are located on Gue Farm about a hundred yards from the east
bank of the Guyandotte River; petroglyphs are images created on rock surfaces
by removing part of the rock surface by pecking, carving or scraping. History,
such markings were used by the carvers as a way to describe the terrain,
astronomical markers, trail markers, ritual symbols, and for pre-written
At least two rocks have been found in Salt
Rock with beautiful and well preserved petroglyphs carved on them. One rock
contains a carving of a human figure that is wearing a “weeping eye mask.” The
weeping eye mask was a common petroglyph motif of the Algonquin Indians from
the Ohio Valley region, who are believed to have carved these petroglyphs. The
second rock contains an image of a deer and possibly a serpent of some sort.
Most petroglyphs found in the United States have been difficult to place an
exact date of origin but the Smithsonian in 1938 determined that these types of
petroglyphs were carved in 1600 A.D. These rocks would later spawn an
archaeological dig on Gue's Farm. As a result, a Native American village would
be unearthed as well as a large “weeping eye mask” tying the petroglyphs and
village together. Moreover, several other artifacts and even Indian burial
mounds have been discovered around the town.
These petroglyphs represent an important part
of the local Salt Rock culture and heritage, while also representing a quickly
diminishing section of artifacts, as these glyphs are subject to vandalism and
weather erosion. The local Native American heritage is important to the area as
many movements have been initiated to preserve the glyphs and the burial