Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Geoglyphs - Mysteries on the Desert Floor

    Intaglios (in tar yoes) are large geometric designs, animal or human figures constructed by early people upon their local desert floors.  The most famous intaglios, also known as geoglyphs, are the Nazca Lines on a high plateau of Peru.  Yet only some 193 miles from Anthem are a series of intaglios ever bit as impressive as their contemporaries of Peru and many miles closer.
    The Bouse Fisherman and the Blythe Intaglios are but a few of over 200 intaglios found in the Sonoran Desert along the Colorado River and northern Mexico.  First seen from the air in 1931 by pilot George Palmer, these large figures challenge our imagination even today as to how they could have possible been designed by an ancient people technologically tied to the earth. 
    Intaglios are one of the unsolved mysteries of archeology.  They may have been constructed only 450 years ago or could have been carved over 2000 years ago; modern science just does not know.  What is a fact is that they have withstood one of nature’s most harsh environment know for its extreme heat as well modern motorcycles, SUV’s and General George Patton’s 1st Armor Corp.
    The construction of these intaglios occurs with the removal of the local “desert pavement.”  Desert pavement is a surface found in the drier parts of a desert region composed of closely packed, interlocking rock.  It is usually dark in color due to a thin layer of desert varnish. It is the removal of this desert pavement that result in the creation of a geoglyph. 
    The Bouse Fisherman is located in the foothills of the Plomosa Mountains off Route 95 between Quartzsite and Bouse.   It depicts a man holding a spear with two fish at his feet and a sun and a serpent above his head.  Modern Native American tradition contends that this is the creator, Kumastamho, who with his spear is creating the great Colorado River to bring water to this arid land.
    Some 15 miles north of Blythe, California another group of intaglios are found.  Here six distinct figures are located in three areas bunched within a 1000 feet of each other.  Each of the three sites contains a human figure and two of the sites contain animal figures.
    At one site, a human figure measuring 176 feet from head to toe has been created in the desert pavement along with large animal figure. Mohave Indian traditions hold that this is the creator of the earth and all life, Mastamho along with one of two lion/persons who helped Mastamho in the creation, named Hatakulya.
    Intaglios are best seen from the air but each of these sites can be visited by car.  Both the Bouse Fisherman and Blythe Intaglios sites are located on desert land managed by the Bureau of Land Management.  Each site is now fenced to prevent vehicle from crossing them but visitors are welcome to walk among the geoglyphs.  These and all intaglios of the southwest are protected under the National Antiquity Act of 1906.  So when you get out and go to visit these fascinating creations of the floor of the Sonoran Desert, please “take only your photos and memories, and leave only your footprints.”

Want more information, check out this link -

GPS Coordinates:
Bouse Fisherman: 

              N33 47 27.9 
              W114 05 37.2
Blythe Intaglios: 

             N33 48 00.0
             W114 32 00.0

The Bouse Fisherman

Blythe, CA

Blythe, CA

Blythe, CA

Blythe, CA

Blythe, CA


  1. Clearly this is exactly what I call a gorgeous article! Do you use this blog for your private aims only or you exploit it profit wise?

  2. We use this site to share our love and knowledge with anyone interested in our beautiful state. A way for us to still do a little teaching!

  3. waw! I know more about this information, thanks! Mysterious Geoglyphs in Peru