|Were the petroglyphs carved by Indians from Mesoamerica? One historian thinks so.|
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McCartor says the great Teotihuacan empire had trading posts up to
600 miles away from their base outside Mexico City.
He theorizes that they may have set up an outpost on St. John because
of its varieties of rock and mined here for greenstone, gold and other
a graying beard and glasses and looking every bit the professorial part,
is convinced that it was visitors from Teotihuacan
who were responsible for the artwork at the petroglyph pool.
"While I was
waiting to be rescued, the National Park Service went hunting for me
in all the bars," grumbles McCartor, who still bristles about the
1994 incident. "I got lost only because I tried a shortcut one
of their people told me about. Turns out it didn't exist."
me a blowup of a photo he took at the Petroglyph Pool. The picture shows
what thousands see each year when hiking an offshoot of the popular
Reef Bay Trail and reach the basin: a seemingly random collection
of rock carvings just above the waterline.
McCartor is not the first to recognize the pool has a remarkable mirror image. When he placed a image of the Fat God (from Michael D. Coe's The Maya) next to his own photo from St. John, the similarity was astounding.
Another print showing a hefty holy man is in the Royal Danish Library, Copenhagen, and reproduced in Conquest of Eden by Michael Paiewonsky. The book identifies the figure as an Arawak god.
connection with Teotihuacan is the peculiar petroglyph at the same pool,
near the foot of the "Fat God." This one has googly
eyes and 3 threads of droplets drooling from its mouth. McCartor
believes they are drops of rain and that the face belongs to Tlaloc,
the Mexican rain god.
But are the possible connections between the pool's stone faces and the god's of relatively far-off civilizations enough to re-write history? Not yet.
McCartor visits St. John several times a year searching for ruins to confirm his theory. "The chances of finding any buildings are remote," he admits. "They'd be several thousand years old."
But what keeps McCartor going is the knowledge that discovering them would set off perhaps the biggest scientific explosion since the volcanic eruption that formed St. John.