Monday, June 18, 2018

Ancient Ogham Writing in Colorado


What is Ogham (sometimes also spelled as Ogam) Writing? It is an ancient British and Irish alphabet from the fourth to the sixth century, consisting of twenty characters formed by parallel strokes on either side of or across a continuous line. Could it be possible that ancient Celts traveled across the Atlantic Ocean, carried by strong ocean currents into the Gulf of Mexico, where they then sailed up rivers, one of which terminated in Colorado?   If you put the search words "Ogham in Colorado" you will find some fascinating stories and research about the possibilities that Ogham writings have been found in different areas of Colorado, as well as in Oklahoma, Wyoming and even in the east in West Virginia. There are many examples of stones carved with Ogham writing in Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, but I was surprised to learn that Ogham writings were found almost in my backyard in an area along the Front Range of Colorado!


This past weekend my community's historical society, which my husband and I are both members, left early one morning to take a hike led by another member who is an archeologist, to view the area where the Ogham writings were discovered decades ago. Our area of the front range has always been a favorite place for humans. There has been evidence of humans living here since 10,000 BC, but the thought of ancient Celtic people, or Druids, passing through and possibly settling here was an intriguing idea.

Our hike was over rolling grassland, alongside a creek, and towards a rocky crested hogback.  As we descended in elevation the creek got stronger and the vegetation became thicker with trees and scrub oak.


We even saw wild roses growing along the creek banks...

...and even though our spring has been very dry, there were still wildflowers to be seen.


Along the hike, we stopped at key points where the archeologist gave us information about what we were about to see and its significance.


He pointed out how rock outcropping and caves were valuable to the ancient peoples as a form of shelter and warmth, and accessibility to water and game was always a reason people settled in an area.


He pointed out that the rocky protuberance that can be seen in the distance along the side of the hogback the photos above, is often a sign that indicates Ogham writing will be found. It was a common element in many North American Ogham sites.


You can see how the creek has cut a deep path through the grass and rock as it has flowed from the mountains over millennia.


We finally reached the area where the Ogham writings were located.


We listened to the tale of their discovery, and documentation, as well as an effort by preservationists and our community to protect them from vandalism by backfilling the cave with dirt and covering them up with dirt.  A photograph of what the site looked like then was passed around as well as a photo of the Ogham writings.


The cave once looked like this, with a significant shelter space. The man in the middle is pointing to the location of the Ogham.


Now the cave is completely filled with dirt and the Ogham writings are covered.


This is the photograph of how the Ogham marks looked inside the cave.

If indeed these are Ogham markings then the thought of ancient druids having settled here temporarily in their explorations was exciting. What did they write and why?  Some Ogham writings have been translated to the writings "People of the Sun," and they light up with the sun of the summer solstice, much like the chamber in Newgrange, Ireland.


We pondered, observed and discussed our observations before hiking back to our cars.  As members of our historical society, we wanted to know the location of this site so we could pass on the information to future members.



The YouTube video above explains in interesting visuals the Ogham story in America. Click here to see it on the YouTube site if the video above does not run. 

There is much controversy around whether the markings are truly Ogham or just spear sharpening marks made by Native Americans. What do you think?  I'd like to believe that the spirit of mankind has always had exploration at its core and that our world may have been traveled and migrated for great distances from the beginning of human life. Mountains were always there to be climbed, oceans crossed, rivers sailed, caves explored, and new horizons always beckoned. Perhaps even in ancient times, it has been a small world!

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41 comments:

handmade by amalia said...

I would have loved to join you, very interesting to learn about the Ogham writings. And the weather looks beautiful.
Amalia
xo

Joyful said...

I think it's very possible that these markings are Olgam in origin. Native Americans tended to make pictographs more than markings (from my limited understanding) though I guess it's not inconceivable that they also made markings. I have just heard for decades now that early Celts crossed the Atlantic and left writings (like hieroglyphic type writing) in their path. I no longer have the book that introduced me to this concept. Your photos are lovely and the hike looks very interesting.

Gillena Cox said...

Really nice photos, thanks for sharing. Always luv the wildflowers. Happy Mosaic Monday

much love...

Maggie said...

How amazing to learn about these ancient writings discovered there in your own backyard, thanks for taking us along on this fascinating hike. Lovely to see the wildflower mosaic too Happy Mosaic Monday.

Ruth Hiebert said...

You captured some beautiful sights along the way.

Tamar SB said...

So beautiful!!

Alycia Quiltygirl.com said...

What a cool hike!! did he say why they were filled with dirt now? wind etc or for another reason?

NC Sue said...

Fascinating!
Thanks for linking up at https://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2018/06/can-brussels-sprouts-be-edible.html

Jeanie said...

What a fascinating hike. Don't you love it when you have a knowledgable guide who can reveal things like this to you? I'm amazed -- the possibility of Druids in Colorado (or anywhere on this side of the pond) amazes me. All that and the beauty of your area. It must have been a wonderful day.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone! I truly appreciate them.

Alycia, the cave was filled in my an archeological and community group to prevent vandalism of the writings. The cave is close to high schools and a major roadway so there was evidence it was being used for reasons not permitted. In other places where there are Ogham writings in Colorado, the writings have had cages placed over them or other means of protection.

ellen b. said...

Glad to hear you are members of the Historical Society! Such an interesting hike and history.

Willow said...

Very interesting! My son is an anthropologist/archaeologist and is taking us to Chaco Canyon, NM next month. I'll ask him what he thinks and if there are Ogham writings there.

The Joy of Home with Martha Ellen said...

This post is fascinating, Pat! Ogham writings in Colorado...We tend to put human existence into a small tiny era. Man has inhabited the earth for eons. Your hike must have been wonderful along with the guide. The wildflowers are so lovely. It's great that these writings are covered for protection. ♥

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

It's just nice to know their are still mysteries to research and learn about. I love going on a 'google search' to find out more. Very interesting and a beautiful hike! Hugs!

jeannettestgermain said...

So exciting Pat! Did not know that the English and Irish had the Ogham alphabet, especially when it's near your own backyard! It looks like this continent contains much more history (and earlier) than Columbus' discovery.Thank you much for sharing it with all Seasons!
(From the Thurs. Door-owner of wordpress) He showed winter storages of the Vikings, much earlier than America was "discovered."
Hope the way you wrote in your email will work:):) Appreciated!

Magnolia Darjeeling said...

I love this! Your photos are beautiful but I also love learning about Ogham. My husband is of Norwegian descent and they have something called Runes and this post reminded me of that. What fun this hike looked like!

Pat Tillett said...

Great Post Pat! Great photos and totally interesting information. I'd love to see that place someday.

I have to say though, I hate that they filled it in. They could put a cage around it to prevent vandals from getting close enough. Near my house, they buried an entire Indian village site under a football field. What are they saving it for?

Angie said...

Pat - an informative and fascinating post! I believe these are Ogham writings, and the sole reason for that is because I recently read another blog post that linked to a web site that allows you to see what the Earth was like in any location, back to certain defined periods (millions of years ago). So, I think it is entirely possible that they made this trip and left their mark! Enjoy the rest of your week!

Lorrie said...

What a fascinating tour. It's too bad you couldn't see the original markings. Human migration is such an interesting subject, and I think we have much to learn about our ancestors and their travels.

Wandering Wren said...

This would be absolutely my sort of a day out, fresh air, exercise and the opportunity to learn something new. I had never heard of Ogham writings. You live in a beautiful part of the world Pat and I always enjoy my visits.
Wren x

A Colorful World said...

Oh I LOVE prehistory! I will watch any documentary about it, and have read a number of books. Love that their are Ogham writing in America, and also ruins that harken back to other prehistoric peoples, to travels to this hemisphere that are not documented of course except in stone! How awesome these are close to where you live!

Kelleyn Rothaermel said...

Cool! Will have to check this out the next time I go to Colorado.
http://travelingbugwiththreeboys-kelleyn.blogspot.com/2018/06/lake-bled-slovenia-and-vintgar-gorge.html

eileeninmd said...

Hello, Pat!
The Ogham alphabet and writing is new to me. It is interesting learning new things thru blogging. I would have enjoyed this walk and to view the writings.
The wildflowers are beautiful. Wonderful series of photos. Enjoy your day and the week ahead.

Powell River Books said...

So many mysteries in this world. I enjoyed reading your post and learning something new. It must have taken a lot of courage to cross a large ocean to explore in the small craft they had at their disposal. It's sad that people want to damage such discoveries. - Margy

Mother of 3 said...

That is so neat! When we went into the cavern in Penn a few weeks ago we thought it was pretty amazing how well the limestone preserved writings from long ago (but not that long ago!).

Al said...

Fascinating! I've lived here for over 25 years and you keep showing me new things about the Front Range.

Michelle said...

I think there is so much we don't understand about early life in our world. We need to be open to this concept, as well as others. I LOVE this post. Fascinating to me. Thanks for linking up today!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

I'm enchanted by the wildflowers.

Kay L. Davies said...

Wow! I wish II were younger so that I could travel to your area!
Kay
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Pea bea said...

So much we just don't know about our amazing Earth and some of the inhabitants. Very much enjoyed reading about this writing. Exciting to think people were here before we ever knew. Thanks for sharing and enjoyed your visiting Pictorial Tuesday so I could come visit your blog.

Peabea from Peabea Scribbles

carol l mckenna said...

Wonderful series of nature photos and the possible ancient writings ~ lovely hike ~ an adventure!

Happy Weekend coming to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Spare Parts and Pics said...

Now that's interesting, and I wonder if the riddle will ever be solved?? I'd be curious to know if the archeologist thought this was Ogham writing or spear sharpening marks? Either way, fascinating, and really too bad it's now covered in dirt. There must be a better way to protect and preserve.

Andrea said...

Your posts are always interesting, exciting and with lovely photos. I forgot, always engaging. I am thinking that during those times, they can just bilocate or go to far-difficult areas using the leigh lines/energy lines, so travel and moving boulders are just so easy. Powers of the mind in consonance with energies of the universe.

Jim said...

Great shots.

Ericka @ A Quiet Girl's Musings... said...

Fascinating! The walk/hike there yielded some beautiful pictures!

Visiting from Little Things Thursday linkup.

Lowcarb team member said...

A lovely post, what a hike … great photographs.
It was interesting to read about the Ogham writings.

All the best Jan

annie said...

Loved this post! I like them all but this one caught my attention with the ogham writing

betty-NZ said...

There is so much unknown about our history. How fascinating that this was so close to your home!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

So interesting Pat! I've bookmarked this post so that I remember to mention it to the CO family! Fascinating.

Rambling Woods said...

Oh wow...what an interesting post..I LOVE to learn new things...Michelle

Queenbeebaker said...

LOVED reading this post and seeing all of your beautiful photos. Thanks so much for sharing at the Whimsical Wednesdays Link Party! Have a wonderful week!