The Historical Society of Harford County, Inc.
Native American Rock Carvings

Rock carvings are called "petroglyphs." Petroglyphs were found by early European explorers along the Susquehanna River. They were carved by the prehistoric Algokian-language Native Americans before they were displaced by the Susquehannock Tribe around 1600 AD. They are believed to be Maryland's most ancient carvings. The colors of the photographs shown below were adjusted to make the carvings more visible.

     
     
The above petroglyphs may be found at the Headquarters
of the Historical Society of Harford County.

The 2003 photograph above shows an unusual design. The matching design below it was found in figure seven of Paul Cresthull's publication: Typology of Human Head Petroglyphs from Bald Fiar Site, Maryland Archeology, the Journal of the Archeological Society of Maryland , Volume 10, Numbers 1 & 2, page 7, March-September 1974.

The above petroglyph was photographed when located in Druid Hill Park and unprotected. Between March and June 2006, this and many other examples of rock art were rescued by State employees and moved to the Maryland Archaeological Laboratory in Calvert County. For the whole story on the rescue go to the web site at: www.marylandhistoricaltrust.net/glyph-move.html.
Compilation of Bald Friar petroglyph
drawings prepared by Paul Cresthall for
The Historical Society of Harford County, Inc.

Sources of Information on the Petroglyphs

  • George M. Reynolds, Indian Picture Writing from Bald Friar, Archeological Society of Maryland, Number 3, Page 25, January 1960, Reprint 1975.
  • John Whitthoft, Pitted Stones and Cup Shaped Markings, Maryland Archeology, the Journal of The Archeological Society of Maryland, Inc., Volume 5, Numbers 2, Page 31, September 1969.
  • Paul Cresthull, A Catalog of Maryland Petroglyphs, Maryland Archeology, the Journal of the Archeological Society of Maryland, Inc., Volume 9, Numbers 1 & 2, Page 29, March-September 1973.
  • Paul Cresthull, Typology of Human Head Petroglyphs from Bald Fiar Site, Maryland Archeology, the Journal of the Archeological Society of Maryland, Inc., Volume 10, Numbers 1 & 2, Page 7, March-September 1974.
  • Paul Cresthull, Indian Art Data Sheets, Maryland Archeology, the Journal of the Archeological Society of Maryland, Inc., Volume 11, Number 2, Page 25, September 1975.
  • Raymond Thompson, Signs of Civilization, The Historical Society of Harford County, Inc., Archives, Ralph G. Norman Collection, Rock Carvings, Susquehanna River.
All photographs by El Penski
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