Sacrificial Shrine Theory:2
The first member of the team to actually see one of these glyphs was Dixon Spendlove. As a boy growing up in the area, he was shown the most commonly known example found on what was then "Judd" property in Johnson Canyon.
This glyph is situated above a known ruin and very unique burial site, in which the bodies are interred in tubes, or circular shafts carved into the bedrock of the cave walls and floor. Stacked one on top of the other.
At the time, only a few examples of the glyph were known to exist, and no one had any idea of their true purpose. Almost, everyone who had seen the glyph simply accepted that it was used as an "altar" or sacrificial stone in some ancient practice of "blood sacrifice"
Stories were common of how the sacrifice was laid on the "altar" or circle portion of the glyph, their heart cut out and placed in the hole at back of the circle, letting the blood run in donw the straight line to the edge of cliff. Over time, such dramatic stories easily become local legends.
The Southern Utah News published a series of articles by a local Scout leader Royce Young in the 1990's. One of which was about his local scout troop searching for these glyphs in Johnson Canyon. Young's scout troop found and mapped several glyphs that led them to the conclusions they published, including a second Solstice Marker theory.
Our research team has actually located over 17 in Johnson Canyon alone, many of which are located in such a way that the center line is actually running uphill and away from the cliff edge...which sort of ruins the whole altar effect.
Based on observations of the 128 known glyphs, this theory is not considered valid by our research team, and we do not agree with Royce's published theories.
However, it makes a dramatic Indiana Jones type story, and many of the local residents still support this theory... perhaps because tourism is the area's main industry.
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