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 Martineau Archives 

 LaVan had spent over 40 years devoting almost his entire life, seeking to decipher the writings of the American Indian contained in the rock writings. Studying them had almost become his entire life, and he often spent anywhere from four to sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, year in and year out working on them. He could have made up a lot of hasty interpretations and published many books to enhance his wallet but had only published one book on petroglyphs (The Rocks Begin to Speak) as he wanted to wait until he could master reading them before he published any more.



Through this website, we want to educate the reader in better understanding the PWS (Petroglyph Writing System) through the publication of LaVan's photos, pencil drawing of symbols with interpretations, maps and page descriptions locating the sites. Since most of these were written in pencil on lined paper, the scanning process will need to be edited and cleaned up from the pencil smudges, water damage marks and wear and tear of the images. 


LaVan had started recording petroglyph sites starting in 1959 and ending in 1999. He has in archive thousands of photographs with hand drawn maps and notes to go with the sites, even from those that have since been destroyed. He pencil sketched many panels due to poor photography/lighting or hard to reach sites and noted the directions they were facing and any side notes.

Some of his archives are hand written full panel interpretations, meant for his eyes only and others he did for certain tribes. There is a  dictionary of symbols that show how one word had many ways to draw them and read them.

In archive he has books he started/finished but never published:


  • The Rocks Begin to Speak 2. (incomplete)

  • Bows and arrow making, arrowhead making.

  • Book of Reality (quotes he wrote throughout his life from love, war, society, etc.)

  • Autobiography

  • Indian Prophecies

  • Dictionary of Symbols/Interpretations

  • Indian notes (from all tribes including Canada, Mexico)

  • Sign Language

  • Paiute Genealogy



             Photograph is a portion of the notebooks in Martineau Archives of photographs and notes.

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