Peralta Stones Map and the Stone Crosses

Where Did the Peralta Stones Come From? - 2 of 5

By Robert L. Kesselring and Lynda R. Kesselring



The early history of the Peralta Stone Map cannot be certain. We have not found any record or legend that they existed prior to their discovery. Like others before us we studied the information etched on the stones for clues to their early history with the vain hope it would lead to a better interpretation. We studied the work of contributors such as Jim Hatt and Charles Kenworthy. The most valuable insights to the early history of the Peralta Stone Map came from studying other Peralta maps known to have been created before the date on the Peralta Stone Map (1847). We found there was common information among the maps, but that the additional information on the maps that dated from 1844 and 1845 provided valuable clues to the mining operations at the time of the manufacture.

These two maps at the Superstition Mountain Historical Society are made of skin. The map of 1844 provides the best description by the Peraltas of the area that the Stone Map covers. Many of these features can be seen today. The map of 1845 is less informative but it is clearly the same region, and in this instance the map is assigned to Manuel Peralta. We consider these two maps to be the predecessors of the Stone Map of the Peralta operations in the Superstition Wilderness, and that based on them we can make the assumption that the Stone Map is indeed a Peralta map.

Peralta Map of the Superstitions Dated 1844 “The Treasurer of the Indians”
Peralta Map of the Superstitions Dated 1844 “The Treasurer of the Indians”

Manuel Peralta Superstition Map of 1845 Manuel Peralta Superstition Map of 1845

The Stone Map is a collection of stones that can be assembled to form a single map using the following pieces:

  • There are two red sandstone blocks approximately the same size as the white sandstone block (approximately 18” by 12” and 2” thick, weighing about 25 lbs.). Each red stone block is carved with lines and one long line. When the two blocks are placed side by side and the stone heart is inserted, the line has 18 dots pecked into it. Each dot represents a Post. The block with the heart shaped hole carved deeply into the surface has an outline of a cross on the back side. The second block with the rest of the line with holes has the word ‘DON’ carved into it.
  • The Stone Heart is made of compressed sandstone and fits in the heart shaped hole of the red sandstone block. It is approximately 7” by 7”. The heart shaped hole has the date 1847 engraved in it. The bottom circle of the number 8 has a small heart carved into it. These are the pieces found at the Florence Junction site by Travis Tumlinson in 1949.

Peralta Stone Map Post Road Map with Details
Peralta Stone Map Post Road Map with Details
(Courtesy of the Superstition Mountain Historical Society)

In 1776 Arizpe Mexico was made the Capital of the State of Sonora, and that included the Superstition Wilderness. It has been said that later, during renovations, the red sandstone flooring of a mission there was replaced and the stones reused for headstones. These are also said to be the stones used to manufacture the Peralta Stone Map (Azmula). There are other pieces as described in the prior article but there is no similar analysis for the Stone Heart, the Stone Crosses or the Latin Heart.

  • There are two stone crosses. One has Spanish text; the other has a map with a heart. Each cross fits in the outline of the cross on the back of one of the red sandstone blocks. That outline and the crosses are approximately 8” by 12” and the cross branches are approximately 2 1/2” in width. These are the crosses discovered by Mr. Bilbrey in 1979 in the Superstitions. Mr. Bilbrey reportedly destroyed the original crosses when his credibility was in question. The crosses shown here are replicas.


The Replica Stone Crosses in Position on the Post Road Map Replica
The Replica Stone Crosses in Position on the Post Road Map Replica
(Courtesy of the Superstition Mountain Historical Society)

  • The Latin Heart was made of clay like a tile and it was fired. It is approximately 7” by 7” and 5/8” thick. Our photo is of a replica owned by the Superstition Mountain Historical Society. It is believed that the original was destroyed. The only major difference in dimensions between the Stone Heart and the Latin Heart is the thickness. The Latin Heart derives its name from the fact all the written information inscribed on it is in Latin. It is marked on both sides. The person(s) that discovered the Latin Heart has not revealed themselves. It was found at the same site as the Post Road Map but years later.

Both sides of the Replica Latin Heart
Both sides of the Replica Latin Heart
Courtesy of the Superstition Mountain Historical Society

The Latin has the following interpretation:

BARATHRUM

=

LOW POINT

CACUMEN

=

HIGH POINT

CAVERNA AURUM

=

CAVE OF GOLD

CRATER

=

CRATER OR PIT

DESILENS AQUA AURUM

=

WATER OVER GOLD

DOMUS

=

CAMPSITE OR DWELLING

FAUCES

=

ARCH

INTER SEPTENTRIONES ET OCCASUM SOUS

=

LOOK NORTHWEST

MARIDES CACUMEN

=

HIGH POINT SOUTHWARDS

MEUS CACUMEN

=

MINE ON THE HIGH POINT

MEUS

=

MINE

MONETA

=

SMELTER / ARRESTRA

NOTO MEDULLA

=

NOTICE THE MIDDLE

NOTO TRIANGULUM

=

NOTICE THE TRIANGLE

SPEUCS

=

CAVE

TABULA

=

FLAT SPOT

TRANSECO ECCLESIA

=

RELIGIOUS GATHERING SITE

The roman numerals are of a form used in the Middle Ages. One difference between the older version and those we are more familiar with today is the use of a backwards C. The C’s in symbols as a group are to be regarded not as letter C’s but rather parenthesis. When a backwards C and regular C surround the number they are parenthesis that represents the multiplier of ‘thousands’. For example; (1) means one thousand. The more complex example is (1)1 means one thousand and one. There are other differences that can be seen at the website we used for this conversion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_numerals

There is a mystery remaining as to the meaning of the lines drawn over each numeral. We suspect that an archaeological study is required to understand them. To do the bookkeeping of the conversion of roman numerals to arabic numbers we use today we had to assign a serial number to each roman numeral.


These are the thirty-one Arabic numbers we calculated:

ID
Roman Arabic
1 CCLXIII 213
2
(I)CCCCXVI 9,416
3
III 3
4
(I)(I) 2,000
5
II 2
6
XII 12
7
CVII 107
8
II 2
9
XXXII 32
10
VII 7
11
XII 12
12
CCXII 213
13
(I))CCCXXXII 1,832
14
I 1
15
II 2
16
I 1
17
XX 20
18
I 1
19
IV 4
20
IV 4
21
(CI)) 10,000
22
IX 9
23
CCCXV 315
24
XXXX1 41
25
III 3
26
V 5
27
C 100
28
CCX 210
29
CCCLXXX(1) 1,380
30
))CCLXIX 5,269
31 XVII 17
For a total of 31,233

Admittedly the hand printing and wear on the Latin Heart allows for some error as well as providing a poor calculator. Therefore we took the position that the quantity per site was to be a scale of proportion to enable us to look for large ones first and to know the approximate differences between sites.

There is another stone yet to describe, but it is not part of the genuine Stone Map. An interview with the family of Travis Tumlinson remarks that he had made a white sandstone block that is approximately 10” by 14” and 2” thick, weighing about 25 lbs. Apparently his family acknowledges it was manufactured from pieces of maps Travis had with him. Both sides of the stone are carved with map images. One side is referred to as the Priest Stone. The other side is referred to as the Horse Stone. Both have writing in Spanish. We found the text useful and credible.


Priest Stone by Tumlinson: Peralta Stone Map Instruction
Priest Stone by Tumlinson: Peralta Stone Map Instructions
Courtesy of the Superstition Mountain Historical Society

There is an inscription with misspelled words. Here are the translations of the Spanish text:

ESTE BEREDA ES Peligroza

=

“This path is dangerous”

YO BOY 18 LUGARES

=

“I go to 18 locations”

BUSCA EL MAPA

=

“Search the map”

BUSCA EL COAZON

=

“Search the heart”

There are hidden symbols that these inscriptions refer to. There are four large heart map pieces in the Stone Map. The first is the Stone Heart that gets inserted into the Post Road map; it has carving on both sides making it actually a total of two heart map pieces. There is the fired clay Latin Heart with writing on both sides. That makes two more heart map pieces. They are obvious to any casual observer. What is not common knowledge is that there are two more hearts that are tiny hidden symbols. These two hearts are the secret keys to deciphering the maps that the inscription “BUSCA EL CORAZON” references. Both of these hidden hearts are in the bottom circle of the number eight. The first tiny hidden heart is inside the bottom circle of the number ‘8’ of the inscription “YO BOY 18 LUGARES”. The second one is in the number 8 of the date 1847 in the red sandstone post road map hole for the Stone Heart. This implies there is a link between the Latin Heart and the hidden symbols in the number 8. In both cases the tip of the hidden heart symbol is pointed towards the lower left part of the loop.

The following website provides a very detailed recent history of the red sandstone tablets and the red quartzite heart. We believe it is the best account of their discovery and journey from private to public hands. We suggest you read it.

The following is an abbreviated timeline of the history presented there.

1949:

Travis Tumlinson finds the two red sandstone tablets and stone heart at Florence Junction.

1956:

Tumlinson gives the pieces to his uncle Robert Tumlinson.

1960:

Tumlinson retrieves the pieces from his uncle.

1961:

Tumlinson dies and his wife Alleen sold the maps to Clarence O. Mitchell for $1,200.

1965-66:

Boyd and Ruth Cochrane, officers of The MOEL Corporation (MOEL stood for Mining, Oil, Exploration, and Leasing) attempted to acquire the Stone Map resulting in an ownership lawsuit.

1968-1969:

Attorney Bob Corbin learns that the FBI has analyzed the maps as evidence of a case for fraud and determined the maps were at least 100 years old at the time.

1969:

The court overseeing the Stone Map Ownership Suit determines the Stone Map falls under the jurisdiction of the Arizona Antiquities Laws. All were ordered (both parties) to donate the Stone Map to a Non-Profit Organization. Boyd Cochrane handed the Stone Map over to Mason Coggins (Chief Curator of the Arizona Mining and Minerals Museum).

2009:

The Stone maps are loaned to the Superstition Mountain Historical Society Museum on highway 88 also known as Apache Trail in Apache Junction Arizona.

Since the white sandstone tablet is not considered by us to be a genuine component of the Peralta Stone Map we have not included it in the prior material. Our analysis later showed it was a genuine map but we could not demonstrate it was a Peralta map.

Horse Stone by Tumlinson: the Back of the Priest Stone

Horse Stone by Tumlinson: the Back of the Priest Stone
Courtesy of the Superstition Mountain Historical Society

 

Go to Part 3: Research and Planning

Author's Biography: Robert L. Kesselring

Index to Articles
  1. History of the Mines and the Treasure
  2. Peralta Stone Map and Cross (this page)
  3. Research and Planning
  4. Ground Trips
  5. Summary
  6. Read and Post comments on this article (you will need to register to post, it is free.)
Related DesertUSA Pages

Dating The Peralta stone maps
Lost Dutchman State Park
New Evidence Surfaces About the Lost Dutchman Mine
Lost Dutchman Found?
Lost Dutchman Mine: Part 2
Lost Dutchman Mine: Part 3
Are The Peralta Stones Map Fake
?

How to Turn Your Smartphone into a Survival Tool
7 Smartphone Apps to Improve Your Camping Experience
GPS Navigation Systems Can Be a Misleading Travel Companion
Twenty Six Tips for Surviving in the Desert
Heat Acclimation (Combating the Desert Heat)

Phoenix, Arizona
Globe, Arizona


 

CAUTIONARY NOTE: Health Advisory and Legal Disclaimer

Caution: Many people have died trying to find this treasure. The authors of this story prepared thoroughly with provisions and emergency planning prior to undertaking their trips. DesertUSA does not advise anyone to try to replicate their journey without a guide and extremely thorough preparations to include plans for water, food, shelter, guidance and communications. No amount of gold or treasure is worth your life.

NOTE: The Superstition Mountains are east of Apache Junction in Arizona and the area has been designated a Wilderness Area by Congress.  This means all things within are protected by law. Anything other than hiking, camping and taking photos will require a permit from the National Forest Service. Therefore when we discuss the presence of treasure and mines please keep the law in mind, do not disturb archaeological sites.

If you would like to contact the authors for more information, please email dusa_feedback@DesertUSA.com. Please include "DesertUSA" in your subject line or we may not receive the email.


back to top

 

Share this page on Facebook:


DesertUSA Newsletter -- We send articles on hiking, camping and places to explore, as well as animals, wildflower reports, plant information and much more. Sign up below or read more about the DesertUSA newsletter here. (It's Free.)

The Desert Environment
The North American Deserts
Desert Geological Terms

SEARCH THIS SITE


Barry Storm's Jade Mine DesertUSA researches Barry Storm, the author of Trail of the Lost Dutchman, first published in 1939. In 1957 he came out to California and was wandering around in the desert near Joshua Tree National Park. He chipped off the corner of a rock and discovered it was jade. Thinking he'd found the source of the ancient Mayan's jade, Storm mined and lived in that area for the rest of his life. Join us on our road trip to see Barry Storm's Jade Mine.

Ballarat and the Rainbow Chasers
At the end of every rainbow is a pot of gold. Parked at the base of the Panamint Mountains are the remains of Ballarat, California. Founded in 1876 as a supply center for gold mines and prospectors, Ballarat lasted 21 years. After the post office closed in 1970, Ballarat became home for two famous rainbow chasers: Shorty Harris and Seldom Seen Slim. Learn more about these colorful prospectors, and the ghost town of Ballarat in this video.

___________________________________

Take a look at our Animals index page to find information about all kinds of birds, snakes, mammals, spiders and more!


Rockhound books

wakawaka-power

Mojave road guide

gold ebook

Hot temperatures in the desertAre you interested in the temperatures in the desert?

Click here to see current desert temperatures!


   
 
   
Copyright © 1996-2017 DesertUSA.com and Digital West Media, Inc. - -