In the treasure world, the Spanish were well known for their treasure map signs and symbols. It was a form of short hand that would pass follow on explorer’s information about the surrounding area. You had to be in the know, to be able to decipher these markings. Otherwise, they would look much like any other rock art through out the Southwest.
One significant sign is the sun symbol. Typically, when this symbol is drawn using a circle with lines radiating away from the circle, translates to “wealth, prosperity”, and in some cases “mine location, mineral below”. The more pronounced the sun rays, the brighter the future or bigger the treasure.
When this sun is coupled with another circle inside the first circle and a dot inside the second circle, the meaning of the symbol changes somewhat. The smaller circle with the dot inside represents the “EYE OF GOD”. Meaning this treasure or mine is blessed or being watched by God for safe keeping. This could be an indicator as to who owns the treasure such as, the Church, or it could mean beware, because it is protected and possibly booby-trapped.
There are some possible directional indicators usually associated with the sun symbol. One is the direction in which God’s eye is looking. The others might be hidden in the sun’s rays. Look for any rays which may be longer than the others which might be a possible directional pointer. Two rays in the shape of a U may be indicating a sighting mechanism looking down the ray rays themselves or a nearby object to line up on).
How far do you look? Count the rays of the sun. Generally they indicate how many varas the object or treasure might be. (A vara equals about 32 to 46 inches inches).
There is a sun symbol which matches the description above on the top of Black Top Mesa. It is located on the south end of the mesa closest to Weaver’s Needle. It is accompanied with several other signs. One sign is a two humped check mark. Each mark is worth 50 varas so it is indicating something 100 varas away. The only trouble is it points to a very steep cliff.
Next to the sunburst, another symbol is found. It is the word ORO--Spanish for gold.
Over the edge of the ridge on the east side of the mesa and next to the sunburst is a locator map. It depicts two caves and a mine somewhere to the north as pointed out by the Spanish dagger symbol carved on the map. Taking all this into consideration, there is a good indicator that something is in the very steep cliff. This deserved further investigation.
In the next article, the investigation continues…