Guide to Patagonia's Monsters & Mysterious beings

I have written a book on this intriguing subject which has just been published.
In this blog I will post excerpts and other interesting texts on this fascinating subject.

Austin Whittall

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cryptid on Phoenician - Tehuelche carving

A cryptid on a Tehuelche engraved stone with Phoenician symbols.
See Index on all my posts on Phoenicians in America.
stone engraved with a Patagonian cryptid
Stone with an engraving of a Patagonian cryptid (and some Phoenician characters).
Is it a guanaco (left), wolf (center) or horse (right)?
Copyright © 2011 by Austin Whittall

The strange "engraved stones" of Patagonia, which are unlike any other artistic expression of the Patagonian natives, besides having odd symbols that seem to be of Semitic (i.e. Phoenician or even Hebrew letters) origin, also depict animals. Some stones portray snakes (we will post on them separately, from a cryptozoological point of view) which I have already dealt with from a historical point of view (celtic or phoenician intertwined snakes)

The image shown above is form one of the stones from the Museo Salesiano at Rawson, Chubut, Argentina.

The stone, is a round boulder, which has several engravings. In its central part, a mammal, of unknown origin. Just above it, three symbols or letters. Above right an arrow head and below it, a geometric fringe or border with triangles.

This is not the usual native style, as already mentioned (Genuine Tehuelche inscribed stones), and all these "Phoenicians in Patagonia" posts aim at trying to validate if they are genuine, and if so, are they native or made by ancient Mediterranean mariners.

The Cryptid

The animal is shown sideways, only one fore leg and one back leg are depicted. It has a triangular shaped head with upright ears. Its legs are short in comparison to its body, and its tail is also short and bulky.

The local fauna, includes pumas (which as the engraving is definitively not a feline, we will discard), foxes (the animal seems dog-like), and guanacos.

I have included, just because the creature also has a horse-like air, an image of a Trapan (a rare Eurasian wild horse), officially there were no native horses in Patagonia until the arrival of the Europeans who brought horses with them to America, however I have posted elsewhere about the possible survival of prehistoric native American horses, so I decided to include one, just in case. (Also see: Patagonian donkeys)

I also included a wolf (nowadays there are no wolves in Patagona, and the maned wolf has long legs, so it is not the animal portrayed on the stone), because it may be a representation of an "Andean Wolf", another Patagonian cryptid.

In my opinion, the animal is some kind of canid. It may be an Andean Wolf, or even a variety of "warrah" (Falkland Islands / Malvinas fox-wolf).

The stone was apparently found in Chubut province, in the northern part of Patagonia. It is unusual for the Tehuelche to depict a dog. They usually painted guanaco or hunters, as well as pumas of feline looking animals. I have not seen any dog - wolf - fox in their rock paintings. So, this is indeed a very peculiar stone which differs from the standard native artistic expression.

Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia
2011 International Year of Forests
2011 International Year of Forests Copyright 2009-2011 by Austin Whittall © 


  1. Just my layman comment:
    To me it definitely looks like a camel-like (or even an ovine) animal.
    Of the 3 you depticed it bears most similarities to the guanaco:
    1. The short bushy tail are virtually identical
    2. The small, pointed ears
    3. The lack of paws, which would make perfectly sense if it were hoofes.
    4. The hinderlimbs don't look canine to me.
    5. The proportion of the elongated body to the small head

    But as mentioned above, the short neck probably indicates that it's not a guanaco - maybe a lama?

  2. Thank you for your comment. Yes, it looks quite like a guanaco, or, as you point out, an ovine animal.

  3. Revisited April 2012: The tail looks very "guanaco" but the neck is too short!
    I do believe that these engraved stones are forgeries and not the work of natives or, Phoenicians.
    Will keep on investigating.


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