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Native American tradition combined with scientific decoding methods indicate that "rock art" is really a sophisticated form of writing.

La Van Martineau was uniquely prepared to take the first bold steps not only toward showing that the so-called Native American "rock art" was really rock writing, but also actually beginning to decipher their messages.Let us take a brief look at his unusual background, which did not include university degrees in the subject which he pioneered, nor any related fields.La Van Martineau, a Caucasian orphan born in 1932 in the Cedar City, Utah area, became a Paiute following the death of his parents when he was 10 years old.La Van had been good friends with many of the tribe since his early childhood when their village was located within the city limits.After he became an orphan with no relatives close by, a local Paiute man invited him in a matter-of-fact way, "Come, be my son." La Van readily accepted.

Over the course of a lifetime, La Van became thoroughly immersed in the culture and language of his adoptive people and eventually developed a sophisticated system for deciphering Native American petroglyphs.Contrary to the prevailing view in academia, La Van boldly argued that there was more — much more to the strange figures that embellish the rocks and cliffs of the country than the artistic scribbling of ignorant savages.The man who adopted him, Edrick Bushhead, was single and handicapped.He had suffered an accident that removed one arm at the shoulder.He barely survived through small jobs and lived in an 8 by 10 foot sheep wagon.Yet, he invited La Van to live with him according to the religious and cultural code of the Paiutes that all orphans be provided for.