The Kawatche Caves are a series of underground caverns that have historical connections to Jor-El and the planet Krypton.

Physical Appearance

The caves contain a vast amount of ancient paintings done by the Kawatche First Nation that depict the hero Naman and his enemy Sageeth, along with a dark haired woman that Naman is fated to be with.

It also has an On octagonal shaped depression in the cave depression in the cave wall the exact size and shape of the key.

The caves also contain a stone altar which teleports those with a Kryptonian key to the Fortress of Solitude, and once contained a memory pendant and a Kryptonian starblade called Palak. For a time, the caves also hosted Jor-El's artificial intelligence. The Kawatche Caves are located in an area near Miller's Bend, in Smallville, Kansas.

Early History

Smallville306 658

Young Jor-El and Hiram Kent in the Kawatche Caves in 1961

Five hundred years ago, the Kawatche were visited by a Kryptonian. This visitor made an impression on the Kawatche and became a major part of their tribal heritage. The Kawatche painted glyphs on the cave walls to commemorate their encounter with the man from the stars. This being was depicted of a story about a strange visitor from another planet, as well as prophesies of the visitor who the Kawatche dubbed "Naman" and his sworn enemy Sageeth, who was once like a brother to Naman.

Somewhere along the way, the Kawatche Caves came to contain an intricate high-tech storage system containing Kryptonian knowledge.

Season Two

In 2002, while motorcrossing with Pete Ross, Clark Kent's bike broke through apparently weak earth, and he tumbled hundreds of feet down into what turned out to be an unknown area of the Kawatche Caves. Kyla Willowbrook, who happened to be in the caves doing research for her grandfather Joseph Willowbrook, heard the commotion Clark caused and came over to tend to his injuries. After she realized he was unharmed, Kyla and Clark looked at the cave walls together. The walls were adorned with paintings and strange symbols that Clark recognized to be Kryptonian, although Clark was unaware of how to read the alien language at the time. [1]

However, shortly afterward, Clark learned that the area above the caves, Miller's Bend, had recently been purchased by LuthorCorp and was set to be excavated and turned into an office park. Clark petitioned Lex Luthor to override LuthorCorp with his fledgling company LexCorp to preserve the area. In light of the petition drive to save the cave led by Clark, Lana Lang and Henry Small, the state was depicted to exercise the Historic Artifacts Amendment and buy LuthorCorp out at 30 cents on the dollar. Lex secured the contract for the preservation for the entire area surrounding the caves. Once he secured jurisdiction over the caves, Lex commissioned Dr. Frederick Walden to study the cave paintings. Clark also continued to study the etchings because he was convinced that they held clues to his unknown heritage. [1]


The Key hole's core changes.

Later, Clark began to have dreams in which he placed the Key into the cave wall and decided to do so. By inserting the Key into the hole, Clark learned how to read Kryptonian symbols. Shortly afterward, his heritage was somewhat explained by Dr. Virgil Swann, and it was confirmed that the Kawatche Caves were an important part of Clark's Kryptonian heritage. After this discovery and with Lex's permission, Clark began to extensively study the cave paintings. [2]

However, Lionel Luthor successfully overtook Lex's company and, as a result, gained jurisdiction over the caves. He became convinced that the caves contained the secret to curing his terminal liver disease and prevented Clark from entering or studying it. Lionel also contacted Dr. Swann about finding the cure to his disease. Dr. Swann agreed to help him, but did not tell him what he knew about Clark. Through this interaction, Dr. Swann obtained the key.

Season Three

Jonathan grabs the Key disc and goes to the Kawatche caves to speak with Jor-El about getting his son back. Jor-El responds, and they make a covenant in which Jor-El will help him get Clark back but than Jonathan must return Clark to him when it is time for him to fulfill his calling. In the deal, Jor-El gives Jonathan all Kryptonian powers and abilities so he can stop Clark. [3]

After getting dispossessed by Jor-El and Clark getting released from the hold of Red kryptonite, they both go to the caves and look at the walls. [4]

Clark and Jonathan go to the caves and Clark unearths a Kryptonian memory pendant that is later revealed to contain recordings of instances that took place around his father Jor-El, or "Joe" as he was called, when he was on Earth. In one of his visions, Jor-El is seen placing the pendant into a slot in the caves. [5]

Lionel Luthor and some of his workers discover the cave, and he attempts to find a way to heal his liver cancer using the knowledge of the caves. He unearths a Kryptonian artifact called Palak, which gets taken by Jerimiah. The blade eventually disintegrates in the presence of Lionel and Lex. [6]

Season Four

Kal-El interfacing with the wall core

Kal-El interfaces with the activation wall.

While in prison, Lionel was cured of his disease after being exposed to the Crystal of Water, and he lost interest in the caves. [7]

Upon her return from Paris, Lana discovered that one of the cave paintings was identical to her mysterious tattoo and researched the caves in an attempt to find answers. After Clark gathered the three Stones of Power, he returned to the caves but Chloe and Lex also went to the caves but by the time they got there a flash of light appeared leaving Lex unconscious and Chloe sent to the Arctic with Clark.

Season Five

Clark took Lana to the caves to show her his true identity by inserting the key into the altar to transport them both to the Fortress of Solitude. [8]

Season Seven

In 2008, Jimmy Olsen became interested in the Kawatche Caves and began to study them. [9]

Season Eleven

Years later, after Clark becomes the superhero Superman, he confronts the vigilante Batman, who mentions that the drawings in the Kawatche Caves helped him discover that Superman comes from an extraterrestrial race. [10]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Skinwalker
  2. Rosetta
  3. Exile
  4. Phoenix
  5. Relic
  6. Talisman
  7. Transference
  8. Reckoning
  9. Quest
  10. Detective

See also

Kryptonian artifacts in Smallville
Major Stones of Power (Crystal of Fire, Crystal of Air, Crystal of Water) • Book of RaoOrb
Fortress Crystal of KnowledgeFortress of Solitude (console, dagger)
Ships Kal-El's shipBlack Ship (Black box) • Kara's ship
Kawatche Kawatche CavesMemory pendantAltarKeyPalak
Other Phantom Zone crystalBlack crystalBlue crystalCrystal of ElDax-Ur's shieldMirror box
Places in Smallville
Smallville Crater LakeHigh SchoolKawatche CavesKent Farm (barn, house, storm cellar) • Luthor MansionLuthorCorp Fertilizer Plant Number ThreeMedical CenterMiller's FieldTalon (apartment, basement)
Metropolis Ace of ClubsBelle ReveCadmus LabsC&L's apartmentDaily PlanetIsis FoundationGeneral HospitalLuthorCorp Plaza (Level 33.1) • Queen TowerSuicide SlumsSummerholt InstituteUniversityWatchtower
Other Black CreekCheckmate CastleD.E.O. headquartersEgyptFortress of SolitudeGotham City (Arkham Asylum, Batcave, Wayne Manor) • GranvilleS.T.A.R. LabsStar CityThemyscira
Planets AlmeracApokolipsEarthEarth-2Earth-MajesticKrypton (Kandor, New Krypton, Phantom Zone) • MarsOa
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