Archive for April 30, 2014

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Ancient Fortresses of the Ohio Valley Part 3: Grave Creek Complex; Smoke and Mirrors


In the first installment of this series (AA, Vol 17, Issue 101), I described two ancient fortresses, Merom Bluff and Devil’s Backbone, both in Indiana. In the second installment (Vol 17, Issue 102), I outlined the line of sight communications network that seems to have existed between those two sites and showed specific placements of the towers and hills used. In this installment, we examine the bigger picture, from the headwaters of the Ohio to the Mississippi, but we are not traveling on the rivers, this trip is overland, primarily.

No examination of the fortresses of the Ohio Valley and the network they comprised would be complete without inclusion of the Grave Creek Mound Complex, as it once existed on both sides of the Ohio River near present day Moundsville, West Virginia.

Grave Creek Mound itself is a 66 foot tall conical mound that overlooks a portion of the Ohio River and both the Little Grave Creek and Big Grave Creek drainage basins. It was described as 75 feet tall at the beginning of the 19th century. In addition to the large mound, there were at least fifteen other earthen or earth and stone structures that were part of the greater complex. These were mapped by H. R. Schoolcraft in 1843. According to Schoolcraft, all appear to have been used as signaling places. Although nearly all the “ancillary” earthworks are destroyed or obscured by modern development, the terrain where they were built is easy to recognize from Schoolcraft’s work. They were on both sides of the Ohio and up to several miles north of the big mound on the upland, a couple of them out of sight of the river. The two northernmost of Schoolcraft’s map form a line that runs west southwest to east north east and seem oddly placed in the limited context of the Grave Creek Complex. The tower that was both on the Ohio side of the river and on this line had an earthen and stone , and possibly palisade defensive works around it, as did another tower on the Ohio side on the bluff west of the town where the river bends westward.


In 1838, an archaeological excavation of Grave Creek Mound, led by Jesse and Abelard Tomlinson, uncovered the ruins of two large vaults, one situated directly below the other. The vaults contained several human skeletons and a considerable amount of jewelery and other artifacts. According to Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, who visited the site in 1843, the Grave Creek Stone was discovered in the upper vault, along with seventeen hundred beads, five hundred sea shells, five copper bracelets, and one hundred and fifty plates of mica. The Grave Creek Tablet was “a small flat stone, of an ovate shape, containing an inscription in unknown characters”. Read more

Kennewick Man Back in the News


Kennewick Man Back in the News

In a letter dated August 23, 2011, the United States Department of the Army, Corps of Engineers granted access to a bone fragment of the skeletal remains of the “Kennewick Man”, also known as “The Ancient One”. The bone fragment was to be used in a destructive test attempt to recover sufficient DNA for determination of Kennewick Man’s ancestry, his genome.

This set of remains has been the subject of controversy since very shortly after its discovery and was the pivot in a now famous (or infamous) court case that pitted regional tribes and the US government against a handful of scientists. The scientists wanted to study the bones and the other litigants wanted to bury them without delay in an undisclosed location. The case even resulted in an amendment to the Native Americans Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, mostly because the judge ruled in favor of the scientists.

Read more

Missing: Prehistoric Michigan’s Half-Billion Pounds of Copper


Missing: Prehistoric Michigan’s Half-Billion Pounds of Copper

By David Hoffman
AA #35 pp.18-21


Approximately 9,000 years ago, the Great Lakes achieved their current definition. Water levels would have been high near the time of the final glacier melt enabling human travel along ancient trade routes. Soil conditions indicate that at one time the Wisconsin River was several miles wide in the center part of the state, and the escarpment of Door County as an ancient shoreline proves examples of this.

Across Green Bay, seven thousand years ago, near present-day Oconto, Wisconsin, people lived and comprised a period in prehistory archaeologists call “The Old Copper Culture”. Artifacts from this ancient civilization contribute to understanding the truly wide-ranging influences of early man. Found at the Oconto site were freshwater clam shells indicative of the Mississippi River and a shell representative of the southern Atlantic coastline.

Yet, it is copper for which this culture is known. It’s people may have been the earliest metalsmiths in the world working with the first malleable mineral known to mankind. They fashioned arrowheads and bracelets and other tools and ornaments But copper, like shells, was not native to either Green Bay or Lake Michigan. The only area along the major waterways of North America where copper is found is the Lake Superior region, some of the oldest land on earth. Read more

Midwestern Epigraphic Society and Ancient America

Midwestern Epigraphic Society and Ancient America

A small amateur organization rides the wave of discoveries that Columbus was the last to come to America

by James Leslie

By the early 1980s Barry Fell had published his first three books, America BC, Saga America and Bronze Age America showing evidence that Europeans had visited American years before Christopher Columbus’ contact.  Fell was now at his height of popularity with the American people. The time was right; people were ready to question the accepted dogma that Europeans did not come to America before Columbus. Read more

Cast in Bronze


Re-Posted From Oopa Loopa Cafe, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 08, 2006

Rick Osmon

Cast in Bronze

I’ve been reading (trying to read between income-based interruptions) my autographed copy — thank you, Fred — of Fred Rydholm’s Michigan Copper, The Untold Story, A History of Discovery.
Fred makes the case that some ancient people mined many millions of tons of copper from Upper Michigan and from Isle Royale. Note that I didn’t say he poses the argument. No, Fred makes the case, quite definitively, I think. Most archeologists and historians completely discount or ignore the notion that there “was more copper used just to build the Great Pyramid than could be found in all the old world”. But just how many copper chisels were turned to dust shaping over two million granite blocks? My guess is about two million.As with anything, it boils down to: who, when, where, why  Read more

Ancient Pennsylvania Oil Mines, Pre-Columbian Oil

Ancient Pennsylvania Oil Mines, Pre-Columbian Oil


Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in Ancient American magazine Issue 97, pp12-16, used with permission.

By Thomas Anderton

The following article is based on the probability that Minoans from Crete were on the Upper Peninsula in Michigan mining float copper from 2450 B.C. to around 1200 B.C., removing between 500,000,000 and 1,500,000,000 pounds of copper and shipping it to their home island of Crete, fueling the Bronze Age in Europe and the Mediterranean. If you have any doubts that they were here, please go to ANCIENT AMERICAN MAGAZINE’s web site at and watch two excellent video presentations. One is by Jay Wakefield and the other is by Roger Jewell. When the site comes up, scroll down, click on the video boxes and enjoy their wonderful presentations. If you enjoy them and do not [already] subscribe to this magazine, I highly recommend that you do so now. These are exciting times for those of us who believe that Columbus was LAST in discovering America. Conventional archeology has been ignoring, attacking, hiding and destroying the evidence that he was last for the past 120 years. Since Barry Fell wrote his landmark book “America B.C.” In 1976, people all over America and the world have been gathering evidence that America was “discovered” and visited many times during the past 20,000 years. The following article presents one small piece of that evidence. Read more

Ancient Asiatic Writing in North America


By, Dr John Ruskamp

For centuries, researchers have been debating if, in pre-Columbian times, meaningful exchanges between the indigenous peoples of Asia and the Americas ever occurred. Periodically, over the past 250 years knowledgeable sinologists and oceanographers have written positively on this topic, yet, so far, no conclusive proof has been put forth establishing such trans-Pacific contact as a historical event.

Now in a published research manuscript Dr. John Ruskamp provides previously unrecognized and compelling new epigraphic evidence, in the form of ancient North American Chinese rock writings that he has identified interspersed among otherwise Native American petroglyphs and pictographs, establishing that in pre-Columbian times literate Asians did indeed traverse the Pacific Ocean to North America, shortly after 1150 BC. Read more