Archive for June 23, 2014

Caves And The Winter Solstice

Dear Editor,

I am Hezekiah Hensley and I have decided to write an article about a natural winter solstice alignment site I discovered.  It is a small cave located in the Red Bird River Valley in Eastern Clay County that aligns to the winter solstice.  I was at this cave back in the 1990’s with a small group of people and we witnessed the sun flood this cave from wall to wall and floor to ceiling on December 21st, the time of the winter solstice. This was at sunrise.  At this time I didn’t see a particular alignment.  I went back to the cave another year alone on December 22nd to further investigate the site.  I asked an archeologist named Robert Pyle of Morgantown, West Virginia if a day’s difference would change the alignment to the winter solstice and he said one or two day’s on either side of December 21st wouldn’t make any appreciable difference in the alignment.  When I was there on December 22nd I saw the exact alignment occur about nine or ten feet back in the cave.  It lined up with part of the cave wall that protrudes out from the wall and floor of the cave.  This part of the cave looks like a rounded boulder imbedded in the cave.  At sunrise on the winter solstice the sun’s rays shine into the cave and shine onto just the right edge of the rounded part of the cave wall creating the alignment.

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Exploring America’s Earliest Rock Art

 

 

Exploring America’s Earliest RockArt 

by

JackSteinbringUniversity of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Ripon College

 

The recent discovery that the Winnemucca Petroglyph Site (Fig. 1)

Fig 1

 

fig.1

fig.1

in Nevada may date to as early as 14,800 years ago has prompted a review of other instances of early rock art in North America. The Winnemucca Site contains deeply eroded petroglyphs including panels of what appear to be randomly produced cupules.

Cupules, in general, have been assigned an early context throughout the world, including North America where Parkman (2007: 1) has viewed them in early contexts, as well as reminding us that cupules have been produced in modem times in California where they are part of fertility rituals. Thus, it becomes critical that physical evidences of antiquity be established.

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Early New World Maps

 Early New World Maps

by

Dr. Gunnar Thompson

 

Early Maps of the New World

The persistent academic argument concerning early voyages to the New World ends with an examination of the cartographic evidence. Maps that have been preserved in the collections of such distinguished archives as the Louvre (in Paris), the British Museum, and the Library of Congress are sufficient to prove that ancient seafarers as far back as the Roman Empire engaged in regular voyages to Ancient America.

The beauty of the ancient maps is that they contain precise details called “Diagnostic Geographical Markers.” These “markers” serve the same function as fingerprints found at a crime scene. These cartographical fingerprints contain unmistakable coastlines, geographical positions on the globe, references of longitude and latitude, proximities to identifiable mainland or islands, place names of cities or territorial titles (also called toponyms), and often text that identifies key features of topography, climate, vegetation, or native species of animals. Historical perspectives provided by the sequence of maps from a particular region are often sufficient to delineate sequential modifications of coastlines as subsequent explorers gradually improved the cartographical knowledge of a particular area.

The importance of examining the cartographical evidence is the realization that all the world’s maritime adventurers and merchants were actively engaged in exploring the world and taking advantage of valuable commodities from the earliest times that ships were capable of ocean sailing. Archaic academic notions that the New World was somehow isolated from Old World contact until after Columbus sailed across the Atlantic in an effort to reach China in the 15th century are based on a Eurocentric religious doctrine that was inherited from the Middle Ages. Most historians got their training at Medieval Church universities; and it was the belief of learned elders in these institutions that the sole purpose for having a Chronicle of the Ages (that is, “history”) was to document the spread of the “One True Religion” around the globe. Modern scholars would do well to abandon this myopic mental baggage, because the survival and prosperity of our species depends upon making an accurate appraisal of where we have come from in the past and where we need to be heading in the future. All the world’s peoples (and all religions) played a role in the past; and together we must build the pathway into the future. Read more

Saving Artifacts from Confirmation Bias

 

Saving Artifacts from Confirmation Bias

Kelly H. Gross

 

When I started as a consultant to manage the development of a project called The Hidden Codex, I expected that the science and antiquities community would be excited over the prospect of discovering a new genuine cultural artifact. Boy was I wrong. The experts had something else entirely in store for me.

I had just begun to experience what I have now come to know as confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is the tendency to notice only that which confirms one’s beliefs and to discount contradictory information.

Our artifact, called a codex, had been lying around on museum shelves, largely forgotten until the early eighties when carbon date testing became widely available. The owners, a group of investors in Ohio, submitted some cloth samples for analysis with surprising results. These tests showed that the codex was over 300 years old, created between 1660 and 1710 in Mexico.

codex folio 2

 

 

 

 

 

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