What is going on here?

What is going on here?


Originally published in Ancient American Magazine Issue #46


Last Spring, a subscriber called our attention to this remarkable photograph. Although the original print was obtained by Mr. Wayne May, no information was associated with its purchase. All we may deduce from this intriguing image is that it appears to document an actual site, apparently sufficiently well known to have been visited by tourists in the late 19th century. Although the ladies and their clothes obviously belong to Western Civilization, their location could be anywhere. They might even have been wealthy European or American tourists in Polynesia, for all we know.


In contrast to their prim attire, the sculpted relief behind them suggests an intimate relationship between a bare-breasted woman and a compliant snake. A separate carved image (below, right) depicts the offspring of their union. In Greek myth, Pelasgus was the son of a serpent. He led his followers, the Pelasgians, or “Sea Serpent People” into the Aegean, where he founded pre-Hellenic Civilization. Although the racial features of the female figure appear European, it is impossible to know is she represents the mother of Pelasgus. We appeal to our readers for any observations they care to share with us about this mysterious photograph.