Problematic Discoveries

The Western Hemisphere. General term for the Americas following their discovery by Europeans, thus setting them in contradistinction to the Old World of Africa, Europe, and Asia.

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Springhead
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Springhead » Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:17 am

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Above are two images. The lower image shows this pistol grip multi tool in its art aspect to show a turkey or vulture facing left. The top image shows another aspect of the multi tool that demonstrates different art subject matter, a robed and bearded man on his knees in a three quarter view facing right with his hands clasped in apparent prayer and looking upward. This piece was recovered from the bed of a spring branch in a fault gorge below a lava flow that has yielded several Pleistocene artifacts interpreted by Jack Hranicky as provable. This particular piece has not been analyzed by Jack, but I believe it also bears an important relationship to the analyzed artifacts. Another find on the mountain has similar subject matter. This is a plaque showing a praying bearded man on his knees facing left and looking up to an apparently worshipped figure above the man on the right who is facing right and looking down at the kneeling man.

The apparent religious nature of the subject matter adds to the myriad of representations of the daily life and culture of these ancient inhabitants of the mountain. I have only scratched the surface of this site despite the fact that I have found thousands of potential artifacts. Skepticism over the authenticity of these objects abounds, yet I am becoming able to categorize a multitude of the aspects of the daily life of these folks as well as historic events and travels that were important to them. I look forward to field work that will commence in the next week when I fully expect to discover many more associated finds.

shawomet
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by shawomet » Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:17 pm

It's obvious that the last image posted is a natural rock. Which is the case with all the rocks posted to this thread, from what I can see. Jack Hranicky is very good with projectile point typology. And, as a proponent of the Solutrean Hypothesis, he has been buying up bipointed projectiles in recent years. Apparently hoping at least some are Pre Clovis. But if he is buying into interpreting the rocks seen in this thread as being human altered, I'm just very surprised.

The argument that Pleistocene art is somehow so different as to resemble 100% natural rocks could never wash with me. Once one understands how to recognize when a rock has been altered by human hands, there is no reason to believe any of the rocks shown in this thread are anything but natural.

Springhead, I have run into many, many people who are unable to distinguish natural rocks from artifacts. It's a very common occurrence on artifact forums, actually. Some folks are willing to learn, others refuse to budge from a belief that their ordinary rocks are man made artifacts, or rocks altered by man in some way. You're very mistaken in believing these rocks are artifacts, or that any of the images you are seeing in some of these rocks are actually rock art. They are not. Of course, I don't expect you to accept my conclusion at all. However, I can assure you none of these objects will ever be recognized as artifacts or rock art. That is never going to happen. They will never be taken seriously by the archaeological establishment, as there is absolutely no reason to take them seriously. And while the establishment has been wrong before, and supported paradigms that ultimately failed, in this case you seem to represent another example of someone unwilling or unable to recognize or accept how very mistaken they are in fact.

And, I'll be honest. Before you posted a single photo, from what you were describing prior to posting photos, I was 98% certain that when photos were posted, they would turn out to be ordinary rocks, unaltered by man at all. And that was because I have simply seen this inability to distinguish artifact from geofact many, many times, and everything about your initial posts told me this is what would turn out to be the case still again.

I would almost like to do a study of this phenomenon. Namely, the confusion of rock for artifact, and a better understanding of a belief system that refuses to recognize the fundamental errors. Almost always it seems to be a case of self taught understandings, combined with a complete unwillingness to accept, that eyes which are far more experienced then the believer himself, might actually know more, and be telling the believer the truth. It is an interesting phenomenon, and I would be most interested in any psychological underpinnings to it. By which I mean why some folks refuse to believe the truth. 100,000 individuals, each with decades of experience handling rocks shaped or altered by man, could tell such an individual the truth, and it would not make one iota of difference. The true believer would be unwavering in support of his own self taught revelations. I've seen it so many times, but am no closer to understanding why there is such refusal by such individuals to be educated on the subject at hand. It really baffles me.....

Springhead
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Springhead » Tue Apr 05, 2016 1:42 pm

Shawomet,

I honestly do appreciate your evaluation of the content of my thread. I do not pretend to be any papered professional in the field of archaeology, my educational background is art history. I have mentioned that Jack is working with me on this project, but he has not designated a provable Pleistocene label to the rock in question here. He has designated other rocks found in the same specific local as provable Pleistocene and human worked, and I am currently in possession of those artifacts. Jack's method of identification is the standard six to seven worked surfaces evidenced in the rocks, etc.

I had been collecting exotic and interesting minerals and crystals on my mountain farm for more than forty years. Then I found the presence of Jasper, a calling card for paleoindians. At the same time I discovered an enormous number of interesting, apparently human worked stones concentrated in a spring not far from its emergence from the ground. This location was related to and near a terrace complex, one of many on the mountain. I decided that the Jasper had afforded me an opportunity to gain interest from an archaeologist as I had read that there are only twenty known sources of jasper from Nova Scotia to North Carolina. I called Jack after I read about his recent work a hundred miles north of my place in the Blue Ridge.

Jack met me on site and examined about two hundred and fifty rocks that I had assembled. He chose around fifteen that he described as provable Pleistocene artifacts. He told me to keep track of the other rocks as they were possibly Pleistocene, but he was, at that time, interested in what could be proved to be authentic. All the tools identified had art components to them, and through those forms and subject matter I began to educate myself (as you mention) as to the nature of this assemblage. European Pleistocene artifacts with context were the examples that I used to compare to my own via the internet to try to get a handle on what I was finding. The similarities were striking, though many of the finds were without immediate comparative material until I found many similar forms and subject matters from the same local. Interestingly, and as I have mentioned before, no Holocene artifacts have been found on site in my forty plus years there.

To understand the presence of a previously unknown ice age culture and the accompanying assemblage of tools and art in North America, there was no book to read at the time, so self teaching had to be name of the game. The real surprises I have encountered have not yet been chronicled nor was there good imagery produced due to the age and diminutive
size of much of the carving. The painting I have seen is quite impressive, but funds are not available for all those fancy devices folks are using evaluate cliff paintings and the like.

So I did not seek out the controversy and skepticism my thread has seen, but until I am convinced I am up the wrong tree, I will try to qualify and quantify these discoveries. Now I am working to identify large scale rocks and boulders that have been modified by ancient hominids/humans. They are numerous and quite impressive and covered with art. In conjunction with the larger scale rock, I will be turning much attention to the terrace complexes, terraced springs with irrigation features, numerous cairns, and building foundations and ruins.

I respect your stance, one that I may well have had with our situations reversed, and I bear no malice to the idea that I might be good material for psychological analysis to discover some syndrome I may be a victim of. As you are certainly a thoughtful individual, I take solace in the fact that you are baffled by my histrionics. I do hope we can discuss this matter further, though I, as you, may not change my mind. Thank you for the discussion!

Addenda: Jack and I will be investigating two limestone cave sites with art this spring. I have been in both already. They are situated at the western edge of the Blue Ridge and eastern edge of the Shenandoah Valley on water courses not far from my farm.

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Ernie L
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Location: New Hampshire, USA

Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Ernie L » Tue Apr 05, 2016 2:35 pm

When I first looked at the pictures of the artifacts I seriously thought springhead was just trolling the forum. Shawomets last post convinced me that the OP could be sincere...mistaken but sincere.
Regards Ernie

Springhead
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Springhead » Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:31 pm

Ernie L,

Thanks for your comment. I'll take mistaken but sincere, as I certainly have better things to do than perform egoistic horn locks with strangers. The mistaken I can work on to change, the sincere..... I can only hope for that.

Tiompan
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Tiompan » Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:18 am

Springhead ,there is an important distinction between imagining or interpreting something being present that others with similar perceptual abilities as yourself do not accept as being present , and knowing something is present but is momentarily hidden due to environmental or problems with the perceptual abilities of the observer which can be enhanced with technology , e.g. microspcopes , telescopes in the case of visual problems .
For a recent example of the latter see, http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/sit ... braco.html This is a common problem when discovering previously undiscovered in rock , the markings are evident but on dull days difficult to photograph . I knew the markings were present I could see them and feel them ,al that was needed was a change in the environment i.e. better lighting conditions . In the case of your pics better lighting or technology will never highlight something that is not there, outwith your imagination.

Springhead
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Springhead » Thu Apr 07, 2016 9:21 am

Tiompan,

Thanks for your comments. I certainly understand and respect your evaluation of the role my imagination may be playing in the process of rock analysis. There is one key element in the criticisms I have received from you and others, that being the fact that all judgments concerning the authenticity of the interpretations have been based on viewing mediocre imagery in two dimensions. I take responsibility for this lack of clarity, perhaps not allowing the viewer to make a proper initial assessment. Key is that I am able to hold, feel, study at length, see in varying conditions, and study with lenses the carving and painting exemplified on these rocks. The nature of the techniques employed to create these pieces and the spiritual and cultural dynamics that have spurred the makers do not invite the traditional interpretations based on form and appearance that are currently employed by archaeologists versed in the status quo. This may be seen in the traditional more realistic effigies created by Native Americans versus the subtle and semi abstract nature of the effigies in the assemblage I am confronted with made by Pleistocene non Native Americans. There is not a logical strait line progression of artistic composition and execution chronologically from middle to later Pleistocene and Holocene artifacts as the manufacturing techniques are very different. This element combined with the extreme age of my discoveries and the resulting wear and tear over time obscuring clear flaking scars, may often lead the observer to discount the artifacts as geofacts.

Tiompan
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Tiompan » Thu Apr 07, 2016 10:05 am

[quote="Springhead"]Tiompan,

Thanks for your comments.

And thank you for your replies ,Springhead .

“There is one key element in the criticisms I have received from you and others, that being the fact that all judgments concerning the authenticity of the interpretations have been based on viewing mediocre imagery in two dimensions. “

if you can see what you have interpreted in these same images then the quality of the images is not the problem .

“The nature of the techniques employed to create these pieces and the spiritual and cultural dynamics that have spurred the makers do not invite the traditional interpretations based on form and appearance that are currently employed by archaeologists versed in the status quo. “
But you have no more idea of the spiritual and cultural dynamics of the period that you suggest the putative markings date from , than anyone else . The anthropogenic involvement has not been verified , and even if it were , it has not been not dated .

“This may be seen in the traditional more realistic effigies created by Native Americans versus the subtle and semi abstract nature of the effigies in the assemblage I am confronted with made by Pleistocene non Native Americans. “
Native Americans created abstract as well as representational markings . The earliest markings tend to be abstract ,not representational .Your interpretation have been mostly related to representations .
Why do you suggest that the putative artists were non Native Americans ?

Springhead
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Springhead » Thu Apr 07, 2016 1:52 pm

Tiompan,

As usual your points are well taken, and perhaps I can clarify my statements a little better.

If I have no other gift of discernment, I do have a rather keen eye. The images, beside being two dimensional, lack various vantage points and viewing conditions important in seeing the subject matter. With changes in angle, light conditions, surface moisture, and uprightness at different compass points, apparent single compositions morph into completely different ones. The ear of a sabre tooth tiger may serve as the nose of a person when the piece is rotated 90 or 180 degrees. The change in angle to the light as little as ten degrees may project a shadow that is its own composition, or may add to or change another. A wet stone might exhibit a totally different feature than a dry one. Amazing (to me) is that no matter how often I study a modified rock, another visit will invariably issue up another composition or exemplify different subject matter than previous study illuminated. These rocks are a study in nuance that no single image can capture.

As to the spiritual and cultural dynamics demonstrated in the stones, I do not claim previously learned knowledge, I am simply learning through investigation to define a reality that I am bearing witness to based on normal life experience. The very fact that folks doubt all this would lend to the idea that I am on a path that is unexplored, so how can anyone tell me what the nature of that path may be? I do not claim dates as these rocks have no datable horizon context. I strongly feel the assemblage represents middle and late Pleistocene times based on comparative dated artifacts from afar.

As to representational and abstract creations, much of the body of Native American artifacts show a surface refinement and crisp compositional features than the sophisticated assemblage I study lacks, not merely because of age and acidic degeneration, but in concept. The ancient modified rocks have apparently been chosen through preexisting characteristics that were then enhanced or colored to suggest the final product, portrait, or subject matter. Herein lies the often difficult task of recognition. I looked at these rocks for forty years before I could recognize their actual nature, and then it was through the suggestion of others concerning the art nature of Pleistocene artifacts.

By non Native Americans I mean that this assemblage's culture is not, I believe, descendant to present day Native Americans. In a more strict sense of words, the creators of this subject assemblage may be the lineage of the true native americans, of whom there may be none left, perhaps victims of the Younger Dryas event.........maybe burned alive or asphyxiated after fire robbed them of air. The portraiture I am seeing on these rocks, often painted, shows folks with red, blond, and brown hair with Homo Erectus, Neandertal, or perhaps hybrid features. This is not a huge surprise as the rest of the planet was explored by ancient hominids, so why not the Americas? There are sites such as Calico and Valsequillo, though controversial, that would suggest Homo Erectus has been in the Americas a long time. Did Neandertals emerge from this stock or did they arrive here independently, who knows? It may take a lot of time, but I think it will be born out that ancient hominids did inhabit the entire planet.

Tiompan
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Tiompan » Thu Apr 07, 2016 4:18 pm

Hello Springhead ,
youi said “The images, beside being two dimensional, lack various vantage points and viewing conditions important in seeing the subject matter. “
As I had said , if you can see what you have interpreted in these same images then the quality of the images is not the problem .

“As to the spiritual and cultural dynamics demonstrated in the stones, I do not claim previously learned knowledge. “
My point was that no knows the spiritual and cultural dynamics of the people from the period you believe that the markings on the stones date from .

“I do not claim dates as these rocks have no datable horizon context.
I strongly feel the assemblage represents middle and late Pleistocene times based on comparative dated artifacts from afar. “
Feelings are not a reliable method for dating . What are these artefacts from afar that are the basis for your feelings ?



“The ancient modified rocks have apparently been chosen through preexisting characteristics that were then enhanced or colored to suggest the final product, portrait, or subject matter. “
That is typical of rock art from all periods , the pre marked surface often informs the final markings . but it doesn't mean that your examples are rock art .


“Herein lies the often difficult task of recognition. I looked at these rocks for forty years before I could recognize their actual nature, and then it was through the suggestion of others concerning the art nature of Pleistocene artifacts. “
Again , what genuine Pleistocene artfacts are similar to your examples ?

“ By non Native Americans I mean that this assemblage's culture is not, I believe, descendant to present day Native Americans. “
Accepting that the marks and use of pigment do exist , which I don’t , and there is no way for you to date them , the most obvious explanation is that they may well non Native American i.e. European , Asian , African etc , dating from the any time post colonisation of the area .

“The portraiture I am seeing on these rocks, often painted, shows folks with red, blond, and brown hair with Homo Erectus, Neandertal, or perhaps hybrid features. “

If pigment has been used on the rocks it would not be difficult to prove .
No Neanderthals or Homo Erectus found in the Americas , why even consider these more outrageous suggestions when there are much simpler explanations ?

Springhead
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Springhead » Fri Apr 08, 2016 12:29 pm

Hi Tiompan,

These images have won me the label of fantast. Had folks had the advantage that I have of seeing them in person to evaluate the forms and subject matter, they too could be fantasts.

No one knowing the spiritual and cultural nature of this subject people affords them little room to summarily dismiss their existence or dynamics.

The tools with art I am finding have great similarity to European, Asian, and African Pleistocene era artifacts, i.e. hand axes with facial representations in profile or three quarter views.

Modification of pre existing rock forms and coloration may have moved down through the ages despite lack of direct lineage between various groups. Though the western idea of archaeology as a relatively young avocation is popular, I don't think the tools and art of very ancient times was a poorly understood subject in successive ages. As I have found these amazing stones scattered on the surface, so must have countless generations of folks before me. The composition of a human with an animal perched on the person's head is a motif quite aged.

Though there is skepticism over the Topper site's lowest horizon artifact yield, I have many stones quite like those whose images I have seen on the internet. The purported dates for the Topper lowest horizon artifacts is 50,000 ybp.

The post colonization era in the area of my mountain farm is fairly well understood after about 1730. The patina and cortex appearance on the subject rocks speaks thousands, not hundreds of years of aging. Granted, western Virginia cultural understandings from 1500 to 1700 are foggy at best except for 1600's realities of an intentional information blackout engineered by English eager to monopolize trade, to include slave trade of Native Americans.

Would that I had the resources to cover proper analysis of these rocks. Could this thread be a vehicle in that direction? I have a little saying ......complexity hunts us and simplicity is an achievement to strive for. Unfortunately the second part of this idea is difficult to apply to archaeological realities of the past 250,000 or many more years back. Often the path of least resistance is a comfort to many but does not gain us true understanding.

Outrageous is killing your grandmother or having your arms ripped off, but not the rejection of the idea that ancient hominids, though occupying most of the habitable parts of the planet, refused to enter two continents with abundant resources and an amenable climate they had ample access to. For many years the idea of ancient hominids in Great Britain was rejected by most folks despite walking access from the European mainland. Now we have million year old footprints. Why not the Americas?

Tiompan
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Tiompan » Fri Apr 08, 2016 3:20 pm

[quote="Springhead"]
“These images have won me the label of fantast. Had folks had the advantage that I have of seeing them in person to evaluate the forms and subject matter, they too could be fantasts.”

Springhead
If you you suggesting that you cannot see the “forms “ in the images that you have posted , then posting them is a waste of time and space and what is required is for you to take the rocks to a to a rock art expert for their opinion.
If you are suggesting thatyou can see the forms in the pics you have posted then it is obvious that it is a case of pareidolia

“No one knowing the spiritual and cultural nature of this subject people affords them little room to summarily dismiss their existence or dynamics. “

The reason for dismissing the artefacts is not related to our collective ignorance of the spiritual and cultural nature of the peoples who you seem to believe created the putative markings .The various reasons for their dismissal have been noted often enough . It was because of your comment “The nature of the techniques employed to create these pieces and the spiritual and cultural dynamics that have spurred the makers “ that I highlighted the mention of the dynamics , pointing out that you could not possibly be aware of the dynamics .


“The tools with art I am finding have great similarity to European, Asian, and African Pleistocene era artifacts, i.e. hand axes with facial representations in profile or three quarter views.”
Where did you see these European ,Asian and African facial representations ? If on the web , and provenanced , then please send the links and we can contrast and compare with your examples .

“Outrageous is killing your grandmother or having your arms ripped off, but not the rejection of the idea that ancient hominids, though occupying most of the habitable parts of the planet, refused to enter two continents with abundant resources and an amenable climate they had ample access to. For many years the idea of ancient hominids in Great Britain was rejected by most folks despite walking access from the European mainland. Now we have million year old footprints. Why not the Americas? “

There is no evidence for either Neanderthals or homo erectus in the Americas , to suggest that you have found evidence for either is outrageous ,to suggest that you have found examples of their art work even more extreme .
Why do consider such an option when there are far more parsimonious explanations ?

E.P. Grondine

Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by E.P. Grondine » Sat Apr 09, 2016 9:11 am

Sprindhead:

Let me make this absolutely clear to you:
http://archaeologica.boardbot.com/viewt ... f=9&t=3741

Before you comment on the First Peoples and impact events,
you need to read my book.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/ ... d&qid=&sr=

But of course you have no interest in impact studies.

Otherwise you would be familiar with:
http://cosmictusk.com/hurricane-or-tsun ... -hastings/

and:
http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/ccc/ce010702.html

Why you think that only Europeans had sailing ships beyond me.

You are completely unfamiliar with either Ocanachee, Yuchi, or Tuscarora ethnology or archaeology.

You have never visited the museum at Saltville to learn the basic cultural sequence for the area.

I simply do not have the time to deal with each individual's personal confusion,
as there are too many confused individuals out there.

If you think you have artifacts, take them to the nearest knap-in,
where experts will be available to evaluate them for you.

Springhead
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:50 am

Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Springhead » Sat Apr 09, 2016 11:42 am

Hello E.P.,

Thanks for writing. I do not pretend to know enough to accept or dismiss Richard Thornton's ideas about southeastern archaeology as I am a layman, however, I do find his material interesting and a good read. His bias may be strong with his ethnicity, but as with all ideas, a grain of salt is helpful.

I would love to read your book and have thought so for quite some time. I know your work would inform me a great deal.

I do have an interest in impact studies, but not at a heavy scientific level. I have read through the cosmictusk site many times in the past as George is a friend of a client of mine and did his first major project in marsh restoration down here where I live on the coast of NC.

As a matter of fact I read your survey with great interest the other day after following the trail to it, I believe, from one of your posts.

I have no idea why you think I think only Europeans had sailing vessels. I have subject matter on my possible artifacts that show imagery of sailing vessels of all scales to include very large. I am also aware that Peruvians sailed north from the west coast of South America, Mayans sailed all over the Carribean, Polynesians made it to central America, etc.

I do not know about Ocanachee, Yuchi, or Tuscarora ethnology or archaeology beyond the most rudimentary basic tidbits.

I do have a friend who had her DNA analyzed and found Ocanachee roots. She is a Monacan Indian well into her eighties who was born on the mountain where my farm and site is.

I have never visited Saltville as these days I might as well have my boots set in concrete.

I do not feel that you are personally responsible to rid me of confusion you see in my understandings of archaeology, technology, ethnicity, and impact studies. The curve is steep for me, and at my age I can't expect to ramp up on all fronts with the time/effort requirements. I do feel, however, that that should not exclude me from trying to make sense of problems I am beset with and witness to in this assemblage I have found.

I have a tool expert, Jack Hranichy, who has had personal experience with my finds and site, and who has confirmed the presence of "provable" Pleistocene artifacts amongst the many rocks from the mountain site.

I greatly appreciate your comments, and in my search for answers, if I irritate you in that process due to my layman's approach/knowledge level, then my humble apologies.

Springhead
Posts: 218
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 4:50 am

Re: Problematic Discoveries

Post by Springhead » Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:25 pm

Tiompan,

After losing my entire reply to your post I will try again.

The fantast statement was tongue in cheek. I was merely pointing out that anyone in agreement with my ideas about the subject assemblage would certainly gain the label of fantast.

Once again the blanket designation of pareidolia to qualify my interpretation of subject matter in the rocks smacks of a cop out in its over simplified manner of dismissal. If I did not see the forms and subject matter, why would I spend precious time claiming such, and how would I even know what to claim?

As to potential dynamics of a culture, I see suggestions of these based on subject matter. If family portraits are common, then one might assume the culture had a strong family unit ethic. Representations of ice age fauna might fix the dating in the ice age, and a battle scene might suggest a warlike culture or one subjugated by another to fight for them. Folks netting fish from a boat suggests maritime expertise, and a man praying to a deity speaks of spiritual significance.

It will take time to show comparative work to my finds with provenance, both with my production of clear images and any permissions necessary to use other folks material, but I will work on it.

The reason that Homo Erectus and Neandertal former existence in the Americas is not generally recognized is that no one has been looking for them, nor are archaeologists in North America trained to be able to look for them. Evidence with context has been found at Calico and Valsequillo, but the powers that be in archaeology slammed the door shut. Perhaps the life work and suppositions of those "in charge" of what is true or not were threatened. Maybe their funding sources would dry up along with their egos.

Thanks once again for your interest and observations Tiompan.

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