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Archaeologica.org • View topic - Problematic Discoveries

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.

Moderators: Minimalist, MichelleH

Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Minimalist » Wed May 03, 2017 12:55 pm

Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Thu May 04, 2017 10:55 am

Minimalist,

Thanks for coming up with and posting the link about HE. I found the production quite interesting and thought provoking. Perhaps, as seems apparent in the old world, HE got to the Americas and evolved here as well. That HE may have existed until 50,000 YBP brings much overlapping complication with Neandertals, Dennisovians, modern humans, and perhaps others that will be a real puzzle to solve. Associating hominid types to purported ancient new world sites via new technological techniques could break things wide open. Circumspice's question about whether soil retrieved DNA from open sites can be found as well as from protected (cave) sites is very appropriate to making these site/occupant connections.
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Tiompan » Thu May 04, 2017 11:21 am

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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Cognito » Thu May 04, 2017 11:25 am

Natural selection favors the paranoid
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby circumspice » Thu May 04, 2017 1:06 pm

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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Fri May 05, 2017 7:32 am

Tiompan,

Maybe evidence should be sought rather than "waiting" for it to appear, but I see your point. Endless speculation does not produce evidence, but maybe speculation can help to form a strategy for finding HE in America.


Hello Cognito,

Often this subject reminds me of the clovis/pre clovis conflict in that maybe we should simply dig deeper at well chosen sites.


Circumspice,

HE's remains will not be easy to find. Identifying Pleistocene soils exposed at today's surface and cross referenced with previous material finds nearby might be a starting point. With no concept of HE's care for the dead (if any), fossil remains discovery may be chance. Maybe the geomophologist can be consulted to help organize search priorities.

On the mountain site in Virginia I wonder why I am finding tools and art on the surface. The area was never glaciated but was more of a permafrost situation. When the climate warmed after the ice age the mountain slopes sloughed off, potentially deeply burying remains of what people had been there. Whether the overburden was eroded away or the artifacts were exposed from other geologic forces is a mystery that could possibly be figured out by a geomorphologist.

As to my "sites" being bona fide, they do not have state designated numbers. Jack, however, has confidence the mountain site is a reality. Other than a cave/quarry site nearby, Jack has not seen the other sites. It should also be noted that he has not dated finds from the mountain site but has designated many artifacts from there as "provable Pleistocene."
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Tiompan » Fri May 05, 2017 8:27 am

[quote="Springhead"]

Maybe evidence should be sought rather than "waiting" for it to appear, but I see your point. Endless speculation does not produce evidence, but maybe speculation can help to form a strategy for finding HE in America.

Springhead , not really my point . Evidence was found for HE elsewhere by exactly the same means as efforts in the US .The difference is that HE has never been found in the US .
There might be a very good obvious reason for this that has nothing to do with seeking , waiting or speculating .

"HE's remains will not be easy to find. "

Same applies anywhere , but if they were never there in the first place you'll have a long wait .

" fossil remains discovery may be chance. "
There were found elsewhere by people who knew what they were doing .See Davidson Black , Eugene Dubois .The finds were not by chance .


" Jack, however, has confidence the mountain site is a reality. "
That's what he believes about Spout Run . But still no mention about what he has to say about the " art " .
Again ., If he believes that there are any motifs on the same stuff that you claim you can see in the images you post here, then he is deluded as you are .
If he thinks that these non-existent images are also prehistoric then he doubly deluded .
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby circumspice » Fri May 05, 2017 9:32 am

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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby shawomet » Sat May 06, 2017 4:50 am

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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby shawomet » Sat May 06, 2017 5:36 am

This particular section of the information center of this website contains relevant material describing the many ways in which inexperienced eyes can mistake what is geological for what is artifactual. The mistake of confusing what is geological, a geofact, with what is artifactual, an artifact, has occurred repeatedly in this thread. The OP of this thread is in serious need of education in distinguishing geofacts from artifacts. There simply is no easy detour around this conclusion. The OP here has repeatedly made this fundamental mistake, no doubt born of actually having what would appear to be zero experience in distinguishing natural and man made. Again, the section of this site's information center deals with the various ways and rocks that give rise to this confusion, the very reason one of my colleagues created that section of that info center. Because this is very common. The fact that this confusion is actually endemic to the OP's observations and offered examples, has been demonstrated again and again in this thread. Until one learns, it's often a fool's game to pose as a teacher. Garbage in, garbage out can apply, and, in this thread, it has applied. That is not intended as an insult, but to simply point out to those partaking in this conversation that that is where the OP has gone off the rails with his mistaken and woefully inexperienced observations. He has put the cart(stated conclusions) before the horse(the learning and experience needed to identify true artifacts). Hence, throughout this thread, we have seen ordinary rocks displaying absolutely no evidence they were ever worked by human beings. And, no surprise given that lack of experience, we have repeatedly seen rocks that would never have been selected as toolstones in the first place.

http://forums.arrowheads.com/forum/info ... facts-gc99
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby shawomet » Sat May 06, 2017 7:30 am

I would like to make some general observations regarding the recognition of rocks that have been altered by humans and are artifacts, or rocks simply showing usage wear indicative of human activity(such as hammerstones not shaped, but showing battering usage), and are also artifacts.

I have not reviewed this entire thread, prior to these comments, and those comments I've posted above. And I don't wish to come across as the sole authority on artifacts and geofacts, or rock art, and natural marks/fissures, etc seen on many rocks.

But, I'll go out on a limb and observe that it is quite possible many of the other posters here also are at a disadvantage judging man made from natural, be it artifacts, or be it rock art. And this disadvantage may be born from inexperience, just as I believe that is clearly the case where the OP is concerned. My apologies to those posters to whom such a generalization does not apply. I have not re-read the entire thread.

With that said, I have some 60 years experience hunting for, and analyzing artifacts fashioned from rock in the eastern United States, mostly in the Northeast. I do not regard myself as an authority in petroglyphs/rock art, but there I do have some 40 years experience, and some of my work is published in books dealing with rock art in the Northeast Woodlands.

A certain advantage is gained when one has the level of experience I do have. And a disadvantage also develops, having to do with the ability, or lack thereof, of actually educating someone with little or no experience, and trying to do so in an Internet forum venue, as opposed to in person, when the rocks in question can be passed back and forth, and discussed in person. So, here is that advantage, which is also a disadvantage. When I see a rock that I know has not been altered by human hands, (and my experience is such that, in hand, I can usually detect even the most subtle evidence that a rock has been altered by humans, either by work, usage wear, or both), I do not need, I no longer need to, go through a series of logical deductions in my mind to reach a conclusion. And that is because my experience has made both the knowledge and the recognition second nature. When knowledge, born of study and experience, has arrived at the state where it is now second nature, not only does one not have to spend that much time examining the rock, the recognition of man altered or natural is close to instantaneous, but it also becomes extraordinarily difficult to actually explain how that recognition is determined. Things have become second nature as a result of decades of experience. Explaining one's deductions to the inexperienced just becomes more difficult as a result. This is why, while it is very easy for me to see, that the rock I commented upon above, was never shaped by human hands, it is far from easy for me to explain how I am able to come to that conclusion, to do so with ease. It's unfortunate, which an in hand and in person discussion can likely only partially rectify. In this venue, it's only that much more difficult.

I have trained my eyes, when hunting for artifacts, to such a degree, that I often find crude artifacts, notched net weights would be a good example, that others, with experience even, might actually walk by without noticing them, simply because they may not recognize very subtle alteration.

All this is to say, for someone like myself, even with decades of experience and a highly developed eye for recognizing both artifacts and man produced "art" on rock, it can be very, very difficult to convey the reasoning involved, and which lies behind, the almost instant recognition and distinction between natural and man made.

I suffer no illusions here that my analysis of the rock I commented on in my most recent observations, will ever alter the belief the OP has in that rock. Part of the reason is because my recognition of this, and the other examples offered in this thread, is at the level of second nature. But part of the reason I will not alter the OP's opinion is because he has complete faith in his conclusions, and that very faith ensures that he will remain closed minded to the possibility, which is a certainty from my point of view, that he is complexly mistaken here. And I suspect other posters here may not have the level of experience I have that permits me to dismiss these rocks as just that, rocks, and not artifacts. My apologies to those who may indeed have the education and experience to recognize that the rocks posted are not artifacts, and the rock art posted, are not man made rock art at all. This appears to be a case where an individual has created a narrative based on false assumptions that at some point became articles of faith that reason and experience will simply never budge. To some degree, we may as well be talking to ourselves here. The OP's faith will not allow an open mind to develop, nor will it allow the OP to realize the errors he is making.

I've run into situations like this many times over the years, and often on forums dealing with artifacts and/or rock art in the Americas.

Here is a site in Virginia where a jasper flake was able to be dated to the Paleo Era, and which was investigated by Jack Hranicky. It needs to be pointed out that the above ground features reman controversial to many other archaeologists. And it absolutely needs to be pointed out, that the animal effigies mentioned in one of the links below, are highly dubious as to actually being effigies created by humans, as opposed to natural shapes interpreted as effigies. Which is not to say natural landscape features looking like things cannot, or were not, incorporated into sacred landscapes. But, it is to say, that inexperienced eyes often make leaps regarding concluding an effigy is man made, when it is not man made at all....

http://www.roanoke.com/news/virginia/co ... b2370.html

http://www.clarkedailynews.com/new-equi ... tice-site/

http://www.clarkedailynews.com/archaeol ... ke-county/
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby circumspice » Sat May 06, 2017 10:55 am

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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Tue May 30, 2017 6:50 pm

[img][/img]

Thank you one and all for your constructive criticisms. Above is nice portrait of a couple sitting in close quarters to one another. Included are many other characters, human and animal, which are interwoven and define one another's form or supply highlighting to other subjects among many compositional manipulations. Clarity is mas o menos as one would expect of a small scale image of suspected great age which may combine opportunistic use of existing mineral presence combined with painting and perhaps other artistic techniques. The difficulty in recording crisp detail could possibly be overcome with high tech cutting edge approaches with very high pixel counts.

I really appreciate your links and discussion, Shawomet, and I enjoyed cruising through both. My lack of appropriate education relative to subjects at hand other than art are both a curse and a blessing. Thankfully, I have been lucky to get around and do have some knowledge of architecture and ancient ruined sites, but I was not overly exposed to artifacts and their analysis. My geological perspectives are relatively recently gained. With these factors in mind, the only pupil I have is myself, as I would not presume to have the expertise to "teach" subjects I may only be mildly familiar with. I have, however, scored an acceptable grade in common sense, so when I came upon and began to understand aspects of the mountain site and its structure, I began to piece together what I was learning.

The farm is at the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia. Basically, there is the mountaintop, the 55 degree slope headwall, the shelf below the headwall, and steep grounds below the shelf leading to the creek below which drains the greater area. The face of the headwall is convoluted with springs in each hollow, gathering to branches on the shelf, and draining below into the creek. All is now heavily forested, but in the Pleistocene was apparently grasses moss, and some trees nearer to the various water courses such as birch and spruce. At the ends of the mountain are two passes which makes the location highly strategic. The soils are sandy loam over clay. The shelf area has about twice the frost free days as the foot of the mountain (as cold air falls downhill) and has several terrace complexes and terraced spring beds utilized to disseminate water to those terraces, not unlike Mayan upland terrace sites.

Geologically, the farm is complex. There are four rock formations that converge on a transverse fault running with the fall line of the headwall with about a hundred yards of visible offset. Perpendicular to this fault is a thrust fault at the base of the headwall, and the two intersect on the shelf area. The four rock formations are the Pedlar formation (basement rock), Unicoi formation, Swift Run, and Catoctin. The Catoctin and Swift Run are the metamorphosized remains of a 550-570 million year old lava flow of basalts (now greenstone) and their wake in sixteen layers with sediments twixt each. The northwestward thrust then pushed the formations 90 degrees to a vertical position where they may be seen poking out of the terrain blow the shelf. The lava flows apparently dammed the bottom of the headwall creating the shelf area that attracted human occupation, and is perpendicular to the fall line.

With the strategic location of the mountain and its rich soils and water resources with year round springs, it is no wonder humans were attracted to the area. Also, when seen from the direction of the Shenandoah Valley (three miles NW) the mountain looks like a giant claw or hand with the convoluted headwall and shelf forms. The lithic resources on the site are impressive. Quartzite, corundum, greenstone, unakite, quartz, feldspars, agates, jasper, goethite, hematite, amethyst, olivine, garnets, etc,etc are to be found and were certainly appreciated by occupants.

Artifacts are found on the surface and in springs and spring branches. I have not done any excavations. No Holocene artifacts have been found, only suspected and confirmed Pleistocene pieces. All purported artifacts have art components, and on the shelf area are numerous boulders demonstrating art up to ten tons in size. Connected with the terrace complexes are ruins of rectangular stone edifices.

So though I am no Phd in anything, it appears to me that there is a site of significance on the mountain. I have barely scratched the surface of what is there. My uneducated speculation as to who was there, perhaps in succession, are Homo Erectus, Neandertal, Denisovan, or hybrids. Many artifact finds there compare to European and other old world accepted pieces. I do not expect anyone to buy all this wholesale, but I personally have seen enough to propel me to keep trying to figure things out and keep searching.
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby circumspice » Wed May 31, 2017 6:51 am

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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:24 am

Hello Cicumspice,

Thanks for your comments. With regard to HE in Virginia, the presence idea is speculative. The more advanced aspects of the mountain site and accompanying artifacts could be the result of succession from possible initial HE settlement or discovery. The human portraiture art on the artifacts appears to be more Neandertal related with all the red hair demonstrated, but people in the succession could have been hybrids. I doubt these folks were forest dwellers as the Pleistocene environment at that location was typified more by grass lands with occasional spruce and birch trees near water.

I am not what may be termed competent in anthropology having only taken a few college courses long ago. My statement about the lack of Holocene artifacts on the mountain site is the opinion of Jack Hranicky who observed many hundreds of artifacts I had found. Jack is working on a new book entitled "PaleoAmerican Archaeology in Virginia." In this book he will be making a case for direct contact between Europe and Virginia in the late Pleistocene. Jack has an artifact from one of his Virginia sites that has a direct legacy with three European artifacts. "We are calling these Transverse Recloirs." The Virginia artifact is a surface find but all four have similar morphology; "

"1. remaining cortex, 2. striking platform, 3. size, 4. pointed workends."

"Of course we will receive a lot of criticism, but we have physical proof. This tool is found all over Europe and North Africa. We have it in Virginia. Additionally, I have recorded well over 50 Virginia artifacts that have old world counterparts.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,We still have our two 40K carbon 14 dates at Arkfeld {Virginia site} which may start making sense now."

With reference to my photographic skills, the image last posted was obviously out of focus as may be encountered in attempting to capture such small subject matter, but I thought it would be of interest in its impressionist qualities, colors, and overall composition which, when viewed carefully, reveal a seated couple oriented to the left.

What's next? I will be reviewing artifacts to look for transverse recloirs. Later comes a cave search with Jack and warm season spring branch investigations for artifacts. As to "delusional fantasies," perhaps there is nomenclature available to clarify the tired and repeated use of the statement to describe ideas and speculation that are academically or otherwise off target.
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