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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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:03 am

[imgImage][/img][imgImage][/img]

The top image is what I call an art plaque. It is roughly four inches tall and two and a half inches wide. This piece has a large amount of subject matter on both sides, but at this time I use this image to show the greater rock that the second detail image comes from. In the upper half or so of the second image can be seen what appears to be a smoking volcano. This subject can be found on numerous found stones and on a sand hills, NC suspected artifact which I will attempt to photograph. This piece is a perfect sphere of topaz (transparent yellow) about the size of a shooter marble, which I thought it was on initial inspection. With an eight power loupe, however, I could see extremely fine etchings depicting a smoking volcano, a large rigged ship, and other familiar subjects. There are other spherical suspected artifacts from the same geographic location.

The smoking volcano detail and surrounding area looks to be at least partially painted. An interesting question is the light blue tone background color's material source. Is it the natural color of the rock or a paint color? If paint, this could be sourced from lapis lazuli which is the source material for another perfect sphere from the sand hills of NC. Other blue colors have been noted on various suspected artifacts, but again it is difficult to tell if it's paint or a rock color.

It might be noted that the smoking volcano detail itself looks to be an image of a three quarter view of a gorilla head looking left. It is typical to have multiple subject matters within single art forms in this assemblage.
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:40 am

Lily,

I'm off to the salt mines, so I'll do that later today. I can edit better on windows than Photobucket, so I'll have to upload a reworked image to allow for narrower lines, etc.
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Mon Feb 01, 2016 10:44 am

Lily,

Home for lunch. Yes, photobucket sucks for editing. The extent of my setup is an Asus notebook, intel core 1.60 GHZ, 4 GB installed memory, 64 bit operating system, windows 7, and windows live photo gallery for editing. I would love to have a complete desktop setup as I am limited in what I can do. Adobe Photoshop wouldn't be bad either. I am computer challenged and everything I do takes forever. My phone line service is abysmal and not particularly reliable.
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Tue Feb 02, 2016 7:16 am

[imgImage][/img]

Lily,

I have been unable to retrieve the detail image of the smoking volcano. I did circle the subject on the posted greater stone image. I have no idea why I can't access the other image, but when I get to the bottom of it I'll post with description.

I agree that my computer is inadequate for photo editing, but I am simply having to work with what I have for now. Though my computer skills are unpracticed, I am willing to put the time in to learn to edit on a more powerful setup. The problem with getting an expert to help is that it would require that person to get up to speed on the subject matter. This is daunting as the average person viewing the images cannot see anything. I would literally need to be leaning over the expert's shoulder the whole time.

Because of funding restraints, at this point I need to concentrate on cataloguing and re shooting photos of the rocks. Without higher quality images the computer editing issue is moot other than planning to upgrade my computer in the future. Lack of space is an issue with the rocks which is hampering my organizational work. Overall, I have limited time and resources to properly address the work at hand.
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Tue Feb 02, 2016 1:26 pm

Hi Lily,

I acknowledge that I need help with my project because I lack skills and hardware/software to address the needs of such an endeavor. The USB stick is a good idea, both for transporting images, storing images without using up all my hard drive, and for backing up images potentially lost due to computer glitches. They are also affordable.

I am having difficulty with your ideas as to whether the volcano image is real, real as in an intended representation by the purported artist. My belief that the image is a volcano is fueled by the fact that it looks like one. It also follows the look of other volcanoes visible on the stones and does not look unlike volcanoes with plumes I have seen. The composition is contrived with the volcano itself being made to look like an animal. The large amount of other visible art on the stone is a strong indicator of human involvement in its adornment. If I must consider the possibility that my perception is controlled by my bias, how could I function day to day not knowing whether I am dealing in reality or not? Questioning oneself is a healthy process, and in the evolution of my awareness of the subject matter in the stones (years), self doubt has been rampant. Finally, however, I followed my intuitions about the nature of these rocks as I see them. Also, why would my preconceptions of subject matter content have driven me to see a smoking volcano or any of the myriad of other images presented in stone and paint? There is no precedent for the subject matter as the assemblage is unknown, so my brain does not have the luxury of fitting supposed data into an existing format. As for creating a fantasy world of my own invention, why bother? Life is strange enough already. I have viewed these discoveries as a gift of chance that generates in me a moral compunction to bring these people's existence to light, as most folks want nothing more than to be remembered into the future.
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Wed Feb 03, 2016 7:46 am

[imgImage][/img][imgImage][/img]

These two images are flipsides of one translucent quartz stone about 1.25 inches tall. They are not cleaned as evidenced by sand residue on both sides. These are from the NC coastal site and are pretty self explanatory despite the poor quality of the images.

Hi Lily,

I appreciate your perspectives on the stones and their subject matter. Despite our differences over the possible authenticity of the finds, I feel comfortable with my stance. As to wanting the stones to be what I think they are, I remain unclear as to what my motivation might be to want a specific outcome with an unknown assemblage that is not quantified or qualified. This keeps me off the streets, no doubt, probably much to the relief of some, but the mesmerizing hobby aspect seems to me to demean the quality of time spent and state of mind utilized. I agree that if the possible artifacts are what I think they are, it might be a big deal. I will say that there are unmentioned aspects of these discoveries that will challenge the bravest of souls, and at some more opportune time I may breach that subject.
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby shawomet » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:21 am

Unfortunately, none of your portable rock art is rock art. They are all, every one of them, natural stones. Geofacts confused for artifacts. Before a single photo had been uploaded, I had every reason to believe that this would be the case. It was just a hunch on my part, having seen and heard this same type of discovery time and again. I am very active on some of the boards devoted to Native American artifacts, and have surface hunted for, collected, and studied Native American artifacts for close to 60 years. Which is not to say for one second that I just know everything, but I know how to distinguish artifact from geofact, man made or man altered from natural. I've seen threads like these on the artifact forums many, many times over the years. You are not experienced in distinguishing natural objects from man made, or man altered artifacts. It's really that fundamental a mistake. I'm afraid you are mistaken if you feel these stones show any alteration by man. They just don't.

But, in fact, there are quite a few people who make these kinds of mistakes. Here is a site dedicated to portable rock art which is not portable rock art at all, but simply the products of an active imagination:

http://portablerockart.blogspot.com/

I know you may not want to accept this, and I am not intending to attack you or embarrass you. But, regardless of how you take my comments, you are sadly mistaken in your opinions regarding what are 100% natural rocks. You will not find any reputable, experienced archaeologist or anyone highly experienced in prehistoric stone artifacts who will judge these rocks to be altered by man or objects of man made art.
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby shawomet » Wed Feb 03, 2016 8:42 am

When an effigy is man made, it will be very obvious. no need to squint, no need to resort to the imagination. Native American artists and artisans were just as talented as artisans from any other culture, be it prehistoric, or be it modern. Here is an example of a true stone effigy. Made of sandstone, and found on Narragansett Bay. There is simply no reason, other then a lack of experience, to confuse natural rocks for man made effigies.
Attachments
Effigy 4.jpg
Effigy 4.jpg (16.57 KiB) Viewed 2167 times
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:46 am

Thank you Shawomet for your constructive criticism. I am familiar with the portable rock art site and at least some of the other activities that might be compared to what I am doing. Yes, there is great opposition to the idea that these type stones are truly artifacts, and I respect your opinion and experience with Native American pre history and culture. The key difference in our assessments of these rocks, IMHO, is that you are concerned with Native American artifacts specifically, and I am attempting to define an entirely different assemblage that represents the work of Pleistocene folks. I was informed of the Pleistocene nature of the finds by a 40 year career archaeologist who has been on the mountain site multiple times and has observed and handled the suspected artifacts. This archaeologist has written thirty five books on NA tools and material culture and has wide experience in this area.

Not only do these finds exhibit Pleistocene characteristics, but their makers pre date the traditional NA cultures. I have no specific dates to claim as everything found are surface finds without context. It is also noteworthy that no Holocene artifacts have been found on the mountain site in forty three years.

I take no offense over your comments whatsoever, but I am hopeful that this assemblage will gain credence in the future. In the meantime I will be working to help bring light to the matter, focused on the journey rather than the arrival.
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Tiompan » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:39 am

I am also of the opinion that it is a case of pareidolia .
In a slightly different context ,i.e outdoor prehistoric engravings in the Atlantic cup and ring style , but within the rock art subject area , I complied some examples of typical natural markings that sometimes get mistaken for manmade engravings .

http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/sit ... k_art.html
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby shawomet » Wed Feb 03, 2016 10:44 am

Sorry Springhead, but I don't believe for one second that the archaeologist with 40 years experience knows what he is talking about, if that is what he told you. He is quite clueless, and the business about this being Pleistocene "art" is silly. If you wish to name this individual and the university or institution he is associated with, I'd be interested in hearing that directly from him. But, regardless, this is nonsense. You, and apparently he, do not have the experience needed to know how to differentiate between a rock and an artifact. But, obviously you are entitled to your opinion. Our Paleo assemblages, BTW, are in fact Pleistocene in age, and the latest DNA studies on 12,000+ year old human remains from Montana and Mexico demonstrate these early Americans were clearly related to Native Americans living today. So there is no Native American, and then pre-Native American. They are all Native American. The remaining big questions involve how early in the Pleistocene did humans arrive in the New World, and by what migration routes. Differentiating Native Americans and then Pleistocene pre Native Americans is a non existent equation. I can only repeat what is plainly obvious: none of the rocks you show were created by man, or altered by man. Believe what you want, but you are mistaken. I don't expect you to change your mind. Just as in my experience I have seen threads like your's many times in the past, so too have I seen a stance of outright denial of the truth to be a very common response from those who actually believe stuff like this. So your reply does not surprise me at all. But, of course, believe what you wish. As someone who adheres to seeking the truth wherever it may lead, I felt somewhat obligated to point out that what you have shown us and what you are suggesting is nonsense. The sad part, you see, is that there are people who might actually believe everything you've presented. I can't "save" everyone, but I thought the least I could do is point out how very mistaken you are.
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:08 pm

Tiompan,

Thank you for the images demonstrating why some rock art is modern that has been mistaken for pre historic creation. It is a first for me to be diagnosed with a condition based on the written word and digital images. I suppose I need to get used to online medical help. Just kidding! Yes, I looked down into the peanut butter jar after a mighty lunge with the butter knife, and there was the image of a wolf looking left. I have been called worse and fully expected such. I respect your views on this situation, and I only have one question..........how long have I got, Doc?

Shawomet,

Sorry Shawomet, but truth is in the eye of the beholder and is not possessed by proponents of the current understandings in any field of endeavor. Science is a process where progressions of theory move closer to the truth. What is truth anywhere along that way? Perhaps partial. I do not challenge anyone's idea about what they believe to be true and how they feel about that, but I am curious how you know what happened in North America, not just in the late Pleistocene and early Holocene, but back into, say, the middle Pleistocene?

Is it sad that I have hoodwinked unsuspecting readers of this thread? Was it sad when anyone in history had some idea or work that was not believed and continued on to then discover something heretofore not understood? I may not be that discoverer, but at least I am participating in a process. If my ideas are faulty, this will eventually prove out. If they are not faulty, then perhaps that would increase our understanding of what may have happened long ago. Certainly, setting a stance of truth (immobility) in a world where we can count on nothing but change, seems risky. I am not sure which one of us is further out on the limb!

I will ask the archaeologist I am working with if he is interested in this discussion. He is busy working on five or six sites of the same kind, that is in addition to the seven I have identified.

Thanks for your reactions to my work. I would ask that you not dismiss this work summarily and give a guy whose been around a bit some slack. I too am trying to go where evidence points, and without having seen the site or handled the stones, I would hope you could withhold final judgment.
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Tiompan » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:45 pm

You have a sense of humour Springhead and even better it's good to see that you don't have a knee jerk reaction to those that disagree with you ,that type of response is respected .

There was only one example iirc among the various examples that was actually modern rock art , believed to be prehistoric , the rest were all natural examples that are typical of those believed to be man made examples .
Pareidolia is quite common ,the description of the response can make it appear like a condition , which is only appropriate in the most extreme cases .
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Tiompan » Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:51 pm

I thinlk Springhead can think well enough for himself , without personal comments with no content or supporting evidence , as usual .
This is in direct contrast to how Springhead actually behaves .

Dismissing nonsense like some of your comments is not " whatever they posit " , don't post crap and it won't be pulled apart .
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Re: Problematic Discoveries

Postby Springhead » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:47 pm

Lily,

No offense taken on the hobby statement, and yes, until reviewed and believed by a number of professional archaeologists the ideas will not move to acceptance. I have greatly appreciated your enthusiasm and suggestions/comments which are helpful as I scale a nearly vertical learning curve. The good news is that I may not be burdened too heavily with any particular curriculum that impedes simple common sense approaches to encountered issues. Once I've tangled myself in too much rope (already?) I can call for help/advice.

The images were terrible. I have been having issues with format pasting images to the board, so I have been unable to use a lot of material. It is possible the Photobucket editor is part of the problem.

Tiompan,

Thanks. I am not here to thump chests, I would rather gain perspective. Sorry about the confusion with the rock art examples. My idea about pareidolia is that maybe the ancient folks responsible for the suspected artifacts were subject to the same thing, perhaps even more than current populations with the predominant dream related parts of their brains being so large. This could make pareidolia an asset for the researcher as it could be key to the folks' artistic process. Just a thought.
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