Front Face of Newark Decalogue Stone
By B.L. Freeborn © 2013 (update Nov. 2018)
From Kenneth L. Feder, Ph.D. we hear, “Applying these post-Columbian historical models, most archaeologists deduce that if travelers from the Old World visited the New before Columbus they can be expected to have left similar, mundane material evidence of their presence in the form of artifacts culturally distinguishable from those of indigenous people.” 1
He means garbage. We all leave garbage lying about. They should have left more stuff with inscriptions lying about. They should have left more Old World origin stuff in their garbage piles. One can both agree and disagree.
Point in fact: David Wyrick found stones with inscriptions in 1860. Because he did, he lost his reputation and ultimately committed suicide. Suppose another intelligent person in 1860 had also found something, would he come forward to be lamb-basted? Not likely. So we might conjecture that any other ancient artifacts found in the 1800’s went into the garbage and fast.
Have things changed? If one found an artifact today would one come forward? Many would at the risk of their reputation. The artifact might also be confiscated never to be seen again. Things disappear even on legitimate archaeological digs. Is it worth impugning the reputation of the researchers over something out-of-place?
As far as other “garbage” in Newark2 we note there was:
- a quartz ball found with the Keystone,
- numerous other round balls were found at other mound sites,
- the Keystone was found in a tough ball of clay,
- “two beautiful plumb bobs but instead of being either round or oval they are eight square” were found with the Decalogue Stone,
- the Decalogue stone was in an oval, round case which creates a large “rock” when closed and it was found with a small stone bowl,
- the Johnson-Bradner stone found at the same location as the Decalogue was in a skull.
In fact, the other “garbage” these people left behind was monstrous earthworks that greatly resemble in detail earthworks in England and Ireland.
This does not mean the native people of the time period did not make these monuments. Of course they did! It does not mean today’s Indians are not descended from the original builders. Unless they all died off from disease or were killed off, of course they are descended from them! The mounds are enormous complexes that did not appear overnight nor were they built by a small group of people. (Nor were they built by Mormons, or lost tribes.)
What Dr. Feder wants to see to believe the stones are real is “a convincingly authentic, archaeological site with its complex of artifacts and features with all their spatial associations and stratigraphic contexts.”
In other words, he wants to see a typical community layout with an area of houses, a cemetery, and the always present garbage heap which in this case must contain relics similar to the Decalogue Stone or something from the Old World like a belt buckle.
What we do have is a site that has enormous spatial associations (the number stuff that is to come). William Romain, Hively, Horn and James Marshall have begun to show us already that these sites were formally laid out geometrically. James Q. Jacobs and Joseph Knapp are hard at work showing the astronomical correlations. These mounds were not randomly built. In order to place these sites with the precision other authors demonstrate (and will be shown here later) they must have had either astronomy or surveying skills, or acquired the skills by association with another party. Today we hire engineering services. Today we are even persuaded by outside parties to build engineered monstrosities we do not want like Wheelabrator’s Incinerators. In other words, a small outside party amongst the population cannot be ruled out by the lack of their specific garbage. Their presence may be deduced by the results left behind, ie. a monstrous Wheelabrator Trash plant means “they were here.”
Someone engineered these sites. Who? How about the chap they unearthed where the plumb-bobs were found? Plumb-bobs are used in surveying. They found the Johnson-Bradner stone within a skull. That is a nice gruesome touch if it was forged. Two other interesting facts about this burial. The “crypt” was a coffin made from a hollowed tree trunk surrounded by and encased in fine white clay. Fine white clay is not found everywhere in Ohio. Its presence must indicate this person was special enough for his mourners to go to the trouble to get it. Over the clay was placed a layer of stones and wood bracing. Upon these were copper rings. Indeed, on top of this site was a mound of stones described as being 180 feet in diameter and 40+ feet high. This mound of stones was so large it took 75 wagon teams to remove the stones to make the dam to create Buckeye Lake in 1831-1832. This is an estimated 10 to 15,000 wagon loads. We may assume that each stone placed on that cairn was to show respect for those buried there. They were extraordinarily special in some way. They were so revered that people left so many tokens of respect that a great mound of stone was formed. For all we know the deceased was a visiting dignitary from the Old World. More likely he/they were the engineers who laid out the great Newark site and other vast mound systems. A plumb-bob was found after all. Would they not be laid to rest with their favorite tools?
We might ask where they learned their trade? Mesoamerica, Cahokia, or were they buried with something they brought from their homeland? Like a “Jewish looking” stone? There is another piece of forgotten history that will shed light on who might have been buried on that hill under that massive mound of stones.
“Another group of people also lived among the Cherokee. They were called the Ani’-Kuta’ni. Prior to Mooney there were other much older sources that stated these people were…
“…the priestly clan, having hereditary supervision of all religious ceremonies among the Cherokee, until, in consequence of having abused their sacred privileges, they were attacked and completely exterminated by the rest of the tribe, leaving the priestly functions to be assumed thereafter by individual doctors and conjurers.”3
“The Mound Builders are addressed in Mooney’s book. There are two versions to this story. One group said the mounds were built by another people with no association to the Cherokee while another story said they were built by the ancestors of the Priests Ani’-Kuta’ni.”
This report is from “The 19th and 7th Annual Reports Bureau American Ethnology,” 1897-1898. It gives us an unexpected picture of very early American history and may explain some parts of this story while still leaving us wondering about who the Ani’-Kuta’ni might have been.
We might also ask did they teach anyone else their trade and pass along their knowledge? There is evidence they did.4 The quick argument is that Native Americans did not own land and so surveyors were not required. The thoughtful answer is surveyors are required if you take the placement of your monuments very, very seriously. Were they placed precisely? They were, just as Romain concluded, but more than he could have imagined. This will lead to more numbers to be looked at!
Next we look at Lepper’s leap into oh-ohh.
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- Feder, Kenneth, Coming to America: Investigating Claims of Precolumbian Forays to the New World, “Newark “Holy Stones”: Context for Controversy,” Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum, 1999.
- Alrutz, Robert W., “Newark Holy Stones: The History of an Archaeological Tragedy,” Coshocton, Ohio: The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum, 2010.
- Mooney, James, “Myths of the Cherokee and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees, From the 19th and 7th Annual Reports Bureau American Ethnology,” 1897-1898.
- Brennan, Tom PE, Civil Engineer and Surveyor, “Land Surveying Long Ago,” 2013 Spring Conference Presentation NEARA.