In the Movie, Planet of the Apes, Cornelius discovers a talking human baby doll. Cornelius (chimpanzee scientist) knows this talking human doll is going to set "science" on its ear.
Unfortunately for him, he is very naive about how science works. Dr. Zaius, head of the Ministry of Science simply "disappears" the doll. As far as science, was concerned, problem solved!
Of course, that was just a B-grade science fiction movie. But, as Christopher Hardaker chronicles in his book; "The First American: The Suppressed Story of the People Who Discovered the New World", that's exactly what happens in the real world of science as well with scientific paradigm priests supported by peer review standing in for Dr. Zaius. And sure, materialists try to crush creationism and creationists--but as this story shows, they will crush even materialists believers if they try to "attack" the scientific consensus by putting forth the wrong kind of evidence.
This story has it all, including of course; Archeological Skullduggery- pun intended. The site was ignored for more than 40 years because it conflicted with the paradigm; evidence was destroyed, and careers were lost. It illustrates graphically, the extreme fallibility of scientific dating systems as archaeologists, finally forced to confront the site and its artifacts after 40 years of suppresson have arrived at three different "scientific" dates for the site--all impossible according to the paradigm.
Dinosaurs in Literature, Art an History?
This site included a fully mineralized artifact (old) that included representations of human interaction with animals thought by science to have been extinct before man evolved.
This archaeological site destroyed careers, as we chronicled earlier; Virginia Steen-McIntyre, for one, lost a promising archaeological career when she decided not to play along (stick with the consensus) at an associated site; Hueyatlaco. This book vindicates her work and kicks some dirt on those who "reburied" these artifacts.
As Christians, we don't accept any of the dates mentioned here and we think that there is ample evidence here that it is nearly impossible to do anything but guess on dates even as "young" as 1000 to 5000 years.
In any case, get out the popcorn!
The minerialized art. Click and drag photo to resize.
This is the story of a remarkable art piece discovered in 1959 by an equally remarkable man at the Valsequillo Reservoir outside the city of Puebla, about 75 miles south of Mexico City. Juan Armenta Camacho stunned the world with his discovery of a mineralized elephant pelvis with engravings of elephants, big cats, and other extinct animals.
The engravings had been made when the bone was still fresh, still "green." Whoever made these engravings actually saw those animals, and probably even ate and prayed to them.
The most amazing critter of them all was smack dab in the middle of the thing. A four-tusked gomphothere, an ancestor of the mastodon, and extinct in the U.S. for over a million years.
But in Central Mexico, these mythical beasts lived among mammoths and mastodons. And humans. This was absolutely amazing.
Other engraved pieces were also found. Nobody in the Americas had ever seen anything like this before. They were all mineralized!
It was totally new in every meaning of the word, except for their age which could be very old.
Harvard archaeologist Cynthia Irwin-Williams and Juan Armenta Camacho, with direct support from Harvard and the Smithsonian, found another 80-90 mammoth and mastodon bone sites around the perimeter of the reservoir in 1962. Then they excavated three sites on the Tetela Peninsula. All had artifacts next to mineralized bones that were left behind after butchering.
The sites themselves were laid out pretty much how the hunters left them. The features were covered by successive layers of sands and silts deposited by a very slow creek, and were laid out in the same positions as they were originally buried. In the business of paleo-archaeology, it is called primary deposition, and in this respect, Valsequillo was pure gold.
For example, Irwin-Williams found a horse jaw, and a tooth from it was an inch away from the jaw. This meant virtually no bone movement when they were buried. About a half inch away was a stone knife. It was an immaculate feature; so good that they sawed it out in a square block, a portable feature destined for the national museum.
It was just priceless. For the people of Mexico it meant national pride. The city of Puebla began celebrating as The Eden of the Americas. It was all there in that feature block.
This feature block was later vandalized and destroyed by the Mexican archaeologist who signed the official dig permits; this was the same official who would later falsely testify that the artifacts were planted.
This charge was laughably dispatched by Irwin-Williams's three thousand photographs detailing the excavation and extraction of each piece - also currently missing.
The Gomphotheres are a diverse group of extinct elephant-like animals (proboscideans) that were widespread in North America during the Miocene and Pliocene epochs, 12-1.6 million years ago.
Some also lived in parts of Eurasia and Beringia, and until recently, in South America.
Gomphotheres differed from elephants in their tooth structure, particularly the chewing surfaces on the molar teeth. Most had four tusks, and their retracted facial and nasal bones prompt paleontologists to believe that Gomphotheres had elephant-like trunks.
Examples of Gompotheres are the extinct genera Gomphotherium, Platybelodon, Amebelodon and the very recently extinct Cuvieronius.
The real problem was that the bones were mineralized. C14 dating was useless. For six years, nobody knew how old these sites were.
It was absolutely frustrating.
Here you are with a trio of neighboring sites that were very probably the earliest ever uncovered in the New World. Everything was perfect, except … you could not date the sites.
At the time, 1968, the oldest site in the Americas clocked in at 12,000 years (aka 10,000 BC). Crossing the Siberian landbridge to Alaska, the Clovis mammoth killers arrived with their ultra-sleek spearheads, maybe the best on the planet at the time.
What was not considered a bit strange, however, was that no 12,000 year old Clovis points had ever been found in Canada, Alaska or Siberia. After decades of looking, there was still no trace of the Clovis Trail. Oh well, details.
It was Clovis or Bust, and its defenders demanded archaeological perfection for any site that dared challenge their cherished, though untested, theory, nicknamed Clovis First.
Just by looking at the hardened sediments, almost sandstone, Irwin-Williams and Marie Wormington knew right off that they were probably older. But how much older? A thousand years older, like 13,000 years ago. Or maybe even 15,000 years old?
This was an extremely tender issue among the orthodox. Many had challenged the preClovis crown, and all were tossed down the academic toilet. Now it was Valsequillo's turn, and it came armed for bear. Valsequillo had art and it had unmistakable spearheads.
Modern spear points. Click and drag photo to resize.
Valsequillo's artifact types were definitely those of modern man. Simple retouched points made out of chert flakes were found in the older artifact beds, while higher up in the younger, more recent beds, they found full-fledged spearheads and knives, bifacially flaked.
They were modern, alright. But they were also much more primitive than the immaculate Clovis points. Could it be that the Valsequillo hunters were the ancestors of the Clovis mammoth hunters?
The modern period starts with the Old World Upper Paleolithic period, around 30-40,000 years ago. This was the beginning of modern man, Homo sapiens sapiens, "man who thinks he thinks."
The blade-to-biface revolution happened over there also. And now for the first time in the New World, this critical phase of technological evolution turns up in the New World, in Central Mexico. This was huge in itself.
The theoretical potentials of such discoveries would be shattering.
The artifacts, the art and the sandy-silt matrix immediately challenged the Clovis Firsters. Dr. Wormington even conceded that Valsequillo could be 40,000 years. Everyone agreed however, that it could not be earlier than 40,000 years because only modern man was intelligent enough to manage the trip from Siberia to the New World. It was common knowledge.
Without clear dates for the artifacts, talk was cheap and frustrations grew. Then geological science entered the fray. In 1968, a USGS geologist suggested using his new Uranium Series technique to date the bone, and that's when everything fell apart.
The bone dates from the Tetela sites were 250,000 years old! And so opened up one of the craziest archaeological wormholes in history. That's a quarter million years old!
Modern man didn't live back then, and all the artifacts from Valsequillo were fancy spearheads and blades - things we Mods didn't know how to make until 30-40,000 years ago.
And there was art! And Valsequillo was 250,000 years old? That's Homo erectus Time!!!
It not only threatened to trash the American paradigm of prehistory, it would also trash the Old World paradigm for the last phases of human evolution.
This was serious. There were modern stone tools in Mexico that were 200,000 years older than the earliest modern tools in Europe and Asia and Africa. It was nuts. It was impossible any way you looked at it.
Geologists kept coming up with similar ages for the site no matter what they threw at it. And no matter what the geological sciences turned up, the archaeological community fought back with a stifling wall of absolute silence and noncomment. They would have none of it.
The wormhole became an academic black hole, the region became a forbidden zone, and Valsequillo dropped from the lips of credibility.
In the end the archaeologists won through silence. Irwin-Williams never published an official volume; not even site reports. And the curiousity that raged through the professional community was calmly checked at the door of credibility.
What happened to the artifacts? The art? Gone. Lost. Missing. Destroyed? There was lots of stuff. Priceless stuff.
Now it is forgotten stuff, largely a non-subject on both sides of the border with professionals from Mexico and the US sharing a common disinterest.
This was America's first art, first spearheads, first kill sites, and a lot of other firsts as well. It satisfied all the required perfections demanded by the Clovis First crowd. And it was still flushed down the academic toilet.
The archaeologists would not work with the geologists unless they recanted their "ridiculous" dates. The geologists could not do this. Every time they dated the site with different dating techniques, the site came out as old or older than 200,000 years.
And it would take a lot more than catcalls by angry archaeologists to make the geologist betray the scientific laws governing their evidence.
Science is not opinion, but that was all the archaeologists could muster. And in the end, the archaeologists won by default, by absolute noncomment; not even a whisper. And that was pretty much that.
Had it not been for a lone hold out geologist from the original project, one of America's greatest archaeology stories would have been lost to the fog of professional amnesia. She was able to recover the archives of Irwin-Williams, who had passed away several years earlier.
Letters, notes, some photos and other materials would show that Valsequillo was pure archaeological gold. It may not have been the earliest contender for the preClovis throne, but it was simply the best.
And my archaeological elders didn't tell us about it? Or they felt compelled to forget about it? Only deep therapy will tell. One thing is certain. From that point on, for the next thirty years, First American studies were held hostage by the myth of Adam and Eve Clovis.
Today, Valsequillo still remains unresolved. The good news is that pros are back doing work at one of the sites. A couple years ago, another investigator reported finding human footprints in lava a few miles away. It is an ongoing drama, and this is the prequel.
Forty years ago, an amateur historian discovered an engraved mastodon bone near Mexico City, showing a virtual bestiary from the Ice Age. Harvard University took notice and excavated nearby sites around the Valsequillo Reservoir.
They found perfectly buried kill sites with the oldest spearheads in the world. Some archaeologists postulated their age at 40,000 years, three times older than the official 12,000-year-old date for the first Americans. Then the shocker--United States Geology Survey (USGS) geologists came up with the date of 250,000 years old!
Even though these dates were published in peer-reviewed geological journals, archaeologists wrote off the geologists, saying they were mistaken and that their dates were too ridiculously old. Archaeologists never returned to the site and curiosity died out. Soon after, this once world-class archaeology region became off-limits for official research, a "professional forbidden zone."
The Valsequillo discoveries were legendary, but regarded as "fringe" by professional archaeologists. Why this radical turn-about? What was found that was so unspeakable, so impossible? What happened to these artifacts--America's earliest art and spearheads, and why don't archaeologists seem to care? In the new book, The First American, archaeologist Christopher Hardaker tries to unearth the mystery.
The book details the events of the discovery and its subsequent dismissal, as well as the attempt in 2001 by a wealthy outsider to find the truth about the Valsequillo discoveries. Included in The First American are photos of the original artifacts, and excerpts from reports, letters, and memos from the site participants themselves.
Archaeologists will once again be forced to ask the same question their mentors asked: Are we too in love with our own theories to ignore the evidence of science yet again? And readers will hear the real story of the great Valsequillo discoveries, the greatest story of early American man never told.
About the Author
Christopher Hardaker earned an MA in anthropology from the University of Arizona and has worked as a field archaeologist for 30 years, dividing his research between the nature of stone tools and using simple geometry to explore architectural traditions ranging from Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, to Washington, D.C.
He first learned of the "professionally forbidden" older horizons of New World prehistory in 1977 on a visit to the Mojave Desert's Calico Early Man site established by the legendary Louis S. B. Leakey.
It was there that he first heard the name Valsequillo. He is currently analyzing the astonishing 60,000-plus artifacts from Calico.
There was a great gulf of time in between archaeological excavations at Valsequillo, specifically Hueyatlaco, the highest site, and the most productive on several levels, including an in situ technological transition.
The last year Cynthia Irwin-Williams dug there was 1966. In 1973, Hal Malde, the lead geologist, got permission from Jose Lorenzo to do a geological trench, but no archaeology. It was the results of this expedition that became the 1981 QR paper, eight years later.
The next time there was any kind of excavation at Hueyatlaco was 2001, which was inspired by Marshall Payn, an outsider (MIT engineering graduate, past president of the Epigraphic Society), in conjunction with UNAM and INAH.
There was a 35-year gulf between archaeological investigations, and none after 1973. The dates alone blew everyone out of the water. Kind of like Calico in 1970 when antiquity for the site was beginning to look a lot more like a half-million years.
It's pretty tough to stomach, I admit. But at both Calico and Valsequillo, it was age alone that nullified the sites from any practical consideration, artifacts be damned. If anyone has any other resolve, I'd love to hear it.
Since 2001, all hell has broken out at Valsequillo. We got three (count 'em, three) geological models being postulated for the area. 40,000y, 250,000y, and 1,300,000y. (Do I hear 4004 B.C.?)
It is just wild, but it is all great news because it means folks are doing all sorts of work and crossing their t's twice. Anytime you have a lava date (Xalnene Tuff) that is 40,000y by one method and 1,300,000y with another method, you know there is excitement (PC for oops),
This will be a feast for geoarchaeologists in the years to come. Around December, an online journal will include lead geologist, Hal Malde (USGS) and others "Debate at Hueyatlaco," which will discuss all three interpretations.
Hal did the first geological map of the region during the 1960s. He disagrees with the Waters "recent inset" model, and Sylvia Gonzalez's footprint date of 40,000y.
In fact, nobody agrees with anybody else, because, I guess if they do, they negate their own model. Could be a series. CSI Hueyatlaco.
Hopefully, this year, Waters or somebody(!!!) will collect bone samples for Uranium series tests, like he wanted to do in 2006 but never did. I guess we'll know by April or May when (and if) the dry season arrives.