Category: Archeological


 

The origins of the Zapotec civilization, which flourished in southwest Mexico from 200 BC until the Spanish invasion in 1519, are shrouded in uncertainty, for even its earliest known remains are those of a culture already at a high level of urban and agricultural development. In art and architecture, mathematics and calendrical science, the Zapotecs have clear affinities with the earlier Olmec and Mayan civilizations to the south, but their history contains no record of migration from those or any other parts. Instead, and to the contrary, the Zapotecs believed themselves to be descended from trees, rocks, and jaguars.

The Zapotec capital was at Monte Alban, seven miles from the present-day city of Oaxaca. It lies at the top of an artificially leveled mountain promontory and is centered on a huge plaza, roughly 1,000 feet long and 650 feet wide, flanked on all sides by terraced steps, sunken courtyards, and low, handsome buildings. The first systematic excavation of the site began in 1931, and treasures of gold, jade, rock crystal, and turquoise were soon found in several of the tombs. But the most remarkable discovery was of something more mysterious than fine artwork and rich materials: a complex network of stone-lined tunnels, far too small to be used by adults or children of average stature.

The first of these tunnels, discovered in 1932 but not explored until 1933, was 20 inches high and 25 inches wide – so small that the excavators could make their way along it only on their backs. After they had inched through it in this way for 195 feet, they came to a skeleton, an incense burner, and funeral urns; there were also ornaments of jade, turquoise, and stone, and a few pearls. Some yards beyond this the tunnel was blocked, and to enter it again the explorers had to dig a 25-foot shaft from the surface beyond the blockage.

As they wormed along the net stretch, they found even smaller passages, no more than a foot high, branching off the main tunnel. Leading down into one of these was a tiny flight of steps. At a distance of 320 feet from the main entrance, the archaeologists found another skeleton, and a few yards beyond this, at the edge of the northern terrace of the great plaza, the tunnel came to an end.

Further excavations revealed two similar tunnels, both packed with clay. Finally, to the east of tomb number seven, where the richest treasures had been found, a complex network of miniature tunnels was discovered, all lined with stone and some of them less than a foot high. Smoke was blown into these in an effort to trace their course and “revealed a number of unexpected exits.”

The excavators’ initial guess that they had discovered a drainage system was abandoned. Also ruled out was the idea that the tunnels had been a network of emergency escape routes (or had been of any other service to humans of ordinary size), and official speculation about their purpose ceased. Since then, the pygmy tunnels of Monte Alban have remained one of the major mysteries of the unexplained.

 

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What may be the oldest fossil footprint yet found was discovered in June 1968 by William J. Meister, an amateur fossil collector. If the print is what it appears to be – the impression of a sandaled shoe crushing a trilobite – it would have been made 300 to 600 million years ago and would be sufficient either to overturn all conventionally accepted ideas of human and geological evolution or to prove that a shoe-wearing biped from another world had once visited this planet.

Meister made his potentially disturbing find during a rock and fossil hunting expedition to Antelope spring, 43 miles west of Delta, Utah. He was accompanied by his wife and two daughters, and my Mr. and Mrs. Francis Shape and their two daughters. The party had already discovered several fossils of trilobites when Meister split open a two-inch-thick slab of rock with his hammer and discovered the outrageous print. The rock fell open “like a book,” revealing on one side the footprint of a human with trilobites right in the footprint itself. The other half of the rock slab showed an almost perfect mold of the footprint and fossils. Amazingly the human was wearing a sandal!

Trilobites were small marine invertebrates, the relatives of crabs and shrimps, that flourished for some 320 million years before becoming extinct 280 million years a go. Humans are currently thought to have emerged between 1 and 2 million years ago and to have been wearing well-shaped footwear for no more than a few thousand years.

The sandal that seems to have crushed a living trilobite was 10-1/4 inches long and 3-1/2 inches wide; the heel is indented slightly more than the sole, as a human shoe print would be. Meister took the rock to Melvin Cook, a professor of metallurgy at the University of Utah, who advised him to show the specimen to the university geologists. When Meister was unable to find a geologist willing to examine the print, he went to a local newspaper, The Deseret News. Before long, the find received national publicity.

In a subsequent news conference the curator of the Museum of Earth Science at the University of Utah, James Madsen, said: “There were no men 600 million years ago. Neither were there monkeys or bears or ground sloths to make pseudohuman tracks. What man-thing could possibly have been walking about on this planet before vertebrates even evolved?”

Madsen then went on to say that the fossil must have been formed by a natural process, though of what kind he was unable to suggest. Dr. Jesse Jennings, of the university’s anthropology department, guessed (rather boldly, considering the absence of any supporting evidence) that the print might have been made by one large trilobite coming to rest on three smaller ones.

On July 20, 196, the Antelope Spring site was examined by Dr. Clifford Burdick, a consulting geologist from Tucson, Arizona, who soon found the impression of a child’s foot in a bed of shale. “The impression,” he said, “was about six inches in length with the toes spreading, as if the child had never yet worn shoes, which compress the toes. There does not appear to be much of an arch, and the big toe is not prominent.” The print was shown to two geologists and a paleontologist. One of the geologists agreed that it appeared to be that of a human being, but the paleontologist’s opinion was that no biological agent had been involved. Dr. Burdick stuck to his guns: “The rock chanced to fracture along the front of the toes before the fossil footprint was found. On cross-section the fabric of the rock stands out in fine laminations, or bedding planes. Where the toes, pressed into the soft material, the laminations were bowed downward from the horizontal, indicating a weight that had been pressed into the mud.”

In August 1968 Mr. Dean Bitter, an educator in the Salt Lake City public schools system, claimed to have discovered two more prints of shoes or sandals in the Antelope Springs area. According to Professor Cook, no trilobites were injured by these footfalls, but a small trilobite was found near the prints in the same rock, indicating that the small sea creature and the sandaled wanderer might have been contemporaries.

 

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Mysterious stone discs reveal earth was devastated by a nuclear holocaust 12,000 years ago, according to amazing records of an ancient civilization unearthed in China.  “They had a civilization more advanced than ours,” says Dr. Zhou Guoxing of the Peking Natural History Museum.

In 1938, Chinese archaeologist Chi Pu Tei discovered graves arranged in rows in the mountain caves of Bayan-Kara-Ula in the Sino-Tibetan border district.  He found small skeletons of beings with delicate frames, who nevertheless had rather large skulls.  On the walls of the caves he discovered rock drawings which portrayed beings with round helmets.  The stars, sun, and moon were also scratched on the rock and connected by groups of pea-sized dots.

Chinese archaeologists knew that the Dropa and Kham (Kikang) tribes had once lived in the deserted region, pygmy people who have defied every attempt at ethnic or racial classification.  Anthropologists said of these mountain tribes that they had been frail and stunted, with an average height of around four feet, two inches.

Chi Pu Tei and his assistants managed to salvage 716 stone discs from the eerie complex of caves, underground tunnels, and storerooms.

“These tunnels are perfectly square and the walls, ceilings, and floors are highly-glazed, as if somehow the passages and rooms were carved by a device emitting heat of such intensity that it simply melted its way into the mountains,” Dr Zhou Guoxing of the Peking Natural History Museum, explained.  The discs, nine inches in diameter and less than an inch thick, resemble modern-day phonograph records; with grooves and a hole in the center.

It was not until 1962 that Professor Tsum Um Nui of the Academy of Prehistoric Research in Peking was able to decipher parts of the incised script.  The story that was deciphered was so hair-raising that at first the Academy forbade Tsum Um Nui to publish his work at all.

In cooperation with geologists he showed that the stone plates had a high cobalt and metal content.  Physicists found that all seven hundred and sixteen plates had a high vibration rhythm, which led to the conclusion that they had been exposed to very high voltages at some time.

Astounded scientists learned the grooves are actually a microscopic form of ancient writing.  “The discs are between 8,000 and 12,000 years old, which would make them the oldest known form of writing in the world,” Dr. Guoxing says.  “Of the 716 discs, only five have been completely translated.  Four others have been partially deciphered.”

What little has been decoded tells the horrifying story of a catastrophe after two rival factions went to war.

The discs story says that around 12,000 years ago a group of their people had crashed onto the third planet of this system.  Their aircraft no longer had enough power to leave this planet again.  They had crashed in the remote and inaccessible mountains.  There had been no means and materials for building a new craft.

A survivor writes that one faction authorized use of a dreaded “last weapon” to end the conflict.  “It was as if the elements had been unleashed,” the saga continues.  “The sun spun around in circles.  Scorched by the fearful heat of the weapon, the world reeled.  Humans and animals were burned by the incandescent light.  It was a ghastly sight to see.  The corpses of the fallen were so mutilated that they no longer look like human beings.  Never before have we seen such an awful weapon, and never before have we heard of such a weapon.  It was as if the heavens cried out, flashing forth lightning and raining down death.  Many who were near the center of the conflict were turned to ashes.”

Dr. Guoxing points out that the account is a perfect description of a nuclear holocaust.

Then we are told that these beings who had crashed onto the earth and tried to make friends with the inhabitants of the mountains, but had been hunted down and killed.  Men, women, and children had hid themselves in the caves until sunset.  Then they believed the sign and saw that the others had come with peaceful intentions this time. . . .

There are also the Chinese sagas of the Bayan-Kara-Ula region that tells of spindly yellow beings who came down from the clouds.  The myth goes on to say that the alien creatures were shunned by the Dropas because of their ugliness, indeed, that they were killed by the men in “the quick way.”

Dr. Rex Gilroy, Director of the Mount York Natural History Museum in New South Wales, Australia, says he has seen several of the discs and that were found in similarly glazed tunnels in Ecuador and Peru.  “However, the governments in those countries refuse to allow scientists to examine the ‘writings’ and have posted armed guards at the entrance to the tunnels.