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Hard Evidence?
Jun. 9 - Oct. 31, 2005 Ancient Lost Treasures/Burrows Cave ezboard forum-posts from the "Photos and analysis of BC artifacts" thread title.

[Note:  "HardEvidence" is the netnick of Steven Earl Jones, Ph.D. (Full Professor, Physics and Astronomy; Brigham Young University).  The following is reproduced without the permission of ezboard, Ancient Lost Treasures-Carre Shinob, or any of the posters.  On his WTC website, Prof. Jones leaves factual exactitude behind and instead of admitting to usage without permission prefers to present as a lawyer with the following legal disclaimer: “Fair Use Notice  This site may contain copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of criminal justice, human rights, political, economic, democratic, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information see: www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.”  I don’t have permission to reproduce the material below, but I will anyway.  The mods at the BC ezboard forum delete often enough to merit Prof. Jones’ Indiana and Illinois examination being made available elsewhere... ]

Comment
HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 679
(6/9/05 2:00 pm)
Reply     Photos and analysis of BC artifacts As most of you know, Russ Burrows gave an excellent talk at the AHRF Symposium at the Brigham Young University Conference Center on May 21, 2005. Russ brought some fourteen artifacts to the conference for display, which he had recovered from "Burrows Cave". He generously loaned these to me to provide some analysis following the symposium. Also, he has given me permission to show photos and results of the analysis here on the forum. (Thanks for all this, Russ!)

So below I will show these artifacts and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) results, as these become available for us to study.
Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 6/9/05 8:14 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 680
(6/9/05 2:07 pm)
Reply     BC artifact 1 So here are photos of what I'll call BC artifact 1, starting with the front (obverse):

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 6/9/05 8:04 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 681
(6/9/05 2:30 pm)
Reply     Re: BC artifact 1 Notice that this artifact has three corners -- and on each corner is carved a "face." The lower-left corner shows this face:

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 6/9/05 8:05 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 682
(6/9/05 3:38 pm)
Reply     Re: BC artifact 1 Here is a pair of faces carved into a corner of the artifact. Note that the mouth is shared. :D (One face is upside-down -- do you see both faces?).

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 6/9/05 8:05 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 683
(6/9/05 3:43 pm)
Reply     Re: BC artifact 1 The reverse of the artifact shows a helix/spiral in the center. It is NOT a metallic screw (we determined this via XRF), but could be a shell embedded in the stone.... The face which was upside-down in the previous image is to the right of the photo (still upside-down).

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 6/9/05 8:05 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 684
(6/9/05 3:50 pm)
Reply     BC artifact 1 XRF results We analyzed BC artifact 1 using one of the X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) devices at BYU, and determined the following composition:

Mostly calcium
Significant iron and silicon
Traces of strontium, rubidium, barium, zinc, titanium, and copper. These traces, particularly in such a combination, are rather unusual and may provide clues for deterimining the origin of the artifact -- presumably from stone found in southern Illinois...

It is an intriguing design, with the faces carved into the three corners, and the 4-pointed "star" on the obverse. I do not see any writing per se on this one; some of the others which Russ provided do show symbolic writing.

Russ -- any comments on where in the cave this artifact was found, if you recall?
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 906
(6/9/05 7:20 pm)
Reply     Re: BC artifact 1 XRF results Steve:
All 14 of those pieces were recovered by "the Team" so I don't know much about it. I can tell you that your findings of content match up with theirs. That is good news. Someone is doing it right. Keep in mind now that one of those pieces had split and been repaired with glue so, when your research says glue, you won't be taken off guard.

Russ
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 687
(6/10/05 10:13 am)
Reply     Re: BC artifact 1 XRF results I'll watch for that, Russ...

Can anyone from So. Illinois comment on the above stone -- does such tan-colored clay or stone occur commonly in southern Illinois? (Most of the other artifacts are a dark-charcoal gray color, as we shall see.)
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Plantlady
Registered User
Posts: 180
(6/10/05 11:17 pm)
Reply     Re: Photos and analysis of BC artifacts HE, I don't know if Southern Illinois contains rocks with that particular mixture of elements, but we do have sandstone which could be that color.

www.inhs.uiuc.edu/cwe/rra/site28.html

One of the the more interesting sandstone displays is at Garden of the Gods:

shabru.com/images/camelhump.jpg

We have only a few inches of topsoil covering a thick layer of light brown clay and in some areas, deposits of sand underground. I've seen one area where the sand under a large bluff near the Big Muddy River was removed for commercial purposes.

www.lib.niu.edu/ipo/im910627.html

Wouldn't a stone containing mostly calcium be basic and one that is sandstone acidic?
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wonwhoseeks
Unregistered User
(6/13/05 9:53 pm)
Reply     rocks/ rock art HE, it appears to be common to the area in question, based on field research and seeing several collections of locals. Names of some of these collectors could be provided for a possible lead to other rocks for testing.
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 690
(6/14/05 1:55 pm)
Reply     BC artifact "5933" Thanks for the comments on the sandstone in question appearing to be common to the So. Illinois area. Of course, actually obtaining samples from that area and performing XRF (X-ray Fluorescence) analyses on these will permit a direct comparison. (If someone wishes to send samples from the area, I'll go ahead with the XRF analyses and post results here. Be sure to indicate the location -- county, GPS coordinates if possible -- where the sample is from.)

Here is the next artifact, made from a dark-gray sandstone or shaped-clay with a labelling number on the side "5933".

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 6/21/05 6:55 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 691
(6/14/05 2:06 pm)
Reply     Re: BC artifact "5933" Notice that the symbol "I I V" appears TWICE on this stone. (Perhaps it is "upside-down V" I I.) This symbol has been discussed previously on this forum, but the discussion appears to have been lost. In any case, I find this symbol to be commonly seen on the Burrows Cave stones. Of the 14 stones loaned to me by Russ Burrows for examination, I count eight (8) of them as having this "I I V" symbolism at least once.

Notice that the same symbol-set appears on the reverse of this stone also, this time inside an inscribed rectangle:



If anyone has comments on the writing on this stone, I would be interested. The XRF analysis follows soon.
Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 6/21/05 6:55 pm
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ablewasiereisawelba
Registered User
Posts: 452
(6/14/05 3:48 pm)
Reply     Re: Tool Marking Forensics Hard Evidence,

The jpg below shows an enlarged cropped jpg of one of the symbols on the rock and a reduced-size jpg of the first rock you posted. It appears that the symbol was etched/scribed after the rock was hardened based on the chipping along the edges of the grooves. Whatever tool was used shows that the tool was used at a beveled angle to the stone since many of the grooves are consistently higher on one side then the other from one end to the other. The chipping along the edges of the grooves also appears to occur usually on the deeper side of the groove. One can also see that the two (center and right) vertical grooves of the "arrow" started at the top and ended abruptly at the bottom of the groove and at an angle. Also, all three "faces" of the "arrow" grooves are all beveled on the same side.

I would presume that the archaeology department at BYU has enlarged photographs of other known (and dated) artifacts showing the tool used and what culture used them? It shouldn't be too hard to determine what type of tool was used to make those marks, should it?

For instance, based on the evenness of the grooves, one could almost say the markings could not have been made by a stone tool but by a metal tool.

Below the first photo is a chart showing that many (not all) of the characters on the stone match with the Numidian alphabet.

You didn't say whether your testing showed whether the unusual minute trace elements occurred all over the surface of the rock or just in the grooves. Also, since it's hard to tell by a photo, is there a noticeable patina overall on the stone's surface or was that eliminated when and if the rock was cleaned? Do you know if the rock was cleaned after being removed from the cave? Were chemicals used, wire brushes, soap, etc.? If the rock wasn't cleaned, is the patina within the grooves consistent with the patina on the rock's surface?


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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 695
(6/14/05 4:38 pm)
Reply     Re: Tool Marking Forensics Able -- yours is just the kind of scrutiny we need to "unearth the truth" of the matter. Thanks for your continued insights.

I also noticed the chipping along the edges of the grooves -- and that the chipping appears mostly on one side (not both). So I agree that the rock was hardened before scribing for this stone, and that a hard tool was used. We will see for other stones that this chipping is not so pronounced...

As far as determining "the tool used and what culture used them" -- that's quite a challenge! :p Will see what we can come up with... need to find an expert in such stone carvings.

Something I can do -- will want to use an electron microprobe to check deep down in the grooves, as opposed to the surface -- to see whether metals associated with modern steel tools can be discerned (for instance) in the grooves.

But this will not be easy to ascertain, because the stones so far contain a large amount of IRON, also found in modern tools.

So let me give you all the XRF results for composition of the gray rock:

Mostly iron and calcium, with significant strontium, manganese and potassium. Traces of zinc, copper, rubidium, barium, YTTRIUM AND CERIUM.

The last two metals, Yttrium and Cerium, are unusual and provide a "signature" which may allow us to determine the origin of the rock -- if we can find matching samples from So. Illinois, or say -- grasping a bit here -- Egypt. ;)
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wonwhoseeks
Unregistered User
(6/14/05 7:55 pm)
Reply     Tut's Tomb Toys King Tut's tomb toys are stateside, maybe you could find out if there are any rocks in that collection and borrow them for comparison analysis. LOL.

Seriously, last time I was down there, I saw a rock with heavy patina (and/ or moss), squared on at least 2 sides, and it appeared to have one or more symbols or letters carved into it. As it was too large to fit in my knapsack, I had to leave it behind. I'm sure it is still there. A walk along the Skillet Fork picking up rock samples along the way might prove useful. An address & name to ship a box of rocks to would be useful also.
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ablewasiereisawelba
Registered User
Posts: 460
(6/16/05 1:12 pm)
Reply     Re: Rare Earth Elements
HE,

Unless there are some books out there with compilations of REE signatures of various rock formations around the US I think the chances of finding where the rocks originated from are pretty slim.

Considering there's about only one rare earth element mine in the US (Mountain Pass, CA) and none in Illinois that I know of, it would boil down to one of two things;

1) whether significant REE deposits containing just those two specific REE's occur in Illinois, or,

2) what specific commercial product applications are Yttrium and Cerium used in.

Those two specific REE elements you mentioned of the 15 naturally-occurring ones that exist didn't just separate themselves from the others, did they?

You didn't show in your results whether spectroanalysis turned up naturally-occurring elements or laboratory-produced byproducts of those elements.
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 703
(6/17/05 9:13 am)
Reply     Matching Rare Earth Elements and other elements... Able, these REE's are in very low = trace amounts. Certainly not enough to allow for a mine. And it's not uncommon to find trace elements far from where concentrations are found.

But even trace amounts provide a signature that may allow us to correlate the origin of the stones, probably to some location in Illinois. Perhaps we could even pin down the originating county in Illinois, and that would be interesting... ;)

Won (also Plantlady, etc), rock samples from different counties in Illinois, would be helpful in this quest. Although the inorganic stones cannot be radiocarbon-dated, we can proceed in our study by looking for matching minerals including trace minerals identified by XRF. Please try to find matching COLORS of rocks, as shown above. The address to send to (please) is:
Prof. Steven E. Jones
N-269 ESC
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

There is also a third type/color of rock which I'll show here, although the XRF on this one is not done yet. Note especially the recurve-bow on this rock, which bow was used in ancient Egypt (for example, not that I'm saying this is the origin of the stone).

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 6/21/05 6:56 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 704
(6/17/05 9:17 am)
Reply     Recurved bow On the recurved bow, notice that whoever scribed the bow evidently did so in separate strokes, coming from the left then from the right, and having some difficulty making the strokes overlap in the middle of the bow...
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Plantlady
Registered User
Posts: 181
(6/17/05 4:04 pm)
Reply     Re: Recurved bow I'll be glad to keep a lookout for stones that look like the ones above, although I have a suspicion that they may not match up with what you have. ;)

I assume that you don't need very large stones to do an analysis. What's the smallest size you could use, assuming that I might run across some pieces sometime in my travels?
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 709
(6/20/05 7:51 am)
Reply     Re: Recurved bow PL, a stone the size of a dime will work just fine for XRF analysis. Thanks ;)
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Dr Doom
Unregistered User
(6/20/05 5:14 pm)
Reply     Try looking for your stone in these places I strongly suggest looking in Southern Italy and especially West North Africa
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Comment
Hammer and Drill
Registered User
Posts: 18
(6/21/05 9:55 pm)
Reply     Re: Cerium Hardly a revelation among this lerned group but I'll mention it first anyway, and take the abuse too, no doubt. Cerium, in the form of cerium oxide, is an important ingredient in some polishes. Common polishes for lapidary and gemological work.

HE, is it possible to see the back, unadorned, sides of any of the gray colored artifacts? Or can you give a discription of the back sides? The reason I ask is that these peices are either mechanically shaped and polished or they are stream polished and a stream will not polish just one side.

HE, also is it possible for you to describe the specific sampling technique you anylist used? I have nothing but the utmost respect for BYU and it's world class research facilities and I'm NOT questioning anything your group did, I'm just wondering what may have been incorporated into the sample. RE: first paragraph of this post.

These questions are intended to contribute to the discussion on this thread. No cynicism, no negativity, no attacks. Please respond in kind.

Jerry
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 711
(6/22/05 8:22 am)
Reply     Re: Cerium You raise valid questions, Jerry. The dark-gray stone shown above appears "polished" on both sides. There are other artifacts which appear polished on just one side, the side with writings and/or drawings. So, yes, next chance I get I'll do XRF on BOTH sides of such a sample and let you know if there's a difference...
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ablewasiereisawelba
Registered User
Posts: 472
(6/22/05 12:18 pm)
Reply     Re: Cerium

Russ,

Any chance you recall what procedures you used to clean your stones after getting them out of the cave and what cleaning materials you may have used? This would go a long way in helping HE I would think.
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 932
(6/22/05 2:57 pm)
Reply     Re: Cerium Sure do. Just plain water. No soap or any other cleaning agent. Jack Ward applied car wax to some of them to highlight the cuts and groves but none that HE has were those.

I don't think HE is going to find any kind of polish because none was used. I usually use an old, soft shoe brush to clean them with so microscopic traces of shoe polish may show up but I doubt it.

Russ B
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 713
(6/23/05 4:04 pm)
Reply     No polish in evidence We have done XRF analyses on two dark-gray stones, looking at a surface that looks polished, then at spots on the same stone which were unpolished. In both cases, the analyses show essentially the SAME contents, and the same trace elements (including Cerium).

So Russ is correct, I see no evidence for any polish being used. :D
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 714
(6/23/05 4:11 pm)
Reply     XRF for BC 5415 XRF analysis was completed this afternoon on the stone with the recurved bow, shown as the last photo on page 1 of this thread (my post #703). Here are the results:

Major elements: Calcium, iron, strontium

Minor elements: Yttrium, titanium, manganese

Trace elements: Cerium, potassium, barium, lanthanum, zinc, and copper.

Quite an array of elements -- with surprisingly large amounts of yttrium and manganese and cerium. This "fingerprint" of elements should allow us to match up with rocks found elsewhere... (Still waiting for samples from Illinois, and Egypt... ;) )

And by reviewing the XRF results posted above and previously, one can see some common elements, but major differences between the dark-gray and other-colored stones.

Very interesting... :D
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ptcarroll
Registered User
Posts: 239
(6/23/05 8:15 pm)
Reply     Re: XRF for BC 5415 Just a comment on those carved slate artifacts. I had a chance to see them down in Saint George back in April.
The odd thing is, I could swear that they look exactly like other carved slate stones that I've seen for sale in the South over the last year or so. Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly where I saw them. I would presume they were probably for sale at one of the mound sites in Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana, but they could also have been at a Fort, at petroglyph sites in Texas, New Mexico, or Arizona. I simply can't remember where I've seen them. But they appeared to be in plentiful supply.
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 716
(6/24/05 2:20 pm)
Reply     Photo of BC 4009 Here are photos of Burrows Cave artifact numbered 4009 (on the back, the latest to be analyzed here. First the front:


Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 6/26/05 9:23 am
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 717
(6/24/05 2:26 pm)
Reply     Re: Photo of BC 4009 Notice that the bottom of the stone is chipped, revealing two distinct layers in this stone. At the point of the chipped-off portion, the upper layer is 3 mm thick while the lower layer is approx. 5 mm thick. We did XRF on both top (shinier) and bottom layers, and the analyzed elements came out the same for both.

The chip and the crack, incidentally, were present on the stone when first observed here. Take a close look where the crack crosses the inscribed writing on BC4009 -- which do you think came first, the writing or the crack?
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 718
(6/24/05 2:33 pm)
Reply     Reverse side of BC 4009 Here is the reverse side of BC 4009 (no writing). Note the shinier areas, of higher relief. The artifacts are stored in bubble-pack envelopes -- as they were when loaned to me by Russ. Note that where the stone was in contact with the plastic, the stones are shinier ("polished"). Evidently the dark-gray artifacts polish up easily with plastic...

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 6/26/05 9:24 am
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Hammer and Drill
Registered User
Posts: 19
(6/25/05 4:35 pm)
Reply     Re: Crack I believe RB mentioned that one of the stones presented to your group had been broken and later repaired with glue. Is this the one?

How does it look in close up examination? Glue first or inscription?

Thanks for the additional photos and anylitical results.
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Zzons
Registered User
Posts: 46
(6/26/05 12:40 am)
Reply     Re: Crack If you look at the crescent shaped characters, you can see how wide the tool was that made it. You can see where each tool stroke made the cut and then an angular corner and the next stroke. I cannot tell how wide it is from the pics as I have no size reference but it looks like maybe 2-3mm width. Has anyone stuck a set of calipers across those tool widths? It definately looks like it was carved with a chiseled out method as opposed to a scribing motion.

Zz...
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 952
(6/26/05 7:07 am)
Reply     Reply to ZZONS Good morning Zzons:
Good point. The cuts or groves are actually small, maybe 1/32nd" to 2/32nd". They are usually cut into the rock at an angle. I believe that a thumbnail graver, which is a small shard of flint the size of a thumb
nail was used. Unless a metal tool was used, like bronze or iron. But no evidence of metal has ever been found that I am aware of.

Russ B
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ablewasiereisawelba
Registered User
Posts: 482
(6/26/05 3:28 pm)
Reply     Re: Testing Comparison Hard Evidence,

Under Mystic Symbol - Burrows Cave Stones you stated that Dr. Richard B. Stamps, Anthropology Dept., Oakland University, Michigan did an analysis of the S-S artifacts in 2001. Since you have the paper could you show any similarities and/or contrasts in the elements of those artifacts and the BC artifacts? (assuming the methods you are using now were available in 2001)

p073.ezboard.com/fancientlosttreasuresfrm23.showMessage?topicID=40.topic

    Quote:Long paper debunking the Soper-Savage Michigan relics:

    There is a lengthy scientific paper on the Scotford-Soper-Savage artifacts published in BYU Studies 40, no. 3 (2001) -- pages 210 - 238. I have a copy in front of me. It was written by Dr. Richard B. Stamps, in the Anthropology Dept. at Oakland University in Michigan.

    Dr. Stamps analyzed relics held by:
    1. The University of Michigan
    2. Michigan Historical Museum, Lansing, Mich.
    3. The "LDS collection" at the Museum of Church History and Art
    4. The Cranbrook Institute of Science, Bloomfield Hills, Mich. -HE
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 720
(6/28/05 2:07 pm)
Reply     Answers A few answers first, to Zzons, Hammer&drill and Able:

Yes, BC 4009 pictured above does appear to be the one that had a piece glued back on -- looks to me like this was after the inscribing was done. The crack through one character in particular left pronounced spalling.

BC 4009 is approx. 4.5" (11.5cm) long X 3.3" (8.3cm) wide.
The inscribed lines are about 1mm wide. Able -- I'll have to look into comparisons with Soper-Savage relics == an interesting idea there.
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 721
(6/28/05 2:12 pm)
Reply     Re: Reply to ZZONS Russ is correct when he says: "The cuts or groves are actually small, maybe 1/32nd" to 2/32nd". They are usually cut into the rock at an angle." About 1/32" at the top, generally sloping down to a sharp groove at the bottom, with spalling on the opposite side, as pictures above show. This suggests that the grooves were made with a hard instrument in hardened "mud-stone", at least in most of the 14 samples provided for analysis by Russ.
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 722
(6/29/05 8:54 am)
Reply     Geologists examine 3 BC stones I took three BC stones to a geologist here at BYU, Prof. Bart Kowallis, and he examined them carefully. A visiting geologist was in his office, and concurred with Dr. Kowallis' conclusions.
Here they are:

1. Tan-colored stone with faces carved on three corners = BC artifact 1 on page one of this thread = BC 5417.
This stone shows numerous small fossils embedded in it. It is a "fossiliferous carbonate mudstone."

2. Recurve-bow stone = BC 5415 (photo above). "Carbonate mudstone." Edges have been smoothed, shaped. Inscriptions were clearly cut by a hard metal tool -- copper is too soft.

3. Dark-gray stone with crack = BC 4009 (photo above). Limestone - carbonate mudstone. Not a durable material -- easily rubs off and would be subject to water-degradation. Evidently cracks/peels easily. So it is surprising that the inscribed characters are so sharp and precise (obvious when viewed with a loop which he had) after a long period of time...
Note that this rock is NOT slate as someone suggested earlier on this thread, but rather a carbonate mudstone like the other two samples noted above.

Of the 14 artifacts graciously loaned to me by Russ, 12 are of the dark-gray mudstone type. (See photos earlier on this thread.)
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ablewasiereisawelba
Registered User
Posts: 487
(6/29/05 9:50 am)
Reply     Re: Clarification

    Quote:3. Dark-gray stone with crack = BC 4009 (photo above). Limestone - carbonate mudstone. Not a durable material -- easily rubs off and would be subject to water-degradation. Evidently cracks/peels easily. So it is surprising that the inscribed characters are so sharp and precise...after a long period of time...-HE


Hard Evidence,

To clarify your statement:

Are you stating that the inscribed characters on this sedimentary rock could not possibly have stayed as sharp and precise as they currently appear for a long period of time in soil/silt of a cave?

Also, you said a hard metal tool was used to make the inscriptions. Could you specify as to whether the marks were made with a downward chiseling motion (chisel perpendicular to the rock's surface) or a sideways chiseling motion? Any wild guesses as to the type of metal? Iron? Bronze?

Mudstone

Composition: Sedimentary rock
Formation: A form of clay. The cemented equivalent of mud.
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 966
(6/29/05 9:52 am)
Reply     Re: Geologists examine 3 BC stones HE, as for the darker mud stone: We must remember that these things have not be setting in water or out in a field where they were churned up by plows or disc. They have been held firmly in place by silt. That means that there is no damaging action to reduce what is on them.

Russ B
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 724
(6/30/05 10:01 am)
Reply     Re: Geologists examine 3 BC stones Able and Russ -- It is difficult to be certain objectively whether the sharpness of the strokes can be maintained while the stones were covered with silt. I suppose it is possible...

Russ: was the silt moist when you found the stones, or was there some indication that the silt had been moist in the past?

Able, the scribing tool was evidently held at an angle since one side of the inscribed characters is sharp and clean, while the other side shows spalling/fragmenting of the stone. No knowledge the cutting tool was made of could have been bronze, but not copper -- had to be a hard, sharp metal blade.
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Comment
Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 969
(6/30/05 10:18 am)
Reply     Re: Geologists examine 3 BC stones HE and Able:
It appeared to me that the silt had at one time been wet because the rock pieces well pretty much compacted in it. That means no moving, shifting or anything that could have abraided the surfaces. Once in place, they stayed there. The silt was hard enough or compacted enough that it was a hard task to push down anf retreive these things. What I did was use a shotgun cleaning rod to probe with. When I hit something, I dug it out. I had to push the rod in at an angle because there wasn't enough room between the ceiling and the surface to probe straight down.

Russ B
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 729
(7/8/05 9:20 am)
Reply     Photo of BC3526 Here's the next BC artifact which we're analyzing, 3526 written on the back of it. This is the largest of the 14 samples loaned to me by Russ for analysis (see scale). I will also post the reverse side, which shows no engraving and is rougher than the front side. An XRF analysis will follow in a few days.

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 7/9/05 5:55 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 730
(7/8/05 9:23 am)
Reply     Reverse of BC3526 Here is the reverse of BC3526:

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 7/9/05 5:56 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 731
(7/9/05 8:25 am)
Reply     Unusual headband BC3526 Notice the headband on this artifact, which appears to be a snake around the helmet-like headpiece. Certainly unusual for native American, but it does have an Egyptian flavor to it... If anyone check for parallels with Egyptian head-gear or with other BC pieces that are known, I would appreciate this information. :D
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10x
Registered User
Posts: 397
(7/9/05 12:36 pm)
Reply     Re: Unusual headband BC3526 The snake has been used by the native americans. At least in my area. Never heard of a head band though.
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 734
(7/13/05 11:18 am)
Reply     XRF analysis of BC3526 Here are the results of our X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analysis of BC artifact 3526 (major components; photo above):

Calcium 4.5%
Potassium 4.0%
Iron 4.2%
(silicon not measured -- X-ray lines too low in energy)
Titanium 4189 ppm
Manganese 1088 ppm
Barium 763 ppm
Chromium 197 ppm
Copper 103 ppm
Zinc 97 ppm
Lead 20 ppm
Rubidium 92 ppm (unusual)
Strontium 392 ppm
Zirconium 78 ppm
Silver 55 ppm
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 1002
(7/13/05 11:35 am)
Reply     Re: XRF analysis of BC3526 Steve:
So, that does make it a mud stone, doesn't it. I was interested in the silver content. 55 ppm. Isn't that a rather large amount for a mud stone?

Russ
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Hammer and Drill
Registered User
Posts: 20
(7/13/05 11:48 pm)
Reply     Re: XRF analysis of BC3526 Russ,
If I may, and anyone please correct me if I'm mistaken, a Mudstone can be made up of practically anything, mineralogically speaking.

The determination as to whether the stones in question are Mudstone, Siltstone, Claystone or even a poorly consolidated shale (NOT slate, from what I've seen) is based on simple, physical tests and examination of a hand specimen. Grain size is the important factor. As a matter of fact, the final test to determine whether a rock is a siltstone or clay stone, or whichever is the finer two of the three, is to grind a small bit between your teeth. The Claystone is smooth like chocolate, the others progressivly more gritty.

All good field Sedimentologists have flat incisors, or so I'm told.

I got way off subject, but my point is this, YOU know the rock is a Mudstone. But the XRF results could be from an Igneous rock or almost anything else. These fine grained sedimentary Rx can be way more complex, chemically and mineralogically, than the coarser grained rocks they are usually associated with. And I'm not even talking about secondary enrichment or anything like that, just Depositional makeup.

Now, is that about as clear as a Mudstone?
Jerry
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Demetrius
Registered User
Posts: 52
(7/14/05 6:20 am)
Reply     Re: XRF analysis of BC3526 Hammer and Drill, couldn't help but notice your emphasis on Russell knowing what the stone is made of. Is that because you feel that maybe Russell fabricated these pieces?
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10x
Registered User
Posts: 402
(7/14/05 7:00 am)
Reply     Re: XRF analysis of BC3526 "fabricated these pieces? "

Hm such being done would not be that easy. The question would be if the material can be easly carved. Then if it could be fired to add to the hardness and solitification of the material.


Such as a small core of the matirial , including edge would have to be examined for hardness, and layering.

The question even if such showed, when would it have been done would still be a question. I doubt if they show sighns of such, but it is a posibility.

What I am saying is carved in a softer state, and then fired to a greater hardness.
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 1004
(7/14/05 9:15 am)
Reply     Re: XRF analysis of BC3526 Thanks Jerry.
All I know about rocks is, if you drop on on your toe, it hurts.

These kinds of rocks are found around strip mines, some quite large. They are called "niggerheads" As for those from the cave, I am sure they are mud stones but, where did they come from?

Thanks for you input.

Russ
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Hammer and Drill
Registered User
Posts: 21
(7/14/05 9:49 am)
Reply     Re: XRF analysis of BC3526 I was actually referring to the conclusion of the BYU Geologist on one of the earlier stones looked at in this thread. HE said, I believe, that it was a mud stone.

I wasn't implying that anyone made them.

Jerry
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 1007
(7/14/05 10:29 am)
Reply     Re: XRF analysis of BC3526 Jerry, yes, I realize that. No such thing is implied.

Russ B
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 735
(7/15/05 8:13 am)
Reply     Re: XRF analysis of BC3526 Yes, these are fine-grained, sedimentary carbonate mudstone. And the silver content at 55 ppm does not strike me as unusually high, Russ...

Would like to call the group's attention to the edges of these stones. Several show a well-formed edge that looks like it has been cut -- perhaps when the mudstone was wet, formed from clay, before drying. At least that's what it looks like to me -- but take a look for yourself and see what you make of these edges:

These are for stones BC3526 (pictured above; large) and BC 3528.
Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 7/16/05 5:14 pm
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ablewasiereisawelba
Registered User
Posts: 509
(7/15/05 12:09 pm)
Reply     Re: Forensics HardEvidence,

The only way you can be sure is to conduct your own forensics exam. In order to do that you'd need to buy your own modeling clay, cut it with a scissors and/or a knife, dry it and then then put both the clay and the rocks under high magnification (do you have that type of equipment?) and make a comparison of any similarities in man-made striation marks, if any are to be found.

You might even do an element analysis of the store-bought clay to see if the elements found in clay are similar to those found in the rocks you've already tested. Then you could eliminate speculations of recent manufacture.

Someone like Beverly Moseley would be someone to talk to. His job was to create authentic-looking museum displays like at Cahokia Mounds where the Birdman Stone was found. Was he working there in 1976 when that stone was found laying on the hillside? Anyone know? I'm sure he would have worked with certain types of modeling clay to create objects for his displays. I understand he has a large collection of BC stones.

You might also take into consideration that these mudstones were formed out of clay and cut thousands of years ago by the artist, rather than recently. Considering that ancient figurines and other artifacts were made out of clay, who's to say that these clay mudstones weren't also man-made way back when?
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 737
(7/19/05 5:20 pm)
Reply     Re: Forensics Able: I agree that these mudstones could have been anciently man-made... Still working to pin down hard evidence one way or the other.

Thanks for the suggestions. (Note, friends, that I'll be back east for several days starting tomorrow, for a wedding... :D )
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 738
(7/28/05 9:04 am)
Reply     BC Map Rock 6807 One of the stones loaned to me by Russ shows a map, presumably of the area where the Cave is located. I will present both sides of the stone, even though just the front face has writing and the map. I have not tried to compare this map with other BC map rocks, but would encourage others on the forum to make such comparisons.

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 7/29/05 9:39 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 739
(7/28/05 9:06 am)
Reply     Reverse of BC6807, Map Here is the reverse of the map stone, BC6807:

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 7/29/05 9:40 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 741
(7/29/05 11:23 am)
Reply     Map to Burrows Cave! (?) A BYU student and I have worked on the map stone, BC 6807, to sketch out the map so that all can see it clearly. Looks like we start at the mouth of the Mississippi River (bottom end as the map below is oriented), travel north, go east on the ? river and then -- well, you tell me where this all leads. ;) Have fun! :D

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 7/29/05 9:40 pm
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Plantlady
Registered User
Posts: 197
(7/30/05 5:16 am)
Reply     Re: Map to Burrows Cave! (?) I had rotated the picture and figured out that the rock shows basically the same map as the others also, with one notable exception: this one does not show the second cave symbol, or at least it is not easily seen on this stone due to the rough surface.
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Dr Doom
Unregistered User
(7/31/05 9:59 am)
Reply     Mudstone Looks like this stone was acted upon by pressure. Egyptians liked such stone because it tends not to fracture when you work it.:hat
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 744
(8/10/05 11:13 am)
Reply     BC 5419 Our next specimen is numbered 5419. Notice the inverted-V // on this mudstone, an inscription which is commonly seen on these BC samples. (Rotate the stone 90 degrees clockwise to perhaps see this writing better.)

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 8/10/05 8:21 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 745
(8/10/05 11:16 am)
Reply     BC5419 reverse Here is the reverse of specimen BC 5419.

Notice how the upper one-third of the stone shows a layer that has "flaked off". This spallation is fairly common on these mudstones, with flakes or chips evidently coming off the surface of the mudstones rather easily.
Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 8/10/05 8:21 pm
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 747
(8/26/05 1:49 pm)
Reply     BC5935 + star-stone front Here are two more Burrows Cave specimens. One is on loan from RB, BC5935. The other was purchased from Russ some time ago. As you see from the photo, it is smaller and bears a 6-pointed star on the front. I will also post the edges of the two specimens so that one can see how similar are the cut-edges on the stones. These are both of mudstone.

Russ -- can you verify that the small stone was indeed recovered by you from the cave? Thanks.

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 8/27/05 8:27 am
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 1037
(8/26/05 3:16 pm)
Reply     Re: BC5935 + star-stone front Steve, I can't really confirm that the small piece is a BC artifact. I use the script to determine that and there is no script on it.

Perhaps you could e-mail me direct and tell me who has it. Perhaps that way I can confirm or deny. As you well know there are a lot od so called BC pieces floating around out there.

Russ B
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 748
(8/26/05 3:52 pm)
Reply     Re: BC5935 + star-stone front Russ -- I'll check with the owner about disclosing that information.

Meanwhile, here are the edges of the two specimens, which look very similar to me, along with the compositions.

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 8/27/05 8:28 am
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 1038
(8/26/05 5:27 pm)
Reply     Re: BC5935 + star-stone front I wouldn't think that would be a problem IF he bought it from me. If he didn't but says he did then we have a horse of a differant color.

Mean while...What does the similar edges prove???

Russ
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Demetrius
Registered User
Posts: 56
(8/28/05 8:38 am)
Reply     Factual or fictional? Excuse my ignorance here Russell, but what difference would it make if he bought it from you or not?

Either it is a bonafied artifact you recognize or not, isn't it?

I just think it odd you would tell "Steve" (assuming Steve is HardEvidence) you are not sure if it is or isn't real, but that if he would email you personally and reveal it's owner then you could confirm of deny its validity?
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Anagalia
Moderator
Posts: 38
(8/28/05 1:05 pm)
Reply     Re: Factual or fictional? I dont see a problem here at all, Russ say's that there are some fraud BC rocks out there. If Russ knows who has it then he knows rather he sold it to him or not. There are so many BC rocks that there is no way Russ could remember every single one.
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 1040
(8/28/05 1:10 pm)
Reply     Re: Factual or fictional? Demetrius, there are at least 50 small pieces with the Star of David on them. I have seen at least a dozen that are not BC pieces already. I don't confirm anything until I know for sure. The only way I will know is if I know who bought the piece or who I gave it to. I gave away, not sold several.

I noticed something that struck me as strange on that piece. The lines did not connect at a couple of places. I would have noticed that before I sold/gave away a piece.

Anyhow, the person who has it says he bought it from me so why would he care about me knowing he has it? That doesn't make sense.

I didn't ask HE to post the persons name, just e-mail me direct then we will know.

If this person doesn't want to reveal then I am inclined to doubt the authenticity.

Russ B
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 1041
(8/28/05 1:14 pm)
Reply     Re: Factual or fictional? I dunno Anagalia but I doubt the smarts of some of the people using this forum.

Russ
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 749
(9/1/05 1:11 pm)
Reply     Re: Factual or fictional? The star stone above has been identified as one given as a gift by Russ. The recipient has been identified with Russ privately, but the sense is not to disclose his name publicly here. Anyway, the stone is genuine and indeed it is very similar in many ways to the other Burrows artifacts I've seen.

I wish we could tell more about the stones. We can provide analyses based on X-ray Fluorescence and some other tests such as I've reported here in the past. What we can't do -- at least not yet-- is pin down the age of these arifacts, or when they were carved. We'll keep trying to think of some tests to do on this important point.

Now if a piece of wood or fabric or other organic material were recovered from the cave and made available for analysis, we would be able then to do a radiocarbon-dating determination. This would clear up some mysteries to be sure!
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 1042
(9/1/05 6:16 pm)
Reply     Reply to HE You are correct HE when you say that aging is not possible from the stones themselves.

I have been told that some wood was found deep in the silt but that there is no way to associate it with the cave people. I do believe ans was given to understand that a R-C would be done on a sample of it.

I'll let you know what the results are along with documentation.

Russ
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 751
(9/6/05 10:01 am)
Reply     Re: Reply to HE That would be very interesting -- I look forward to this information, Russ.
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 755
(9/30/05 8:59 am)
Reply     Two more BC stones The next two stone artifacts graciously loaned to me by Russ Burrows are shown below. These are 5935 and 5936 (his numbering system).

Above we see the front sides. Reverse sides are blank except for Russ' numbers, as shown below:

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 10/7/05 6:56 am
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 756
(9/30/05 9:03 am)
Reply     Re: Two more BC stones If anyone can interpret the markings on these BC stones, I would be interested. Others have made a stab regarding other artifacts, but this is probably the first time these particular writings have been displayed publicly.

All the stones which Russ lent to me were photographed. As I have time, I'll display the rest here (many are already shown, earlier on this thread). Also note that I returned all fourteen of the loaned artifacts to Russ last week.
(-- Prof. Jones)
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 757
(9/30/05 10:50 am)
Reply     BC 5935 again Russ provided me with another photo of BC5935, saying that this shows the stone in the proper orientation. Thank you, Russ, and here is the photo:

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 10/7/05 6:57 am
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 1051
(9/30/05 1:13 pm)
Reply     Re: BC 5935 again Thanks Steve for correcting your display. I assume that your latest post is correct because I have yet to see one of these pieces with the VII right side up instead of inverted.

David Dinger was one of the best, if not the best researcher of ancient scripts. This one is derived from the Phoenician forms of writing and the Phoenician script was derived from the ancient Hebrew scripts. I believe that Dr. James Harris pointed this out.

We must remember however, that just having a copy these scripts does not give us a solution to who, when and where or what was being written down because-- if we do not know know the langueage and what dialect the script is written in makes it nearly impossible to decipher it. The Language may not be to hard to decipher but the dialects make it nearly impossible. I doubt that anyone, even those living in what ever region these people came from knows the ancient dialects today. Most of the so called epigraphers who have tried to decipher these writings don't seem to understand that.

Russ B
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Russ Burrows
Registered User
Posts: 1052
(10/3/05 8:28 pm)
Reply     Re: BC 5935 again Sorry for the misspelling. The name is David Dringer.

Russ B
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 758
(10/6/05 2:09 pm)
Reply     BC artifacts 3528 and 3526, front Here are two more Burrows Cave artifacts, 3528 and 3526.

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 10/7/05 6:57 am
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HardEvidence
Registered User
Posts: 759
(10/6/05 2:13 pm)
Reply     Re: BC artifacts 3528 and 3526, back And here are the reverse sides of BC artifacts 3528 and 3526.
Note that these are clearly mudstone, like most of the stones recently lent to me by Russ.

Edited by: Whyte Eagle at: 10/7/05 6:58 am
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Demetrius
Registered User
Posts: 63
(10/31/05 10:01 am)
Reply     Re: BC 5935 again Just curious here, but if no one can interpet the inscriptions on the stone, then how does Russell know the proper orientation of the script?

      As of Nov. 29, 2005 there's been no further activity involving the
"Photos and analysis of BC artifacts"
  thread title.

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