Dying Star Book Two: Dying Star Book Three: Dying Star Book One: My Bed is a Spaceship: Over Land or Sea The Falklands - a hidden conflict. Nottinghamshire Children Tell Tales: The History on the Page: Strange Case of Dr. The Size of the Dog: The Tales of Averon Trilogy: The Fires of Eternity: The Demon's Curse Part One: A Whale in Paris: All in a Day's Work: Greek Letters, Volume One: Espana en la Busqueda de su Destino: Spain's Pursuit of Destiny: The Realms of Night: Bales had sent Miles some pictures of the stone and asked for his comments.
The face in this case shows some artistic skill, particularly the nose, and the mouth is either from life or carved to indicate the act of talking. Could be a portrait. I get the feeling that the carving was done with a maul and cold chisel. Doesn't looked pecked to me. It does not appear 'Indian' to me I get the feeling of a mediaeval European carving of a face.
A soldier coming from a country in Europe The second Fort Dearborn was razed in In the curious monolith was relocated to Dearborn Park--east of Wabash between Washington and Randolph--where it was a major attraction at the Northwestern Sanitary Fair, one of several festivals held during the Civil War to raise funds for Union relief efforts. The boulder, says Hurlbut, was "drilled and tunnelled for the water-pipes," making it into a fountain that symbolized Lake Michigan. Arnold, an art collector and friend of Abraham Lincoln. Arnold placed the stone fountain in the garden of his mansion, whose grounds occupied the entire block west of Pine now Michigan between Erie and Huron.
The Great Fire of destroyed Arnold's home--including his art collection, 8,book library, and Lincoln memorabilia--but "old 'Waubansa,'" Kirkland notes, "passed through the flames with the same unmoved look which he had preserved through his earlier vicissitudes. When he rebuilt his home on the same plot, Arnold created a makeshift fire memorial in his side yard, surrounding the fountain with debris retrieved from nearby houses. Arnold died in , and his property was sold in In a letter to the society's trustees, she wrote, "The public should have more access to this relic of early Chicago.
The truncated stone, no less enigmatic, moved with the society to its new facility at North and Clark in Some historians took to calling the rock the Stone of Sacrifice and Death, speculating that the face was carved on the rock long before the arrival of explorers and settlers, even the Potawatomi. In The Story of Chicago, Kirkland writes: Hurlbut gives the cold truth; more modern though scarcely less romantic. Their largest and most impressive site, Cahokia, in downstate Illinois, was a great population and ceremonial center that peaked between and , and was marked by temple mounds, burial mounds, and other earthworks about 70 remain.
The Cahokians are known to have ritually killed young men and women, interring their bodies along with those of important leaders to accompany them to the afterlife. Artisans carved figurines in stone, though apparently nothing on the scale of the Waubansee Stone. But despite the similarities of their temple mounds and sacrifices, there are no proven links between the Mound Builders and the Aztec or Maya. Still, this doesn't explain what the boulder was doing in Chicago, not known as a mound-building center. As circumstantial evidence has mounted in recent decades of routine yet historically unrecorded transoceanic visits to the Americas for perhaps thousands of years prior to Columbus's celebrated trip in , some researchers have looked to Europe and the Near East to help solve the stone's sphinxlike riddle.
The rock's location on the riverside near Lake Michigan, they say, provides a good clue. Could others have made the journey long before them, stopping here to carve the Waubansee Stone and using it to hold their vessels in place? Anderson founded the Leif Ericson Society in Chicago in , and for decades he tried to convince people that the Vikings should be recognized as the discoverers of America.
Though the society dissolved when Anderson died in , the Evanston resident lived to witness his vindication. That Vikings explored and tried to settle the New World years before Columbus is no longer disputed--Ericson established a short-lived colony in northern Newfoundland in about Yet Anderson and others maintain that Norsemen ventured deeper into the continent, leaving a trail of artifacts the authenticity of these artifacts is debated.
The Waubansee Stone, Anderson points out, has a small hole on each side "similar to hundreds found on boulders in Minnesota and surrounding states, believed to have anchored Viking ships" with metal pins and hawsers made of braided vines. There must be a better explanation than that suggested. The rock's two side holes, both two inches deep, wouldn't seem to serve any purpose for a fountain; neither would a four-inch hole between the face's parted lips. A drawing of Arnold's fountain in Hurlbut's Chicago Antiquities shows a pipe sticking out of the top of the stone, yet today there's no opening or drain in the basin.
It's possible, however, that the Chicago Historical Society altered the piping system when it transformed the relic into a drinking fountain before sealing it up altogether. I called Marion Dahm, a farmer and "self-educated archaeologist" in Chokio, Minnesota.
The year-old Dahm claims to have found some Viking mooring stones over the last four decades throughout the Great Plains states and Canada, some weighing 60 tons. Many are located along rivers and lakes, but some sit in open fields that were immersed centuries ago, says Dahm. Norsemen didn't bring the stones with them, he believes, but used existing ones. They all have "rounded-triangular" holes bored several inches into their sides that suggest the use of flat-bladed chisels--according to Dahm, tests on some holes have indicated the presence of a type of iron forged in medieval northern Europe.
But would the Vikings have carved faces into the rocks?
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Dahm recalls that Anderson once sent him close-up photographs of the Waubansee Stone. But I think it's a goddamn crime we have to continually fight the Minnesota Historical Society. Anderson battled academic types as well. He writes in his book that he couldn't convince geologists to look into the questionable origins of the "virtually-ignored" Waubansee Stone. He pressed his mooring-hole case in a letter to the Tribune's now defunct "Action Line" column, but the Chicago Historical Society via the columnist stuck with the fountain story, insisting that the holes were "different than the ones Anderson's letter to the Tribune sparked the interest of Ancient American magazine's Frank Joseph, though Joseph didn't actually view the Waubansee Stone till the early s, when he embarked on a career in "cultural diffusionist" studies--an unorthodox field that supposes pre-Columbian contacts between the Old and New Worlds started in the late Stone Age between and BC.
Joseph, who's written several books, including Atlantis in Wisconsin and Sacred Sites of the West, thought the boulder was "a remarkable artifact," and decided to investigate it after founding Ancient American in Colfax, Wisconsin, eight years ago. Colonial Mill or Viking Lighthouse?
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From Anderson, he'd learned of 19th-century rumors of a second although unsculpted boulder along the river about feet west of the original one, supposedly dumped in the water when a bridge was built in the s. Two monoliths suggest that vessels could have been tied fore and aft. Other things don't square with traditional accounts, Joseph tells me. The face "is a well-made piece of work, a masterful sculpture," and he doubts that a "common frontier soldier" had the time and talent to carve such an image into solid granite, which is hard to sculpt.
A Semitic people closely related to the Hebrews, the Phoenicians called themselves Canaanites, and modern researchers believe they were the descendants of two groups, the early Canaanites, who inhabited the coast of present-day Lebanon, and seafarers, who invaded the region around BC.
They were mainly seagoing merchants--fearless sailors and navigators who ventured into uncharted regions, guarding the secrets of trade routes, discoveries, and currents. They established colonies throughout the Mediterranean--including Carthage, their greatest city, in North Africa--and even beyond the Strait of Gibraltar, gaining access to the Atlantic. The Phoenicians were probably the first to sail around Africa, in about BC, and may have even reached Cornwall, England, to mine tin.
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The culture went into decline after Carthage was conquered by Rome in BC, but it's only natural to wonder if the Phoenicians managed to get to the Americas, perhaps in search of trade and minerals. Many believe they did. Beginning in the s the late Barry Fell, a Harvard biologist turned linguist, popularized the ancient-settlers theme in such books as America B.
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He and other diffusionists claim that stone tablets unearthed since the 19th century in Brazil, as well as in New England, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Iowa, bear Phoenician inscriptions; one Brazilian tablet allegedly recounts a voyage around BC. Of course, most conventional archaeologists, who believe that indigenous Americans were free of cross-cultural contact before , don't buy this stuff; they've branded the artifacts frauds and their promoters pseudoscientists at best.
If the Phoenicians explored America, what would stop them from coming to Chicago? He says he began to "find parallels" between the Waubansee Stone and other artifacts. The other thing, they sculpted people with closed eyes," which signified death. They also wore chin beards, he notes. But if Phoenicians had sailed up the Mississippi en route to the upper Great Lakes where they mined copper and iron, as Joseph and others imagine, how likely is it that they could have portaged their foot freighters through northeastern Illinois?
There's abundant evidence of that. Most telling to Joseph is the basin. He rejects the notion that it was a corn mortar--why would anyone need a boulder for that? Joseph surmises that ancient sailors moored their ore-laden ships to the rock, at some point sculpted the font and the face--possibly meant to portray the favor-granting deity Moloch--then sacrificed infants on it. He writes, "It is a most important ritual dedicated to the gods for safe passage home during the long, perilous voyage to the Mississippi River, down to the Gulf of Mexico and out across the Atlantic Ocean toward Africa and Carthage.
There's no firm answer, only speculations.
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But I'm fairly sure it was people from the Near East. The circumstantial evidence is far more convincing than Hurlbut's story of a soldier knocking off this thing. But, says Jones, "I believe it's safe to say that most people think it's the nutty side of Cyrus Gordon.