Sunday, October 5, 2008

More on the Grid Stone Found at Spanish Hill

Every month SRAC presents "History's Mysteries" and we discuss a part of our history that leaves us scratching our heads. This month's is held this coming Tuesday (October 7th) at 6:30 pm- 7:30 pm and it is on Climate Changes Throughout History - by Greg Burrows.

Last month's topic was about our grid stone that was found on the flats below Spanish Hill in South Waverly, PA.

As fate would have it, I was in an accident the morning I was supposed to give the presentation, but the show did go on as Susan Fogel studied my research that day and gave the presentation for me that night. I really had done alot of work on it and believe it has some significant information that I have mot shared online before. For this reason, I have decided to share the bulk of what I put in this presentation for those of you that are showing interest and live several states away....

For those of you that have not read the basic background on this gridstone, please visit:

1.) Is it a geofact or an artifact?
This is a question that should be asked anytime that you pick a wierd looking stone...We at SRAC have people every week asking us to look at a stone that looks like it is something to the person that found it - and many times it is just a funny looking rock that was made by nature...

Honestly there were a couple of people who said that they absolutely think that this stone's markings were naturally made.

On the other hand, I have had many more say that they absolutely believe that the markings are man-made.

My opinion is that that I believe that it is man-made...and I think after I show you more that I have discovered, you will too.

2.) Is it a turtle effigy?

As many of you know the turtle plays an important role in many of the creation stories and belief systems in Native American cultures.

To tell you the truth the size and shape of the stone makes it feel like a turtle when you grab it with two hands and pick it first glance, this seems quite possible.

3.) Is the grid stone a ceremonial tablet?

While you may look at this stone and think that it looks alot like our grid stone, you need to know one thing. That is, the largest "tablets" that I know of seem to be around 4 to 5 inches in diameter, and could be easily carried. Our stone is 0ver ten inches at it's widest point, and at least two inches thick. It is also pretty heavy...taking two hands to carry for the average person, and certainly nothing that you want to carry very far...(which is why I didn't take it to WIsconsin to the Man Mound ceremony last August.)

The thing that makes you think that this may just have something to it is that it was found at Spanish Hill, which has 230 foothigh steep sides and had ten acres enclosed with an interior ditch on it's flat top. The interior ditch - I am told absolutely means it was a ceremonial enclosure up there...

So because I am no specialist on tablets, my question is- Are there any tablets as large as ours? I have not seen any yet. This makes me skeptical even though I know that many artifacts and skeletons found in our region were said to be alot larger than average.

Louise Welles Murray -"History of Old Tioga Point and Early Athens -"1908.

"Little attention has ever been paid by students of ethnology to the valley of the Upper Susquehanna...we have resolved here to present in a separate chapter the results of the work of amateur investigators...trusting that more learned students may help us decide to what race belong the almost gigantic skeletons often found..."

The other thing about the other tablets is their lines are cut very straight as if they are cut by using a long knife or device that was the length of the stone making the lines perfect...However our grid stone has lines that are not so straight when you look closely at them. Also - the lines have a coloration in them, and we have not been able to say what made this coloration but it is a charcoal color....Whether or not this makes any difference, I have no idea!

4.) Is the grid stone relative to other rock art found at and around Spanish Hill?

This amulet is about 2 inches long

These were found on a stone much the same as our gridstone.

side 1

side 2

This bird stone was found about less than a mile north of Spanish Hill

This pottery was uncovered less than three miles south of the hill

Is the artwork "phosphenes?"

Phosphene - n. A sensation of light caused by excitation of the retina by mechanical, electrical or other means rather than by light, like when you press your eyeballs through closed lids. They are also commonly seen by those under the power of hallucinatory drugs or trances.

Retired linguistic professor at Northern Arizona University and author Dr. Ekkehart Malotki and I have emailed and discussed this stone. He is convinced these designs are phosphenes, which are as fundamental to art as time is to language. He said that 15 abstract geometric constants appear globally in art created throughout time. They are grids, zigzags and patterns of dots. They are the first objects drawn by children; we doodle them when we talk on the phone.

The only problem that I have with this is that they are usually drawn in a bigger format - - covering an area of a cave wall or large rock. I have not seen any that were portable like this stone of ours, and would be interested if anyone can send me images of these phosphenes on os rock like ours...

Lastly are the lines on the grid stone actually "lines"

For some reason I decided that I would try to see if there was anything that stood out by placing a piece of paper on it and using a pencil and simply going over it completely. The result was not very impressive but when I looked at the reverse side of the paper, I saw that the lines made a raised design that intrigued me. This caused me to used use clay and press it into the top of the stone.

The results of this experiment I think are impressive. Look closely at the picture of the reverse mold below:

Now look at the stone closer...

Are you seeing what I am seeing?

Whether or not you agree that these lines on the grid stone are actually snakes, you cannot deny that these lines have varying widths and a snake-like in design as opposed to lines "cut" straight into the stone. Each line is its own layer as well, showing clearly which was made before the other and on the reverse mold looking like snakes being layed one across another.

especially strange line variance

closeup of the lines with snake-like design on reverse mold

After seeing the reverse mold I end up with more questions than answers.

I think it important to note that the snake-like design is alot more obvious on the reverse mold than the stone itself, as I have seen this stone and handled it for years, but never saw the snake-like design until I made the mold. This makes me think that the stone could have been made as a mold or stamp of some sort.

I look forward to hearing from others about this strange stone and design found on it and seeing if anyone has found anything like this before, and I hope that readers will find this an informative article that allows you to see all that I can possibly give you to help try to figure out what it might be.

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