Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 75: May-Jun 1991

Issue Contents

Other pages











The Grand Lake Stream Enigma

Stone artifacts bearing symbol
A little over a year ago, we reported on W. Elliott's discovery of a small, stone-covered cist in eastern Washington County, Maine. This cist contained several stone artifacts bearing remarkable symbols, writing, and portrayals of a man and a slain animal. Naturally, mainstream archeologists look askance when amateur archeologists come across such anomalous materials. Happily in this instance, a professional archeologist, J.B. Petersen, Director of the University of Maine's Archaeological Laboratory, took an interest in the site near Grand Lake Stream. After careful study of the site and its artifacts, he has prepared a preliminary report.

Petersen's report is accompanied by many photos and sketches made during his excavations. On p. 000 we reproduce a photo of the amulet with its strange epigraphy. Now, we add a sketch of the "elongated hafted ground biface, with human figure." Over 13 inches long, this artifact depicts a trousered, bearded man of European countenance, who is missing one arm and a foot. Petersen asserts that the artifacts have no affinities with American Indian artifacts: rather they have a European flavor.

What can one make out of all this? Petersen is only able to state:

"Although the site is undoubtedly human-made, its function, antiquity and cultural attribution cannot be precisely specified on the basis of the unique characteristics of both the artifacts and the cist. Tentative interpretations allow suggestion that it is attributable to some portion of the historical period, a European cultural tradition, and probably is contemporaneous with or postdates local stone working at the site."

In other words, we could have anything from a pre-Columbian European contact to rock doodling by Colonial stoneworkers.

(Petersen, James B.; "Grand Lake Stream, The Elliott II Site: An Archaeologist's Preliminary Report," NEARA Journal, 25:3, Summer/Fall, 1990.)

From Science Frontiers #75, MAY-JUN 1991. � 1991-2000 William R. Corliss