It is privately owned property, and has a new owner since my visit in 2006.
Dupont Cave nearing the end of excavation.
This cave was excavated between 1908 and 1920 by Jesse Nusbaum who was the first National Park Archaeologist. It is said that this sites earliest occupation was around 217 AD in part determine by "Tree Rings" according to the report.
Since this caves excavation, several archaeologist and unlicensed thieves, have tried to sneak into the site over the years according to the care taker of the time. He told me that the most exciting thing found at the site was the fact that in almost every burial plot called cysts that you see in the photos, was small mummified children. I would tend to believe the man in charge of that time, primarily because the many hand prints, yellow and red painted on the walls of the cave were small like children's hands. I see no reason why this individual would make anything up. I decided to contact the Museum of the American Indian of the Smithsonian Institute, which still exists... and I asked about Dupont cave and if they had the records of the excavation. They seemed quite helpful and sent me copies of the original reports made by Jesse Nusbaum. To my surprise there was no mention of any bodies being removed and when I called them back to enquire, they told me that the have no record of excavations of human remains being removed from the site. Several people who had family member take part in this excavation, directly or indirectly have confirmed that mummified children were removed from the site.
Dupont Cave After Excavation
However the missing mummies is another matter and is not necessarily my purpose for this post and it is not my intent to criticize the practise of Archaeology although it is well known my love hate feeling towards its seeming agenda to control information by the Smithsonian thumb. My intent is to point out what I am certain was not considered at the time of excavation, and it is my hope to bring it to the attention of the archaeological world in order to prevent it from happening in the future.
If you will notice, approximately 12 to 18 inches or so or earth has been removed from the site all around the burial plots, the exact amount I do not recall but the report should confirm. Notice how neat the site appears in the early photos after excavation. It is my opinion that the fill dirt removed should have been replaced around them supporting the stones after excavation at least around the plots so that the construction of them could remain as they originally were. But because this was not apparently foreseen, the plots are falling apart and the originality of the site further compromised as you can see in the following photos taken in 2006. Now the place looks as though it has been destroyed due to looters, or are we talking about a different form of legalized looting?
It would seem that once the purported mummified remains were removed from the site, all interest in preservation disappeared. Why couldn't they just leave them be? How long before they are digging up my Grandmothers grave?
I am reminded of watching a History Channel documentary recently concerning some cliff tombs found in
Peru. I found it very interesting
and informative. However, I was disturbed when the commentator said that it
could take months to get permits to excavate which left the site vulnerable to
looters. Then after obtaining the permits, he comments that they were lucky to
obtain the permits before looters were able to steal from the site. This was
said at the moment footage was shown of the archaeologist rapidly removing
several mummies and skeletons. The only difference that I can see in the
looting process is that one is a licensed thief. What would looters do with a
bunch of skeletons? Sell them on eBay? What do these archaeologist do with them? Why is it they were seen as a threat? Was there something highly unusual about them? I am at a loss as to why they would be removed, and then lie about them ever being there...
Pictographs of Dupont Cave
BE a true representative of what archaeology is supposed to be... not what Smithsonian, the curriculum, your predecessors and your peers try to keep it because it might refute their damned theories STILL being taught as fact.... but first and foremost, Be True to Yourself.