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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Archaeological Destruction of Dupont Cave

Several years ago I was invited to visit a site which for the most part seems to be forgotten. It is privately owned property, and has a new owner since my visit in 2006.

Dupont Cave nearing the end of excavation. (1920)

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 some 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 containing small mummified children. I would tend to believe the man in charge of that time, not only because of the testimony of several locals  but because the many small 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 inquire, they told me that the have no record of excavations of human remains being removed from the site. Several people who had family members 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 practice 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 had 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. 

This site has been off limits to the general public before and ever since it's excavation, the damage done is much greater than if it had been publicly known... 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 documentary 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. Back to Dupont cave, 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? What would the DNA tell and this I assure you this is the reason... I am at a loss as to why they would be removed, and then lie about them ever being there...

Burials in which I have been fortunate to see in the past are always associated with a nearby water source and in many cases, food, often grains such as corn on the cob is found among the dead as a source for the spirits to have food and water. The following two images were found in one of the cysts among the small mummies.

The Following images are what the site looks like today...

Pictographs of Dupont Cave

To my archaeologist friends, It is not my intent to offend or diminish the archaeologist, it is the individual themselves and the often close minded attitude of some people who happen to be an archaeologist, paleontologist etc... those who are convinced of their own superiority and believe that knowledge somehow comes from a paycheck with their oh so familiar cliche... "I get Paid to know!" and never realizing or understanding that the opposite is in fact the truth. I think it is time  that the agenda of Smithsonian set up by E.G. Squire and J. W. Powel, be wiped out, rewritten, and to include full disclosure regardless of what item is found in a dig and how much it does not fit, and destroy the concept of Manifest Destiny including the un-spoken agenda. Let the evidences speak for themselves, remove the tight reigns and control over the museums in what they can display and what they can't retaining of course the wishes of the Native American. If GIANT Skulls or skeletons are found, SO WHAT!, It IS WHAT IT IS!.. who cares if the public sees it or knows it, SO WHAT if in the middle of a presumed Native American site excavation and obviously at a consistent depth with other items, is found a strange sphere of possible obsidian, with unusually intricate beautifully inscribed Egyptian "LIKE" hieroglyphs all around it!

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!



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