The following article was written in 2010 and included in the book Nephite North
Cottonwood Marble Tablet
Cottonwood Marble Tablet
In August of 1916 an article appeared in the Salt Lake Telegram, many will never understand how important this discovery was/is and the things it sheds light on... and seemingly validating the fallacies of things taught in our education system as fact and yet could not be further from the truth, a sharp eye and a sharp mind, may pick up some of these things.... After which the following article appear in my Book Nephite North in 2013.
Mysterious Tablet Is Uncovered in Cottonwood
Archaeologist Explore Workings of Ancients
Salt Lake Telegrahm August 1916
Salt Lake Telegrahm August 1916
One day last month, two miners, while driving a drift in one of the canyons of Upper Cottonwood, broke into a small cave of peculiar appearance. Upon closer examination the supposed cave was soon to open into a caved passageway, and after three days work spent In removing debris a complex series of subterranean passages and chambers was exposed. From the number and length of the workings explored to date, they must have been mined upon an extensive scale and throughout a considerable period of time. It will take some time to thoroughly explore these labyrinthic passages, and It In expected that they will disclose archaeological data of great value.
It was at first thought that one of the famed lost Spanish mines had been rediscovered, but later explorations have failed to show any trace of Spanish relics. Instead a large number of Indian tools and Implements of flint and stone, as well as of beaten iron and copper, have, been found, In addition to a remarkable collection of decorated potteries,
The walls of many of the tunnels and chambers are decorated with sculptured reliefs and hieroglyphic inscriptions, but by far the most Interesting relic found so far is a smooth discolored marble tablet which stood at the entrance of one of the larger chambers. It is completely covered with remarkable sculptured reliefs and hieroglyphic inscriptions, and is reproduced in the accompanying plate. The site of this discovery is, for the present, being jealousy guarded, and it undoubtedly marks one of the most important archaeological discoveries of recent years. The discovery is all the more remarkable in that heretofore no hieroglyphic inscriptions have ever been found north of Mexico.
Everything points to the great antiquity of these workings-and their contents. The Inscriptions are uncolored and appear to have been incised and picked into the receiving stone by quartz and flint implements, some of which have been preserved. A noteworthy feature of the marble tablet is the combination of pictographs and alphabetic writing. As pictographs are generally conceded to have preceded and to have originated the graphic systems, this tablet would appear to date from a period of transition from the pictographic to the hieroglyphic art. As noted above, none of the records ever found north of Mexico have contained hieroglyphics. This tablet, therefore, may chronicle an amalgamation of inscriptive expression between North American and Mexican tribes; or it may record the progress of civilization of an American tribe, probably the Utes, although It is possible that other Tribes may have come from great distances to obtain the highly prized red metal.
An interesting mineralogical feature to be noted is that throughout, these ancient workings, which are at no great distance below the surface, native copper abounds, in some places being scattered through the vein rock in small fragments, in others occurring as chunks of metallic copper, weighing from a pound or two up to eighty or one hundred pounds. Ordinarily, such a discovery of copper would create considerable excitement, but the 'wall writings and relics are of such absorbing Interest that the copper has been, for a time, relegated to the background. It is puzzling how these Indians, with their primitive tools, were able to break up and extract the exceedingly tough chunks of copper. A number of copper implements and ornaments, hammered and incised, have been gathered, as well as diggers, scrapers, hoes, arrow heads and pounding stones.
Various receptacles for food and drink, as well as for earth and ore, were uncovered, they being all made of pottery and decorated with geometric figures, or with picturegraphs or hieroglyphics. This pottery is now being carefully studied, as it is ornamented with symbols and characters which may aid in the deciphering of the stone records. The light gray or black coloring of all the pottery as well as Its crude form, would tend to Indicate its very early Origin. In fact, everything connected with the find evidences great antiquity, and the mine apparently was worked at least many centuries before the appearance of the Spaniards In this region. So far, no key to the decipherment is known, but the various Inscriptions are being carefully scrutinized and compared, in the hopes that one may be detected. In this search collaboration Is invited, and should this picture reach the eye of anyone familiar with Indian symbols and records, the investigators would be pleased to have their opinions and suggestions regarding its translation.
It has long been known that Utah Is a veritable treasure house of archaeological records, but It is claimed by scientists who have examined this stone, that it is the most Important archaeological find ever chronicled in Utah's history. Owing to the Intense Interest manifested in these discoveries, it was thought best to keep their location secret, at least until such time as they could be thoroughly explored and proper precautions taken to adequately protect them.
It is hoped to have further news of interest within the next day or two, as the explorations are being pursued with great avidity.
After the publishing date of the above article, for the next 3 days a news article was published pertaining to the events, many other artifacts were found. There were tools, ceramics and most interestingly a marble and a Copper Tablet found as well. After the miners supposedly accidentally collapsed the tunnel with dynamite, nothing more was ever said about the discovery and any recovered artifacts have just disappeared.
The following exhibits the Marble tablet with the best photo available thanks to my friend Ryan Nelson who went to the University of Utah in 2010 and took the photos. It is unknown at this time where the actual tablets are but they are suspected of being in the possession of the University of Utah.
The Marble Tablet
I find several things that are very interesting to me concerning this find. First, it would seem that there wasn’t a campaign to render the find as a hoax as it seems so many finds in recent years are. Here we have only a few artifacts recovered (To our knowledge), yet it would seem that no effort was made to render it as a hoax, and yet the Michigan Collection of nearly 30,000 artifacts was. Why would the Michigan artifacts, after being designated as a hoax, be purchased or obtained by Milton Hunter and later donated to the Church and later be donated to a museum back east after being written off as a hoax? The Cottonwood tablets however just disappeared.
Secondly, I find it interesting that an ancient Copper Tablet or plate was found. This would infer that these people who were often portrayed as ancient backwards uncivilized inhabitants were skilled in the arts of metals.
Third, I feel that the subject of the panels found are directly related to the surrounding area of where they were found, these tablets were found at the very source of a major contributor of the creation of Lake Bonneville at the headlands and ridges above Little Cottonwood and Big Cottonwood Canyons. I hardly think the events described on them pertain to some unknown location far away.
Fourth, The story that it tells and that this story came to me from my friend Darrel Sprecher who rediscovered it in 2010 and at the very moment as I was writing a previous chapter concerning Lake Bonneville and the Waters of Ripliancum, in the book Nephite North.
The hieroglyphs found on this tablet are very much like Native American glyphs but they are more like the glyphs of the Ojibwa. Keep in mind that a related tribe of the Lenape migrated to the east from the west. Although their writing system, the Wallum Olam, is similar, it is very different, but it shares the same symbol base system. Although the migration stories of the Ojibwa don’t match their coming from the west, the evidence does. I have yet to hear or read the actual Ojibwa story. All that exists on the internet it seems are reports from those who are telling you what the Ojibwa really meant, rather than actually telling the story.
The story on the Marble Tablet has no rule as to how it is read such as read from left to right, right to left, in rows or columns. It is meant to be read as a whole. Start where you like because as long as you know the subject, you will receive the same story regardless of where you start to read it. Also the placement of the glyphs in relation to each other is another rule you would need to know: There are however groupings of glyphs meant to be read together. Even still, they all have to do with the main topic or subject.
The subject of the Tablet is an event and the best I can describe it would be a catastrophic Destruction. Many would because of superficial viewing and with the lack of knowledge pertaining to symbol base meaning of the Native American Petroglyphs, see Tents, or even Volcanoes. However, this is not the case as the symbol for dwelling is absent as also the symbols for volcanoes or Lava Tube (Place where Lava Comes Out). There is one possible exception for dwelling: one symbol, but it is not related to these so called tents, nor is there any symbol pertaining to heat, smoke or fire. If there is one thing I have learned regarding the Native Glyphs in the last 30 years of studying them, is that the people should know, are those who do not.
Although there are many things spoken of on this panel; I will give only a portion of it and leave the finer details out for a few reasons. Either I don’t have the answer, or it is something I choose not to reveal. Whoever inscribed this tablet, either witnessed the event, or the story was handed down with great detail. The story goes something like this;
One day in the morning, a great storm came from the North, much rain and much unusual lightning high in the clouds, much wind, the earth quaked much, mountains went up and mountains went down, some mountains divided and much water came from them like fountains, the hidden waters came up, water was everywhere around all the mountains. The people of one mountain fled to the top to escape the waters. The people of another mountain fled to the top but were killed when they fell. Others watched from the top of their mountain, their cities were at the base of the mountains (The Hieroglyphs at the base and right side Identify the People of each mountain or city) The cities were consumed by the rising waters, a great lake was formed and another disappeared, we watched as the winds carried some people away, and the waves of the waters swept others away. The waters rose above the hills and our burial grounds. The turtles are no more. Turtle Island is no more. The people wept. The Sun took several crooked paths and did not come up for two or more days and when it came up it came up in a different place and set in a different place. There was much crying by all the people. The waters continued to rise for several moons. Our cities are gone.
The story told above is certainly not conclusive in that I have had little time to study the tablet, there is much more to it in details and I may be a little off in some areas due to my lack of study. Whatever the case, I don’t think there are many who would argue that an event of destruction is taking place on this tablet. I have for a long time believed that the contents of 3 Nephi 9:7 are pertaining to the now Salt Lake, Ogden and/or Provo Valley’s.
3 Nephi 9:7
7 Yea, and the city of Onihah and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Mocum and the inhabitants thereof, and the city of Jerusalem and the inhabitants thereof; and waters have I caused to come up in the stead thereof, to hide their wickedness and abominations from before my face, that the blood of the prophets and the saints shall not come up any more unto me against them.
Many cannot conceive the possibility of mountain tops opening and rivers from the unknown flowing down the mountains, it is easier for them to blame the strange formations found in the tops of the Wasatch Mountains and the Uintas and many other places upon a so called “Ice Age”
I would have no doubt that this tablet speaks of the event found in 3 Nephi 8:12-23 and Helaman 14:21-27 in the land Northward.
Isaiah 41:18 “ I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”
Where did these artifacts go and why did they disappear?
The Copper Plate
Photos by Ryan Nelson
At the time the people were so ready to believe any explanation, and within days of the discovery a man by the name Herbert S Auerbach offered his translation, it was clear to me the man had no understanding of what he was looking at... even in the slightest, His story about his "Salt Princess, No Ni Shee" is what the people bought and remains to this day and yet it seems no one understands where this so called legend even came from. Who was this Herbet S Auerbach? A manager of the Golden Chest Mining company in Coeur D' Alene Idaho, and a business man, son of Samuel, the originator of the department stores, Auerbachs.
There is a very good Indian legend of the Wasu tribe who lived near the Comstock Mountain range that explains what happened there at some unknown point of time... and gives evidence of this event. Now some give very little credibility to Indian Legend, but when the evidence matches the legend you might want to sit down, shut up pay and attention. The Legend is as follows as told by an Indian and recorded by (Mrs. M. M. Garwood, Progressive West Magazine, reprinted in Deseret Semi-Weekly News, Febuary 5, 1909.)
"Long time, heap long time. Maybe one hundred years, injun no sabe, white man sabe. My grandfather's father, he heap old man. Maybe two, three hundred years, me dunno, Carson Valley, Wasu Valley, Truckee Valley, Long Valley, Pilamid Lake, Lublock, eblywhere all water, plenty pish, plenty duck. Big pish too, now no see him no more, all go away, no come back.
"Wasu Injun, he lib big mountains (pointing to the Comstock and Pyramid range). Some time Wasu Indian take `em boat go see Piutee, maybe Piutee he take `em boat go see Wasu Indian, Yash he good friend, all time."
Pointing to the Sierra to the west of Washoe Valley, the old Indian continued:
"Big mountain all time fire, plenty `boom, `boom, heap smoke, injun heap flaid! Byme bye, one day, mountain heap smoke, heap noise, glound too much shake, injun heap flaid, pall down, plenty cly. He sun ebly day come up (pointing to the northeast) he go down (pointing to the southwest). One day sun no come up, Injun no sabe, mountain heap smoke, glound plenty shake, wind blow, water heap mad. Maybe two, tlee day sun he no come, injun no eat, no sleep, all time cly, cly, yash, heap flaid. Byme bye water make plenty noise, go plenty fast like Tlukee Liver: water go down, down, mountain come up, come up, plenty mud, plenty pish die, byme bye sun come back over this mountain (pointing to the southeast) he go down ober there (pointing to the northwest). Yash, whiteman sabe, injun no sabe,
"Maybe two, tlee week, mud he dly up, Piutee, Wasu Injun walk, no more boat. All water he go; maybe little water Pilamid Lake, Honey Lake, Wasu Lake, too much mountain, he come purty quick. Yash, injun no sabe water, big pish no come back. No see him no more."
How I would have loved to have met this Indian, whiteman NO sabe, injun sabe.
Now assuming this tale holds some truths, it could mean that the Indian is referring to the time of the crucifixion wherein there were three days of darkness and that it would appear there was a change in North by the description given of where the sun rose and set. Some have a hard time orienting themselves based on this description, so simply raise your right hand and point to where he says the sun rose,(N/E) then raise your left hand and point to where he says it set,(S/W) now look straight forward and that was North. If you did it correctly, looking perpendicular to your arms, you should be looking at approximately 311 degrees which is the direction of BC North from Washoe Valley Nevada.