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Re: [ancient_waterways_society] Pisgah Stone Carvings and Bat Creek Inscribed stone

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  • Chris Patenaude
    Vince, Do you know whether the important tribal art motifs re the chevrons (et al) -type markings, are related to feminine procreation and fertility? -c ...
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 17, 2010
      Do you know whether the "important tribal art motifs" re> the chevrons (et al) -type markings, are related to feminine procreation and fertility?

      --- On Mon, 3/15/10, Vince <v_barrows@...> wrote:

      From: Vince <v_barrows@...>
      Subject: [ancient_waterways_society] Pisgah Stone Carvings and Bat Creek Inscribed stone
      To: ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Monday, March 15, 2010, 9:50 PM

      Charles Rau objected to the stone carvings found by Mann Valentine on the basis of their material, which he called "potstone". Rau later admitted "I had no direct evidence for supporting my opinion."

      Rau worked with Spencer Baird and Cyrus Thomas, and John W. Emmert.  From 1883-1889, Emmert was digging up Indian Mounds in the Western part of North Carolina and Eastern Kentucky. One of his first tasks was being sent secretly by the Smithsonian to debunk the Pisgah Stone Carvings.  During this field assignment, Emmert failed to find any of the carvings that were discovered by Mann S. Valentine, and then payed someone to make similar "soapstone specimens". 

      Emmert wrote "I will have your specimens done in a few days and will ship them...please have the money here as soon as possible", and continued "I think I would be acting in bad faith with the parties who made them if we were to mention their names".  For his paycheck, Emmert attempted to debunk the finds made by Mann Valentine, claiming he "had them to make his specimens, and bury them and then he afterward came back with the other men and had them dug up." In a different versions, Emmert wrote that Mr. Valentine "had someone immerse them in ferruginous running water to give them an antique appearance".  Emmert had receipts made up for his "specimens" and sent them back to the Smithsonian.

      In an interesting turn of events in 1889, John W. Emmert discovered the Bat Creek Tablet, or "Mound 70 tablet". It was inscribed piece of dark pipestone with lettering that resembled the Cherokee Alphabet, and this discovery cost him job with the Smithsonian.  The controversy continues today on both discoveries.

      Bat Creek Stone:

      Mount Pisgah Stone Carvings:

      Note: The actual material used to create the Mount Pisgah stone carvings is micaceous-shale, sandstone, and many of the 2000 examples show signs of heat-treatement. Most of the Pisgah Stone Carvings are completely engraved with crosshatching, and nested chevrons, an important tribal art motif.


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