Friday, July 15, 2011

The skeleton from Olduvai Gorge

In their groundbreaking 1993 study Forbidden Archaeology: the Hidden History of the Human Race, Michael A. Cremo and Richard L. Thompson chronicle page after page of anomalous archaeological evidence which casts serious doubt upon the foundations of conventional anthropology.

The authors go on for fully 828 pages listing evidence of skeletons, tools, incised bones, coins, copper rings, hearths and charcoal from fires, footprints, pierced teeth, and even iron pots, nails, and gold and silver chains and other jewelry found in strata that the conventional theory dates to periods well before the supposed evolution of modern man some 250,000 to 150,000 years ago.

In this post, we will examine only one of the literally hundreds of pieces of evidence available in their book, the infamous skeleton of "Olduvai Man," found in 1913 by German archaeologist Hans Reck in the Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. This skeleton, anatomically modern in every way, was unearthed from a layer of Olduvai bedrock that is conventionally dated to approximately 1.15 million years ago. This contrary evidence immediately attracted doubters, who refused to believe that an anatomically modern human could be found in a stratum of that antiquity, and who generally advanced the theory that a later group (perhaps recent Masai tribesmen) must have dug down into the ancient stratum and buried the man there.

The layers of rock found at Olduvai Gorge are labeled in the sketch above. The bed in which the anatomically modern skeleton was found by Reck, Bed II, is currently dated as being 1.15 million to 1.7 million years old. As Forbidden Archaelogy explains:
Reck identified a sequence of five beds at Olduvai Gorge. The first four beds are water-laid volcanic tuffs of various colors. bed I is grey and yellow. Bed II is generally of a buff color, although the upper portion has a reddish tint. Bed III is bright red, while Bed IV is grey, or brownish. Bed V, a loesslike deposit, is brownish. 628.
The conventionally accepted ages of these strata are currently:
  • Bed I: 1.70 million to 2.00 million years old
  • Bed II: 1.15 million to 1.70 million years old
  • Bed II and IV: 700,000 to 1.15 million years old
  • Bed V: divided into several formations dating back to about 400,000 years
Reck understood the general ages of the strata, which were considered slightly younger than they are today but still placed Bed II at around 800,000 years old (when the supposed distant predecessors of man such as Java man were thought to have been living), and knew that the finding of an anatomically modern skeleton at such an early period would call into question modern man's descent from Java man, and therefore he "carefully considered the possibility that the human skeleton had arrived in Bed II through burial or earth movements" (Cremo & Thompson 630).

Reck himself wrote in 1914:
The bed in which the human remains were found, without any accompanying cultural objects, showed no signs of disturbance. The spot appeared exactly like any other in the horizon. There was no evidence of any refilled hole or grave. 630-631.
However, this possibility is exactly what the debunkers of his find fastened upon, having little other choice besides accepting that modern humans were on the scene long before their accepted timelines, or else accusing Reck of out-and-out fraud.

One of the first challengers was Louis Leakey (1903 - 1972), who examined the skeleton in Berlin and said that it must be more recent than Reck thought. He suggested that the find must have come from Bed IV. He visited the site of the find with Reck in 1931, and after studying the geology conceded that Reck was correct, and published a letter in Nature to the effect that the skeleton had come from Bed II and not from Bed IV. He would later change this view.

As Cremo and Thompson relate, in 1932 Percy George Hamnall Boswell (1886 - 1960), a geologist of the Imperial College in England, reported in Nature that another geologist (who had been alleging for a few years that the skeleton must be a modern Masai tribesman intrusively buried in Bed II) had produced chips and pebbles from the site indicating digging that would indicate a later burial in the area.

Both Reck and Leakey, who had examined the site specifically to look for such evidence, had not found any such evidence (638). Reck had written (in an unpublished manuscript):
The sediment . . . is so constituted that the artificial breaking of the bed with its visible layering by the digging of a grave would necessarily be recognizable. The wall of the grave would have a definite border, an edge that would show in profile a division from the undisturbed stone. the grave filling would show an abnormal structure and heterogeneous mixture of excavated materials, including easily recognizable pieces of calcrete. Neither of these signs were to be found despite the most attentive inspection. Rather the stone directly around the skeleton was not distinguishable from the neighboring stone in terms of color, hardness, thickness of layers, structure, or order. 631.
Further, it should be noted that the Masai rarely buried their dead. Also, the material of the bed was so hard that it took men with crowbars days just to excavate a couple of feet. Finally, the skull itself was distorted as if by great pressure, which a later geologist (W. O. Dietrich in 1933) believed argued against a recent shallow burial (Cremo and Thompson 631).

In spite of all this evidence, modern analysts now confidently assert the fact of a recent burial (see here for example). The possibility of modern skeletons in such supposedly ancient strata is too destructive to the Darwinian theories that grip academic and scientific thought.

Mr. Cremo and Dr. Thompson do not explore the possibility that the strata themselves might not be of such tremendous age -- they simply argue that all these anomalous finds indicate that modern man must have existed on earth for millions of years. However, as explained in this previous post, it is very possible that the strata themselves were laid down simultaneously and fairly recently by a world-wide flood event. The evidence in favor of such a theory, which is in line with the hydroplate theory and discussed in detail by hydroplate theory founder Dr. Walt Brown, is quite substantial. This interpretation would immediately remove the primary objection of the modern scientists, although it would create a much bigger problem for their theories at the same time, as it undermines the long ages they need for their theory of Darwinian evolution.

It is clear that the hydroplate theory sheds new light on some of the most pressing mysteries of the "alternative archaeology" field, and that it should be considered by everyone who perceives the major problems with the conventional timelines of history. The skeleton from Olduvai Gorge is just one more data point among hundreds of others which support the hydroplate theory.