Sunday, April 19, 2009
Interesting Rock Found in Ohio
Is it a 1,000 year old North American rock carving of a turtle head? Or is it just a fluke that owes nothing to man's hand? From Cincinnati.com Could this boulder be an ancient carving? By Sheila McLaughlin April 17, 2009 Dirk Morgan has always fancied himself a modern day Indiana Jones. Adventure is his business. He runs a family-owned canoe livery near Morrow. With a serious interest in Native American artifacts -- and, growing up on the banks of the Little Miami River where they are easily found -- he has long dreamed that one of the fossils or arrowheads he has unearthed would be an important archeological find. Now, Morgan thinks he has found something significant -- a sandstone boulder that appears to be carved into the shape of a turtle's head, complete with gaping mouth, a tapered beak and eyes on both sides. He found the object while digging up a rock to place in his wife’s garden. He estimates it weighs about 200 pounds. “For me, it’s kind of the find of my lifetime,” Morgan said. Morgan said he thinks the stone could be a carving, possibly by the ancient Mound Builders that once called Ohio home. “Mother Earth was said to be riding on the back of a huge-mouthed turtle in Indian lore,” Morgan said. He has contacted the Ohio Historical Society to evaluate the piece. Brad Lepper, curator of archeology for the Ohio Historical Society, has looked at photos sent to him by Morgan. He hasn’t reached a conclusion. It could be just an odd rock formation. Or it could be a rock that was found and carved by Fort Ancient Indians more than 1,000 years ago to resemble a turtle. If so, that would be a “remarkable” archeological find, he said. It’s just too early to tell. “My first reaction was ‘Wow. It looks like the head of a snapping turtle,’” Lepper said. “But after looking at it more closely, I was bothered by a number of things.” The eyes don’t appear to be symmetrical. They are in slightly different locations and of different sizes, he said. Even so, the rock may still be an artifact. Lepper has asked an archeologist at the Cincinnati Museum Center to take a look. “It’s also possible that it was a natural broken stone that Native Americans recognized looks a lot like a turtle and perhaps made some very slight modifications to it to bring that resemblance out,” Lepper said. “That’s consistent with tribal peoples all over the world.” Morgan’s excitement hasn’t lost any steam. He also has e-mailed images to National Geographic, but hasn’t heard anything back. If it turns out to be just another cool rock, well… Morgan says it will take a place in the garden behind his house.