Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Cave Skeleton Is European, 1,300 Years Old
Sunday Gazette Mail ^ | 9-29-2002 | Rick Steelhammer

Posted on 09/30/2002 3:47:50 PM PDT by blam

Cave skeleton is European, 1,300 years old, man says
Archaeologist group wants a look at evidence

Sunday September 29, 2002

By Rick Steelhammer
STAFF WRITER

MORGANTOWN — The man who first advanced the theory that markings carved on in a Wyoming County cave are actually characters from an ancient Irish alphabet has found human remains at the site, which tests indicate are European in origin and date back to A.D. 710, he maintains.

Robert Pyle of Morgantown says that a DNA analysis of material from the skeleton’s teeth roots was conducted by Brigham Young University. That analysis, he says, shows that the skeleton’s DNA, when compared to samples from Native American groups and an array of European sources, most closely matches samples from the British Isles.

Pyle says the DNA test, plus a radiocarbon test that dates the skeleton to 710, suggest the presence of a European visitor to the North American continent nearly 800 years before the arrival of Columbus, and nearly 300 years before Viking Leif Erickson.

Found near the skeleton was a bone needle etched with markings similar to those on the cave walls.

Pyle says his findings and the test results help validate his hypothesis that the markings at the Wyoming County site “were done by seafaring people, probably monks, probably from the British Isles.”

“Based on the available data, that’s doubtful,” counters Robert Maslowski, president of the Council for West Virginia Archaeology, a state association of professional archaeologists with research interests in West Virginia.

Pyle’s findings, Maslowski says, while “interesting,” still need “to be examined by the professional community. We would welcome the opportunity to go over the evidence — to look at the skeletal material, the archaeological material, the radiocarbon data and the DNA data, then draw our own conclusions,” he says.

Pyle, who performed archaeological surveys for the state Division of Highways in late 1970s and early 1980s, does not have a degree in archaeology. He says he is a federally certified archaeologist who has studied the subject at Northwestern University, and has taken geology courses at WVU.

He says he would be interested in having another group examine his work, including additional DNA and Carbon-14 testing, which he paid for using privately raised funds totaling about $7,000.

He also wants to raise money to preserve the site and continue his research.

Pyle first visited the cave, known as the Cook petroglyph site, in 1981, while in the area to conduct archeological surveys for the DOH.

“I was visiting my sister when someone mentioned some Indian scratchings on the top of a nearby ridge,” he said.

When he arrived at the site, “I saw an elongated group of markings along the right side,” he recalls. “I’d just read a book on Norse runes, and my first thought was that these were archaic runes.”

He later read about carvings found in Ireland and Wales, usually on the edges of grave markers, that made use of an ancient Celtic alphabet of connected lines and slashes known as Ogam.

Joined by Dr. William Grant of Edinburgh University in Scotland and Dr. John Grant of Oakland, Md., both Celtic linguists who had studied at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., Pyle continued to study the Wyoming County carvings, plus similar markings near Dingess in Mingo County and in Manchester, Ky., eventually hypothesizing that they were Ogam.

In the 1980s, Wonderful West Virginia magazine ran a series of stories about the Wyoming County site and the carvings, and their links to Ogam.

In 1989, West Virginia Archaeologist Magazine published an issue devoted to debunking that theory. Editor Janet Brashler, then an archaeologist for the Monongahela National Forest, concluded that the “turkey foot” patterns carved in the rock are design elements “in common with other acknowledged prehistoric Native American petroglyphs.”

Pyle maintains the carvings contain crosses, rebuses and other markings unique to Ogam.

He traveled to Ireland to study the markings in 1998, and in 2000, was invited to take part in the examination of a newly found 8-feet-high, 20-feet-long Irish Ogam petroglyph panel, which closely resembles the Wyoming County markings. The latter visit to Ireland was filmed for a public television special.

Pyle says his findings and the recent test results will make it possible to validate a hypothesis “I didn’t think it would be possible to validate in a lifetime.”

He says he expected his findings to generate controversy.

“That’s science,” he says. “No one totally, 100 percent endorses a new idea. ... I’ll let science decide where to go from here. But I would like to have credit for this discovery.”

“We know the Vikings were here before him, but I wouldn’t stop celebrating Columbus Day, yet,” Maslowski says. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to go over the findings and have this resolved by the end of October — West Virginia Archaeology Month.”

Pyle plans to post his findings on the Internet at www.prehistoricplanet.com/wv/. The site already contains material on Ogam and the West Virginia petroglyphs.

To contact staff writer Rick Steelhammer, use e-mail or call 348-5169.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 1; 300; archaeology; barryfell; cave; european; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; old; skeleton; years
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-69 next last
Click and go to the site for pictures. I couldn't get them to transfer.
1 posted on 09/30/2002 3:47:50 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: blam
An archaeology BTT. Could be a big one, another amateur scooping the pros. Will watch this one...

"Faith, Paddy, now doesn't 'Missoula' sound loik a foin Oirish name?"

2 posted on 09/30/2002 3:54:52 PM PDT by Billthedrill
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: LostTribe
May be one of your lost sheep?
3 posted on 09/30/2002 3:55:17 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

That's funny....I thought ^THIS^ was the only 1300 yr old skeleton in the U.S., and he's from W. Virginia.

4 posted on 09/30/2002 3:57:20 PM PDT by hispanarepublicana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam

Robert Pyle

5 posted on 09/30/2002 3:57:54 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale

Bone Needle

6 posted on 09/30/2002 3:59:48 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
This is Wyoming County West Virginia, right?
7 posted on 09/30/2002 4:01:32 PM PDT by RoughDobermann
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox; JudyB1938; #3Fan
"Faith, Paddy, now doesn't 'Missoula' sound loik a foin Oirish name?"

I may see Barry Fell and Gloria Farley vindicated in my life time. That would be nice.

8 posted on 09/30/2002 4:01:46 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: blam
One of the Irish monks, no doubt.
9 posted on 09/30/2002 4:03:57 PM PDT by RightWhale
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: RoughDobermann
"This is Wyoming County West Virginia, right?"

With closer reading, it does look that way, thanks. No less significant, huh?

10 posted on 09/30/2002 4:04:10 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: blam
Interesting article. Could our whole understanding of pre-Columbian America be completely wrong?
11 posted on 09/30/2002 4:05:54 PM PDT by Notforprophet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: blam
Well, I'd argue that while it will be amazing if true in WV, it would be far more amazing if they managed to get all the way to present-day Wyoming! Thanks for the post. Very interesting!!
12 posted on 09/30/2002 4:07:30 PM PDT by RoughDobermann
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Notforprophet
Cactus Hill
13 posted on 09/30/2002 4:11:01 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Heuristic Hiker
Interesting ping.
14 posted on 09/30/2002 4:11:42 PM PDT by Utah Girl
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Notforprophet
The Topper Site: A Pre-Clovis Suprise
15 posted on 09/30/2002 4:13:42 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Notforprophet
Interesting article. Could our whole understanding of pre-Columbian America be completely wrong?

There's nothing too improbable about people sailing from Britain to North America the same way the Vikings are recorded as having done so. Rest stops at Iceland and Greenland, and then go down the Canadian coast, maybe sail up the St Lawrence.

16 posted on 09/30/2002 4:15:48 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: blam
This cannot be permitted to get wide circulation in academia and the media. The leftist movement depends on fostering perpetual guilt in the white middle class in order to garner timid acquiescence with confiscatory taxation.

The notion that whites stole the land and killed off the Indians is important for maintaining that guilt.

Since the end justifies the means....this man and his findings must be defamed, hidden, or lied about.

17 posted on 09/30/2002 4:17:37 PM PDT by quebecois
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
...archeological surveys for the DOH.

Homer?

18 posted on 09/30/2002 4:18:46 PM PDT by Doomonyou
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Yeah, that's the Irish for you. The guy ties one on in Dublin and wakes up in Wyoming with his arm around a real coyote.

Probably one of the Kennedy clan. ;^)

19 posted on 09/30/2002 4:19:59 PM PDT by 4Freedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RightWhale
First recorded Irish Travelers in the Americas.
20 posted on 09/30/2002 4:20:18 PM PDT by ErnBatavia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
Ogam Petroglyphs In Ireland And West Virginia

From the Prehistoric West Virginia Site.

21 posted on 09/30/2002 4:20:49 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: blam
An Irish Traveller? Toogood to be true???
22 posted on 09/30/2002 4:23:02 PM PDT by null and void
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Blam, if you have a ping list for stuff like this, I'd like to be on it.

New England and Canada have suspected Viking settlements and artifacts, some I have visited, but experts say there's not enough evidence.
23 posted on 09/30/2002 4:23:04 PM PDT by Lady Jag
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
AHA!!
Elvis finally shows up.
24 posted on 09/30/2002 4:23:55 PM PDT by curmudgeonII
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
fascinating. if those wyoming county petroglyphs and this body are what the purport to be.It has european missionaries over in the mountians of West Virginia even long before the Vikings sailed.It will change the view of world discovery.
25 posted on 09/30/2002 4:27:50 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Hey, if the Polynesians could sail around the Pacific, getting to Australia 40,000 years ago, and continuing to cover all those island chains, there's nothing too improbable about the Europeans doing it too.
26 posted on 09/30/2002 4:28:50 PM PDT by SauronOfMordor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: sciencediet
Go Here. I don't have a 'formal' ping list.

Gods, Graves, Glyphs

27 posted on 09/30/2002 4:31:21 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: blam
Found near the skeleton was a bone needle...

European ... and he had a heroin habit, as well!
28 posted on 09/30/2002 4:31:55 PM PDT by Bush2000
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RoughDobermann
"Well, I'd argue that while it will be amazing if true in WV, it would be far more amazing if they managed to get all the way to present-day Wyoming.......

without losing their scalps.

29 posted on 09/30/2002 4:32:38 PM PDT by Godebert
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: blam
The media will bury this like a cat burying sh*t. Wouldnt want to offend the indians you know.
30 posted on 09/30/2002 4:33:09 PM PDT by Husker24
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
Presumably he’s a registered Democrat and has voted in every election since the declaration of independence.
31 posted on 09/30/2002 4:33:55 PM PDT by Flashman_at_the_charge
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
May be one of your lost sheep?

Third post in a WVa thread and already a sheep joke.

32 posted on 09/30/2002 4:34:05 PM PDT by putupon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
"Hey, if the Polynesians could sail around the Pacific, getting to Australia 40,000 years ago, and continuing to cover all those island chains, there's nothing too improbable about the Europeans doing it too."

Mungo Man

Make that 68,000 years ago.

33 posted on 09/30/2002 4:35:01 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: blam
Thanks! That looks like a lot of good reading.
34 posted on 09/30/2002 4:36:49 PM PDT by Lady Jag
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor
It gets even messier.

Mungo Man VS Mitochondrial Eve

35 posted on 09/30/2002 4:39:20 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: SauronOfMordor; blam; 24Karet; LostTribe
I'd be the first to welcome a new discovery of pre-Columbian European contact with North America.

I remember Leif Erickson, and Mr. pre-Columbian monk... you're no Leif Erikson!

Bumping for undiscovered countries...

36 posted on 09/30/2002 4:41:29 PM PDT by Notforprophet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: null and void
An Irish Traveller? Toogood to be true???

LOL

37 posted on 09/30/2002 4:43:20 PM PDT by Notforprophet
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

WIPE THE SMILE OFF OF THIS MAN'S FACE.

VOTE THE RATS OUT!!

DONATE TONIGHT.
SUPPORT FREE REPUBLIC

Donate Here By Secure Server

Or mail checks to
FreeRepublic , LLC
PO BOX 9771
FRESNO, CA 93794

or you can use

PayPal at Jimrob@psnw.com
STOP BY AND BUMP THE FUNDRAISER THREAD

38 posted on 09/30/2002 4:43:39 PM PDT by Mo1
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: sciencediet
"New England and Canada have suspected Viking settlements and artifacts..."

The Viking presence at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland is well-established. This is a Norse settlement from around 1000 AD. See http://www.parkscanada.pch.gc.ca/parks/newfoundland/anse_meadows/anse_meadows_e.htm

Norse artifacts were also found on Baffin Island.
http://www.academicpress.com/inscight/05052000/graphb.htm

The visit of Prince Henry Sinclair of Orkney to the New World in 1398 is less well-established. He was of the Scottish and Norwegian nobility. The carving of the Westford Knight in Westford, Massachusetts is attributed to his voyage. Not proven but a fascinating story...
http://home.rochester.rr.com/sitaspell/links/westknight.htm
http://www.tartans.com/articles/famscots/sinclairh.html
39 posted on 09/30/2002 4:59:12 PM PDT by omega4412
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: blam
Must be Irish monks. The county just to the south of Wyoming County has an Erin.
40 posted on 09/30/2002 5:01:13 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: omega4412
Try this for info on the Runestone in Oklahoma.
41 posted on 09/30/2002 5:05:19 PM PDT by Arkansawyer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: Arkansawyer
Well the link didn't come up so here it is again:

http://kotv.com/okt/runestones.asp
42 posted on 09/30/2002 5:05:58 PM PDT by Arkansawyer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: blam
which tests indicate are European in origin and date back to A.D. 710, he maintains

Tourist Guy?

43 posted on 09/30/2002 5:07:58 PM PDT by Cold Heat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: blam
I knew it, I knew it. The Irish were here FIRST. Ever since I saw the mighty Kennewick Man's skull, I knew he had to be an Irishman. Now as the newly self appointed leader of this ethnic clan community, I demand JUSTICE from the federal government, I demand full reparations for all our land that was stolen, free secondary education, special job preferences, no federal income taxes and our own seat at the EEOC.

No Justice no peace. No justice no peace.

PS: We will settle for a casino and a keg of Guinness.

44 posted on 09/30/2002 5:07:59 PM PDT by usurper
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RoughDobermann
Well, I'd argue that while it will be amazing if true in WV

This doesn't pass the smell test so far as I am concerned.

Wyoming County, WV, is on the western side of the Appalachian Mt chain. The chance that unknown Europeans got there without some reasonable infrastructure is preposterous. The Europeans we know of landed at Jamestown, not too far away, in 1607. In my quick search, I didn't find any evidence of Europeans we know of getting to Western Virginia until more than a century later.

ML/NJ

45 posted on 09/30/2002 5:22:38 PM PDT by ml/nj
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: blam
bump
46 posted on 09/30/2002 5:25:19 PM PDT by Lion Den Dan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: quebecois
The notion that whites stole the land and killed off the Indians is important for maintaining that guilt

Not only that.........

Imagine if, upon further research, it can be shown that Europeans were exploring the East Coast of North America around the same time that the Indians (who were originally Asians) were exploring the West Coast.

What would that do to the notion of "Native Americans"?

Perhaps both Europeans & Asians were ancient immigrant groups to the New World at about the same time.

47 posted on 09/30/2002 6:11:35 PM PDT by Republic If You Can Keep It
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: All
Pyle's links

here (petroglyphs)

and

here (dna)

and

here (Pyle's private website)

48 posted on 09/30/2002 6:11:55 PM PDT by SteveH
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Republic If You Can Keep It
Perhaps both Europeans & Asians were ancient immigrant groups to the New World at about the same time.

Now there's a thought.

My hubby just yelled from the bedroom; "the voyages of Brendan!"

49 posted on 09/30/2002 6:20:21 PM PDT by LibertarianLiz
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Republic If You Can Keep It
"What would that do to the notion of "Native Americans"?"

There were no 'Native Americans' (as we know them today) in North America prior to 6,000 years ago. There were a number of other folks like Kennewick Man, Spirit Cave Man and Buhl Woman here 9,000+ years ago that were Ainu/Joman in origin. The Northern Chinese Asians ('Native Americans'?) came here less than 6,000 years ago. I had a 'Native American' FReeper tell me once that who-ever was here, then that's us. I can 'buy' that.

50 posted on 09/30/2002 6:22:13 PM PDT by blam
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-69 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson