[meteorite-list] Re: Native American artifacts and meteorites

From: E.P. Grondine <epgrondine_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 09:37:31 2004
Message-ID: <20001206011048.73695.qmail_at_web2007.mail.yahoo.com>

Hello Donald -

    Best of luck to you on your quest -
   I assume you've already seen Bernd's list of other
Native American uses of meteorites - if he does not
send it again, most likely you will be able to find it
in the meteorite list archives - I also assume you've
seen my little piece on North American impacts in
proto-historical times over at Bob Kobres Cambridge
Conference Essay Archive -

   The most exhaustive study of ancient meteorite
terms has been assembled by Karen Reiter "Die
Metalle...(?)", and once again the full citation
should be in the meteorite list archives... see her
discussion of KU.U.AN there before talking about

  One complicating factor in the New York case was
that the museum had been built around the meteorite
and it was virtually impossible to move it - in any
case, Canadian law is quite different than US law, but
fundamentally, stolen religious and cultural property
should be returned to the people who it was stolen


--- Donald Blakeslee <blakesle_at_twsuvm.uc.twsu.edu>
> Many thanks to those who have responded to my
> request so far. If anyone
> has more information on the Kenna meteorite and the
> find at an old Caddo
> village, I would appreciate it. The rest of what
> follows is an attempt to
> avoid grading term papers while sharing some
> information with you folks.
> James Tobin noted that with a meteorite or two every
> square mile and at
> least as many archaeological sites, the odds of the
> two sometimes ending up
> together by accident are pretty good. You can add
> to that an observation
> made by Steve Schoner that when you see artifacts on
> the surface, you are
> looking at an old surface, one which has had time to
> accumulate meteorites.
> This is one small part of the problem facing me in
> trying to document the
> Native American uses of meteorites. I have a list
> of transports and
> possible transports, meteorites from deep in
> archaeological sites and some
> that are only from the surface, meteorites from
> outside archaeological
> sites that are known to be religious shrines and
> some that look like they
> could be shrines, meteorites seemingly associated
> with indian trails, etc.
> What I am doing now is just trying to compile a list
> of all of the likely
> suspects, but I understand that some of them will be
> false positives. How
> to sort them out? Dunno yet, but I'm working on it.
> In the meantime, in case you're interested, here is
> my list of Canyon
> Diable transports
> Name Weight (kg) Location Prehistoric?
> Albuquerque 0.16 35 106 50 doubtful,
> 2ndhand dealer
> Ashfork 27 34 53 111 37 suspected
> Bloody Basin 5.2 34 10 111 43 yes, in a house
> Camp Verde 61.5 34 34 111 51 yes, in a burial
> Ehrenberg ca 2 33 31 114 32 yes, near a trail
> Fair Oaks 0 .8 34 44 112 44 1937, allegedly
> Ganado, AZ 38.9g 35 43 109 34 traded by a Navajo
> prior to 1938
> Houck 66.7 35 16 109 16 probably, 1927
> Las Vegas 3.04 30 mi NE Las V Buchwald doubts
> Moab 19.5 38 3 110 19 3 Buchwald doubts
> Oildale --- --- ---
> Old Walpi, AZ x pieces get In a burial
> Palisades Park .12 35 6 101 52
> Rifle 102.7 39 31 107 50 Buchwald doubts
> Wickenburg 0.25 33 58 112 44
> Also at Canyon Diablo are pit houses dating to
> twelfth century on south
> slope of the rim. I need to find out whether that
> high and dry loction
> would be unusual for pit houses or whether they
> might be shrines. Clearly,
> the Indians understood that the crater was a source
> of meteorites long
> before Barringer.
> The recent lawsuit involving the Willamette
> meteorite is certainly
> interesting. The original lawsuit involved the
> finder versus the landowner
> (a mining company). The finder had moved the
> meteorite onto his own
> property before announcing the find -- a neat trick
> considering he had only
> his 15 year old son to help him. But he got caught,
> and the mining company
> sued. The Indian testimony was on behalf of the
> finder, because at that
> time Oregon law allowed finders of Indian relics to
> keep them, landowner be
> damned. The court, however, ignored the Indian
> witnesses who said it was
> sacred and included it with the mineral rights to
> the land. My own
> research shows that the statements of the ndian
> witnesses were very much in
> keeping with the practices of other tribes with
> respect to different
> meteorites.
> The out-of-court settlement awarding joint custody
> seems very reasonable.
> I hope it will be a model for other cases that are
> sure to come. The most
> obvious candidate is the Iron Creek meteorite in
> Canada. It was a shrine
> and for that reason was taken, over the quite vocal
> protests of Crees and
> Blackfeet, by a methodist missionary so that the
> Indians could no longer
> worship at this pagan shrine. Another case is the
> Wichita County
> meteorite, taken by the Indian agent against the
> wishes of the Comanches.
> Then there are all the meteorites from burial sites,
> some of which have
> probably been returned by now.
> Others may or may not have been regarded as sacred,
> which was sort of a
> sliding scale among Native Americans. Just about
> anything might be
> declared sacred by somebody. It reminds me of the
> Robin Hood movei -- the
> bad one with Kevin Costner [not] acting the part of
> Robin Hood. Weh the
> gang of Merry Men demand a pendant as a toll, he
> replies that it was his
> father's and is sacred to him. And Little John
> replies, "Well, it's sacred
> to us too. That thing would buty enough food for a
> whole month."
> So, what to do. I'm not suggesting that anybody dig
> in an archaeological
> site hoping to find a meteorite; I'm just trying to
> find out how many might
> have been found on sites.
> Two more minor points. I just finished reading a
> paper on ancient uses of
> meteorites which says that ancient folks (Egyptians,
> Babylonians, etc.) did
> NOT call meteoric iron "metal of heaven." Just the
> opposite. The ancient
> Egyptians did use that pharase, but only after they
> began to get
> terrestrial iron from the Hittites did they use the
> prhrase "Metal of
> Heaven." Earlier iron is of meteoric origin, but
> they called the
> terrestial iron "Metal of Heaven." The article is
> by Judith Bjorkman,
> Meteoritics 8: 91-130.
> So the metal of heaven is a myth. Is the fire set
> by the meteorite in New
> Hampshire also? Most of the professionals I have
> talked to dismiss out of
> hand the possibility that meteorties ever set fires
> on impact. I'm not
> convinced, yet. They reject a whole lot of stories
> about meteorites being
> hot or incandescent oat time of impact. It'll be
> interesting to see if the
> New Hampshire object turns out to be a new fall or
> not.
> _______________________________________________
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> Meteorite-list_at_meteoritecentral.com

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Received on Tue 05 Dec 2000 08:10:48 PM PST

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