Archaeological dating perspective radiocarbon
Some of the hairs were submitted to the Center for the Study of the First Americans, where in November 2003 the late Dr. It is hoped that hairs might appear that have been adequately protected from moisture, and freezing and thawing.
One of the hairs remaining after the necessarily destructive attempt at DNA extraction has been verified by Dr.
Scott Moody, professor of forensic biology at Ohio University, as being obviously human and apparently quite old. Moody has also identified dyed plant fibers in context with the artifact material.
Whatever the age of this material might prove to be, it seems to point to an important if unrecognized anthropological and cultural phenomenon - the almost ubiquitous shaman-like bird-human figure characterizing the "rock art" at this site, remarkably consistent in its arrangement of readily identifiable sub- components.
Such astronomical orien- tation is characteristic of Late Archaic through Middle Woodland earthworks, as is the overall morphology of this structure, which includes a shallow trench along its east side (uphill toward the top of the knob, which affords a long view to the horizon in all directions).
At this point, the actual age of this officially unrecognized yet professionally verified artifact material is of less interest than the simple fact that it is present, but contextual evidence strongly indicates that in the upper strata it is Early to Middle Woodland in age, or very roughly two thousand years old.
(As is evident in the winter photo above, the gateway is also aligned toward the lower hill farther west.) Such wall earthworks are typically associated with ceremonial sites oriented to solar events, and other features of this site suggest that it is the case here.
Most directly, consider this photo of the vernal equinox sunset through the gateway: Below, the opposite (west) end of the gateway with large and somewhat zoomorphic sandstone slabs possibly collapsed from an original structure flanking the upward path.
Ohio's state archaeologists have, however, indicated no interest in further inquiry, on the unfounded assumption that early Native Americans would have left nothing significant in this unglaciated and topographically rugged area (a bit too far from Columbus, perhaps? This author has been proceeding largely on his own with occasional assistance and advice from professional archaeologists, anthropologists, and physical scientists including geologists and petrologists with the training and experience required to determine whether or not a given rock could have acquired its current form entirely through natural processes.
Judging from ceramic material and a long, straight, and symmetrical earthwork oriented to true north-south, it appears that the upper artifact layer at this site may date from the Early and/or Middle Woodland Period.
Strangely, this figure incorporates iconography quite evident in modern but traditional Inuit/Yupik art, and also present in European Paleolithic artifacts, as well as in Australian material of unknown age, apparently a Primal Image.