Adjacent the Inyo site is the now dry Owens Lake. The exposed lakebed was discovered to contain artifacts indicating human occupation during an experimental dust mitigation project. A sprinkler system was installed far out on the playa. This necessitated the installation of several miles of feed pipe. The work crew installing the line kept returning with arrowheads. One day, one man alone found more than thirty. That the area had been inhabited was new news and not addressed in the project Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
We obtained a copy of that report and found it addressed historic issues predominantly. The report did address the remains of the century old salt tram 1/4 of a mile north of Inyo and some housing remains from an abandoned town site 1/2 mile south of Inyo but skipped without mention the petroglyph site known as INY-272. This we found appalling and asked the project manager about the omission. Several days later he responded that they considered the effects to be minimal and this justified the exclusion. This was in direct conflict with the stated intent of the document and an intentional, deliberate violation of law.
A few days after these events, we had cause to visit the locations where the artifacts were found. To our amazement we discovered they had laid the pipeline directly through a large archaic campsite. Immediately we notified the project managers in writing that these were unrecognized and unplanned for archaeological discoveries that should have been addressed in the EIR. We began commmunications with them over this specific issue. Eventually, long after the work crews had looted the sites from almost every artifact with a collectable value, they responded. They reported that their alleged 'experts' had never visited the location to prepare their legally required Environmental Impact Report, but relied upon outdated information in their archives. They assumed the artifacts we described had been 'washed out by flash floods' and had no archaeological interest.
The error of this statement was obvious to any who actually visited the location. There is no geologic evidence to suggest it had any merit whatsoever. Flash floods would have shed debris from the shoreline to the source and this was simply not in evidence. Every stone in the habitation areas had been carried to the location(s) by the hand of man in antiquity. The dispersal made this fact obvious. Metates and manos, paired grinding tools, were in evidence on three of the five sites we found. Thanks to our efforts, one large marble metate (about 60 pounds in weight) now resides in the Eastern Sierra Museum. Most curious was the dispersal of hundreds of thin slate pieces. A few sample are shown below. Occasionally natural beach cobbles were found in the mix. The common theme of the pieces was size and shape and the fact that most were shaped by man. But why? No one knew nor could suggest a use for the worked tools.
Exploring the idea these may have been tools was futile. No one had a clue or had found an equivalent tool anywhere in the southwest. The question remained unanswered for several years. In the meantime, Dr. Scott Stein, a noted hydrologist had visited and together we searched for any method that may date when the lake had been dry and habitable.
An afternoon of searching led to the discovery of a bit of wood contained in a 'tufa tube,' a coating of calcium carbonate and other minerals dissolved in the lake. Dr. Stein took this back to Stanford University and reported back twenty four hours later by telephone. The wood was 990 years old plus or minus 50 years based on corrected C14 dating. In simple terms, the lake was dry a thousand years ago. How long this condition had persisted was still unknown, but the evidence that the lake had been previously dry was conclusive.
Several events lent themselves to the final understanding of the lakebed artifacts. The first was the discovery of the equinox animation. (See The Animation ) This was a remarkable first in American archaeology. Never before had the religion of the Native Americans been open to examination or explored with such conclusive evidence. The second event was equally important. Dr. Barry Fell had made a connection in his book, Saga America. Another event was a coincidental meeting with a full blooded Shoshoni. Mr. Curtis Buff, an aquaintaince of the late Burrell Dawson who was a Shoshoni linguist, informed us that the word 'egg' is modern. In the Shoshoni language it translated as the fruit of a sky animal.
Reproduced here is the Saga America page prepared by Dr. Fell. He made this with the standard American biblical slant of thought. He erred by assuming the expulsion from Eden was the subject matter of the petroglyphs recorded by Renaud. Dr Fell attempted to justify his position by connecting the Colorado petroglyphs to Old World biblical cartoons. However, the real key is not his error in recognition, but confirmation of the existence of petroglyphs of Native Americans dancing with 'circular objects.' We believe the case can be made that what is depicted in Renaud's drawings are eggs. Dr. Fell is to be congradulated for his recognition of the of the Garden of Eden mythology because it certainly has a valid connection. However, this is the Native American version and has a very different ending. For an analysis of the Inyo animation, click here.
A necessary item was connecting the Inyo site to Colorado, the source of Renaud's drawings. The connection is evidenced from an article in American Antiquity, Journal of the Society for American Archaeology. The article deals with the spread of Numic (Shoshoni) languages. Actually, the article does not go far enough. With some differences due to varied dialects, if one spoke Shoshoni, one could make himself (or herself) understood from what is now the state of Washington all the way south to Guatamala and east to the Mississippi River. The language was extremely widespread in usage. What is of interest is that the map was make using known cultural similarities. Inyo, INY-272, is clearly a focal point but unknown to the writers of this article.
The slate 'bifacial objects' have since been 'discovered' by authoritarian archaeologists. They are in a quandry as to their usage. Sadly, every location had long since been looted of artifacts and identifiction of the site users has been abandoned. The clue to usage actually comes from the American Antiquities article. The scope of usage was not local, but an assemblage of People from all over the southwest. The slate pieces were props, used in religious ceremonies. They were mock eggs, used for for dances.
We would hope that the Shoshoni Tribes and others, now looking for their cultural roots stripped from their knowledge base by American authorities and the pacification process would recognize the significance of these discoveries and reclaim their heritage. We can help.
Roderick L. Schmidt
© 2008The Equinox Project, All Rights Reserved. Compiled from the
contents of The Dawson Library
Created for and maintained by The Equinox Project Please email any comments, questions or suggestions to:
firstname.lastname@example.org NOTE you must remove !!! from the suplied address before using.
Last Modified January 2010