(being continued from 16/11/13 )
Contents of the Mounds
Reverend James Savage, speaking of the contents of the mounds, wrote:
“These prehistoric mounds of Michigan contain caskets, lamps, bowls, pipes, tablets. etc. of clay;
battle-axes. knives, spears, daggers and arrow-points. domestic utensils, saws, chisels, spades. etc.,
and a variety of ornamental wearing apparel– all of chilled copper; stone tablets, medallions,
metals, skinning knives, various implements and of strange design, the object of which we can not
imagine. One remarkable feature of these mounds– they contain no flint implements of any kind,
nor have I seen any stone or copper beads; other ornamental wearing apparel is frequent.” (Savage,op. cit., p. 11.)
Mr. John A. Russell described the relics taken from the Michigan mounds as follows:
“The objects recovered from the mounds are, variously, of copper, sandstone, limestone, burned clay and slate. The copper and slate objects predominate. The copper appears to be true mass lake copper. Of the slates the grayish black variety predominates, this being of the quality which outcrops near Baraga, in northern Michigan. The sandstone is of fine texture, quite of the quality of
the material known as Amherst bluff stone, now quarried at Amherst, in Ohio. Red and green slates appear with comparative frequency. Only a few examples of limestone appear. These being of an argillaceons character and having a good polish.” (Russell, op. cit., p. 9.)
Also, John A. Russell classified the contents of the Michigan mounds as follows:
1. Written records, incised upon copper or stone, or stamped in clay, subsequently baked or sun-dried.
2. Records partly written and partly pictorial engraved upon the same material.
3. Articles of personal adornment, composed of copper, slate and sandstone.
4. Articles for use in warfare, of copper and stone.
5. Articles of domestic use, of copper and slate.
“Of the first class there are entire plates of copper, certain panels of stone tablets containing other matter, and entire tablets of sun-burnt clay, upon which are inscribed what appears to be a regular language, uniform in character… in the second general classification which the writer has suggested comes the most interesting of the recoveries, from various points of view. Their interest lies mainly in their pictorial presentation of the Old Testament story
“It may be stated that these records, whether on copper or slate, are almost wholly pictorial.
When they appear on copper, but one side of the tablet is utilized; when they appear on slate, both
sides of the tablet form their backgrounds. The subjects of these inscriptions are of three classes, namely, those which are purely scriptural, in the light of our knowledge of the Old Testament as a record of ancient history; those which depict scenes of war; and lastly, those which are composed of what seems to be circular annual calendars, their circumferences being divided into thirteen
moons, each of the spaces so divided carrying a cuneiform legend of greater or less extent” (Ibid., pp. 9-11)
Again we read in Mr. Russell’s book:
“It is worthy of note that the fabrication of these objects shows a high state of civilization. The copper objects are invariably composed of hardened copper hold an edge and ring like bells. The various degrees of tempering of hardening may be recognized by the metallurgist when it is stated that from the variety of objects every note of the scale may be struck.
A causal examination of a few specimens by Mr. W.P. Putnam, of the Detroit Testing Laboratory, the foremost analytical metallurgist of his city, led to the conclusion that the objects were undoubtedly tempered, and that some form of heat treatment, now unknown, had been employed to convert them into their existent state.
In the cases of slate implements of apparent domestic utility every example shows that much time was spent upon its ornamentation. They are bonded with ornamental lines, geometrically precise, engraved with helmeted heads or the figures of birds and animals and invariably marked with the racial or cultural signature, if they contain no other mark.” (Ibid., pp. 16-17.)
Mound Excavators and Relic Collectors
A number of important citizens of Michigan became prominent in excavating mounds and making collections of archaeological artifacts. Among those of outstanding importance were the Reverend James Savage, pastor of the Roman Catholic Church of the Most Holy Trinity, in Detroit, and Daniel E. Soper, ex-secretary of State of Michigan. Both of these men for many years prior to their becoming interested in the mounds and in collecting artifacts there from had been collectors of objects representing the social and domestic economy of purely Indian era.
While working at that hobby, they had collected thousands of pieces. James 0. Scotford retained his interest continuously in the mounds after the discoveries he made in Montcalm County. To these may be added other enthusiasts from time to time, among them were Mr. Daniel L. Case, a mining engineer by training; I . W. Welbon, special agent of the Home Telephone Company of
Michigan; John T. Belanger of the same company; Rudolph Etzenhouser, missionary for the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of-Latter-day Saints.
From outside of Detroit several gentlemen of importance participated in excavations and also came to observe from a scientific standpoint. The more prominent of these were Dr. Roland B. Orr, Curator of the Ontario Professional Museum; Mr. Carlton C. Jones, Secretary to the Minister of Education of Ontario, also of Toronto; Dr. William C. Hills, of the Ohio State- University at Columbus and Sean C. Kinnaman of Benton Harbor College, the editor of’ the American Antiquarian.
In addition to these men, many others throughout the state, too numerous to name– dug into mounds, and found archaeological artifacts. Many of these artifacts became lost or destroyed.
Their finders did not recognize their value and did nothing to preserve them, especially during the early years when the value of such relics was not generally known.
Affidavit Affirming Michigan Finds Genuine
Since some people doubted the authenticity of these archaeological finds, claiming them to be frauds, the Honorable Daniel E. Soper and the Reverend James Savage and others had some of the excavations made in the presence of a number of witnesses and a notary public. An article appeared in a Detroit newspaper under the title:
“Believers in Soper Swear He Found Relics in Highland Park.” The account gave the following information and affidavit:
“Daniel E. Soper on June 9, 1911 opened a mound near Highland Park and disinterred four more specimens similar to those previously unearthed.” The article gives a list of names of the people who were present at the time. The following statement was written and signed and notarized. It was signed by all of the people present and countersigned by Ira W. Welbon as Notary Public:
“We, the undersigned, do solemnly affirm and declare that we were present on the property known as the Steven’s Estate, situated on the west side of Hamilton Boulevard within the village of Highland Park, distance five and one half miles from the city of Detroit in the state of Michigan U.S.A.. on the 9th day of June, in the year of our Lord 1911, and did personally see certain mounds opened and four specimens taken therefrom to wit: One copper spear head, one stone pipe and two stone ornaments,
“Reverend Etzenhouser,Independence. Missouri; Ira W.Welbon, Notary Public, Detroit; John A.Russell, Detroit, Michigan; Dr.
Roland D. Orr, University of Toronto,Ontario; Professor Mike, Custodian of Tools, Detroit, Michigan; Reverend James Savage. Detroit, Michigan;Chauffeaur; Clarkston W. James,Secretary Department of Education,Toronto, Ontario; Daniel E. Soper,
Detroit, Michigan. Countersigned by Ira W. Welbon. Notary Public.”
(Newspaper Account Published in Detroit, June 9, 1911)
Daniel E. Soper
From time to time there appeared in the newspapers in Michigan articles announcing and describing discoveries of archaeological artifacts in mounds. These reports came from various parts of the state.
In the year 1907, the Honorable Daniel E. Soper, ex-secretary of State, became interested in these finds. From that point forward throughout his life, he became an active participator in excavating mounds and in collecting these ancient relics. He was a man with a high reputation for honesty and integrity, being i-egar icc! as one of the outstanding citizens of Detroit, and of the state of Michigan. Speaking of him in his booklet Prehistoric Man.
Mr. 0. Major Taher wrote:
“A gentleman in Detroit, who has been a collector of curios for thirty-five years, became interested in these wonderful relies of a prehistoric race. By personal effort he opened up 117 mounds some of them within a radius of ten miles of (lie city of Detroit. This gentleman’s name is Daniel E. Soper. ex-secretary of State, whom I have known for twenty-five years, and I have always found him honest and reliable. Some very remarkable implements he found in the woods belonging to the estate of a prominent resident of Detroit.
In several mounds he found fourteen clay pipes. no two alike, and on a stone tablet there is displayed representations of Adam and Eve, the flood, Noah’s Ark with the dove seeking dry land, and animals leaving the ark, besides the temple of Sun worshippers.” (Prehistoric Man, p. 7.)
On March 1, 1916, an article appeared in The Chattanooga News which announced that recently Daniel E. Soper had made his home in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The article is entitled, Chattanoogan’s Wonderful Collection of Ancient Relics. The article pointed out that Mr. Soper had spent nine years in Michigan digging in the various mounds of the ancient Mound Builders, and as a result he had collected hundreds of “…remarkable relics of the mysterious race that once inhabited Michigan and the Great Lakes Basin ol North America.” The Chattanooga News, March 1, 1916.) The writer has in hi~ possession newspaper clippings which indicate that Mr. Soper made many trips to Michigan after this date to continue excavating in the mounds. The article ir The Chatanooga News lists a number o items that Mr. Soper had in his collection as follows:
“Made of copper are tablets, sandals, spears, arrows, knives, chisels, compasses, spoons, saws,boxes, crowns, and other Implements of domestic belligerent, or ornamental use. There are stone tablets, stone lamps, axes, sun-dials, caskets, omelets, and strangest of all, stone pipes for smoking tobacco or some other nepenthe perhaps lost to civilization. There are also imperfect
preservation of duplicates of all these articles In burnt clay and blue slate. The significance of Mr. Soper’s collection and those similar to it is enormous. The history of them is naturally buried along with the bones of the people that made them, and made conjecture inspired by inscriptions on them is all that can ever be advanced to explain them. However the stone tablets bear
numerous representations of men at work constructing buildings, and there have been recovered many saws, chisels, and even compasses, or dividers showing that they were skilled in building and that large numbers of them were so employed. Evidently, they had a literature, crude and meager, as it must necessarily have been inscribed so laboriously upon stone and clay. Yet, they
made ingenuous use of their alphabet, for among Mr. Soper’s specimens are many little uses for printing characters upon plates while it was yet plastic. These types were tediously hand-wrought out of a sort of sandstone, and remarkably accurate duplicates in reverse of some of the characters found on the specimens.” (Ibid.)
After the death of Mr. Daniel E. Soper, his son, Ellis Clarke Soper inherited his father’s collection of ancient relics. Mr. Ellis Clark Soper made his home in Franklin. North Carolina. He moved the collection from Chatanooga, Tennessee, to Franklin. There it remained until 1963 when it was sent to the writer (Milton R. Hunter was the recipient of the collection, both, Soper’s
Reverend James Savage
During the early part of the twentieth century and about the time that the Honorable Daniel E. Soper became interested in the ancient archaeological relics of Michigan, another prominent and honorable citizen of Detroit also became intensely interested in the same activity.
He became closely associated with Mr. Soper throughout the remainder of their lives. His name was the Reverend James Savage, pastor of the Roman Catholic Church of the Most Holy Trinity,in Detroit, Michigan. He, like Mr. Soper, had been for many years prior to their interest in the Michigan ancient relics a collector o Indian artifacts.
Father Savage continued his exploration of the mounds and collection of ancient relics in Michigan throughout the remainder of his life. He made a great collection of archaeological artifacts–thousands of them… In doing so, he opened hundreds and hundreds of mounds, exploring throughout the state of Michigan.
In the meantime, numerous other people were making collections by digging in the mounds of Michigan but perhaps none of them had as large a collection as did Father Savage.
The Reverend James died about 1926. His collection was taken over by another Catholic Father who worked in the same church as Father Savage had served. The new owner retained the collection for ten years. About 1930 he gave the Savage Collection to Notre Dame University at Notre Dame, Indiana. There it set in the attic of one of their buildings, packed in boxes (cracker barrels) for more than thirty years time.
Hyvernat and Laurentis Discover Relics
On September 18, 1916, the Washington Post described the discovery of more ancient artifacts In Michigan In an article entitled Prehistoric Tablets of Great Value Found by Dr.Hyvernat in Michigan. This newspaper account mentions the fact that: “on September 12, Dr.Henri Hyvernat of the Catholic University of Washington, D.C. took from a mound in the woods north of Detroit a slate tablet about a foot long with a circular calendar engraved on one side…
This interesting tablet will belong, to the museum of which Dr. Hyvernat is In charge at the Catholic University, as will any others he may personally remove from their ancient resting places.” (The Washington Post, September 18, 1916.)
Several other people were with him at the time he made the discovery. Among them were Dean James Savage of Detroit, and Mr. Daniel E. Soper of Chattanooga; Mr. Edward Harrigan of Detroit, and Miss Mary Pellan of Washington, D.C. Several mounds were opened that day. A few small pieces of pottery were found, but only this one unusual beautiful slate tablet.
The sub-heading “Non-Indlar Type Shown” also appears In the sam article, To quote:
“In June, Father Laurentius Scheidl. O.S.B., of St. Benedict, Louisiana took from a mound in a woods near the same part of the Detroit suburbs a blue slate tablet seven and one-half by twenty-five inches, on one side of which is a large figure of an important personage with ornate headgear and robe. The full lips and long beard indicate the non-Indian type. Two other persons of royal or priestly casts, with many lines of writing, are engraved on the reversed side of the monumental stone. A red slate tablet was also removed by Father Laurentius, which is engraved on one side with pictures of Noah and his family leaving the ark, a rainbow, and
groups of people in adoring posture. Below these three lines are six lines of the ancient writing.” (Ibid.)
The evidence clearly shows that an ancient race of Mound Builders lived in the state of Michigan and were exterminated, perhaps by the Indians. It seems likely that for many years during their history they dotted the entire state with their towns and cities and left thousands and thousands of mounds as mute evidence of their ancient past.
These Mound Builders attained a rather high state of culture. They had a written language which they Inscribed on metal plates and stone tablets. Those tablets thoroughly demonstrate the fact that these ancient Americans possessed Egyptian culture and the Hebrew religion.
Such honorable men as Catholic priests and others of high character were the excavators of the mounds. They bore testimony continuously in newspaper accounts and in books to the antiquity of the Mound Builders and to the genuineness of their records. They knew the soil that composed the mounds was virgin soil, having not been disturbed for hundreds of years. One refutable evidence to this effect was the large trees-many of them hundreds of years old-were growing upon the mounds when these men dug into them and found the ancient relics.
The empirical evidence in relation to the Michigan artifacts is limited because they are composed of inorganic materials. Still there ought to be evidence, either in their materials,(which are copper. slate, sandstone, and clay) or in their inscriptions (which is a mystifying mixture of various languages) that would lend some information.
Several attempts have in fact been made to discover new evidence. First, linguistic expertise was sought from Dr. Sami A. Hanna of the Middle East Center, University of Utah. His opinion was that many of the characters were authentic from various Semitic languages. He further slated that they show order, that while he could riot vouch for the authenticity of the artifacts, he could say
that if they were forged, they were copied from something that was authentic and therefore deserve further study.
Material information was sought from Dr. Charles Pitt, metallurgist, also from the University of Utah. Several tests were conducted by him on copper samples. He determined from an examination of the micro-structure, that the object (a knife blade) had been formed by a cold hammering process, and that the copper was hardened to a certain extent, probably from the hammering.
Under an optical microscope the copper appeared to be almost pure with the exception that there were specks of a silver colored substance embedded in the copper matrix. An X-ray scanning microscope confirmed that the sample was almost pure copper, but did not reveal the silver content.
An interesting characteristic of native lake copper is that it does have a separate silver content, as
this quote indicates:
“We have proven also that the Mound Builders worked the copper mines of Lake Superior and the lead mines near Lexington, Kentucky, etc. The copper found in mounds shows speck of silver, found only in copper of Lake Superior. (M.F’. Cornell. Prehistoric Relics of the Mound Builders, p. 25.)”
Baldwin also mentions this characteristic indication of native lake copper:
“The Mound Builders used large quantities of copper such as that taken from the copper beds on Lake Superior, where the extensive mines yield copper, not in the ore, but as pure metal… the Mound-Builders worked this copper without smelting it. Spots of pure silver are frequently found studding the surface of Lake Superior copper, and appearing as if welded to it, but not alloyed with it.” (Ancient America,p. 43.)
Compiled by Glen W. Chapman- September 2000
Ancient Roman Temple Discovered in Miami!
How did an ancient Roman building appear in Miami?
Miami, FL – An ancient structure was just discovered behind the Olympia Theater in Downtown Miami, and it appears to have many classical Roman characteristics.
While the news is mind-boggling enough that the stone building was unearthed in the heart of urban Miami, what is harder to believe is the fact that the Vikings might not have been the first Europeans to discover the Americas. This find will change everything we know about modern history if it can be dated and identified to truly be Roman.
New Condo Building Leads to Discovery
The ruins were uncovered after a construction crew began digging the foundation for a new condo tower in the heart of Downtown Miami behind the historic Olympia Theater. After the construction crew began digging, they discovered a few strangely arranged coral stone rocks. The foreman noticed that the flat circular stones appeared to be the tops of man-made columns, set into rows and in an orderly pattern. The city of Miami then quickly halted construction.
This news comes in just after an ancient Tequesta Native American village was discovered half a mile away at the mouth of the Miami River which appears, from preliminary dating, to be around the same age as the newly discovered ruins behind the Olympia Theater.
Historians, Archeologists and Scholars the world over are currently pouring into Miami to aid in the identification effort in which at current, is fully underway. Some additional artifacts have also been discovered including bronze hand tools that after preliminary field testing, seem to contain traces of the same iron found in the hills outside of Rome.
A historian from the National Archaeological Museum of Perugia in Italy informed our team that there are documented stories that after Western Rome collapsed at the end of the 5th century AD that many people fled the Italian peninsula. Eastern Rome was established in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul, Turkey), but many people sailed westward including a large flotilla of ships that was apparently lost at sea after a large storm.
If the structure is in fact roman, could the Tequestas and lost Romans have co-existed, maybe even intermarried? Did the Romans stay in America? There are many questions that still need to be investigated, but the news is truly ground breaking.