And so we have made it to the final entry in the 10 Most Puzzling Ancient Artifacts list. We finish with the second of our two catch-all categories, the first being where we learned about OOParts. In this final entry we are looking at Impossible Fossils, which pretty much live up to their name.
We’ve been over this before in an earlier post on the Paluxy “Man Tracks”. Where a known artifact is being reinterpreted in hopes of supporting an idea that has no support for it. In the Man Tracks case, we have the fossilized imprints of dinosaur metatarsals made by bipedal dinosaurs that can look a little weird, until you understand how bipedal dinosaurs walked [Kuban 2010]. The Man Tracks are also nice cases of fraud in action since more than a few of them were actually carved to look like human feet, and then sold to the unwary [Kuban 2010]. Thankfully the man tracks have mostly been put to rest by through scientific debunking, however there appear to be plenty of Impossible Fossils waiting to take their place.
The particular fossil that the 10 most hits on is a supposed hand print. It’s described by a Creation Science website as:
“This photo shows a human handprint(sic) found in Cretaceous rock in the same layer with the Glen Rose dinosaur footprints. The fossil handprint(sic) is so specific that it displays impressions of the thumbnail, impressions of the tissue webbing between the thumb and index finger, and the impression left by penetration of the middle finger into the mud [Baugh 2006].”
A Texas-based website named “Pastor Art and Sister Sue” appear to be the first to mention the “hand print on stone” claiming that it was discovered in 1995 formed in Cretaceous rock in the city of Weatherford, Texas [Kuban 2010]. As with “discoveries” like this, the usual red flags spring up:
- Red Flag #1: for starts, the article is uncited. I’ve ranted about this before, you must cite your sources!
- Red Flag #2: There is not indication who found the fossil in the first place, or who studied it, or where, etc.
- Red Flag #3: There is no record of if it was found in-situ, and after last post, we all know why it’s important to find and document things where they are found.
Pastor Art and Sister Sue have quite a few other impossible fossils on their site as well, things like sandal impressions along with trilobite fossils Again, I am going to go back over this and make a series out of it.
Thus we reach the end of our journey through the 10 Most Not-So-Puzzling Ancient Artifacts. I’ve had a good time with this and I actually learned a few things that surprised me. I’ve shown not only why and how most of these are frauds and not that puzzling, but I’ve explained several ways to identify other dubious claims.
I send you all out now into the wacky world of weird Archaeology to use this new-found knowledge to debunk on your own. Send me a link when you do, I’m always up for new “mysteries”.
2006. Creation Evidence Museum. http://www.creationevidence.org/. Retrieved September 17 2012.
Kuban, Glen J.
2010. “The Paluxy Dinosaur/”Man Track” Controversy”(http://paleo.cc/paluxy.htm), Published by Glen J. Kuban. Retrieved September 06, 2011.