This image forms part of the monthly 'Curators Choice' series from Rhagor, the collections based website from Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales.
Evidence of Neanderthal believed found in Virginia among ancient relics... professional assessment soughtSteven Elchook from Virginia is another truth-seeker who believes he may have supporting evidence that Neanderthal were once in America but has been unsuccessful in his search for a professional assessment. His supporting evidence, he believes, is some ancient anthropomorphic art, stone tools, a Neanderthal jawbone (child) and individual teeth (a possible molar pictured below).
While the regional archaeologist from the Department of Historical Resources in Richmond, Virginia had told Elchook his finds weren’t in his field of expertise instead being a matter for anthropology, at least he was supportive by stating the finds may have enough merit to be further investigated. But, while the archaeologist suggested to Elchook that he go see an anthropologist… the man didn't refer him to one. Whether a brush-off or not, it became just another dead end.
While partially being a matter of Mr. Elchook not having ties to the archaeological community, it underscores the age-old adage “it’s not what you know but who you know”. Whether due to human nature or the remnants of medievalism, this reality should have no place in the sciences.
It had also been suggested to Mr. Elchook that he contact the Smithsonian Institute... although the usefulness of this avenue remains in question as well. After all, relics within a museum must have credentials and therefore likely just another dead end.
Until his finds are professionally assessed, the haunting question… is this pictured object Mr. Elchook discovered in Virginia really a tooth (molar) as he believes? If so, is it Neanderthal? While perhaps an anthropologist could judge somewhat by this photograph, the untrained eye might tend to believe it only an innocent rock. Nonetheless, after viewing a half dozen photographs of Mr. Elchook’s findings, a couple seemed to hold some promise... particularly the unusual arrowhead pictured below. Compared to a wide variety of other arrowheads, it is distinctively different.
The possibilities are tantalizing and the reason for posting Elchook’s account below. Hopefully it will draw the attention of some open-minded anthropologists. His sincere convictions, doggedness and compelling words are hard to ignore.
The area that these artifacts/fossil teeth were found is located approx. six miles from the Rappahannock River near Fredericksburg Va. Various creeks, springs and ponds are also in the surrounding area. The soil that these artifacts were found in is sandy and rocky. There is a creek nearby and a small pond about a mile away. The land where these artifacts were found is flat and spread out over an about acre of land.
There are three areas on this acre of land where these items have been found. Some artifacts seem to have been dug up due to some nearby construction. These were found near the surface of the ground and began to become visible after some heavy rainfall. The first area is where a stone tool was found. The images attached came from that stone tool. This stone tool is approx. two inches in length and an inch and a half in width. It seems to be a hand tool used to strip animal hide or to cut meat. There are images on this artifact that depict a hunting scene. There is also red ochre that is still visible on this hand tool. Other items found in the same area consist of a spear point. This is also about an inch an a half in length. There appears to be engravings on both sides of this spear point. One of these engravings is of a hunter holding a spear looking at an animal in the distance. These images are very faded but can be seen in the proper lighting. Another item found in this same area is a hammerstone. It has an image of a small horse standing on a hill.
The second area is located about fifty feet from the first area. This is a very sandy area. A large granite stone was found here about the size of football. There are various engravings on this stone and also areas that were used to sharpen or make stone tools. The spear point, for example, fits perfectly into one of these shiny areas. Beneath this granite rock was found a stone with the image of a man carved in the middle of it. There also are remains of a yellow colored ochre on this stone. This area of land is where various fossil teeth were found. The large fossil molar appears to match the molar found in the museum of Wales, identified there to be from an early Neanderthal, was found in this area about a foot beneath the surface. The fossil teeth that are similar to those found in Yuanmoa China were also found in this same general area. Those fossil teeth were identified in China to be from either Homo Erectus or possible Neanderthal.
The third area is where a large fossil incisor was found located near a wooded area about thirty feet from the second area. This large incisor appears to have Neanderthal characteristics. The body of the tooth is enlarged and the inside part of the tooth that faces the tongue has a prominent bulge. It was located just below the surface of the ground. This tooth appears to be the same age as the fossil molar that was found. Also found here were two rounded hammerstones about the size of a baseball. There also was found stone artwork. This stone is about half the size of a baseball and has been carved out. In the center of this stone appears to be a man. The best way to describe this stone is that it resembles a cave with an image of a man inside.
Exactly where these artifacts came from and the age of all of this is yet to be determined. This would require a hands-on examination of these fossil teeth and molar by a paleoanthropologist to make that determination. My personal opinion from what I have found and researched is that this could be evidence of a Neanderthal presence in the distant past and possibly even Homo erectus. Fossil teeth seem to match those of other fossil teeth found in other places around the world. Some images found on stone tools also seem to have characteristics of Neanderthals such a heavy brow ridge and a flat sloping forehead. Homo Erectus also had a prominent brow ridge.
In July 2007 I made an appointment with the Department of Historical Resources in Richmond, Virginia to meet with the regional archaeologist. The purpose of this meeting was for him to physically examine the artifacts, stone tools, fossil teeth and a large molar I had found here in Virginia. When he began to examine the molar, I suggested that we log on to the Internet and go to the museum of Wales website[See top of page]. A large adult molar of an early Neanderthal that was found in Pontnewydd cave in Wales is pictured there. I felt the Neanderthal molar pictured on that website had very similar characteristics to the molar that I had found in Virginia. He visually examined the image of the molar in the museum of Wales website and agreed that there were strong similarities to the fossil molar I had found here in Virginia. He then proceeded to take photographs of the fossil teeth and molar I had found. He commented that the molar that I had found appeared older than the molar pictured in the museum website due to the level of fossilization that had occurred. He then suggested that I contact a Paleoanthropologist to examine the fossil teeth and molar I had found to confirm that these were actually Neanderthal, since this was out of his field of his expertise.
My objective here is to raise an interest in this discovery and have it further examined by someone who has similar interests in a professional manner.