In 1889, well-drillers discovered the Nampa figurine, a mysterious artefact that really puts a spanner in the works of modern evolutionary theory. But I have another idea. What if the figurine is proof that time is not as linear as we all thought, but a big ball of wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff?
On August 1st 1889, workers led by M.A. Kurtz were drilling a water well in Nampa, Idaho. Suddenly their steam pump spat out a small piece of a brownish clay and sparked a baffling archaeological mystery.
The object, also known as the Nampa image, was one and a half inches in length, made from clay and quartz, and clearly human-shaped, with one leg partially broken off. Geologist G. Frederick Wright said it was a “female figure” with “lifelike lineaments” and “remarkable for the perfection with which it represents the human form”.
Professor Albert A. Wright of Oberlin College (yes, another ‘Wright’, but I think the two are unrelated…) said that there were “faint geometric markings on the figure, which represent either clothing patterns or jewellery”. These markings, mostly on the arms, wrists and around the neck, led Wright to conclude that “the doll is the image of a person of a high civilisation, artistically attired”.
Wright also commented on who might have crafted the figure. He decided that it was not the work of a “small child or amateur”, but of a “true artist”.
Herein lies the problem. The problem that has confounded scientists for decades.
An out-of-place artefact
The Nampa doll was recovered from depths of 320 feet. The stratum at that depth was about 2 million years old. However, humans like us have only been walking the Earth for 200,000 years. This makes the Nampa figurine an out-of-place artefact, an ‘oopart’, because, well, who the hell could have crafted it if humans didn’t exist?
Researcher Michael Cremo believes he has the answer. Humans did exist. In his book, Forbidden Archaeology: The Hidden History of the Human Race, he says this:
“Other than Homo sapiens sapiens [the subspecies of Homo sapiens that all modern human beings belong to], no hominid is known to have fashioned works of art like the Nampa figurine. The evidence therefore suggests that humans of the modern type were living in America at the Plio-Pleistocene age which dates about 2 million years ago.”
However, Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews of Bad Archaeology.com counters this by saying:
“There is not one other single artefact of human manufacture from the whole of North or South America that is anywhere near as early as this, by a factor of one hundred! If the Nampa figurine were genuinely as ancient as the claims for it, then there ought to be similar objects from the same geological era.”
A good point. If intelligent humans have been walking the Earth for millions of years and did not evolve in the way that we have been led to believe, where’s the rest of the archaeological evidence?
Wibbly wobbly timey wimey…
Here’s a theory. The Nampa figurine is nothing to do with evolution. We still evolved as Darwin said we did. The Nampa figurine is actually evidence of time travel. That’s why there are no similar objects from the same era, as Fitzpatrick-Matthews points out. It’s possible that a time traveller went 2 million years into the past and accidentally (or deliberately, you know, to screw with us all) left the Nampa figurine in the Plio-Pleistocene period.
OR perhaps the Nampa figurine fell through a time slip. We’re always hearing about these. Weaknesses in the space-time continuum, which could be a naturally occurring or manmade phenomenon. Some believe the Loch Ness Monster fell through a time slip. In 1901, Charlotte Anne Moberly and Eleanor Jourdain reportedly saw the long-dead Marie Antoinette and others mingling in the gardens at the Palace of Versailles. In 1979, two couples stayed at a hotel that had slipped forwards in time, then slipped back again and disappeared. And then there’s the urban legend of Rudolph Fentz, who went missing in 1876 and turned up in Times Square in 1950.
Plus, there are plenty of other ooparts dotted sporadically throughout ancient history that could suggest time travel, just like the Nampa figurine.
But is the Nampa figurine actually genuine?
I suppose the authenticity of the figurine is the big question. Michael Cremo obviously thinks it’s genuine, but I’m not sure how much credence I can give him. He’s a creationist with outlandish views (alright, so that goes without saying) and his arguments have been described as pseudoscience by mainstream archaeologists and scholars. What’s worse is that some of the sources he used in his book were highly suspect. For instance, one of his sources was the Weekly World News, a satirical tabloid that routinely puts out hoax stories for entertainment (and has been the source of several urban legends).
So let’s forget Cremo for a moment. Clearly he can’t be trusted. What does the rest of the scientific community say about this mysterious object?
Chemist F.F. Jewett and Bostonian Professor F.W. Putnam have carried out analyses that confirm its genuinely ancient age (without actually being able to put a number on it). This has put to bed a number of hoax claims suggesting that the figurine could’ve been a toy crafted by the local Indians and dropped into the well from above.
Still, with that in mind, Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says the figurine could’ve been pushed into the 2-million-year-old clay from much newer layers by M.A. Kurtz’s drill.
G. Frederick Wright has an answer for this too. He states that there is no question that the figurine came up in the sand pump from the depth reported because the pump only worked in one direction and the figurine would’ve been destroyed otherwise.
The world remains divided. Some still argue that the figurine was hoaxed. Some maintain that it worked its way into the 2-million-year-old clay by way of natural geological processes (without being able to describe realistically what those might be). And some believe it is a genuinely 2-million-year-old piece of artwork that reveals the fraudulence of Darwinism.
I don’t know about you, but I’m sticking with time travel. 😉
Next week: The time has come. This Sunday I’m off on my writers’ retreat to get started on the final edit of Million Eyes. That means the blog is having a 2-week holiday. However, if you’re worried you’ll miss me, keep an eye on my Facebook page because I’ll be posting regular updates about my progress.