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Thursday, April 7, 2016

Archaeological Strangeness

                                            Bizarre Rock Hauled out of the Ohio river
One Of the last Photos of the rock when it was still Visible above the waterline

    A Strange situation developed when Ohio Historian Steven Shaffer set out to locate the lost Indian Head Rock, an eight ton boulder that at one time jutted out of the Ohio River before it was damned in the 1920's .Shaffer had heard stories passed down from old timers about a Rock large enough for people to stand on .Supposedly The Rock received a lot of carvings and graffiti from those who swam out to it over time including what was thought to be a pictogram of an Indian head perhaps dating back to Native peoples.

  After the damning Of the river the rock was no longer visible and mostly forgotten. After finding Old Pictures of the rock Shaffer became obsessed. In 2000 he started researching the location and did numerous scuba dives until he located the submerged Rock and pulled together a recovery effort.

   It proved to be a difficult task but after two attempts the heavy rock was soon removed from the water and it was briefly put on display in Portsmouth, Ohio with the intention of making it a museum attraction. Ah ,but It was not the rocks destiny to be on Ohio soil. That section of the river is actually Kentucky territory up to the Water line of the Ohio bank. When word spread that the Boulder had been removed, Many Kentuckians were incensed ,even though the Rock had not been visible for generations and essentially forgotten. The Army corpse of engineers ruled that the rock belonged to KY and when it was pulled out and stashed , Ohio violated an 1899 Federal Rivers and Harborment Act .Also a Commonwealth attorney Cliff  Duvall stated the Rock was of Great Historical significance to KY and that Ohio had violated an Act that protects from the theft of antiquities including Natural and prehistoric structures, historic landmarks and native American Artifacts.

The strange face thought to be carved by Native Americans  
A three year legislative battle began and as it turned out the old rock was already registered by the UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY as an object of archaeological significance and protected as of  1986 .Ohio soon surmised that the right thing to do would be to returned it to its original location back in the water, but KY still wanted the rock .Why was the Item so important to The Kentucky Authorities? A settlement was finally reached and the rock was handed over to Kentucky on Thursday November 4, 2010 .Now here is one for you Cover up and Conspiracy theorists out there ,The Artifact was subsequently hauled away to a Greenup, KY Garage Where it supposedly still stays. Hidden and unseen by the public.

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