Ros’ Rock 10: the First Hybrid (Marked Rock)
This marked rock is yet another sourced from a private collection of sacred rocks that was part of the interaction that took place between Original tribes and Elkin, Basedow and other sympathetic researchers in the 1930’s. All are genuine being the product of Original technology and many are extremely old, and we have no doubt that this remarkable rock belongs to the most ancient category. It escorted the rock found at Wisconsin in the post, and out of courtesy to our guest from abroad we first briefly examined Thomas’ Rock 9. Having observed protocol, it is now time to turn our attention to the second half of this doubles package.
Upon first opening the box I was struck by how unlikely a pair these rocks first appeared, they are the double bass and soprano of this growing ensemble of 23 marked rocks and opposite in so many respects. Ros’ Rock 10 is the heaviest of the series yet is an intriguing piece of geometry. Each face is consistent in angle of incline and proportion and is obviously artificially formed. The rock was delicately fashioned to be held in a certain way, with slight depressions provided for each finger and webbing behind the thumb. We believe that the three rectangles and two triangles that make up this shaped rock were made to a set formula, whereas the faint markings and the residual chert overlay is far more sloppy and for the most part, indistinct. There has been so much skin rubbing on chert and it has been going on for so long. What remains at this late stage at face value are faint lines, gaps, hints, possibilities and a few definites.
Its companion in post and guest from across the waters (Thomas’ Rock 9), is the smallest and lightest of all the rocks we have examined. The markings are of the finest precision and clarity without the need to add, subtract or visualise. A small as the rock is, the perfectly flat polished face and engraved lines are undamaged, seemingly protected from the elements. The actual rock itself, once subtracting the undamaged flat section containing the lines, carries no evidence of any interest in the shape itself. The layers beneath make no recognisable form and carry no flat edge or straight line. This rock is, once subtracting the top piece, the most untidy, scrappy member of the collection. Whereas Ros’ Rock 10 has the smoothest surface, flattest edges, and an abundance of straight tidy lines, be they ever so worn.
However, it would a mistake if assuming that it is our intention to separate and dissociate the two rocks, because amongst all the variation that which is shared is more than sufficient. Both marked rocks have a top coat of chert, bear evidence of very sophisticated technology, display all manner of markings and lines, are rightly regarded as sacred, bear testimony to a shared global language and are very effective means of preserving information that can last for millions of years.
Skin on Silica
Without doubt Ros was adamant in noting she felt this rock was extra special and not that far behind in stature to that of Ros’ Rock 1. When she made such a confident declaration on the phone I remembering thinking at the time that is a huge call to make. Her reasons for being impressed, in particular that is so obviously fashioned to be held in the hand, were not for one second being questioned or ignored, but I felt we already had so many rocks designed to be held in the right hand. It all sounded a bit like more of yesterday’s news, and we have made that point more than once. I just couldn’t envisage getting excited by another rock with a groove or depression which was made to accommodate a finger or thumb. I thought we had been there and done that and were now seeking out new horizons.
It didn’t get any better upon first arrival, knowing that I was always going to open with the American marked rock, the attention given to this rock was spasmodic and brief. Four fifths of the available space for markings was long gone, most likely rubbed off by skin. There is so little left and so much of what was originally on board lost. This somewhat unexpected phenomena of skin rubbing against chert was first examined on Ros’ Rock 2, where one side had been noticeably worn away by the right index finger. However, on this rock the reach of bare skin on silica is far greater. The amount of chert worn away is five to six times greater in area, which is no doubt due to direct contact not with one digit, but five.
Side 1 measures 92 mms in length, of which the remaining upper coat of chert found on the top edge varies between 12 mms to 25 mms. That loss of the top layer approximates to 82% of the original layer of chert being rubbed off through skin friction. The next side measures the same and is almost identical in the amount of ‘derocking,’ with a residual top edge of 12mms to 28mms leaving 79% of this side now lacking in the thin upper crust of chert. This is to be expected as the placement of fingers and thumb will see equal amounts of skin and pressure spread across both sides. What adds depth to our suggestion that the chert was slowly rubbed off, is the condition of Side 3 which still has a very thin chert overlay intact with no lighter colour exposed. Being far less worn than the other two sides could be a logical consequence of having very little contact with the skin.
With 80% of the original narrative lost in transit this was a distraction and took a few viewings to negotiate. What soon became apparent is that at each inspection something else became easier to appreciate as the veils were lifted. Although our progress has been incremental we have now reached the stage where we can now appreciate why Ros was so convinced, that despite the wear and tear and considerable antiquity, this is an exceptionally important artefact.
Slater’s “Shaped Rocks” and two Times 180 Degrees
From the moment we first set eyes on this rock our comparison to the Standing Stones site Frederic Slater was researching, which is literally festooned with shaped rocks down the slope and the flatter paddock below, was an immediate reflex reaction. The most repeated shapes found at that site are the triangle/pyramid and rectangle. Granted the shaped rocks on that site are sandstone which is much softer than chert, but irrespective of hardness the geometry is the same.
There are two triangles, on at each end. One end, which still retains its chert crust has the larger triangle. The other end has obviously worn quite considerably due to the amount of skin rubbed against the top layer for tens, maybe even hundreds, of thousands of years. The reason we are so confident this is actually what took place because the numbers and proportions remain utterly constant. The triangle on the unworn side measures 45mmsx50mmsx65mms, whereas the triangle on the other side which has been subject to much more personal handling measures 40mmsx45mmsx60mms. The smaller triangle is exactly 5 mms shorter on every side, which implies if the wear is consistent the loss of edge and dimensions should also occur at the same rate, which it certainly did.
Again it cannot be a coincidence that the longest line of each rectangular side measures 92 mms. Nor is this a result created through natural forces with the area of the larger triangle being 22.5 square cms and the smaller triangle 18 square cms. That is an exact ratio of 5:4, give or take nothing, and because the numbers do keep adding up as they should, the chances this convergence of mathematics is anything other than calculated is less than infinitesimal.
Four Fingers and one Thumb
If it wasn’t for the considerable wear and two other minor deviations this would be a perfectly formed piece of geometry. Even it its pristine state it was always an almost, but never completely symmetrical. The now smaller end triangle has a smooth flat face, but the same cannot be said for the larger, relatively unrubbed triangle. It bulges slightly and there are three engraved lines and what could be an index-finger depression near the bottom edge. Apart from this uneven face, which is possibly due to accommodations made to position the index-finger, everything was in balance and linear, until the final touches were made on two of the three sides that form the three rectangles. On one side there are three evenly spaced undulations that are intended to position three fingers, the index finger sits inside a depression at the bottom of the larger triangle and the thumb runs diagonally across one face with the webbing resting on the centre of the edge, which curves inwards due to the rubbing of skin on rock.
As expected the rock was made to be held in the right hand, which seems to be a hard and fast rule we are yet to see broken, and of course is yet another feature that binds the collection irrespective of location.
Lines, Pecks and so Much More Missing
With 80% of whatever was engraved, pecked or raised as a relief now lost, making any comment in regard to the narrative or context is nigh on impossible. A deterrent for most, but an incentive for us, despite the outages we still believe what remains and vestiges of what could have been is sufficient in providing a general overview.
The pecking can be broken into three categories, two types of ‘stand-alone’ circles/pecks and a series of pecks that run together and assist in stripping away the chert to create the outlines of no less than four shapes/wide bands.
Until investigating this rock we had maintained that all pecks took place after the chert had set rock-hard. There are three sizes of pecks/circles and the largest group of six circles (we chose the term circle as there is no way they were pecked) seemed to have been formed before the chert overlay and may have been imprinted first into the rock . Elsewhere there are 15 pin-pricks which were the vanguards for the smaller pecks. For all the smaller pecks a very fine hard point was punched through the top layer, but the much larger circles show no central puncture point. The smooth even depressions are lacking in a point of impact and are circles, not pecks. Whether this cluster of five circles of varying diameters represent a star system or Dreaming Tracks is an issue still to be resolved, but they are unique in being formed before the chert was applied above, and that alone adds some weight to Ros’ high opinion.
The smaller pecks from the stand-alone group are much more in keeping with what is found on other rocks, as nearly all the pecks, no matter how worn, still retain the sharp puncture point. One cluster of seven pecks could well represent the Pleiades, or perhaps another star system.
There are lines of four widths on this rock. The two curved lines on Side 1 which we suspect go towards creating a serpent which is 40 mms wide and once again contradicts another assumption we thought was set in stone. Until now, it was our belief every line was cut into the molten chert or the rock beneath before the chert was attached and hardened. On every other rock we can make a strong case that one of these two techniques was used, but not this time around. The two lines that mark out what we believe to be the edges of a serpent, is made up of dozens upon dozens of tiny pecks united in one continuous undulation, and this ‘peck-line’ continues on to Side 2 where the whole top section, excepting two straight lines, has been pecked away after the chert cooled.
As our investigations into Ros’ Rocks 10 continue breaking ground and old rules or forces us into unknown territory, it has become clearer why Ros was so enamoured by this very old worn artefact.
Then we have the ‘normal’ lines, some straight others curved and all revealing a light creamy brown undercoat. Nowhere near as wide as the pecked lines, they measure 15 mms and 10 mms, of which some taper off to the thinnest ‘hair width’ fracture, and all of these lines are no different than those found on all the other rocks. As elsewhere, some lines continue on the same trajectory when rounding corners or edges.
Stepping up a Level
In continuing in this tradition of reversals and new additions, from the very beginning apart from the complexity of geometry, the ridging was always the next highest priority. What we see here is very old, but brand new. There is one rectangular ridge fully intact and remnants of another five in various states of disrepair. The almost undamaged relief has two parallel lines and between is a raised rectangular relief of 20 mms width and 5 mms in height which runs all the way across Side 1, and is another new addition to our ever expanding stock-take of symbols, shapes and sundry markings that make up the First Language. This particular raised rectangle measures 45 mms in length and is plain to see, but until now we have never seen a ridge of such uniformity, precision and geometric conformity on any rock.
Before the critic counters with examples of a bizarre combination of unusual geological agents, it needs to be appreciated that this relief does not stand alone. There are five others and one which is moderately worn, but still retains a section of 35 mms by 5 mms with two parallel sides that go towards creating another perfect rectangle.
Rocks can naturally exhibit all manner of ridges and reliefs and the end result could look similar, but nature’s work is never perfectly symmetrical, parallel and rectangular without fault. No, this is artificial and leads us to suggest that perhaps the six ridges that remain are but a few of many, and it is possible that ridging like this ran across and down both sides.
Glue on Top???
This is a very tentative entrant and we did vacillate between yes and no as to whether even suggesting that on Side 3 there are two thin trails of an exotic resin-like substance running down the face. A lighter colour and barely 5mms thick, the upper trail measures 7mms in length and the second 9 mms. These strips are of a yellowish colour not seen on this rock and may well be a natural event. However, when placed in context, knowing that this shaped rock has all manner of artificial marks, this deposit deserves no less than serious consideration.
At Ros’ Request
We did look again and again, entirely because of Ros’ intuition and lo and behold she was right and our eyes had betrayed us yet again. It is a shaped stone very much in the tradition of the Standing Stones site, but this hybrid is also a marked rock that was held on many, many occasions, undoubtedly for spiritual reasons. The narrative on this rock uses ridges never seen before, techniques not used elsewhere and what was engraved onto a stone is a piece of geometry that has no known precedent within this continent.
As with every other rock in this series the rocks have an upper layer of chert which is a silica. Silicon is renowned for its ability to store large amounts of important data. These thin coats of silica display symbols, lines, dots and imprints on the surface that represent something we will have a great deal of trouble decoding. But what lays within? Is there information stored inside this artificial veneer of chert that is yet untapped? What if the right notes were sung by an Original Elder or played by a yidaki (dijeridoo) player, could that which was filed away so long ago be released? Or maybe it is just a weird rock with some odd markings?