moving around a pile of dirt into ridges, leaving the trenches the dirt came from next to the ridges…well, even to the most ardent archaeological student, the said formations are about as exciting as watching toast burn.
…and this is an important cultural site for a pre-Columbian people group? Random ridges some people imagine are shaped like a figure or ring or….I mean, you have to really, really stretch the imagination to believe this dirt pile was an important site to any civilization.
but that is what the people at Newark Earthworks would tell you.
sure it is one of the largest piles of organized dirt in America…but really, who cares? any group of people can put together an endless stream of ridges…just for fun, or out of boredom. remember, they did not have Netflix, selfie sticks, or smartphones to mindlessly tap…they had to find something to do, after a hard day of sitting around making sharp pieces of flint.
I can imagine….
“Hey, let’s build a bunch of wiggly ridges over the next ten years. everybody who comes through here will leave us alone because they will think we are super-geniuses.”
and if you throw in some chipped pottery, some jewelry that looks like it was made in China… what have you got? a civilization? sadly, theories of civilizations have stood the test of time on such fodder.
meanwhile, there are other archaeologists who have found piles of treasure in old garbage dumps, in caves, and tombs throughout the world. the question for my friends in Newark is this- how much material does one need in order to constitute a sizable enough number of artifacts to say we have the “authority” to call anything a historic site of this people and that culture during this time?
it is a question for the layman, enthusiast, and professional all to ask. especially when the people of the future are presented with random ridges of dirt.