Friday, January 26, 2007

Judaculla's Microscope



Letterboxing is not the subject of this post, but is as good a place to start as any. I’d not heard of it until a couple of months ago, and this description from Atlas Quest does sound appealing:
Participants seek out hidden letterboxes by following clues, and then record their discovery in their personal journal with the help of a rubber stamp that's part of the letterbox. In addition, letterboxers have their own personal stamps they use to stamp into the letterbox's logbook.


If you’re a letterboxer, then you would want to know about Judaculla Rock, which IS the subject of this post. And that’s all I have to say about letterboxing, except to add that there are lots of letterboxes scattered around the mountains if you know where to look.
A couple of weeks ago, I reprinted an 1873 article about the Devil’s Old Fields. In that article, T. L. Clingman wrote of the mountains that surround Judaculla Rock near Cullowhee. The NC Museum of History explains its significance:
Judaculla Rock is the largest and best-known example of rock art in North Carolina. It is located in Jackson County on Caney Fork. According to legend, the Cherokees named the rock after "Tsul kalu," a mythical giant hunter whose feet and hands scratched the rock as he leapt from the top of his mountain home and landed on the rock in the valley below.
Therories abound. The rock contains prehistoric code, a hidden message. It is a map, a boundary marker, a treaty monument. I’m considering my own theory and it will be a good one. We all want to know how Judaculla Rock came to be, and it’s hard to take "Nobody knows!" for an answer.
So there’s always room for another explanation. Here’s one I’d never seen until now, raising the new question, "Could Judaculla Rock rewrite the history of technology?" The Dutch scientist Anton Van Leeuwenhoek invented the microscope 1674. Judaculla Rock was etched several hundred or several thousand years prior to that date.
And yet, Judaculla Rock contains distinct likenesses of microscopic life. That’s rather obvious when you compare the pictures of the amoeba, the diatom and the others. So had an earlier civilization already invented the microscope that made the Judaculla carvings possible? Or in the distant past, did astronauts from another planet visit Caney Fork and leave drawings of the basic life forms found throughout the universe?
Hmmmm……..good questions…

1 comment:

Philip said...

Have you ever heard of entopics? Look it up. See especially the research of Lewis-Williams and Dowson. Here's a quick breakdown of it: http://www.oubliette.zetnet.co.uk/Intro.html