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Cultural Clues For Critical Thinking



Brian Tomniczak

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       Some years ago while walking with a metal detector on land in Minnesota I came across a group of rock cairns in which I had found a rock that had been fashioned in shape, but also had what appeared to be "inscribed " characters. The rock was found inside a 4x9 rock pile with heavy lichen growing on the top. The markings are on one side only and strokes are short and deliberate, the depth of the scribing is uniform therefore eliminating the possibility of plow scars. The land that it was found on is a series of narrow ridges overlooking a vast wetland (maybe a lake in an earlier period).  Assuming these rock piles are burials, The local Ojibwa never practiced this method of rock burials, but according to research the "Ogam" culture had practiced this custom. The "cairns" and the "wall building" (Celtic) do reflect early European practices. Based on my research the only text that matches the characters on the rock are "OGAM", "RUNE or "ROMAN".  The included photos and files to aid in possible translations or purpose.


       After contacting Hugo Kennes of Belgium, he verified that the lines are clearly linear scripts, decoded as Ogam Script [Also see:  Online OGAM].  Ogam is like our alphabet: a set of symbols that can be used for several languages worldwide.   Gérald Boutet's complete site translation and interpretation includes a description of American Ogams, the Medawiwin Society and the Algonquin-type language of the ogam script.


Area Description


       This site in central Minnesota is made up of a mixture of wetlands and ridges.  The sand and gravel soil, with its accompanying low P.H provide host to “hardwoods” such as red and white oak as well as other faster growing building staples such as Poplar and Pine.  Most Ground cover consists of elder/ briar.  The area was first logged in the late 1800’s.….Historic Artifacts uncovered offer time stamps in history, such as the spent rifle cartridges that were flagged by my metal detector, sitting slid between the rocks near the surface of one of the moss covered rock piles.  “U.S.C CO” United States Cartridge Company, founded in 1868 closed 1902.  One  could not help but wonder if the “Rock pile” was used for a defensive cover, as clearly two shots were fired.  My guess is, that was not the only surprise confrontation experienced in that area throughout history, because it seems that this same trail was portaged by early European explorers travelling to and from Lake Superior and other ancient waterways such as the Mississippi River or the Red River Valley.  Indeed, it is in the area where ancient Norsemen may have travelled (See Norse Exploration).  Another Find that divulged a date came in the form of an Historic “saddle axe” that was found with a metal detector by fellow researcher “TINA HERZOG” at the base of an very large oak tree, next to a wall of rocks, that seem to go on into the woods.  This double bladed axe head had a manufacturer stamp from the “Rixford” Axe Co." (The stamping was a branding practice utilized in approximately 1874, after initiation of axe production).



       One day while exploring around the area that has a piece of “History” attached to it, in the form of a trail referenced in the field notes of the original surveyor of Morrison County (1842), I noticed a strange phenomenon involving the placement of rocks and boulders (some over 300 pounds).  There are moss covered rock piles “cairns,” and other deliberately placed large rocks forming a “low wall” that connects and incorporates mammoth boulders. Even though it is a nationwide anomaly, the purpose or culture responsible for this type of work is speculation at best.  But with clues presented and critical thinking, it doesn’t take much to see a communal atmosphere built into the infrastructure of this particular area.


        The rocks and Boulders themselves have been lying untouched for quite a while based on the lichen (moss) growing on the rocks.  Wikipedia remarks indicate that “lichen” grows 1-2 millimeters in diameter per year.  There are boulders within this area that have “lichen” growth with diameters 20 – 30 inches, about 635 years, which translates to roughly in the 1400s.    The “Kensington Runestone” has an inscribed date of 1362 AD.


       The above picture on the right is a G.P.S overlay of the area.  “Cairns” marked as sites, and the blue line represents the “boulder wall”.  The trail referenced in the surveyor notes is evident through the clearing and into the woods.  The objects, rock piles, walls, and large stones are very interesting.   A number of thoughts come to mind.  The wall seems to be the most permanent feature of the site.  If it could be established that the wall was ancient, perhaps by recovering at some point samples of detritus that were not buried deeply, the wall structure might be aged by carbon dating of the associated plant material.  Who does this type of work?    Some questions:   What purposes might the wall have served?   Are the stones the end result of glacial till?   Was the wall used for defensive purposes, for animal confinement?  Might the wall have been originally constructed taller and arranged by hunters so as to herd animals to a kill point?   The “beginning” or the “end” of this “wall” leads to a common area on top of the ridge, where food preparation and social interaction took place.  There are circular rock lined holes,(fire pits), and a flat surface area carved out of a boulder specifically placed upon smaller boulders to prevent from settling and keep consistently level.


       Whatever the purpose, there is a “synergy” built into the placement of these boulders.  Some boulders are barely visible, as freeze /thaw cycles over time lower them into the soil.    These types of phenomena (strange rock piles in the woods) have been documented all across the middle United States, with no tangible artifacts recovered.   However most “cairns” that have been studied did however contain burnt wood, at or about a 36” depth.   With the aid of a metal detector I found a few interesting pieces.


       This piece “flagged” by the metal detector as Iron /Nickel


       The “incising” shows… a uniform depth and width of the tool used to create the text.  The piece was clearly fashioned in shape using a downward “chisel” cut in at least three evident areas to define this shape.   The characters were transposed with the same instrument.  After researching various ancient texts, I had found that in the “Futark” alphabet the inscription closely resembles an “Ansus”.  Although there are close similarities to “Roman” Numerals ( Phoenicians had adopted these numerals for there accounting system) and there is also a strong resemblance to “Ogam”.  It’s worth mentioning that the ancient culture had buried their dead deep in holes vertically,  and covered with rocks.   The “X” with the little hook on it has actually surfaced in archeology  research conducted by Scott Wolter (Author of the book “The Hooked X)  Mr Wolter Wsa contracted by the town of Kensington to authenticate the ancient text of the famous “Kensington Runestone”.  This text tells a story of 8 Geats and 22 Norweigans returning from a hunting expedition only to find “ten men red with blood.  A grisly warning to all who dare to venture.  This story has been inscribed in stone, utilizing the futark alphabet in the year 1362 AD .  The town of Kensington lies about 100 miles south west of this site.

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       “A Picture is worth a thousand words”… the following was found with the metal detector in the same area:

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      ISBN 9783199714


Acholonu, C. O.  2009.  They Lived Before Adam: Prehistoric Origins of the Igbo The Never-Been-Ruled.

      CARC Publ. (PMB 5197, Nigeria, Abuja); ISBN 9783199714


Acholonu, C. O.  2010.  The Lost Testament of the Ancestors of Adam: Unearthing Heliopolis/Igbo Ukwu -

     The Celestial Cities of the Gods of Egypt and India). CARC Publ.


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Fell, Barry.  1983.  Saga America.  A Startling New Theory on the Old World Settlement of America before Columbus.

     Times Book, NY.  392 p.


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Fell, Barry.  1989.  America BC: Ancient Settlers in the New World.  Pocket Books, NY.  (revised ed.)


Paine, Myron.  2007.  Frozen Trail to Merica: Talerman, Galde Press, Lakeville, MN.


Paine, Myron.  2008.  Frozen Trail to Merica: Walking to Merica, Galde Press, Lakeville, MN.