Fort Mountain 'Ancient Wall'

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In the historical museum in downtown Murphy NC, they have a statue of the mooneyed people that was shown on the T V show “ Mysteries at the Museum”

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Are there any earlier illustrations or evidence of this rockpile actually resembling what most people think of as a wall? This is not at all convincing to me. If you heaped up all those stones I dpoubt you’d get much of a wall. It looks as if these stones are today where they were laid originally. It’s hard to conceive that a wall would be so thoroughly and completely razed; also, the wall apparently isn’t circular, so it doesn’t seem defensive in nature. I’d like top see more investigation here.

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At lostworld.org there is more info–much more than is provided in this article-- that lends credence to this idea that this was an actual wall, in place as much as 10 feet high; also there are others in the vicinity…

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I’ve investigated these dry wall constructions off and on since around 2002 when I was made aware of them by the hyperdiffusionist crowd I used to hang with. The Bay Area walls are quite similar and meander all around the Berkely/Oakland area on the ridges overlooking San Francisco Bay. Like the ones in New England, Arizona and the Canary Islands they’ve been dismissed as post-contact constructions by European colonials. This does not stand the sniff test as many are located in areas where colonial agriculturists never ventured. Digging deeper into the subject in later years I found the earliest evidence of these long low walls in the Middle East where they are sometimes referred to as kites due to the shape of enclosures often associatied with them dating to the dawn of the Neolithic about the time goats and sheep were domesticated from feral goats and antelopes. The initial explanation was that they were either goat pens or traps for feral herd animals. But burials within the central enclosures indicates they served more than one function. And this is the case with all the running walls over the world from North Africa (Bagnold’s Circle) to New England. The Adena, one of the earliest of the Temple Mound Builder cultures already had a long tradition of constructing these type of walls as did their contemporaries in the American Southwest. The conundrum arising with the purpose of these walls is that nomadic hunter gatherers had no more time to waste on pointless construction than did New England and Georgia farmers. Yet Gobekli Tepe, Poverty Point and Watson Brakes all evidence monumental architecture build by pre-ceramic nomadic buffalo chasers. This alone turned the old model of the prerequisites for civilization on its head and of course there is a knee jerk resistance to fitting these square pegs into the old round holes.
The discovery of Neaderthal walls tucked away in recently discovered caves torques the old models beyond repair.
What I have discovered in comparing notes with anthropologists in Peru, Iran and Sudan is that the constructions of low walls and fortified hilltops occurred at several points and in almost all cases preceded the collapse of the respective builders from internal strife. The most recent being from 1200 to 1450 CE and the earliest so far I’ve found being Gobekli. Identifying them as defensive structures only is the first erroneous assumption, because low meandering walls such as the ones in the American Southwest and the Middle East could not have served such a purpose in pre-firearm days at least not enough to justify the prodigious expenditure of time and effort to build them. The same goes for the goat pen solution. Remember the earliest pastoralists were always on the move seeking greener pastures. Defense of the herd and herders was usually satisfied by temporary thorn bombas and vigilant night guards armed with spears and fire brands. More esoteric functions, such as marking ley lines, underground water courses or various forms of geomancy as illustrated by the Nazca Lines and the low running walls of Early Bronze Age Europe cannot be considered within the arena of rational materialist science until the existence of such lines of force can be physically proven. And while there have been some encouraging studies, I don’t see that happening in the time I have left on the clock.
So while I don’t think there is a one size fits all solution to the mystery of this global phenomenon, I concur that further investigation into what is a legitimate mystery will result in a rich harvest of collateral answers. Thanks for bringing this up.

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Thanks, TexArcana. You make an important point: these things were built by nomads who had precious little time to build them, and precious little conventional use for the, yet they built them anyway. That tends to support the idea of their having religious/ceremonial use, as does that fact that at least in some cases they are burial sites. Also against the goat-pen idea: no goat worth his salt would be deterred let alone confined by these ‘walls’; they are terrific climbers. The thorn bomas of Africa were more or less impenetrable (they also protected tribesfolk against lions) and easily thrown together and occasionally were erected as forts against invading British soldiers in Empire days.

The exact opposite of these things may be the Etruscan ‘vie cave’ of southwestern Tuscany, which may be of interest to you.

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Thanks for confirming my bias, Bill. LOL! Seriously the key to understanding subsistence strategies of our ancestors boils down to a simple equation that applies to all species. Are the number of calories necessary to bring down the quarry exceeded by the number of calories that quarry will yield. This calculation is pass/fail and literally life or death. In studying the strategies of low tech hunting societies past and present one begins to truly appreciate the absolute brilliance of their solutions. Their universal over riding principle throughout time and space is: hunt smart not hard. The same goes for their ability to manipulate very high calorie consuming objects such as megalithic stones and engrave material that often would dull a diamond drill (and yeah, they had those too pretty early on). I’ve come to think that there’s no need to invoke alien intervention or magical levitation to explain these phenomena. Our ancestors found the elegant solutions and we’ve lost a few between then and now. We should acknowledge the fact that they were clever enough to find workaround alternative methods in the absence of modern technology and that we have not yet discovered what some of those methods were. Are you smarter than a cave man? Maybe not.
The ritual use answer for any inexplicable artifact has been badly abused to become the lazy archaeologists’ ritual response. More often than not these mystery artifacts turn out to have a very mundane practical use. However, at present, I think it is the best fit in this case.

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The point was cleverly made in a series of TV commercials just a few years back, in which Neanderthals took comic exception to the catchphrase ‘so simple even a caveman could do it.’ Indeed, our ancient ancestors learned to make fire, make art on cave walls that thrills us today, they learned to work in teams. Another argument against aliens interventions is this: Would aliens brilliant enough to create spaceships and travel here from other galaxies be so crude as to need pyramids and Nazca lines to navigate on Earth? The alien nonsense isn’t a theory, it’s plain intellectual laziness.

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We’re pretty much on the same page here, Bill. Particularly with regard to the cave art. As a representational artist myself, it always catches my attention when new discoveries are made. In fact, the process of trying to reproduce the bison images from Altamira and Lascaux as a child sparked my lifelong interests in both art and paleoanthropology. Recently, in reviewing Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo’s body of work, I ran across her discussions with her contemporary, Pablo Picasso. Picasso’s difficult to verify quotes on cave art after viewing them first hand at Lascaux and Altamira: " We have invented nothing new" “After Altamira all is decadence”
While many contemporary artists and critic continue to bristle at such suggestions, going to great lengths to refute them, I think they miss Pablo’s point. Or at least the takeaway I get from them. Pablo was expressing astonishment and appreciation for our ancestors level of sophistication and the methods they used to express it. Subtle layering of pigment applied with a bird bone equivalent of the modern airbrush to produce the same effects, combined with acute observation of the subject exploiting the natural contours of the surfaces they are painted upon and the flickering light used to produce and view them resulted in what to date is the earliest example of 3D animation. A series called the Bull Plates (1945) demonstrably prove the affect cave art had on Picasso’s work in his attempt to reduce those bull images to their most minimal essence. I hear ya, Pablo.
Safe speculations to be made in the absence of surviving physical evidence are that those cave artists practiced a lot on perishable media such as skins or fabric around their open air campsite in the daylight before going downstairs into the dark. Almost all of those practice pieces have long rotted away or turned to dust but distribution maps of where those few survivors were found strongly suggest that they had a surplus they traded with distant groups that lacked a virtuoso artist of their own. And this leads to the informed speculation that the first commercial art was done at least 25,000 years ago.
Our ancestors’ acute observational skills has allowed contemporary scientists to identify species and variations with the support of modern technology. Case in point:
https://www.nature.com/news/mysterious-origin-of-european-bison-revealed-using-dna-and-cave-art-1.20822
This came up in another discussion we had elsewhere here on the attempts to preserve or retro-gengineer Ice Age fauna. I never cease to be gob smacked by my increasing appreciation of what our ancestors accomplished and art is one of the main threads that tie many of those accomplishments to each other.