Archive for the ‘Archaeology’ Category

Among ancient Egyptian designations for types of foreign peoples in the New Kingdom Period, the term Shasu occurs fairly frequently. It is generally accepted that the term Shasu means nomads or Bedouin people, referring primarily to the nomadic or semi-nomadic peoples of Syria-Palestine. There are two significant hieroglyphic references in New Kingdom Period texts to an area called “the land of the Shasu of Yahweh.”1  Except for the Old Testament, these are the oldest references found in any ancient texts to the God Yahweh. The purpose of this paper is to study these two references and assess their possible importance in dating the Exodus story.




This article was originally published in the Autumn 2009 issue of Artifax. Posted with permission.


28 New Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments Sold in US

One of the 15 fragments that was recently sold and is now in an institution in the United States that hasn’t made a public announcement.

Credit: Photo courtesy Les Enluminures

Twenty-eight fragments from the Dead Sea Scrolls that were purchased from the antiquities market have yet to be published, but are now sitting in three U.S. institutions, Live Science has found.

Forthcoming publications will describe some of these fragments within the next year, experts said. The 28 “new” fragments are part of a growing number of Dead Sea Scrolls that have appeared in the United States. At least 45 fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls have popped up in the U.S. over the past two decades.

Scholars have questioned whether some of these fragments are modern-day forgeries or if they come from caves in the Judean desert that were looted in the past few decades.

Often, anonymous individuals sold these fragments that have appeared in the U.S., claiming that they were once owned by Khalil Iskander Shahin, an antiquities dealer in Bethlehem, in the West Bank, Live Science found. Shahin collected many of the Dead Sea Scrolls from the Bedouin people in the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s; he often went by the name Kando, which his son William Kando now uses. [In Photos: Dead Sea Scrolls from the Antiquities Market]

However, William Kando has raised concerns about the number of scroll pieces claimed to have shown up in the United States. In conversations with Live Science, he said that while his family has sold some scroll fragments to collectors in the United States over the past few decades, the family didn’t sell them in the numbers that some collectors are claiming.

During the conversations with Live Science, William Kando also revealed that, after the Kando family sold scroll fragments to U.S. collectors, these artifacts were often resold multiple times, creating a tangled collecting history that makes it difficult to determine which of the 45 fragments the Kandos actually owned.

The Dead Sea Scrolls come from 12 caves, which contained thousands of scroll fragments and are located near the site of Qumran in the West Bank. Excavations of the caves by professional archaeologists uncovered some of the scrolls, while private Bedouin residents removed other scrolls, before selling them to Shahin.

The scrolls contain text from books in the Hebrew Bible as well as community rules, calendars and astronomical texts, among other writings.

Eleven of these caves were discovered between 1947 and 1956, and the discovery of a 12th cave was announced earlier this year. Archaeologists found that most of the scrolls in the 12th cave had been plundered decades earlier. More caves that contain (or once contained) scrolls could await discovery, said Randall Price, a professor at Liberty University in Virginia, who was one of the leaders of the team that excavated the 12th cave.

Altogether, there are nine unpublished Dead Sea Scroll fragments at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; four at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, California; and another 15 fragments that were recently sold through a company called Les Enluminures on behalf of an anonymous seller and are now in an undisclosed U.S. institution. Sandra Hindman, the president of Les Enluminures, said that the institution has not yet made a public announcement and she is not at liberty to disclose the identity. [See Photos of Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments]

As the 28 unpublished scroll fragments are studied and described in scientific journals, more information will appear on what the artifacts contain. Already, multiple scholars who are concerned about the fragments have called for the publication of as much information on their collecting history as possible.

“Southwestern purchased nine Dead Sea Scroll fragments approximately seven years ago. We currently have a contract to publish them with Brill ,” a publisher of scholarly books, said Ryan Stokes, a professor of the Old Testament at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. “Hopefully, the volume will be available in the next year.”

When Southwestern purchased the fragments seven years ago, the seminary stated in its news releases that the fragments included writings from the biblical books of Exodus, Leviticus, Daniel, Psalms and Deuteronomy. According to these past statements, one of the fragments holds passages from Leviticus 18, a biblical passage that forbids incest and homosexuality.

The four unpublished fragments at Azusa Pacific University include writings from the biblical books of Daniel, Leviticus and Deuteronomy, and should be published soon.

“We’re hoping in the very, very, near future, with more feedback, our publication will come to light,” said Robert Duke, dean of the School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University. Before Azusa Pacific University purchased the scroll fragments, the university received assurances from William Kando that the Kando family had owned those fragments in the past, Duke said.

It’s not certain when the 15 fragments sold through Les Enluminures will be studied and published. The institution in the United States that now owns those fragments has not made a public announcement about the acquisition, Hindman said.

Spokespersons for the Museum of the Bible, Azusa Pacific University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Lanier Theological Library all told Live Science that their institutions had not bought the Les Enluminures fragments.

Les Enluminures sent a batch of black-and-white photographs of the fragments to Live Science. The images show what appears to be Greek text on some of the fragments, a language that has been seen on other Dead Sea Scrolls. Hindman said she believes all 15 fragments were once in the collection of Bruce Ferrini, a collector in Ohio who died in 2010.

Hindman said that her information indicates that the 15 fragments were originally sold by the Kando family in 2002 before being passed through a series of collectors. William Kando expressed concerns about this claim, saying that he sold seven fragments in that year to a man named Craig Lampe and that he thinks some of those fragments later went to a “library in California” (a description that better matches Azusa Pacific University).

Duke said that he’s not certain if Azusa’s Dead Sea Scroll fragments were among those sold by the Kando family to Lampe in 2002.

Some of the 15 fragments may be part of the same scroll, and it’s possible that in 2002, the 15 fragments were part of a few larger fragments that have since fallen apart Hindman said. She said she is convinced that the fragments are authentic. Lampe’s antiquities business is now run by his son Joel Lampe, who did not return requests for comment.

A number of Dead Sea Scroll fragments in America have already been published. These include 13 fragments that were published last year in the book “Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments in the Museum Collection” (Brill, 2016) and are now in the collection of the Museum of the Bible, which is set to open in November 2017 in Washington, D.C., just three blocks from the U.S. Capitol. [The Holy Land: 7 Amazing Archaeological Finds]

In the book, scholars noted a number of suspicious features that might indicate the fragments are forgeries. The 13 scrolls were purchased in four lots from anonymous sellers between 2009 and 2014, according to the book. William Kando told Live Science that while a few fragments may have come from his family’s collection, not all of them are from the Kandos.

However, the case for forgery is not settled. Ada Yardeni, a professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem, who is in an expert in the paleography of the Dead Sea Scrolls (the study of their handwriting), told Live Science that her analysis indicated that all 13 fragments are authentic.

Curators at the Museum of the Bible said that they are treating the scroll fragments at their institution as potential forgeries and are conducting scientific tests on them. The curators said they also plan to address the issue of authenticating Dead Sea Scroll fragments in the museum display.

Other Dead Sea Scroll fragments that have appeared in the past two decades in the United States have been described in scientific publications. These include: one fragment at Lanier Theological Library in Houston, one fragment at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio; a fragment from a collector in Pasadena, California, that scholars from the Foundation on Judaism and Christian Origins studied and published; and one published fragment at Azusa Pacific University.

Additionally, previously published fragments arrived in the U.S. in the mid-20th century and are now at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and the Syrian Orthodox Church’s eastern U.S. archdiocese.

Original article on Live Science.







Excavations in a cave on the cliffs west of Qumran, near the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea, prove that Dead Sea scrolls from the Second Temple period were hidden in the cave, and were looted by Bedouins in the middle of the last century. With the discovery of this cave, scholars now suggest that it should be numbered as Cave 12. [Photo links below]

The surprising discovery, representing a milestone in Dead Sea Scroll research, was made by Dr. Oren Gutfeld and Ahiad Ovadia from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Institute of Archaeology, with the collaboration of Dr. Randall Price and students from Liberty University in Virginia, USA.

The excavators are the first in over 60 years to discover a new scroll cave and to properly excavate it.

Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Oren Gutfeld: “This is one of the most exciting archaeological discoveries, and the most important in the last 60 years, in the caves of Qumran.



       Archaeologists Dr. Aaron Judkins & Bruce Hall 

The excavation was supported by the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria, by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, and the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), and is a part of the new “Operation Scroll” launched at the IAA by its Director-General, Mr. Israel Hasson, to undertake systematic surveys and to excavate the caves in the Judean Desert.

Excavation of the cave revealed that at one time it contained Dead Sea scrolls. Numerous storage jars and lids from the Second Temple period were found hidden in niches along the walls of the cave and deep inside a long tunnel at its rear. The jars were all broken and their contents removed, and the discovery towards the end of the excavation of a pair of iron pickaxe heads from the 1950s (stored within the tunnel for later use) proves the cave was looted.


                        Holding a piece of Qumran pottery fragment with Dr. Aaron Judkins and Dr. Randall Price 

Until now, it was believed that only 11 caves had contained scrolls. With the discovery of this cave, scholars have now suggested that it would be numbered as Cave 12. Like Cave 8, in which scroll jars but no scrolls were found, this cave will receive the designation Q12 (the Q=Qumran standing in front of the number to indicate no scrolls were found).

“This exciting excavation is the closest we’ve come to discovering new Dead Sea scrolls in 60 years. Until now, it was accepted that Dead Sea scrolls were found only in 11 caves at Qumran, but now there is no doubt that this is the 12th cave,” said Dr. Oren Gutfeld, an archaeologist at the Hebrew University’s Institute of Archaeology and director of the excavation. “Finding this additional scroll cave means we can no longer be certain that the original locations (Caves 1 through 11) attributed to the Dead Sea scrolls that reached the market via the Bedouins are accurate.”

Dr. Gutfeld added: “Although at the end of the day no scroll was found, and instead we ‘only’ found a piece of parchment rolled up in a jug that was being processed for writing, the findings indicate beyond any doubt that the cave contained scrolls that were stolen. The findings include the jars in which the scrolls and their covering were hidden, a leather strap for binding the scroll, a cloth that wrapped the scrolls, tendons and pieces of skin connecting fragments, and more.”

Pottery shards, broken scroll storage jars and their lids — even neolithic flint tools and arrowheads — littered the cave’s entrance. Farther in, there appeared to be a cave-in.

 Cloth found in the cave, which at one time wrapped a scroll.
After a bit of work with a small pickax, the team made a monumental find: an unbroken storage jar with a scroll. It was rushed to Hebrew University’s conservation lab, where it was unfurled in a protected environment.  It had no writing; it was placed in the jar to prepare it for writing. But the effort was not in vain. Scientists soon discovered the cave-in was intentional and it hid a tunnel about 16-20 feet in length. The team thinks looters ransacked the cave around the 1950s, pointing to pickaxes left in the tunnel as evidence. The team also found the cloth coverings and the leather strap that bound the scrolls the jars once held.
“I imagine they came into the tunnel. They found the scroll jars. They took the scrolls.”  “They even opened the scrolls and left everything around, the textiles, the pottery.”

The finds from the excavation include not only the storage jars, which held the scrolls, but also fragments of scroll wrappings, a string that tied the scrolls, and a piece of worked leather that was a part of a scroll. The finding of pottery and of numerous flint blades, arrowheads, and a decorated stamp seal made of carnelian, a semi-precious stone, also revealed that this cave was used in the Chalcolithic and the Neolithic periods.


Seal made from carnelian, a semi-precious stone



Dr. Oren Gutfeld and Ahiad Ovadia survey the cave.

This first excavation to take place in the northern part of the Judean Desert as part of “Operation Scroll” will open the door to further understanding the function of the caves with respect to the scrolls, with the potential of finding new scroll material. The material, when published, will provide important new evidence for scholars of the archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea caves.

“The important discovery of another scroll cave attests to the fact that a lot of work remains to be done in the Judean Desert and finds of huge importance are still waiting to be discovered,” said Israel Hasson, Director-General of the Israel Antiquities Authority. “We are in a race against time as antiquities thieves steal heritage assets worldwide for financial gain. The State of Israel needs to mobilize and allocate the necessary resources in order to launch a historic operation, together with the public, to carry out a systematic excavation of all the caves of the Judean Desert.”

According to Dr. Randall Price, co-director of the dig from Liberty University,

“this is only the beginning of our search for more scrolls. Undoubtedly they are out there and we know of some 300 caves in the area. Our team is planning to return to excavate other caves in the near future.”

History has been made by Price and his team and even greater secrets lay ahead to be uncovered. According to a news release from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the excavations are part of “Operation Scroll,” a joint effort by the university, the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Israel Nature and Parks Authority and the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria.


Photos for download: (Credit for all photos to Casey L. Olson and Oren Gutfeld):

Original press release by Hebrew University here:

Click here to read the article.





Apocalyptic text is inscribed with ink in Hebrew over a large stone. It’s the Gabriel Revelation also known as the Dead Sea Stone – first published in 2007.

It was discovered around the year 2000 in Jordan near the eastern shore of the Dead Sea.
The so-called Gabriel Stone is authentic and very important for understanding the true roots of Jesus Christ’s messianic conception.

However, this ancient tablet with messianic overtones reputedly from before the time of Christ has been debated in archaeological and biblical circles. While one scholar claims the find could “shake our basic view of Christianity,” a Catholic Professor of Scripture suggests the tablet is actually evidence for the historical probability of Christian belief.

Now, this priceless and unique 2,000-year-old stone artifact is displayed at exhibition opened in Jerusalem. Gabriel Stone is a priceless and unique 2,000-year-old stone artifact, which traces depictions of the Archangel Gabriel in Jewish, Christian and Islamic sacred writings and scriptures. His role is – as a messenger to humans from God – was crucial in the three monotheistic faiths.

The stone is cut on one side, along which two columns – 16 cm wide and about 75 cm in height – are covered with text. The columns are separated by a gap approximately 3.5 cm wide. The inscription is composed of 47 horizontal lines and four vertical lines fixing the columns’ borders. The text contain of 87 lines of which 44 are in the right-hand column and 43 in the left-hand column. The last two lines of the left-hand column are much shorter than the rest, and their ending is marked by diagonal lines.

It’s uncertain if the text begins with the first line of the right-hand column. Was it preceded by text that is now lost? Or perhaps the whole composition was comprised of an additional stone or even more stones. However, archaeologists didn’t find traces of any binding substance (like for example cement) on it.

The Hebrew text is written in the first person that identifies himself three times in the first-person: “I am Gabriel”. He converses with a human figure – a visionary or prophet – to whom he, Gabriel, is apparently communicating a vision.


The text – very prophetic and apocalyptic – also expresses anxiety over the fate of Jerusalem and reflects the crucial role of angels as intermediaries. It’s an attack on Jerusalem and the hope that God will see to the city’s deliverance for the sake of his servant David, perhaps referring to the Messiah of Davidic descent.

A fascinating aspect of the tablet is that the message is not inscribed by a chisel or stylus as is normal for stone; rather the message has been written with pen and ink. Writing on pottery shards with ink was common—the ancient-world equivalent of memos and instant messaging—but only one other ink-inscribed stone of the era, found at Qumran in the 1950s as part of the DSS archaeological excavations, is known to exist. The Gabriel Revelation stone is the first example of the angel’s name appearing in ink on stone, although earlier mentions of his name are found in the Dead Sea scrolls, according to Adolfo Roitman, curator of the “I am Gabriel” exhibit at the Israel Museum.  At the same time, museum director James Snyder said that “the Gabriel Revelation stone is, in a way, like a Dead Sea scroll written on stone and it’s unique in that respect.”

Controversy over the exact nature of the stone’s text remains. The second or even several “Gabriel Stone” fragments may still be out there, waiting to be discovered. Based on analysis of linguistic patterns and the shape of the script of The Gabriel Revelation stone, it was written towards the end of the first century BC, which means around the time of Jesus Christ’s birth. Thus, the inscription is a pre-Christian text.

The first part of the sacred inscription has the apocalyptic character; it’s about the ultimate destiny of mankind and the world; vanquishing of the Antichrist and its forces of evil. The second part focuses on death and resurrection. The text refers to three leaders – shepherds – sent by God to His people, who were killed in battle. Interesting are the words in the last part of the inscription. These words are the words of the Archangel Gabriel who orders his mysterious and unknown interlocutor – to return to life after three days and says:

“By three days, live.”

The Gabriel’s order written in the 80th line of the inscription, is followed by the further line that states that a leader – a “prince of the princes” – was put to death, and his corpse turned to dung among the rocky crevices.

Although researchers have long debated: who is the man resurrected by Archangel Gabriel, I believe this is a direct reference to the person of Jesus Christ crucified by the Romans and resurrected in three days as foretold by the ancient prophets of the Bible.

Will additional artifacts be found in the future such as the Dead Sea Stone?  New archaeological excavations are under way in Qumran this December. Click here to learn more about the Dead Sea Cave Archaeology Project.


Journal of Possibilities

Posted: October 1, 2016 by Maverick in Archaeology, Uncategorized


Feature story this month! Click below to read the story.

Journal of Possibilities- Oct. 2016 issue with the Maverick Archaeologist



Skulls on display at the Paracas History Museum


LA Marzulli & Dr. Aaron Judkins

Back in 2014, I was asked by LA Marzulli of the Watchers Series fame to be a consulting archaeologist regarding the Paracas skulls in Peru. I wasn’t familiar with the elongated skulls so I was not biased towards one side or the other. I agreed to join the team along with Richard Shaw, Chase Kloetzke, Joe Taylor, Ron Moorehead, Jillian Peck, and Brien Forrester as our tourist guide.


Chase Kloetzke & Dr. Aaron Judkins in Boliva

When we got to Paracas, we spent five days researching the skulls. I was asked to study four specific elongated skulls. Chase Kloetzke brought her forensic investigative field kit and together with Joe Taylor we got to work.  We were given exclusive permission to unwrap the only known infant elongated skull in Peru. It is estimated at an age of 2,000 years old. The mummy wrapping textile was extremely well preserved displaying colorful sea crabs embroidered into the head wrapping.  We were astonished at the preservation of the skull. In addition to the forensic work, Joe Taylor was given permission by the late Sr. Juan (former director of the Paracas Museum) to mold several of these elongated skulls.

Below is my written report on four elongated skulls from Paracas. This report was originally published in LA Marzulli’s book “On the Trail of the Nephilim Vol. 2”. It is also in my journal the Mystery of the Elongated Skulls.


Osteological Evaluation of 4 Elongated Skulls from Paracus, Peru ©

by Aaron Judkins, Ph.D. Consulting Archaeologist

February 18, 2014


Specimen Number 1:  Infant, elongated skull (15-22 months)


General observations: 1 intact cranium; intact maxillae; 1 intact mandible

In general, the skull has been remarkably preserved. The general shape of the skull is elongated with red-auburn colored hair still intact. This made evaluation of skull sutures difficult to assess as this obstructed the view.

The general morphology of the individual visible cranial bones is within normal limits. There is the metopic (nasal) and frontal sutures noted which are non-fused. The sagittal suture cannot be assessed e xteriorly via the anterior view due to hair obstruction. However, it is noted via the interior of the skull as seen from the inferior view and is of expected configuration and is non-fused. Sutural bones (Wormian ossicles or Incan Bones) were not possible to visualize due to the hair. The foramina are of expected configuration. The skull is atraumatic with no trepanation noted. Skull measurements were conducted using both straight & elliptical digital calipers. Cranial volume was measured using rice to determine the weight. The weight was then converted from kilograms (kg) to cubit centimeters (cm3) to determine volume. The density of the rice (753 kg/m3) was factored in.

(Cranial capacity is a measure of the volume of the interior of the cranium (also called the brain-case or skull volume). The most commonly used unit of measure is the cubic centimeter or cc. The volume of the cranium is used as a rough indicator of the size of the brain, although this is not an indicator of the potential intelligence of the organism).



Cranial volume: 797 cm3. Normal range for age: 369-961 cm3


Although the configuration of the skull is elongated, the cranial volume is within normal limits.


All of the fully erupted teeth are deciduous and in good condition. There are no dental restorations or prostheses. There is no significant attrition.


Unable to assess the  anterior, the posterior, sphenoidal (anterolateral), and the mastoidal (posterolateral) fontanelles due to hair obstruction.


1. This is an excellent example of an infant elongated skull. It is not currently possible to reliably differentiate between male and female infant and young child skeletal remains or amongst the major racial groups within subadults.

2. Age assessment of skeletal remains is best done in the context of the entire skeleton. It is important to emphasize that when limited to the skull, age assessment of subadult remains is best done through a coordinated evaluation of such features as dentition and fontanelle closure, as well as radiographs and/or computed tomography (CT) scans. This is particularly key for studies of tooth development (calcification, eruption). However, this testing was not readily accessible nor available during the initial on-site examination. It is important to emphasize that the evaluation of a skull without these methods is preliminary. However, the ability to analyze such remains from the strict perspective of osteology is fundamental for evaluation.

3. Dental Age: Likely 15 – 22 months.Non-Dental: No older than 22 months. Evaluation for age was done by a consulting forensic Peruvian Dentist, Dr. Daniel Mendoza Alarcon who used odontological parameters based purely on visible eruption patterns noted.

4.  In the evaluation of subadult skulls, particularly when studying ‘typical’ eruption patterns, it must be stated that statistical data is based on populations, and may not necessarily be reflective of reality in an individual.

5. It is necessary to note the differences between primary and secondary dentition, eruption patterns, and controversies surrounding the timelines that ‘typify’ those eruption patterns.

6. The probability of Cuneiforme modeling [A specific cradle-boarding technique of the skull with pressure applied to the forehead and back of the skull to produce an artificially conical or truncated cone-shape] should not be ruled out. Differential diagnosis should include “cultural practices” by the Paracas culture.

7.  Applying the scientific principle of Ockham’s Razor; while it does not tell us that the simplest explanation is true, may provide the best explanation based on methodological grounds.




Senior Juan from the Paracas History Museum holding the infant elongated skull 



Specimen Number 2: Adult, elongated skull (unknown age)


General observations: 1 intact cranium; intact maxillae; intact mandible (not shown)

The skull is in good condition. The general shape of the skull is markedly elongated (in the anteroposterior plane), has a very high forehead, and a deeply sloping parieto-occipital region. The ectocranial morphology of the individual cranial bones is within normal limits. The foramen magnum is unusually large and the occipital condyles are very large and somewhat elevated although the general morphology of the individual visible cranial bones is within normal limits. The mandible is robust (not shown). There coronal suture is clearly visible with partial fu  sion noted. The sagittal suture is absent. Skull measurements were conducted using both straight & elliptical digital calipers. The hair is red-auburn colored which is mostly non-intact. This made evaluation of skull very easy to assess. The skull is atraumatic with no trepanation noted. Cranial volume was measured using the technique already described above.


Cranial volume: 2,390 cm3. Normal range: 1,350-1,750 cm with 1,450 cm3 being average.    


The cranial volume is much larger and outside of normal parameters.


The dental condition is poor. There is evidence of severe periodontal disease, and only 9 of 32 teeth remain. Caries and severe abrasion are noted.

Features of Sex:

The supraorbital ridges are bulging, and the supraorbital margins are well-rounded. The mastoid processes are large, and suprameatal crests (zygomatic arch extensions) are present. The nuchal area is large but not significantly ridged.


1. Adult; probably male although sex and age are not definitively determined.

2. Cranial volume is much larger than expected and outside of normal parameters; unknown etiology.

3. Absence of the sagittal suture; cannot rule out craniosynostosis with marked dolichocephaly.

4. The skull appears to possibly share a few similar Polynesian traits but this is inconclusive at this time.

5. The probability of Tabulate modeling [The most common type of cradle-boarding practiced by the Paracas Culture] should not be ruled out. Differential diagnosis should include “cultural practices” by the Paracas culture.

6. Applying the scientific principle of Ockham’s Razor; while it does not tell us that the simplest explanation is true, may provide the best explanation based on methodological grounds.


Specimen Number 3: Adult skull (unknown age)


General observations: 1 intact cranium; intact maxillae; no mandible

The skull is in overall good condition with no hair. The coronal suture is clearly visible with partial fusion noted. The skull is atraumatic with no trepanation noted. The sagittal suture is absent. Two markedly elongated parietal bones are possibly fused at the midline, and a small ridge/elevation sits at what would have been the site of the sagittal suture. The skull exhibits a mild sagittal keel and parietal bossing. The cranial s  utures are otherwise normally configured. The individual visible cranial bones is within normal limits.

Skull measurements were conducted using both straight & elliptical digital calipers.

Cranial volume was measured using the technique already described above.


Cranial volume: 1,726 cm3. Normal range: 1,350-1,750 cm with 1,450 cm3 being average.    


The cranial volume is within normal parameters.


Absence of most of the teeth in the maxillae.

Features of Sex:

Probably male with bulging supraorbital ridges.



1.  Adult; most likely greater than 30 years of age.

2.  Cranial volume is within normal parameters.

3.  Absence of s agittal suture with a mild sagittal keel and parietal bossing. Cannot rule out craniosynostosis with moderate dolichocephaly.


Specimen Number 4 Adult skull (20-24 yrs of age)



General observations: 1 intact cranium; intact maxillae; no mandible; Paracas, Peru

The skull is small and in overall good condition. There is no hair. The skull is atraumatic with no trepanation noted. The forehead is somewhat sloping. This specimen has a deviated septum and flattened nasals. The coronal suture is clearly visible. The sagittal suture is absent. In the left temporal suture there are four extra bones. The occipital profile is markedly flat. A large sutural bone (Wormian ossicles or Incan Bones) is noted in the lambdoid suture. The skull has an appearance of having been flattened in the anteroposterior plane.

Skull measurements were conducted usin  g both straight & elliptical digital calipers. Cranial volume was measured using the technique already described above.


Cranial volume:  929 cm3. Normal range: 1,350-1,750 cm with 1,450 cm3 being average.

Conclusion: The cranial volume is smaller than normal parameters for an adult skull. Unknown etiology.


Absence of the teeth in the maxillae. There is a one-half inch separation between where the front teeth were. Without the mandible, it is difficult to assess the degree of alveolar prognathism; however, the maxilla suggests at least a mild      degree of prominence.

Features of Sex:

Assessment of sex indicates female characteristics as there is a generalized gracility of the cranium.


  1. Adult female; most likely between 20-24 years of age.
  2. Cranial volume much smaller than anticipated for suspected age.
  3. Absence of sagittal suture. Cannot rule out craniosynostosis with marked scaphocephaly.
  4. The nasal appears to possibly share similar Polynesian traits of flattened nasals with a deviated septum.

5. Prominent cranial sha pe anomalies. The probability of Annular modeling should not be ruled out. Differential diagnosis should include “cultural practices” by the Paracas culture.

6.  Applying the scientific principle of Ockham’s Razor; while it does not tell us that the simplest explanation is true, may provide the best explanation based on methodological grounds.




This report is meant only as a preliminary examination of the anatomical, anthropology and forensic sciences to learn more about its forensic osteology. Although my evaluation has been done with the original specimens, my evaluation is based solely upon the osteologic material and my opinions are based solely upon the material presented to me.

Cranial capacity was measured using rice to determine the weight. The weight was then converted from kilograms (kg) to cubit centimeters (cm3) to determine volume. Using this method was the only viable method available in the field and can only estimate cranial capacity.

Forensic investigations should also include additional studies that would be undertaken to formulate a basis of accumulated knowledge by forensic anthropologist &/or pathologist and the publishing of a peer-reviewed report. Definitive analysis should include laser scanning, function analysis by FORDISC 3.0 &/or 3D modeling.

My opinions regarding these skulls were made without access to the entire skeletons. This should not be considered a final report or definitive analysis of the specimens.

Aaron Judkins, Ph.D.


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2. Krogman, W. and Iscan, M. (1986). The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine. 2 ed. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

3. Matisoo-Smith, E. & Ramirez, J. (2010). Human Skeletal Evidence of Polynesian Presence in South America? Journal of Pacific Archaeology. Vol.1, No.1.

4. Matshes, E. and Lew, E. (2006). Forensic osteology. In Forensic Pathology: Principles and Practice, D. Dolinak, E. Matshes, and E. Lew, Editors. San Diego, CA: Elsevier (Academic Press). 

5. Milner, Richard. “Cranial Capacity.” The Encyclopedia of Evolution: Humanity’s Search For Its Origins. New York: Holt, 1990: 98.

6. Powell, T.V. and Brodie, A.G. (1963). Closure of the Spheno-Occipital Synchondrosis. Anatomical Record, 147: 15-23.

7. Raven, Peter H. & Johnson, George B. Biology. Iowa: Brown, 1995: 443.

8. Scheuer, L. and Black, S. (2000). Developmental Juvenile Osteology. San Diego, CA: Elsevier (Academic Press).

9. Standring, S., Ed. (2005). Gray’s Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice. 39 ed. London: Elsevier (Churchill Livingstone).

10. Walker, Alan & Shipman, Pat. The Wisdom of the Bones. New York: Knopf, 1996.

11. Weber, J., et al. (2007). Morphometric analysis of untreated adult skulls in syndromic and nonsyndromic craniosynostosis. Neurosurgical Review, 31(2): 179-188.

Also see: 

Another Bone to Pick…With Peruvian Nephilim/Alien Hybrids

Ancient Elongated Skulls: Alien Remains?

Star Child Skull report here: 

So there are some Ron Wyatt supporters  who have commented that I didn’t give supporting evidence to debunk Wyatt’s claim of finding the Ark. My original talk in Lubbock was about the behind the film of Finding Noah & the group of intrepid explorers who climbed Mt. Ararat; not necessarily debunking  the Durupinar site specifically.

However, my comment regarding the Durupinar site was a logical & factual statement based on the empirical evidence; not one mans’ claims. So, in the interest of fairness, I have included some of Ron’s claims here along with the factual data. If you are a Ron Wyatt fan still supporting his claim of finding the Ark- read on.  For those who wanted sources, they are listed at the end of this post.

Claim: Metal detector surveys found a regular pattern of ‘hot spots’ which could be joined to reveal a regular pattern of ‘lines’ lengthwise and across the inside of the formation only.

Reality: A standard beach combing type metal detector (the type with a disc-shaped detector head on the end of a long pole) indeed found ‘hot spots,’ but these were randomly distributed and not in a regular pattern along lines.

Claim: The pattern of ‘iron lines’ that was located by the metal detecting surveys and marked out by plastic tape was duplicated and verified by other subsurface techniques including ground penetrating, or subsurface interface, radar surveys.

Reality: This claim is utterly false, yet it has been persistently used to give credence to diagrams purporting to show the internal structure of a boat, namely Noah’s Ark.

Metal detector surveys found a regular pattern of ‘hot spots’ which could be joined to reveal a regular pattern of ‘lines’ lengthwise and across the inside of the formation only. These ‘hot spots’ represent iron concentrations and could be traced by the metal detector along these interconnecting lines or ‘iron lines’.

A standard beach combing type metal detector (the type with a disc-shaped detector head on the end of a long pole) ‘hot spots’ were indeed found, but these were randomly distributed and not in a regular pattern along lines. Since this type of metal detector can only detect metal objects down to a depth of about 1 foot, these ‘hot spots’ can only represent objects with high metal concentrations buried in the surface mudflow material. Such a description perfectly fits the numerous basalt (a volcanic rock that is everywhere throughout the area) boulders found randomly buried in, and protruding from, the mud. The basalt boulders are often weathered but contain iron oxides that make the instrument respond positively in contrast to the ‘dead’ mud. Furthermore, this instrument did not detect ‘iron lines’ between the ‘hot spots’. That this distribution of ‘hot spots’ was random was confirmed by at least two such metal detector surveys.

Geophysicist Tom Fenner says, ‘I was surprised and dismayed to learn that Mr Wyatt was using my name as well as the name of Geophysical Survey Systems Inc. (GSSI) in order to lend credibility to his unsubstantiated claims concerning the so-called “Noah’s Ark site.”’ Fenner goes on to indicate that neither he nor GSSI believes the formation to be manmade. He writes, ‘In 1987 I performed an extensive GPR [ground-penetrating radar] study in an attempt to characterize any shallow subsurface features in the boat-shaped formation at the site… . A great deal of effort was put into repeating the radar measurements acquired in 1986 by Wyatt and Fasold… . After numerous attempts over a period of one and a half days we were unable to duplicate their radar records in any way…. I was never convinced the site was the remains of Noah’s Ark. In fact the more time I spent on the site, the more skeptical I became.’

Claim: In the walls that define the outline of the boat-shape is evidence of a former ship’s ribs, presumably the timbers that formed part of the original keel structure/hull.

Reality: These walls are simply hardened mud, containing boulders of the various local rock types. They contain no petrified wood holding in the mud in any way reminiscent of the outer planking of a wooden hulled vessel.

Instead of finding ‘walls’, Fenner’s 1987 radar survey indicated the presence of a shallow flat-lying reflector likely to be bedrock underneath the surface mudflow material. On the other hand, speaking of the data from the Wyatt and Fasold survey (which could not be duplicated, anyway) Fenner comments, ‘Their records showed point targets’, not ‘walls’. In other words, no boat structures (for example, ‘bulkheads’ or ‘gunwales’) were found in the survey that was conducted by a professional ground penetrating radar operator. Wyatt even claimed his radar scans showed stairs, which is absolutely unsustainable.

Furthermore, closer examination of the photographic ‘evidence’ of a ship’s ribs reveals that erosion gullies cutting into the walls at fairly regular intervals, mainly in one area, have given the appearance at a distance of thick beam structures; however, they are merely the hardened mud left behind between these erosion gullies.

As the burden of proof rests with those who claim that these are a ship’s ribs, one would have thought that they would have sampled this material and submitted it for scientific tests. However, there is no indication that it has ever been sampled by Wyatt or Roberts to see what they really are. On the other hand, all the other eye witnesses who have been to the site insist that they only ever saw mud, containing boulders (mudflow debris), forming these walls.

Claim: There are trainloads and boatloads of petrified wood out there and it is all in the boat structure.

Reality: No trained scientist of the many who have visited the site has ever seen any sign of these ‘trainloads’ of petrified wood.

No trained scientist of the many who have visited the site has ever seen any sign of these ‘trainloads’ of petrified wood. Geologist Dr Bayraktutan has collected one or two small fragments of semi-petrified wood which in his opinion have flowed on to the site within the mud from elsewhere. He confirms that none of the regular rock types of the site are petrified wood. Not one of the other scientists (including geologists familiar with petrified wood) has ever once seen any.

Both Wyatt and Roberts claim support for the identification of their rock sample by citing Galbraith Laboratories of Tennessee, yet the laboratory assay certificate shows that they only analysed for three elements-calcium, iron and carbon-no basis at all for calling the sample petrified wood! When telephoned, the laboratory was adamant that they were not asked to give an opinion on what the object was and they were unable to do so.

Claim: Soil samples from the site indicate the residue of a decayed wooden vessel with sophisticated metals used for bracing

Reality: It is true that the samples contained iron, aluminum, titanium and carbon, but such elements are always to be found in soils.

Two soil samples were indeed collected by Wyatt in 1979 and the assay results from Galbraith Laboratories were published by Dr William Shea. It is also true that the samples contained iron, aluminum, titanium and carbon, but such elements are always to be found in soils. Indeed, the assay results of these two samples are exactly what one would expect from soil developed from basalt-the iron, aluminum and titanium originally being present in silicate minerals within the basalt and not as exotic metal fittings as proposed by Wyatt.

Furthermore, the laboratory assayed only for carbon and did not specify that it was organic carbon, so Wyatt and others are wrong to claim that the carbon in these samples comes from decayed wood. On the contrary, most of the basalt boulders on and near the site (including samples collected by Roberts and submitted for scientific assessment) contain abundant calcite, a very common mineral composed of calcium carbonate; that is, it contains carbon in mineral form-not organic carbon. No soil or rock samples gathered at the site are supportive of Wyatt’s claims.

It is certainly true that samples found on the site has returned assays of around 90% iron oxides. One of these samples appeared to be roughly in the shape of a right angle and was initially conjectured to be the remains of an iron bracket. Baumgardner (he and Fasold each still possess half of it) now concedes that there is no evidence that it is a man-made item. The notable discovery of iron oxide (limonite) nodules in the surface mud is entirely consistent with the weathering of iron sulphide (pyrite) nodules and veins (which are found in the rocks of the area) and not in any way with the rusting of metallic fittings, brackets or artefacts.

Claim: A rusted metal bracket and other fittings and metal artifacts, including a ‘petrified rivet’ and ‘washer structures,’ have all been located ‘on the site.’

Reality: Results do not show any evidence of exotic metallurgy.

There is no evidence of any embedded metallic object. Furthermore, the assays from all three laboratories returned results consistent with the chemical composition of the major local rock type, basalt. The only metals present in any major amount were all reported as present in silicate minerals. In two of the three assays all the so-called ‘exotic’ metals were less than the detection limits, while in the third assay the quantities were totally consistent with a hydrothermally altered basalt. (*There were, of course, minor divergences between results, but this is hardly surprising given that at least one of the laboratories gave their results as semi quantitative only, with a plus or minus factor of 50%!)

In other words, the results do not show any evidence of exotic metallurgy. Any proper scientific assessment of this sample must involve a microscope thin section being cut so that the minerals in the sample could be identified and any evidence of metals be subjected to microscopic analyses using an electron microprobe analyses. Such is not possible so long as Wyatt refuses to allow sectioning of the sample and consistently violates proper scientific protocol/procedures for verification.

As for the report of the Turkish archaeologists, finding eight pairs of long forked metal rods, etc., the only source of that story is Wyatt himself. It appears that the Turkish authorities sent in their own teams of scientists in September 1985 after Wyatt and his team had left the site and the country. Wyatt claims to have gone back to Turkey in October 1985 and to have seen the field notebooks of the archaeologists, read them and interviewed the archaeologists. Thus the claim about these long forked metal rods, etc. is only as reliable as Wyatt himself .

Supposed Drogue Stones

A number of large rock slabs found across the valley within sight of the boat formation are so-called drogue stones which were used to steer or anchor vessels. Their proximity to the site suggests that they could well have been giant anchor stones used by Noah to steer the Ark and keep it facing the wind. The stones have carefully made holes and these would have been where ropes were attached. Furthermore, some of these rocks have eight crosses carved on them, one being larger than all the others, representing an iconographic depiction of Noah, his wife, his three sons and their wives.

Wyatt, Roberts, Fasold and Shea all make much of these large rock slabs, with photographs and drawings. They measure up to three metres high and each weighs several tonnes. Wyatt on his video says these ‘anchor stones are made of a type of granite that is accessible in Northern Michigan’, whereas both Roberts and Shea insist that they were cut from basalt, a volcanic rock of which there are copious amounts in the area (both Greater and Lesser Mount Ararats are volcanoes). Noah would scarcely have used as anchor stones slabs of rock indigenous to the area where the Ark came to rest after the Flood. If we are to believe that these could have been Noah’s anchor stones, then the onus is on Wyatt and his colleagues to prove by scientific means (chemical and isotopic analyses and mineralogical determinations) that these rocks are entirely exotic to this area, which consists of late Flood and post-Flood strata.

Now it is claimed that between eight and ten of these stones have been found in an area 10–14 miles (16–22 kilometres) from the boat-shape formation, although one was reportedly found in a gully 100–200 metres up slope from it. One would think that the considerable distance of these claimed anchor stones from the boat-shape itself must diminish somewhat their significance.*
(*In any case, one wonders why Noah needed such anchor or drogue stones on and with the Ark. They are certainly not mentioned in the Scriptures, where there is in fact no mention of any kind of steering mechanism given in God’s instructions for the building of the Ark. Indeed, we are told repeatedly that God was in total command of the situation. For example, we are told that God shut Noah in the Ark. Then when he and his family were inside the Ark they were totally at the mercy of God Who was providing for their safety in the Flood Waters.)

Wyatt, however, counters by suggesting that as the Ark neared dry land at the end of the Flood, Noah simply cut the ropes leaving the anchor stones behind and allowing the Ark to run aground. This, of course, is mere speculation and implies that Noah had something to do with the destiny and direction of the Ark, contrary to the thrust of the scriptural account.

Besides, if these were anchor stones, the holes were carved too near the edges of the rocks. Because of their sheer weight the rock around the holes would have too easily broken off. Indeed, there is no sign of any wear of the rock surface around the top side of these holes, which one would expect if ropes had been tied through them to drag these heavy stones around in the water for up to a year.

In any case, there is a far better explanation for these giant stones. To begin with, the number of crosses on them varies from three to 20, the number eight being conveniently overplayed for the purposes of building a connection to Noah and his family. In Wyatt’s book where he has drawings of some of these claimed anchor stones, one of them is shown with 20 crosses. The same stone is shown photographed in the field by Roberts and Shea, in the latter case with Wyatt himself alongside, and again the 20 crosses carved into it are clearly evident.


The Turkish authorities really began to get interested in this site after the Wyatt team’s August 1985 work, when the team left the site marked out with bright yellow plastic tape in square grids. Evidently, three independent research teams of Turkish scientists were then sent to the site in September 1985. Some digging was done, but no artefacts were found. Two of the teams were from Ankara, and both returned with a negative report.

In conclusion, Dr Bayraktutan, a leading member of one of these Turkish investigation teams, not only most emphatically does not support this and other claims, but is at pains to dissociate himself from almost all of Wyatt’s claims about the site, expressing grave doubts about how much of Wyatt’s ‘evidence’ actually found its way on to the site.

Other Claims: 

Claim: Some pitch has been found (pitch was used to cover the inside and outside of the Ark’s wooden structure) at the site.

Reality: No sample containing pitch has been openly produced and submitted for proper scientific analyses.

Claim: Rocks found within the formation have a high manganese content and an appearance that suggests that they were probably ‘tailings’/’slag’ from metal smelting/refining production by Noah and family.

Reality: No microscope thin section has been produced to show whether the samples collected and claimed to be slag do in fact have the internal texture and mineral composition of a true slag.

Claim: Positively identified animal coprolite (fossilized animal dung), animal hair, and ‘animal antlers’ are all reported from the site and are thus further confirmation that this site contains the remains of Noah’s Ark.

Reality: The finding of such animal residues in association with the site is hardly surprising when one considers that animals are likely to have roamed across these Turkish hillsides for thousands of years.

Dr William Shea

Formerly Professor of Old Testament at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan, he is now Associate Director of the Biblical Research Institute in Silver Springs, Maryland. He has promoted interest in the site, drawing attention to it in articles published in the Creation Research Society Quarterly, Origins and Archaeology and Biblical Research. He finally visited the site in 1986. While intrigued by the boat-shape, he has no faith in Wyatt’s claims about artefacts from the site, and once received a ‘petrified wood’ sample from Wyatt which turned out to be basalt. He totally dissociates himself from all of Wyatt’s other claimed archaeological finds, and appears not to trust Fasold. He indicates he would be equally happy if the site was confirmed as a natural geological formation, which he concedes is certainly suggested by the evidence.

Tom Fenner

Geologist/geophysicist/applications engineer with Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc., who originally went to Turkey to do radar scans on the site for Wyatt in 1985, and who is often quoted as concluding from Wyatt and Fasold’s 1986 radar survey that the site is a man-made boat. However, he eventually went to the site with Baumgardner in 1987 to conduct his own full-scale radar survey with equipment he has professionally used in various parts of the world for many years. He says, ‘With the available scientific evidence to date, my opinion is that any statements claiming the authenticity of this site as Noah’s Ark or it being a man-made formation by individuals knowledgeable of these studies is at best wishful thinking and at worst an outright deception.’

Dr John Morris

With a Ph.D. in Geological Engineering and Administrative Vice-President of the Institute for Creation Research, San Diego, John has made 13 trips to Turkey in search of the Ark. He has twice visited this Durupinar site and come away convinced that it is not the Ark. His attention understandably has been focused on Greater Mount Ararat because of all the eyewitness testimonies. He has freely given advice and support to other groups, no matter where they wanted to search in the area.

Dr Salih Bayraktutan

Geologist and Director of the Earthquake Research Centre at Ataturk University, Erzurum, and a member of the Noah’s Ark Commission of Agri Province, he has repeatedly investigated the site since 1985, including geophysical surveys and core drilling in 1987 and 1988 in a joint project with Dr John Baumgardner and others. He has cautiously kept his options open, but has definitely not concluded the formation to be Noah’s Ark. He disputes such claims made by others, suggesting that not only are they are exaggerating, but some have even used false samples.

Dr John Baumgardner

With a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Geophysics from the University of California (L.A.), John works in the Theoretical Fluid Dynamics Research Group at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico. John was quite positive about the site after his initial visits there with Wyatt, but after conducting professional geophysical surveys there in 1987 and 1988, and particularly after considering what the core drilling revealed in 1988, he eventually very definitely changed his mind and now is convinced that it is a natural geological formation.

Information Sources

•Baumgardner, Dr John—circularized family letters dated October 1985, July 3,1987, and August 19,1988.

•Baumgardner, Dr John and Bayraktutan, Dr Salih, 1987. July 1987 geophysical investigation of Noah’s Ark (Durupinar site) Mahser Village, Dogubayazit, Agri. Report submitted to the Governor of Agri Province as Chairman of the Agri Province Noah’s Ark Commission. Bayraktutan, Dr Salih-numerous telephone conversations, 1992. —unpublished 1988 seismic survey data.

•Burdick, Dr Clifford, 1976. The elliptical formation in the Tendurek Mountains. Creation Research Society Quarterly, vol. 13(2), pp. 96 98.

•Collins, Lorence G.   “Bogus ‘Noah’s Ark’ from Turkey Exposed as a Common Geologic Structure. Journal of Geosciences Education.   V. 44, 1996   (pp. 439-444).

•Crouse, Bill, 1988. The Durupinar site. Ron Wyatt. Are his claims bona fide? Ararat Report, No. 17, Christian Information Ministries International, Texas.

•Fasold, David, 1988. The Ark of Noah, Wynwood Press, New York.

•Fasold, David, 1992. The Noahide Society’s Ark-Update, Issue No. 5 (January/February, 1992).

•Fasold, David, 1992. The Noahide Society’s Ark-Update, Issue No. 6 (March/April, 1992).

•Fenner, Thomas J.-telephone conversations, 1992 -faxed letter, July 22,1992.

•Lang, Walter, 1990. The Ark Today, January-February, 1990, p. 11.

•Lang, Walter, 1991. The Ark Today, January-February 1991, pp. 3-6.

•Mackay, John B., 1992. Creation News, vol. 6(2), p. 4.

•Mackay, John B., 1992. Brochure advertising Wyatt’s Noah’s Ark video.

•Morris, Dr John D., 1990. That boat-shaped rock . . . Is it Noah’s Ark? Creation Ex Nihilo, vol. 12(4), pp. 16-19.

•Morris, Dr John D., 1990. The boat-shaped formation. Ararat Report, September-October 1990, pp. 3-5.

•Morris, Dr John D., 1992. The search for Noah’s Ark: Status 1992. Unpublished manuscript.

•Morris, Dr John D.-face-to-face conversations, June 2016

•Roberts, Dr Allen S., 1992. Noah’s Ark Research Project (Ark Search) Newsletter, No. 2.

•Roberts, Dr Allen S., 1992. Documents openly shared from his evidence files at a meeting on June 11, 1992, including the various laboratory reports on rock samples and assay results, plus the Madison, Tennessee newspaper clipping.

•Roberts, Dr Allen S., 1992. Noah’s Ark Research Foundation Project, Lecture 1992. Video recorded by Ark Search at the Prince Alfred College Auditorium, Adelaide.

•Shea, Dr William H., 1976. The Ark-shaped formation in the Tendurek Mountains of Eastern Turkey. Creation Research Society Quarterly, vol. 13(2), pp. 9095.

•Shea, Dr William H., 1981. A review of recent data from the region of the Ark-shaped formation in the Tendurek Mountains of Eastern Turkey. Origins, vol. 8, pp. 77-92.

•Shea, Dr William H., undated. The present status of surface and technological study of the ship-shaped formation in the Tendurek Mountains of Eastern Turkey. Unpublished manuscript.

•Shea, Dr William H., 1988. Noah’s Ark? Archaeology and Biblical Research, vol. 1(1), pp. 6-14.

•Stark, Reinhard, 1992. In search of Noah’s Ark: An interview with Dr Allan (sic) Roberts. Nexus, January-February 1992, pp. 37-40.

•Steffins, Marvin, 1984. Has Noah’s Ark been found? Christian Inquirer, November 1984, pp. 1, 7.

I was asked to examine the “Star Child” skull from Mexico by lead investigator Chase Kloetzke. My prior work with Chase on the elongated Paracas skulls in 2014 for LA Marzulli was published in my journal “The Mystery of the Elongated Skulls“.


The purpose of my review was to catalog osteological craniofacial features by using visual/objective assessment. The purpose of the second study was to establish the cranial capacity by volume. I had no knowledge of this particular specimen nor its history with prior researchers.

I met Melanie Young the owner of the specimen in Lubbock, TX  of August 2016 where I was speaking at a conference. I was able to examine the skull first hand and noticed immediately the display of the head demonstrates craniofacial disproportion with a large cranium relative to the facial size was very prominent, shallow eye sockets, narrow nasal bridge, and a small face showing prominent aberrant morphology. Below is my professional evaluation of the skull with the osteology report.


General observations:

The skull is symmetrical but abnormally shaped with the basic components of a human skull: i.e., a frontal bone, two temporals, two parietals, and an occipital. However, both maxilla and mandible bones are missing and the zygomatic arches are broken.

The skull is atraumatic with no trepanation noted. However, one large irregular shaped square area on the right parietal has been removed by a modern saw tool apparently for past testing (post-mortem). A large area of 109 mm has been removed or broken from the inferior skull completely obliterating the foramen magnum and the occipital condiles. The extensive loss of bone has irreversibly damaged any further examination of this area.

Morphology of this skull is highly aberrant with significant “ballooning” of the cranium noted. Skull thickness is 3.10 mm. There is no evidence of brow ridges. The orbital sockets are unusually shallow measuring a depth of only 0.5 inches. Both parietals are bulged.  All sutures present; non-fused & open. No abnormal widening of the sutures are noted. Atypical fossa in the sagittal suture is noted down to where the foramen magnum should be. Fontanelles are closed. The occipital is abnormally flattened. Two wormian ossicles are noted. The external occipital protuberance is absent from the center of the occipital bone.

Cranial volume:

Skull measurements were conducted using both straight & elliptical digital calipers. Cranial volume was measured using rice to determine the weight. The weight was then converted from kilograms (kg) to cubit centimeters (cm3) to determine volume. The density of the rice (753 kg/m3) was factored in.

Result: Cranial volume: 1640 cm3. Cranial capacity is outside of normal accepted parameters. Etiology unknown.


Unable to determine age or sex for this study. No teeth or mandible were present with this specimen at the time of examination. No evidence of artificial or external cradle-boarding is noted. Hydrocephaly should be ruled out. Differential diagnosis should include congenital deformations and/or pathology such as Progeria or Down Syndrome with Brachycephaly which cannot be ruled out. When this specimen is compared to sketches of Brachycephaly, striking similarities in skull shape are notedly apparent. The skull fits the description of Brachycephaly in my professional opinion.

  • This report is an independent, scientific study of the skull based on my assessment of this specimen from a strict forensic and osteological evaluation only.

Copyright 2016 Aaron Judkins, Ph.D.


StarChild Skull Drawing



Ali FE, Al-Bustan MA, Al-Busairi WA, Al-Mulla FA, Esbaita EY. (2002). Cervical spine abnormalities associated with Down syndrome. Pubmed.

Altintas AG, Gul Aksoy FG, Altintas CS, Midillioglu IK, Duman S. (1999). Evaluation of findings in Crouzon’s syndrome. Pubmed.

Dihaj S, Abada A, Baha Ali T, Benhaddou M, Rais L, Hamdani M, Amraoui A, Zaghloul K. (2005). Apert syndrome: a reported observation. Pubmed.

E. H. Aylward, PhD, N. J. Minshew, MD, K. Field, BA, B. F. Sparks, BS and N. Singh, BS. (2002). Effects of age on brain volume and head circumference in autism. Pubmed.

Graham JM Jr, Kreutzman J, Earl D, Halberg A, Samayoa C, Guo, X. (2005). Deformational brachycephaly in supine-sleeping infants. Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.

Hutchison BL, Hutchison LA, Thompson JM, Mitchell EA. (2004). Quantification of plagiocephaly and brachycephaly in infants using a digital photographic technique. Department of Pediatrics, University of Auckland, New Zealand. Pubmed.

Matshes, E. and Lew, E. (2006). Forensic osteology. In Forensic Pathology: Principles and Practice, D. Dolinak, E. Matshes, and E. Lew, Editors. San Diego, CA: Elsevier (Academic Press).

Med-Policy. (2006). Cranial Orthosis. [on line]. Available:>

McDonald, W. (1999) Forensic Faces. [on line]. Available:>

Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery. (2006). Craniosynostosis. [on line]. Available:

Venes, D. Thomas, C. Taber, C. (2005). Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary. The F.A. Davis Company.

Walker, Alan & Shipman, Pat. The Wisdom of the Bones. New York: Knopf, 1996.


Also see:

  1. A Bone to Pick with the Starchild Skull

Fossil Human Footprints

Posted: July 3, 2016 by Maverick in Archaeology

The Paluxy ichnofossils were considered to be powerful evidence that men and dinosaurs coexisted.  Over time, the exposed prints became quite eroded and evolutionists argued that they were merely elongated dinosaur footprints that had experienced infilling.

Most evolutionist are now inclined to agree that the famous Taylor Trail was made by a dinosaur, though some point to the mixture of human and dinosaur characteristics as evidence that the tracks are a composite, the human track superimposed upon the existing dinosaur footprints. (See Robert Helfinstine and Jerry Roth’s 1994 book Texas Tracks and Artifacts.)

Despite creation geologist such as Dr. Clifford Burdock who believed the tracks to be authentic, over time, the lack of clarity regarding these original “man-tracks” of the finds prompted leading creationists to cease using the Paluxy footprints as evidence. Dr. Carl Baugh has attempted to show authenticity with original excavations under the limestone layers. Any new footprint under 12-14” of limestone would indeed rule out a hoax. It is the interpretation of the footprint that then comes into question.

I have personally studied this area in Glen Rose attending original excavations for 20 yrs and studying the old trails including interviewing some of the old timers who was still alive. In 2000, I personally helped discover the Upper Taylor Platform in which a trail of footprints were discovered.  Ian Juby & I have new scientific evidence in the Taylor Trail that will challenge the 1980s accepted theory.

Since then additional tracks, like the Delk Track, came to light, providing much clearer evidence although granted the artifact is not in situ which is disappointing. Nevertheless, it is instructive to consider that these Paluxy footprints are much more distinct than Mary Leakey’s famous Laoetoli Track in Tanzania, which is universally accepted as hominid! The limestone beds of the Paluxy River are thought by evolutionists to be 120 million years old. Milne and Schafersman admit, “Such an occurrence, if verified, would seriously disrupt conventional interpretations of biological and geological history and would support the doctrines of creationism and catastrophism.” (Milne, and Schafersman, 1983, “Dinosaur Tracks, Erosion Marks and Midnight Chisel Work (But No Human Footprints) in the Cretaceous Limestone of the Paluxy River Bed, Texas,” Journal of Geological Education, Vol. 31, pp. 111-123.)

None of us were there to witness the footprints actual origins.  We can’t go back and see them formed or recreate their formation in that exact rock as a “test” of their authenticity.  Does this mean though that we can simply ignore the footprints?  No, that would be unscientific to presume we don’t see them at all. We can however test both the human origin of the footprints and the age of these footprints.  We do so via observations made in the present, inference and prediction.

The presence of impressions in the limestone rock are facts. One could argue that even those facts are subject to interpretation and bias.  Documentation, photography, and in situ tracks could be fake and all the people who saw them could be lying about having seen them.  The impressions could also have been misinterpreted as being human footprints.

Since we can test if they are human footprints, other creationist seem to ignore problematic data by making sweeping overall conclusions without considering the scientific data. It is true most who fall in this category have never scientifically studied the site first hand nor have they attended original excavations which are open to the public. So this is just untrustworthy conclusions based on faulty presumptions.

Is it reasonable then assume that the Glen Rose footprints are not authentic ?  Not at all.  We can scientifically compare the Glen Rose footprints with hundreds of studies that have been done on impressions and preservation in mud and comparison with hundreds of other footprints of humans and other organisms in rock.  And we have. All of those comparisons point, beyond reasonable doubt, to these being authentic human footprints. The research paper associated with this story has been released and available for anyone to read (Hominin Footprints from Early Pleistocene Deposits at Happisburgh, UK, in PlosOne).  This paper includes details about how they assessed the footprints and determined the origin and age of the persons who made them.

And while your there, check out these as well.

There is another conclusion in which historical science can quite confidently make.  These same eroding cliffs along the Paluxy have long been a popular site for collecting index fossils such as the famous fossil clams. The Glen Rose formation consists mostly of hard limestone strata alternating with marl or marly limestone, but is replaced by sandy facies shoreward (to the northwest). Because of the differing strengths of the layers, the limestone weathers to form a staircase profile on hills. 

(E.H. Sellards, W.A. Adkins & F.B. Plummer, The Geology of Texas, Univ. of Texas Bull. No. 3232 (1932 and many later reprints), pp. 315-316.)

These strata were originally referred to as the “Alternating Beds”, which term included the overlying Fredericksburg formations.

Robert T. Hill, Geography and geology of the Black and Grand prairies, Texas, United States Geological Society, Ann. Rep. 21, pt. 7, p. 144 (1901)

These fossils are obtained from the sediments ABOVE and in the SAME layer of the footprints which includes the dinosaur tracks.  Young earth creationists claim that historical science is subject to interpretation because of presuppositional bias.  Yes, that may be true.

The question remains. Could the sediments and fossils above and in the same rock layers with the footprints could be deposited earlier than the footprints?  Absolutely not. Clearly we can have a high degree of confidence based on observations of present sedimentary processes that the layers above the footprints were deposited just hours after the footprints had been made.  This scientific observation in geology strengthens  the authenticity for the footprints.

The creationists timeline constantly finds itself at odds with evolutionary theory.   The Young Earth model can easily accommodate new fossil footprints find like this which is a hallmark of a well supported global evidence. The Old Earth model &/or evolutionary theory of origins must appeal to ad hoc hypotheses or claims of bias in interpretation to avoid the rather simple and obvious interpretation of the observations of ichnofossils such as these footprints in Glen Rose.

The challenge to the creation model posed by the footprints is not the footprints themselves but what it implies.  Even if only 0.01% of all footprints left by dinosaurs, mammals and humans were preserved, the geological record would have abundant footprints.  And it does!  That fossilization of footprints can happen is obvious once you become familiar with the footprint record.  After all, there are human footprints found in numerous places in the world (see the article: Human Fossil Footprints found below Ice Age Deposits) and my book, “Evolution & Human Fossil Footprints”.

Other sources have written about preserved footprints many times and discussed how they challenge the accepted evolutionary geology. The preservation of footprints, just like all other fossils is a very rare event and does require a fortuitous set of circumstances to occur. A recent discovery shows just how such a fortuitous circumstance has occurred.

Near Tucson Arizona construction of a new road revealed an archaeological discovery.  Dozens of human footprints were found preserved in what was a field more than 2500 years ago (local story LINK).

The footprints reveal that several adults and a young infant were working a small field.  A dog was also accompanying them. They left their footprints in the thick mud of the field. It appears that soon after leaving the field, it was flooded by a nearby creek which brought in a layer of sediment with a different composition of material.  At that point the field may have been abandoned and more layers of sediments deposited over the years. While the sediments have not been fully converted rock, the process of cementation has already begun producing layers that resists erosion and separate from other layers with different compositions.  Thus they were able to remove the layer above the footprints revealing the field as it was before they were preserved. This is not unlike what we see in thousands of other locations that footprints are found and this is exactly what we see with the Glen Rose fossil footprints.

Dr. Judkins

“Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.” – John Adams