6 of The Most Fascinating Artifacts Found on 'America Unearthed'
For over 4 seasons, Scott Wolter has uncovered and discovered some of the world's most fascinating artifacts.
by Keith Langston
In America Unearthed, forensic geologist Scott Wolter investigates some of the most controversial and shocking secrets hidden within American history. He uses his skills to track down the stories behind uncovered relics and artifacts. Whether he’s discovering new theories about our ancestors, or unsettling cover-ups that have misled what we believe to be true for years, Wolter refuses to back down.
Throughout the previous seasons, Wolter has come across some truly captivating and shocking objects. Here are some of the most fascinating artifacts on America Unearthed so far…
THE DARE STONES
In Roanoke: The Lost Colony, Scott Wolter investigated the disappearance of the Roanoke colony. The Roanoke colony was the first attempt by the British at establishing a permanent settlement in North America. After a harsh beginning, the colony’s governor, John White, returned to England to ask for more supplies. When he returned, all 116 residents of Roanoke had vanished.
In 1937, a series of mysterious stones were found in the South. These stones had inscriptions carved into them describing the story of what happened to the lost colony. The stones tell of the settlement facing disease, starvation, and attacks from native tribes, forcing the settlers to flee. Making the stones even more important is that they are signed by Eleanor White Dare, the daughter of John White.
The Stones were believed to be a fraud for decades, created by someone desperate for money during the Great Depression. However, in the episode, Wolter used his forensic geology skills to determine that the engravings had weathering dating back long before the 1930’s. Could this change everything we thought we knew about the lost Roanoke colony?
WINDOVER BOG BODIES
The Windover Bog People episode examined an ancient burial site in eastern Florida. When construction began on a new subdivision in 1982, one of the workers stumbled upon a startling find…a human skull. The construction was ceased, and archeologists were sent to investigate. The findings were shocking. Over 100 bodies were buried underwater in the shallow swamp, tightly wrapped in fabric. They were placed on their sides, all facing west. Brain matter was still preserved inside their skulls, and gut contents, along with numerous artifacts were found with the bodies. The large amount of evidence allowed an extensive investigation to conclude that these people were some of the first ever in North America, predating that of Native Americans.
When Wolter received a tip that these bodies might actually be of European ancestry, he traveled to Florida to find out for himself. He also visited Smithsonian archeologist Dr. Dennis Sandford who has a collection of European tools and carvings that were found in the American South from an ancient people known as the Solutrean. The two concluded that no matter what the heritage of the Windover bodies are, history needs to reexamine if our oldest ancestors in the New World might actually be from Europe.
PENNSYLVANIA RUNE STONE HOAX
At the start of the two-part episode Clues to the Holy Bloodline, Wolter received a tip about a recently discovered carving on a boulder in rural Pennsylvania. What intrigued him the most was the presence of a symbol known as the Hooked X, a symbol used by the Knights Templar that Wolter has been investigating for years.
Immediately upon examining the supposed rune stone, Wolter noticed many problems – The symbols aren’t carved properly, the letters are incomprehensible, and the entire “relic” had been recently chiseled and was covered in mud as an attempt to make it look old.
The most intriguing part of the episode is watching Wolter notice every inconsistency with the stone. It’s shocking to see someone with so much skill and precision, and gives credence to the field of forensic geology. The scam also proves that people are threatened by new ideas changing history, and will do anything to lead investigators astray…
OBSIDIAN SPEAR IN HAWAII
In Two Sides to Every Story, Wolter got a message from a student in Hawaii about a mysterious obsidian spearpoint that was recently found. What makes the spearpoint so curious is that its coloring is a greenish gold – the type from obsidian found in Mesoamerica. Wolter embarked on a quest to discover how an ancient artifact from Central America ended up all the way in Hawaii.
His main theory was Polynesians. They had been sailing the Pacific for hundreds of years, and were the only ancient people with the technology and skill to navigate the large Ocean. Wolter teamed up with anthropologist Janet Six who tested the spearhead and determined it was in fact from the Americas. When the episode premiered, it sent shockwaves through the scientific community for offering a new conclusion to the lingering question - Did Polynesians sail to the Americas?
GIANT SANDSTONE HEAD IN APPALACHIA
The Search for the Mountain Giant examined two very unique stone carvings in Appalachia – The Judaculla Rock, and the Redbird River Petroglyphs. Wolter was immediately captivated by the petroglyphs, which contain stories of Judaculla, a giant god, as well as a map of the surrounding area, and symbols that might not be Native American.
The true shock came during Wolter’s investigation. A local man told him he had the fossilized head of a giant that he found while strolling along a nearby creek. Wolter, naturally curious, agreed to study the fossil. Upon examination, Wolter discovered that this was no fossil, but actually a sandstone carving by Cherokees used as an offering to the gods. Though the stone head might not have been that of a giant, it’s exciting proof that ancient artifacts are all over America, even right in our backyards.
THE WAUBANSEE STONE
In The Stone of Destruction, Wolter was called to investigate one of the oldest relics in Chicago. Something so old, it even predates the city itself. The Waubansee stone is a giant boulder that has a deep depression carved on top, and the image of a face engraved on the side. It was found on the banks of the Chicago River back when Chicago was a small westerly outpost.
The origins of the stone have gone unknown for decades, and at one point, a Chicago museum even used the stone as a decorative drinking fountain. But when Wolter received a new clue of a very similar stone existing in Florida, known as the Sea Market Alter Stone, he teamed up with historians and local experts for answers.
The group uncovered that both stones are strikingly similar to Phoenician alter stones, which were used by ancient voyagers to make sacrifices to the gods for safe travel. This theory was only proven further when Wolter learned that Phoenicians could have easily navigated their way from Europe to America on the Atlantic’s westerly currents. It seems that Chicago has much more than just a pretty drinking fountain on their hands…
The quest for answers continues on the exciting new season of ‘America Unearthed.’ Tune in Tuesdays at 10pm for more relics, artifacts, and groundbreaking theories of the true history of America!