The Blombos Rocks: are they Crude Imitations of an Original Australian artifact?
An extremely unusual engraved rock was found in 1990 by a woman named Ros when building a new brick home located within two kilometres of the enigmatic Bambara Hieroglyphs, located in Gosford, New South Wales, Australia. It was found one metre beneath the surface. Above and below and in every direction, the rocks near and far are sandstone and this rock is not part of the local assemblage, as it is neither sedimentary nor sandstone. Aware of its unique qualities, Ros showed the rock to various authorities. One geologist she contacted, although unwilling to step outside his own self-imposed ‘box,’ did feel that the rock was ironstone. Our resident geological advisor and ex-professor in geology, although limited by only having access to photographs, believed it was not ironstone but something even harder. Having held and viewed this rock close up, all we can add is that this stone is extremely hard with small compact grains and would require a chisel of considerable refinement and strength to cut into such a hard surface.
Bambara Hieroglyphs (also known as the Gosford Glyphs and the Kariong Hieroglyphs)
Being either ironstone or something harder with dozens of fine deep incisions positioned a metre beneath the surface automatically rules out any post-Cook (1770 onwards) technology, and equally, any form of Aboriginal (‘Original’) rock, stick, and bone tool-kit. The problem Ros faced over the next twenty years wasn’t so much that the ‘experts’ she consulted queried its credentials alleging it to be fake or the outcome of natural processes. They openly acknowledged the markings were due to human hands and sophisticated technology, but everything about this artifact sat outside the realm of all accepted accounts of Original pre-history. This was evidence of tools of the highest refinement in application. It was so much easier for those approached to walk away, maintain their current posting and thus remain financially solvent.
The Blombos Rocks, an Inferior Imitation?
When Ros first showed us the engraved rock she also presented us with two documents detailing similar finds in other parts of the globe. First up, Ros presented some photographs and commentary on the Blombos Rocks. Artistic merit aside, what was also evident was the softer grain of the Blombos Rocks, even though we are limited to a photograph, it seems clear that the Kariong/Bambara rock is much harder and that the deep incisions demand a tool with no less than an hardened iron blade. The problem being, according to all universities and school text books, until the British Invasion, no such tool was manufactured inside this continent, yet there sat the end product awaiting exposure one metre below the surface, and on its own rewrites large sections of Original pre-history.
Throughout our evolving education I maintained one concern, if the experts are indeed correct in observing that this rock is an import and foreign to the local geology, if ironstone cannot be found throughout the local tribal estates, its presence in Darkinooong Land is in open defiance to central tenets of Original cultural practises. Sacred sites and artifacts are special because they have a direct physical and intimate connection to that particular tribal estate, nowhere else is it acceptable. It shouldn’t be here.
My concerns were allayed when in discussion with Original Custodian, David Fitzgerald. He informed me that there are two small deposits of ironstone nearby protruding out of the sandstone at Umina Beach and Dalley’s Point. This made much more sense if the rock was sourced from either location, and during our next trip down, on-site comparisons will be made between the engraved rock and both ironstone deposits. What can be stated with certainty is the intricate designs and time given in creating this object necessitates the existence of an Original technology and sophistication that is so much the norm in this area, and many other locations across the country.
What only accentuates the importance of this rock, irrespective of origin, and an unforgiveable reluctance of those who were shown then cowered, was another article Ros had found while researching. Discovered in China, was a “stunning 30,000-year-old engraved stone artifact,” which was not even half as big, of a less precise line, had one tenth the amount of engravings and barely scratched into the surface when comparing to what was in my hand. It may have been regarded as “stunning” in China, but in Australia with Ros’ rock acting as the standard bearer, it is underwhelming in comparison and barely rates a mention.
The 30,000-year-old engraved stone found in China. Credit: Chinese Science Bulletin
What did resonate once getting a full background briefing, was that the Blombos rocks are claimed to mark humanities’ first venture into recording art and communication for posterity and could be extremely old. If so, where does that place the Kariong/Bambara rock in the great scheme of things? Is it older? Was it the inspiration behind the Blombos Rocks, which could be merely cruder copies of the original? What tools were used in engraving this rock (we use the plural in this case as there seem to be indications that more than one type of blade was in use)?
Once More into the Breach
Although in our preliminary stage the question must be asked, where to next?
We will continue seeking out the counsel of Original Custodians of the Old Ways and any of the few academics remaining with an open mind and disposition, and of course the temptation to examine the site from which this rock was found and look further is another option. But first and foremost, we are obliged to try and cajole and nudge mainstream media into acknowledging that not only does this artifact sit outside the embrace of accepted versions of Australian and global pre-history, but it has to also be recognised that it’s presence one metre beneath the surface introduces ancient paradigms, participants and underlying purposes into this unravelling historical equation.
Featured image: Blombos Rock. Credit: Steven and Evan Strong