[meteorite-list] Test your Meteorite Knowledge, Win a Free Assortment of Micromounts! Native Americans and Meteorites

From: JoshuaTreeMuseum <joshuatreemuseum_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Tue, 24 May 2011 21:49:24 -0400
Message-ID: <EE89F02927CE44929B3BD5057303B1E7_at_ET>

Hello Mike:

It seems strange that the Sinagua people venerated an unusual achrondite
(metachondrite) meteorite stone when they were so close to the Canyon Diablo
crater and strewnfield. Surely they noticed how different the iron
meteorites were from other local rocks. Yet they chose to bury an extremely
rare type stone meteorite in the same manner as they would a child. Small
children have been found buried in similar stone cists on pit house floors.
This egg-shaped 24 kg rock was somehow special to them. Nobody knows why.

According to Nininger, the Navaho irons were found in 1922 buried under
stones piled into a cairn. Ornaments were found underneath one of the
meteorites. The irons had grooves on their surfaces from stone tools. Also
in 1922, the Mesa Verde meteorite was discovered in the remains of the Sun
Shrine House in Mesa Verde National Park. In 1930, the Pojoaque meteorite
was found buried in a clay pot on a village site. Archaeological
investigators speculated the stone was carried around in a mojo bag due to
its signs of wear by handling. Nininger later paired the Pojoaque with the
Glorietta, found about 30 miles from the village site. The Casas Grandes
iron was found buried in the Casa Grandes ruins of Chihuahua. It was
discovered wrapped in a "mummy cloth." The Huizopa irons were found in ruins
in western Chihuahua. Nininger adds that the meteorites of Red River,
Wichita County, Iron Creek, Willamette and Cape York were all objects of
veneration and the destination of pilmigrages.

All the irons associated with aboriginal peoples make it even weirder that
the Winona was treated as a special rock. We'll never know the story.

Phil Whitmer


Hi Phil,

Thanks for the clarifications. Just when I think I am a smart cookie,
I find out that I don't know jack squat. LOL

So, I wonder what the modern finders of the Winona meteorite thought
when they dug it up? Did they know it was a meteorite at first? And
what other artifacts were found in that same hole (if any)?

This makes me wonder if Winona was a witnessed fall? Would the
indians have known that Winona was special and not just another rock,
unless they had seen it fall?

Best regards,


Galactic Stone & Ironworks - Meteorites & Amber (Michael Gilmer)

Website - http://www.galactic-stone.com
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On 5/24/11, JoshuaTreeMuseum <joshuatreemuseum at embarqmail.com> wrote:

> Just a few minor corrections. Hopewell and Anasazi are not names of
> tribes.

> They signify prehistoric traditions or cultures, not individual tribes. We

> don't know the names of prehistoric tribes because they left no written

> histories. The large earthworks built by Midwestern and Eastern
> prehistoric

> American Indians are not burial mounds. While some contain burials, this

> does not seem to be the primary purpose of the mounds. Archaeologists

> believe the mounds were for ceremonial and social purposes. Some have

> postulated the earthern structures were astronomical observatories. I just

> saw a documentary on the Chaco Canyon culture where they showed how all
> the

> buildings, kivas and towers were designed to line up on the solstices. The

> western Native Americans did not build mounds. It was the Sinagua people,

> not the Anasazi, who interred the Winona meteorite in a stone cist dug
> into

> the floor of a pit house.
Received on Tue 24 May 2011 09:49:24 PM PDT

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