About the Author

Alan Day at the 33GU218 archaeological site, 2005

Among the thousands of visitors submitting comments on this website (almost all positive, to my pleasant surprise) since I launched it in January 2003, several have asked for information about the author.  (I'm sure the less favorably impressed are just wondering "Who is this presumptuous #&@%! displaying his wretched pile of rocks and mud, pontificating as if he knew anything about this?".)  Information about me is certainly the least interesting topic on this website, but a little of it, plus some general background information, might help bring the archaeological material into perspective.

Day's Knob (33GU218) is a hill rising above a high ridge - along which runs Zane's Trace, following an ancient Indian trail - in sparsely populated Guernsey County, Ohio, immodestly named by me after my 28-year-old self when I bought the property a long time ago as an ideal part-time location for my amateur ("ham") radio station K8AL.  (Had I known the place was to become much more than my personal radio playground, I almost certainly would have chosen another name for it.)

My name is Alan Day, and I live in the town of Cambridge, Ohio, in the Appalachian southeastern part of the state that was not flattened by glaciers and is quite wrongly assumed by Ohio's archaeological Wise Ones to be too rugged a landscape to have supported much human activity in prehistoric times.  By profession I am an electronics and software engineer, having worked for most of my career as a consultant (pretentious word for hired gun) in research and development for defense and commercial industry, specializing in real-time control software/firmware and receiving several patents in this field.  After my last contract job (eleven years duration) I took time off at home and came to fully realize what I long suspected:  while working on the road pays well for what I was doing as a hobby anyway, spending most of one's time away from one's actual life is a stupid way to live.  I've retired modestly but comfortably and intend, as time permits, to further investigate the artifacts that I first identified as such on my hilltop property in 1987, continuing my attempt to get them appropriate professional consideration.

Although I took archaeology, anthropology, and geology courses at university (in the USA, Israel, and Germany), and did some field work in the Middle East, I do not pretend to be even a very good amateur archaeologist.  I am, however, occasionally capable of recognizing the obvious when it appears in front of my face.  It has become clear to me that I have found something important, even if in the manner of a blind pig stumbling upon an acorn.  By both disposition and professional training, in the physical realm I am inclined to "believe" only what I can see and repeatedly verify (and then not always).  While I am almost certainly mistaken in some of the details and am continually modifying my hypotheses, on the whole I am as certain of what I see here as I am of anything I have ever encountered.    One way or another, for anyone with a modicum of self-awareness trying to understand from the few remaining crumbs of evidence what our predecessors many thousands of years ago were thinking and doing is a truly humbling experience.   And ("borrowing" an observation from renowned neurobiologist Paul Grobstein) in this it is much less a matter of being right than of working to become progressively less wrong.

Returning to archaeology from a profession in which the scientific method is a guiding principle, I have experienced considerable "culture shock" in finding that the standard procedure among many (most?) archaeologists is to evaluate an unexpected find only in terms of its similarity to something already recognized in published literature.  Essentially, if it is not already accepted, throw it out and avoid controversy.  (Well-paying positions in archaeology are scarce, and thinking outside the box often means thinking oneself out of a job.)  From a scientific perspective, my own approach is to recognize when an unexpected phenomenon is in fact present, then gather the evidence and form hypotheses to be honestly disconfirmed as best I can.  If a hypothesis can not be disconfirmed, then I move on to determine the extent to which the phenomenon is repeatable (or "replicable" in archaeological parlance).  In an archaeological context, if one sees and verifies something again and again in widely distributed venues, one must give it serious consideration, "received wisdom" notwithstanding.

"Authority may be a hint as to what the truth is, but is not the source of information. As long as it's possible, we should disregard authority whenever the observations disagree with it."  -   Richard P. Feynman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics

With considerable misgivings, I cobbled this website together in January 2003 in a state of exasperation after half a year of e-mailing photos and descriptions to numerous archaeologists, trying unsuccessfully to get some professional involve- ment.  A website is simply a more efficient medium for presenting things from a distance.  And yes, I am quite aware that it is wretchedly disjointed and in need of restructuring, having quickly expanded from something much simpler that was launched through a 1200 baud dial-up modem.  (Remember those days?  Arrrgh!) Most important, it needs a more concise and cogent statement of hypotheses with expanded arguments pro and con.  Whether or not this successfully serves the immediate purpose, I am hoping it might somehow put the material on lasting record for future American archaeologists who may be capable of looking beyond the popularly recognized flint "arrowheads" and spear points their predecessors have been taught must  characterize any "real" aboriginal American habitation site.

For additional background on the beginning of this project, see the following article (in PDF format) submitted on request to Pleistocene Coalition News in 2011:

This was published in greatly abridged form and prefaced with copious caveats to (maybe understandably) avoid alarming some of the Coalition's members.  (I do appreciate their publishing it nonetheless.)

Other locations with lithic artifact material very much like that here are now starting to come to light, and I am cautiously optimistic that this ancient habitation site and the others will, at some future time, receive the attention they deserve.  One way or another, I am quite persistent, and this project is not going away before I do.

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