APRIL 5, 1909
EXPLORATIONS IN GRAND CANYON
Mysteries of Immense Rich Cavern Being Brought to Light
Remarkable Finds Indicate Ancient People Migrated From Orient
The latest news of the progress of the explorations of what is now regarded by scientists as not only the oldest archaeological discovery in the United States, but one of the most valuable in the world, which was mentioned some time ago in the Gazette, was brought to the city yesterday by G.E. Kinkaid, the explorer who found the great underground citadel of the Grand Canyon during a trip from Green River, Wyoming, down the Colorado in a wooden boat, to Yuma, several months ago.
According to the story yesterday to the Gazette by Mr. Kinkaid, the archaeologist of the Smithsonian Institute, which is financing the explorations, have made discoveries which almost conclusively prove that the race which inhabited this mysterious cavern, hewn in solid rock by human hands, was of Oriental origin or possibly from Egypt tracing back to Ramses.
If their theories are borne out of the translation of the tablets engraved with hieroglyphics, the mystery of the prehistoric peoples of North America, their ancient arts, who they were and whence they came, will be solved.
Egypt and the Nile and Arizona and the Colorado will be linked by a historical chain running back to ages which staggers the wildest fancy of the fictionist.
A Thorough Investigation
Under the direction of professor S.A. Jordan, the Smithsonian Institute is now prosecuting the most thorough explorations, which will be continued until the last link in the chain has been forged.
Nearly a mile underground, about 1480 feet below the surface, the long main passage has been delved into, to find another mammoth chamber from which radiates scores of passageways, like the spokes of a wheel. Several hundred rooms have been discovered, reached by passageways running from the main passage, one of them having been explored for 854 feet and another 634 feet.
The recent finds include articles which have never been known as native to this country and doubtless they had their origin in the Orient. War weapons, copper instruments sharp edged and hard as steel, indicate the high state of civilization reached by these strange people. So interested have the scientists become that preparations are being made to equip the camp for extensive studies and the force will be increased to thirty or forty persons.
Before going further into the cavern, better facilities for lighting have to be installed, for the darkness is dense and impenetrable for the average flash light.
In order to avoid being lost, wires are being strung from the entrance to all passageways leading directly to large chambers.
How far this cavern extends no one can guess, but it is now the belief of many that what has already been explored is merely the "Barracks", to use an American term, for the soldiers, and that far into the underworld will be found the main communal dwellings of the families and possibly other shrines.
The perfect ventilation of the cavern, the steady drought that blows through, indicates that it has another outlet to the surface.
Mr. Kinkaids Report
Mr. Kinkaid was the first white child born in Idaho and has been an explorer and hunter all his life.
having been in the service of the Smithsonian Institute. Even briefly recounted,
his history sounds fabulous, almost grotesque.
"First, I would impress that the cavern is almost inaccessible. The entrance is almost 1486 feet down a shear canyon wall. It is located on government land and no visitor will be allowed there under penalty of trespass. The scientists wish to work unmolested, without fear of the archaeological discoveries being disturbed by curio or relic hunters. A trip there would be fruitless and the visitor would be sent on his way.
The story of how I found the cavern has already been recounted, but in a paragraph: I was journeying down the Colorado river in a boat, alone, looking for mineral.
Some forty two miles up the river from El Tovar Crystal canyon, I saw on the east wall, stains in the sedimentary formation about 2000 feet above the river bed.
There was no trail to this point, but I finally reached it with great difficulty. Above a shelf, which hid it from view of the river, was the mouth of the cave.
There are steps leading from this entrance some thirty yards from what was at the time the cavern was inhabited, the level of the river. When I saw the chisel marks on the wall inside the entrance, I became interested, secured my gun and went in.
During that trip I went back several hundred feet along the main passage, till I came to the main crypt in which I discovered the mummies. One of these I stood up and photographed by flashlight. I gathered a number of relics, which I carried down the Colorado to Yuma, from whence I shipped them to Washington with details of the discovery.
Following this, the explorations were undertaken".
"The main passageway is about 12 feet wide, narrowing to 9 feet toward the farther end.
About 57 feet from the entrance, the first passages branch off to the right and left, along which, on both sides, are a number of rooms about the size of ordinary living rooms of today, though some are 30 to 40 feet square.
These are entered by oval shaped doors and are ventilated by round air spaces through the walls into the passages.
The walls are about 3 feet 6 inches in thickness. The passages are chiseled or hewn as straight as could be laid out by any engineer.
The ceilings of many of the rooms converge to a center.
The side passages near the entrance run at a sharp angle from the main hall, but toward the rear they gradually reach a right angle in direction".
"Over a hundred feet from the entrance is a cross-hall, several hundred feet long, in which was found the idol, or image, of the peoples god, sitting cross-legged, with a Lotus flower or Lily in each hand. The cast of the face is Oriental, and the carving shows a skillful hand, and the entire is remarkably well preserved, as is everything in this cavern.
The idol most resembles Buddha, though the scientists are not certain as to what religious worship it represents. Taking into consideration everything found thus far, it is possible that the worship most resembles the ancient people of Thibet.
Surrounding this idol are smaller images, some beautiful in form, other crooked necked and distorted shapes, symbolical, probably, of good and evil. There are two large cacti with protruding arms, one on each side of the dais on which the god squats. All this is carved out of hard rock resembling marble.
In the opposite corner of this cross-hall were found tools of all descriptions, made of copper. This people undoubtedly knew the lost art of hardening this metal, which has been sought by chemists for centuries without result. On a bench running around the workroom was some charcoal and other material probably used in the process.
There is also slag and stuff similar to matte, showing that these ancient peoples smelted ores, but so far, no trace of where of how this was done has been discovered, nor the origin of the ore. Among other finds are vases or urns and cups of copper and gold made very artistic in design. The pottery work includes enameled ware and glazed vessels.
Another passageway leads to granaries such as are found in the Oriental temples. They contain seeds of various kinds. One very large storehouse has not been entered, as it is twelve feet high and can be reached only from above. Two copper hooks extend on the edge, (continued on page 7) which indicates that some sort of ladder was attached. These granaries are rounded and the materials of which they are constructed, I think, is a very hard cement.
A grey metal is also found in this cavern which puzzles the scientists, for it's identity has not been established. It resembles platinum. Strewn promiscuously over the floor everywhere are what people call "Cats eyes" or "Tiger eyes", a yellow stone of no great value. Each one is engraved with a head of a Malay type."
"On all the urns, on the walls over the doorways and tablets of stone which were found by the image are mysterious hieroglyphics, the key to which the Smithsonian Institution hopes yet to discover. These writings resemble those found on the rocks about this valley.
The engraving on the tablets probably has something to do with the religion of the people.
Similar hieroglyphics have been found in the peninsula of Yucatan, but these are not found in the Orient. Some believe that these cave dwellers built the old canals in the Salt River valley. Among the pictorial writings only two animals are found. One is of prehistoric type".
"The tomb or crypt in which the mummies are found is one of the largest of the chambers, the walls slanting back at an angle of about 35 degrees. One these are tiers of mummies, each one occupying a separate hewn shelf.
At the head of each is a small bench on which is found copper cups and pieces of broken swords. Some of the mummies are covered with clay and all are wrapped in a bark fabric. The urns or cups on the lower tiers are crude, while as the higher shelves are reached, the urns are finer in design showing a interstage of civilization. It is worthy of note that all the mummies examined so far have proved to be male, no children or females being buried here.
This leads to the belief that this interior section was the warriors barracks.
Among the discoveries no bones of animals have been found, no skins, no clothing nor bedding.
Many of the rooms are bare but for the water vessels. One room, about 400 by 700 feet, was probably the main dining hall for cooking utensils are found here. What these people lived on is a problem, though it is presumed that they came south for the winter and farmed in the valleys, going back north in the summer. Upwards of 50,000 people could have lived in the cavern comfortably.
One theory is that the present Indian tribe found in Arizona are descendants of the serfs or slaves of the people which inhabited the cave. Undoubtedly a good many thousands of years before the Christian era a people lived here which reached a high state of civilization.
The chronology of human history is full of gaps. Prof. Jordan is much enthused over the discoveries and believes that the find will prove of incalculable value in archaeological work.
One thing I have spoken of may be of interest.
There is one chamber the passageways to which is not ventilated and when we approach it a deadly, snaky smell struck us.
Our lights would not penetrate the gloom and until stronger ones are available, we will not know what the chamber contains.
Some say snakes, but others boo-hoo this idea and think that it may contain a deadly gas or chemicals used by the ancients.
No sounds are heard, but it smells snaky just the same.
The whole underground institution gives one of shaky nerves the creeps. The gloom is like a weight on ones shoulders and our flashlights and candles only make the darkness blacker.
Imagination can revel in conjectures and ungodly day-dreams back through the ages that have elapsed till the mind reels dizzily in space".
An Indian Legend
In connection with this story, it is notable that among the Hopis the tradition is told that their ancestors once lived in an underworld in the Grand Canyon till dissension arose between the good and the bad, the people of one heart, the people of two hearts.
(Manchoto) who was their chief, counselled them to leave the underworld, but there was no way out. The chief then caused a tree to grow up and pierce the roof of the underworld and then the people of one heart climbed out.
They tarried by Palsiaval (Red River), which is the Colorado, and grew grain and corn. They sent out a message to the temple of the sun, asking the blessing of peace, good will and rain for the people of one heart. That messenger never returned but, today at the Hopi village, at sundown can be seen the old men of the tribe out on the housetops gazing towards the sun, looking for the messenger.
When he returns, their land and ancient dwelling place will be restored to them. That is the tradition.
Among the engravings of animals in the cave is seen a image of a heart over the spot where it is located.
The legend was learned by W.E. Rollins, the artist, during a year spent with the Hopi Indians. There are two theories of the origin of the Egyptians. One is that they came from Asia: another is that the racial cradle was in the upper Nile region.
Heeren, an Egyptologist, believed in the Indian origin of the Egyptians. The discoveries in the Grand Canyon may throw further light on human evolution and prehistoric ages."