RECOGNIZING THE QUALITY OF
BURROWS CAVE ART
by Dr. Beverly Moseley
Midwestern Epigraphic Society, Columbus, Ohio
The purpose of this brief note is to reply to the frequently mentioned criticism that the Burrows Cave artifacts must be fakes because the artwork is too crude and amateurish to be the product of Mediterranean visitors to ancient America. I am not certain that there is any validity of this argument in the first place, a question that the reader can evaluate from our recent publications. Nevertheless, as an educated, professional artist who has had a lengthy career as a designer and builder of 18 museums, I wish to offer my observations about the photographic technique and crude sketching that formed the basis for the original argument.
Virginia Hourigan contributed her time and effort to obtain approximately 1100 photographs in the field of Burrows Cave artifacts. This was a monumental task! For the most part, the objects in question are engraved pictures executed in fine line on a dark surface, making them extremely difficult it illuminate and photograph. The old method, used widely with petroglyphs, of chalking up the stones for better readability was employed on or before she began taking the photographs. The distortion attained by the use of white powder can be clearly seen in Figures 1-4. The drawings representing Burrows Cave artifacts were rough sketches from the Hourigan collection. Let us not underrate the Burrows Cave art in this crude manner! Good photo enhancement technique can be used to reflect the true nature of the art in question.
Back to MESOP