Welcome to Designing From Bones, where we use archaeology, myth, mysteries and history to unearth the stories of tomorrow.
To make up for my unscheduled break last week, I thought I’d share a fun riddle with you – an item found in the Russian outback, surrounded by conflicting facts, a host of mysteries and not, as of yet, considered a hoax. Which means, perfect fodder for writing. Join me friends as we take a look at the “map of the creator”.
The Dashka Stone
In 1998, Alexandr Chuvyrov, a math and physics professor at Bashkir State University, began searching for a stone slab he believed would provide evidence of ancient Chinese immigrants living in the Ural Mountains. His quest followed leads from 17th & 18th century archeologists that had discovered more than 200 large stone slabs scattered throughout the area, covered in odd signs and patterns that Chuvyrov felt certain supported his belief. Now all he had to do was find one for himself.
A year later, local resident and one-time chairman of the Chandar (a local village) agricultural council, Vladimir Krainov, heard about the search and related to Chuvyrov that he had such a slab under his back porch/yard/in front (stories vary here). It took Chuvyrov and his team a week to uncover and remove the massive stone, requiring a combination of elbow grease and creative engineering, including the ancient technique of wooden rollers (when prehistory reduces modern age to stone age – ironic). Weighing just over a ton, the slab stands 5 feet tall, 3.5 feet wide and is 6 inches thick. Big, yes, but still just a rock.
However, this is no ordinary rock (or I wouldn’t be writing about it). Some fun facts:
The stone was named “Dashka” after the granddaughter of the discoverer and later popularized as the Map of the Creator.
- The rock has been carbon dated to between 100 and 500 million years old, based on a pair of ancient shells found locked into it. Yep, that is how precise it gets folks.
- The slab is composed of three layers that may, or may not (dependent on the source) occur naturally. The main layer is a dolomite-base ceramic (very hard), topped with a layer of diopside glass (silicone-base and this particular variety cannot be duplicated by modern means) and coated with a thin layer of porcelain (betting this component didn’t appear without human assistance – oh, and this type was never used by the Chinese).
The surface is covered with a 3-D bas-relief of a section of the Ural Mountains (see map), similar to computer generated maps used by modern military forces. Only, this is no modern creation – the slab shows no signs of modern tool usage which means it was hand carved, but no one can determine the age of the carvings (or at least no one is saying).
- Details include: the mountains, rivers, fault lines and other natural topography. And, that is where the natural ends because it also shows – 12 dams of massive proportion (each would displace a quadrillion tons of earth to create), 15,000 (or so) miles of irrigation channels and other environmental restructuring projects.
Most interesting thing shown (#1): That the Belaya River originally had an artificial river bed.
- Most interesting thing shown (#2): All of the projects on the map are marked with symbols originally thought to be Chinese. However, you guessed it – not Chinese. Rather, the symbols turn out to be an esoteric form of hieroglyphs that defy decoding.
So, now we arrive at the magic question. How did a hand carved, precision 3-D map, detailing a impressive array of civic works and marked in an unknown language come to be under Mr. Krainov’s back porch? No one knows for sure, but there are plenty of theories.
Odd Theories Abound
Now this is where it gets fun. Ready?
According to the Center of Historical Maps in Wisconsin, the map could only have been created through the use of an aerial view, i.e. ancient powered flight. And who flew the most in prehistory you ask? Well, aliens did, of course. The irony to this theory – ancients with advanced flight and glass-making/stone-binding technology didn’t have anything better to make a map on than a one-ton slab of “hand carved” rock.
Some fringe creationist groups have attributed the stone as antediluvian – made before Noah’s flood – as proof of gods punishment for mankind’s tampering with the divine environment. Ancient sinners tried to control the waters and yep, the waters got ’em (that should be a song lyric, by the way). The flood conveniently cleared the slate, so to speak, which is why we aren’t finding massive prehistoric dams and water works in the Urals. The irony here – ancients with advanced water knowledge only had ONE boat.
One final theory states that the Dashka Stone is only one in a set of 348 similar slabs that form a 3 dimensional cubed map of the planet. Which would make it 340 by 340 meters when fully assembled. Not sure of the practicality of this map and I’d challenge any road traveler to fold and fit that in their glove box (car, plane or spaceship). The irony of this one – if true, someone created the worlds largest map of the world and the world pulled it apart, the apex of “camera shy”.
Map of the Creator
And, on to the fiction, although by now I bet you have ideas cascading through the grey matter of creation.
First, this could be a hoax, but as I mentioned at the beginning – not yet.
Let’s start with the idea that the map is indeed an ancient creation and that there is a missing layer of time that – lost to human history – ends in a massive cataclysm of some type. This is the crack we slip through into the fiction.
Given the above elements, the creators of the map were more advanced in some ways (flight, stonework, glass-work, carving and civic works) then we are now and yet stone age in other aspects (they set their work in rock)- an interesting blend. What would such a people by like and why were they working so hard to manipulate the rivers and water flow of the planet?
Add to this the 348 slab mega-map. How did they map the entire planet? Planes? From orbiting spacecraft like we currently use to map Mars?
Which brings us to – the aliens. Did they try to terraform Earth, hiding their actions by using stone maps so that the primitives living here (humans) would be unable to pin down the truth? Why would they want to hide their presence? From us or from another species?
Next question – How did their time here end and what was their ultimate purpose? Did they cause the “great flood” that runs through the myth of nearly every human culture on Earth? On purpose or by accident? Why, after doing all they marked on the maps, would they then leave without a trace? Are they coming back? When?
Finally, let’s add the odd theory. Noah was the human that received “the call” to make a boat along with instructions on how to do it. He then is the witness of the aliens (i.e. gods) actions, able to carry them forward to the best of his understanding. What purpose would the aliens have for using Noah this way? Is he the protagonist of the story or an agent of the villains?
Only you can decide.
One parting shot – because I like all of you – this story can be set as Alternate History/Earth (lost secrets of human history), Science Fiction (aliens visit humans), Paranormal Fantasy (other-dimensional faeries play in a medieval realm), Romance (Noah’s alien lover gives him a way to survive but they are lost to each other forever – or are they?), Horror (the aliens are coming back to clean the slate of us and claim their terraformed world) and a host of other genres; if you take a few minutes to let the ideas brew.
Have any thoughts on this? I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time, be well and…
“One parting shot – because I like all of you – this story can be set as Alternate History/Earth (lost secrets of human history), Science Fiction (aliens visit humans), Paranormal Fantasy (other-dimensional faeries play in a medieval realm), Romance (Noah’s alien lover gives him a way to survive but they are lost to each other forever – or are they?), Horror (the aliens are coming back to clean the slate of us and claim their terraformed world) and a host of other genres; if you take a few minutes to let the ideas brew.”
Holy crow! Now I’m thoroughly creeped out! What a fabulous and fun read, Gene!
Ahhhmazing story!! Wow. I had no idea and am sooo fascinated by the possibilities. I love the genre potentials you break out at the end…FANTASTIC!!! GREAT post Gene!
Wow, Gene. Intriguing stuff! If the story also rhymed and moved at a fast pace, you could make it all of those genres, plus a thriller musical. I’ll sell the popcorn!
Very interesting. The alien angle is impossible to ignore on this one. Though I believe in almost all aspects of the paranormal, I doubt the existence of aliens. Which is random and odd. I love your Designing from Bones series.
Fantastic and informative post! I sat here with my mouth open the entire time! *wipes drool* I always make time to read your Designing from Bones posts. Hope you’re feeling better!
Wow, what a treat! You struck gold with this find, Gene! Nice touch of humor, like: “Not sure of the practicality of this map and I’d challenge any road traveler to fold and fit that in their glove box (car, plane or spaceship).” Thanks for this mind-blowing post!
Wow, Gene, you have outdone yourself! The genre breakdown at the end is genius.
Gene, that is a mind blowing post if I may quote Lynn Kelley. Lots of interesting possibilities there as to what had happened all the way back to Noah. Hmm. What was happening at the time of Noah? And why did these things occur? I have my thoughts on this subject, but I’ll be keeping them to myself, for now that is. I like this stuff Gene. Thank you! 🙂
Renee: Going to start making that Ark now? *grins* Glad you enjoyed the post 🙂
August: An ancient Dionysian chant of the story would be interesting, satyr masks a bit of modern tambourine for flavor – oh yes, I can hear it already 🙂
Catie: Love when you random and odd, my friend – I don’t believe in them either BUT my fiction does *smile*
Marie: *hands you a clean cloth* Always great to see you Marie. Glad you enjoyed the read 🙂
Lynn: Imagine the “slab cube” as a dashboard GPS – now imagine the size of the vehicle required to have a dashboard that big. Off-roading anyone? Thanks, Lynn 🙂
Karen: By all means, as long as you write it out so we can all enjoy the polished version one day, keep it in your thoughts and let the fiction fly – that is one of the reasons I love doing these posts. Thanks 🙂
Oh wow, what a cool story!
I love how you’ve provided possible genre fiction story lines to run with. Noah’s alien lover, is my personal favorite!
Thanks for sharing and providing some theories too.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
It’s always a fascinating journey with you, Gene!
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Gives new meaning to “written in stone,” perhaps a title in the making? Think it may fit any of the genres you listed. I’m still stuck on the only ONE BOAT, incredible knowledge of waterways and maybe the ability to fly but then, there we are again, written in stone. Great post, Gene, as always.
Really great post, Gene! So this slab was really found under someone’s yard or porch? That’s just craziness!
Here’s a thought though…you mentioned the irony of these “ancient aliens” or “advanced beings” creating this elaborate map, but only having one boat to save mankind…in fact, there are numerous flood myths from just about every religion/tradition, so perhaps there were many boats that these beings either created or guided man to create for his own salvation?
I LOVE your Designing from Bones posts…fantastic stuff 🙂
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Whoa, so many questions and no real answers. I like your theories, if you will… it certainly is fascinating and now I’m probably wake up in the middle of the night wondering about this. Don’t worry, it happens all the time. How did it get under that guy’s porch, that’s what I really want to know. And if he knew it was there, why didn’t he ever say anything? Maybe he’s the alien. Hmmm…
Love this post! Such a cool artifact(?) and story. 🙂
Hmm, maybe this was a situation like from “Battlefield Earth” (the book, not the cheese-tastic movie), where a human servant had access to some of the alien’s technology, but not all. He or she is the one who made the slab, and that’s why we have the mix of the fantastic and the mundane. Fun! 🙂
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