The Nampa Image: Evidence of 2-million-year-old civilization in North America?

The Nampa Image

In July 1889, a small human figure was unearthed during a well-drilling operation in Nampa, Idaho, which caused intense scientific interest last century.

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The Nampa figurine, August 1996. Notice penny to show scale. © Image Credit: Public Domain

Unmistakably made by human hands, it was found at a depth (around 320ft) which would appear to place its age far before the expected arrival of man in this part of the world, according to accepted evolutionary dating techniques. Although all but forgotten by the general scientific community, the evidence, when viewed without evolutionary bias, still sounds convincing over a century after its discovery.

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Because of its fragile condition, the the Nampa Figurine is now being stored in a small container in the basement of the Idaho State Historical Society in Boise. © Image Credit: Idaho State Historical Society

The small “doll” (dubbed the Nampa Image) is composed of half clay and half quartz, and according to at least one expert, Professor Albert A. Wright of Oberlin College, it was not the product of a small child or amateur, but was made by a true artist.

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Mark A. Kurtz, finder of the Nampa Image in 1889. In 1887 James A. Pinney, Nathan Falk, Joseph Perrault, John Bernard, and M. A. Kurtz formed a company to locate artesian water at the new frontier town of Nampa, Idaho. By July of 1889, the artesian well sand-pump had reached a depth of over 300 feet ― the depth from where the the Nampa Image artifact was recovered. © Photo from the Idaho State Historical Society (ISHS).

Though badly battered by time, the doll’s appearance is still distinct: it has a bulbous head, with barely discernible mouth and eyes: broad shoulders: short, thick arms: and long legs, the right leg is broken off. There are also faint geometric markings on the figure, which represent either clothing patterns or jewelry ― they are found mostly on the chest around the neck, and on the arms and wrists. The doll is the image of a person of a high civilization, artistically attired.

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What is astonishing is that the geological strata according to the analysis and investigations carried out in the figure go back more than two million years ago. © Image Credit: MRU

Unlike the many ancient human artifacts and bones found in the gold-bearing gravels in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California last century (Gentet, 1991), the Nampa Image could be a sole clue to a prehistoric civilization now buried deeply under the surface.

Obviously, it is more difficult to claim the Nampa Image to be an excellent evidence of ancient human civilization in North America. Nevertheless, the evidences for the genuineness of the Nampa Image seem weighty. The condition of the artifact would present a very sophisticated challenge for someone on the early frontier. And the sand pump, which was in operation at the time of discovery of the artifact, excludes it being put in from the top during the on-going operation and surviving.

The sand pump with the coupling at the top is a little over five inches in the chamber. The sand pump proper is 4 1/2 inches on the outside and the valve is about 3 1/2 inches on the inside. Anything put in from the top would have floated on top of the water and been ground to powder by the action of the sand pump. ― Excerpt from one of the letters written by Mark A. Kurtz to G. Frederick Wright, dated November 30, 1889

Furthermore, while one might envision a motive for a hoax (though the idea of a hoax to promote the new frontier town was never mentioned by any other writer, the authors researched), the people involved were always described as citizens of stature in the community, and they were very trustworthy for their words.

There is, however, always the possibility that all is not like it seems to be. Perhaps we will never know for sure, but this much we do know: if the find had come from a geologic horizon where human artifacts were expected, there would have been far less controversy involved. Therefore, the current theories of evolution and the stretched out geologic timetable should not hinder acceptance of human artifacts or bones found in stratum where conventional “wisdom” prohibits.


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