Saturday, May 22, 2010

Woodbury man claims to have found artifact


WOODBURY — When Michael Hellwinkle turned over the stone, he wasn't sure what to think. "I saw a dragon," Hellwinkle said. "No one has found anything like this around here." That may be true, even as it's not clear exactly what he found.
Hellwinkle, a 49-year-old Woodbury resident and caretaker at Mill House Antiques, said he discovered a sedimentary rock in a stone wall while digging for ancient artifacts in Roxbury in late March. The 25-pound stone — measuring 13 inches long, 4.5 inches wide and 6.5 inches tall — features what looks like a carving of a snake-like creature with a long tail, large head and a round eye.
After taking his discovery to the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington, Conn., Hellwinkle came away convinced the stone depicts the feathered serpent, an object of worship for native North and South American cultures, known as Quetzalcoatl by the Aztecs.
"That's the real deal," Hellwinkle said. "Believe me. There's no doubt in my mind."
      The stone intrigued Lucianne Lavin, director of research and collections at the institute. But because it was found in a stone wall, it contained no charcoal from an ancient fire pit or other organic remnants to establish its age through carbon dating.
"If it were real, it would be really interesting," Lavin said, explaining that the harder rocks of the region don't lend themselves to easy carving. "It would show the southern New England Indian also had that feathered serpent mythology."
But Kevin McBride, a professor of anthropology at the University of Connecticut and director of research at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center, examined the stone and believes the image arose through natural weathering. "The rock has different layers, colors and textures," McBride said. "Sometimes differential weathering can produce images. Iconography. Like Lincoln's face. Christ. Whatever. It can happen."
To read the complete story see The Sunday Republican or our electronic edition at
To read more about the serpent, and to see stone structures that resemble the "foot snake" read the Rock Piles Blog...

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Of course it's "real". The question becomes, if completely natural, why would the crystalline structure mimic the reptilian form; i. e., what basic building blocks might they have in common?