Are the Ica Stones Authentic?
by Eric Bermingham
The authenticity of the Ica Stones1 has been questioned by persons and organizations including Dr. Stephen C. Meyers of the Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies, and Answers in Genesis.
Interestingly enough, the AIG criticism is in the form of a footnote to an article which supports the idea of dinosaurs being alive in the 15th century! However, it seems that the focus of this criticism is a Nova television documentary entitled, "The Case of the Ancient Astronauts" (first aired March 8, 1978). You will have to excuse me if I don't take the word of a PBS program for it. The folks over at PBS have not been known to be sympathetic to Christians or Creationists. In fact they generally display nothing but a thinly veiled contempt for them. So anyway, how is one to know whether the stones are genuinely ancient or not? Let's look at the evidence both for and against the authenticity of the Ica Stones.
1.) Basilio Uchuya and Irma Gutierrez are two Peruvians who claim to have made the Ica Stones. At one point, Irma claims to have made all the stones.
2.) The Institute of Geological Sciences in London examined one of the stones and confirmed its modern origin.
3.) The original owner of the largest collection of stones, Dr. Javier Cabrera Darquera, was a bit eccentric. He believed that men and dinosaurs did live together, only he believed that they lived together 65 million years ago. He was known to be a propagandist for his stones.
4.) The Nova program, "The Case of the Ancient Astronauts," proclaimed the stones to be frauds. In this program, Erich Von Daniken presents evidence for what he believes to be ancient alien astronauts. The Nazca Lines are part of the evidence. Dr. Cabrera is also shown with his Ica Stones depicting surgeries and men with telescopes explaining that aliens must have been responsible for this level of technology. After interviewing Dr. Cabrera, the program moves to footage of Basilio Uchuya who claims to have carved the stones, whereupon the program declares them to be frauds.
1.) There are 15,000 or more of these stones in existence, each of which would have taken some time to carve. One estimate put the total time to carve all the stones at 375,000 working hours. That would be 12 hours a day, seven days a week for about 85 years! Only two modern-day Peruvians, Basilio and Irma, claim to have carved any stones. It seems impossible for them to have had the time to carve all 15,000 stones.
2.) Irma was asked about where she got the stones to make the carvings. She showed the interviewer a couple of small pits in the ground where she had dug out the raw stones. She then proceeded to dig for another stone and removed quite a bit of earth before finding one. She explained that the stones that she carved where about the size of an orange. However, many of the stones are larger and some of them are quite large, about 1,000 pounds. It would be impossible for all of the stones to have come from the small pits.
3.) It is illegal in Peru to sell ancient artifacts. Those caught can be punished by a long, hard jail sentence. If Basilio and Irma had admitted to finding the stones that they sold, they would face prosecution. This would be a strong motive for lying to stay out of jail.
4.) Many of the Ica Stones where found in the early 1960's when a flooding of the Ica River uncovered a large number of them. Most of the other stones have been found in graves by local farmers, graves robbers, or anthropologists. Some features of dinosaurs were not known to modern science until recently. It wasn't until 1975 that the Brontosaurus was displayed with the correct skull and renamed Apatosaurus. It also wasn't until more recently that dinosaur skeletons were displayed with their tails up and heads down when walking. Recent fossil finds also show crests on their heads and ridges on theirs backs. The Ica Stones have the right head on the Apatosaurus, the heads and tails displayed correctly, and head crests and back ridges, even though they predate the modern findings!
5.) Other Peruvian artifacts, e.g. Nazca Lines, pottery, textiles, and figurines, depict dinosaurs as well. The stones have been found together with other artifacts in ancient graves. It is clear that the ancient Peruvians had a fascination with dinosaurs. This suggests that they may indeed have lived together about 1,000 years ago.
6.) There is evidence of men and dinosaurs living together from around the world. There are even modern-day sightings of dinosaurs, pterodactyls, and plesiosaurs. This suggests that men and dinosaurs are living together today!
7.) The modern-day forgeries are relatively easy for an experienced person to pick out. Dr. Cabrera knew about the faked carvings and said that he could spot them easily. After contracting with Basilio to make a stone, Dr. Dennis Swift could see obvious differences between his stone and the stones in the museums.
8.) Finally, although some examinations have found carvings of modern origin, other examinations show carvings that are ancient. The examinations that claim the carvings to be of modern origin were probably examinations of the faked stones! These show metal flakes left by hacksaw blades, a bright surface in the grooves, and some artificial aging. Other examinations of the genuine stones have shown none of the distinguishing characteristics of the modern-day forged stones. What they did find was stones that were covered with a layer of patina, or mineralization, both on the surface of the stones and in the grooves. They also found layers of biological varnish produced by algae or bacteria. These same layers of patina and varnish are found on other artifacts found in the area. Some of the carvings were obscured by the thick layers of patina and varnish. It generally takes many hundreds of years to account for this much buildup in the arid environment of Peru.
Although some people and organizations have declared the Ica Stones to be modern-day fakes, there is much more evidence to suggest that they are indeed of ancient origin. If the stones are authentic, they demonstrate that dinosaurs and men lived together in the not-so-distant past. They also show that ancient men were highly advanced in many areas including optics and surgical procedures.
These ideas are inimical to evolutionists and their theories. They must have their millions of years for their evolution to work and a bunch of hump-backed primitive men to develop into modern man or their theory breaks down. This is why information about the Ica Stones and similar evidence has been suppressed or attacked by them. However, the truth about the Ica Stones is no danger to creationists. The Bible shows man was highly developed from the start and that all the kinds of creatures were made very good from the beginning.
May 22, 2006
1 Additional background on the Ica Stones can be found in our review of Dr. Swift's book.