STONES OF MACHU PICCHU: The Many Faces of Myth and Mystery

Like many people, and all archeologists I assume, my recent visit to Peru was the fulfillment of a long-standing dream to witness first-hand the great site of Machu Picchu, as well as many of the other important Inca and pre-Columbian sites there.  As with most of these travelers, I was struck by the uniqueness and mystery of the world's most famous "lost city", which, much like the Grand Canyon and other such marvels of man or nature, has to be witnessed in person to be fully appreciated.  No pictures can do these places total justice (although I tried lik

CLASSIFYING STONE STRUCTURES: Man's Ancient Need to Build Something That Lasts!

Civilized man's seemingly insatiable desire to create stone monuments to his gods or to himself is as enduring as our earliest advanced cultures.  In the last thirteen months this writer has been fortunate to visit  Egypt,  Peru, and Yucatan, the source of some of the greatest and oldest monumental architecture on our planet.  As someone who has spent much of his adult life involved in ancient stonework in one fashion or another, visiting these important sites has often posed as many questions and riddles as they have answered.  Having just

MYTH MAKING: Working at the Interface of Literature and Anthropology

  During the course of five years of near continuous work on The People of the Stone saga detailing the controversial and amazing issues surrounding the peopling of North America from the end of the Ice Age to the coming of the first Europeans, the problem of frequently dealing with an unknown mythological past has often arisen, at times even dominating the storytelling process.  As this author contemplates the beginning of the sixth and final novel in this important book series, The Children of the Circle, the satisfaction of having so man

GHOST DANCERS, ELVIS, AND MESSIAHS OF ALL STRIPES: The Nagging Phenomenon of Revival Cults

     Whether they go by the name of Nativistic Movement, Revival Cults, Millenarianism, or some other recognized name, the recurrence at regular intervals around the world of such cultic practices is nothing new.  Such happenings usually involve a messianic figure preaching a return to a former way of life or spiritual belief--generally in the face of a


For a limited time the readers of this blog are being offered the opportunity to submit a review of any of the six novels in THE PEOPLE OF THE STONE saga and receive a 50% discount, with personalized inscription and free shipping, on the purchase of any other novel in the series. 

Any reader who is interested in submitting a 200 word (plus or minus a few) review in a format of his or her choice for use on this blog, or other possible places (book jackets or promotional uses, for example) are encouraged to communicate with the author directly at the contact email address provided on this website to arrange your discount purchase.  Anyone interested in reading posted reviews of books in The People of the Stone saga can click on the comments at the end of this entry and read what others have said about one or more of these books.

If interested, your review may also be appended as a comment directly to this blog entry.  Just click on Add Comment, log in to our secure website and add your review.  We look forward to hearing from our growing body of readers around the world.

PRE-CLOVIS FOOTPRINTS: Is there a visible track to follow?

Since the widespread discussions of the Solutrean Solution proposed by Stanford and others, along with the more general acceptance of  increasing numbers of confirmed pre-Clovis sites from Chile to Virginia, the full range of the first American occupations controversy has recently re-emerged in full force.  Not that this discussion has ever gone away completely, by any  means; but the more recent willingness of high-profile professionals to stake their positions on the more controversial side of this issue has led many others to jump back i


The coincidence of the rapid dispersal and disappearance of so-called Clovis Culture in such a relatively short time span (less than 1,000 years according to most radiocarbon dates), and across an enormous distance of nearly two continents, at the same time as the extinction of the mammoth and many other species of Pleistocene megafauna continues to generate en

WATERING THE CORN: The Problem of Human Sacrifice Among the Woodland Peoples

The questions of if, when, and for what reason human sacrifice was practiced among the prehistoric peoples of North America has often been raised.  Archeological evidence has not always been supportive, while at the same time also being suggestive that such rites could have been practiced at various times and locations.  In preparing to deal with this very difficult s


Around 1980 when this writer made the momentous decision to take what I had learned as a professional archeologist and use it to start a new career (mostly out of necessity for continued gainful employment) as an "applied anthropologist" it was not with the intention of becoming an avocational, much less a professional, flintnapper.  But this was what happened, a


In the past week I have spent a great deal of time reading, thinking, and finally writing about one of the most universally recognized phenomena of all of human history and, more importantly perhaps, prehistory--the solstice event.  By some great irony, purest chance, or sub-conscious master plan I just happened to arrive at the point in my new novel in the People of the Stone series, THE CORN MAIDEN'S GIFT, where I was forced by my characters to get involved with the prehistoric expression of the winter solstice among the Hopewellian moundbuilders of the Ohio, Illinois, an


While conducting on-going research for the fifth novel in The People of the Stone saga, THE CORN MAIDEN'S GIFT, it has been impossible to ignore the incredible contributions made to the great mound sites, particularly those of the Hopewell period with which the new novel deals, by two often neglected pioneers of scientific archeology.  Ephram Squier and Edwin Davis, working as amateur surveyors at a time when little or nothing was known about the first native peoples, left an incredible and indespensible record of achievement for later archeologists and oth


For the past twenty-five plus years while working professionally as both an archeologist and, later, as a professional and avocational flintknapper, this writer was privledged to visit and investigate many of the signigicant quarry sites that are to be found across much of North America.  The generalized use of the term "Flint" to categorize the various non-volcanic stones which

Native AmericanTribal Origins: The Meeting of Archeology and Cultural Anthropology

When doing public presentations as an archaeolgist, no matter what time period the material might deal with, one can always anticipate the question:  What tribe made this?  It is often difficult to convey to the lay person that modern or early historic tribal names and affiliations are fairly recent and often virtually impossible to project back into the lon

Mystery of the Stone Mounds

The appearance of literally thousands of small stone mounds, cairns, and even one large serpent effigy in the central Ohio Valley and mid-Appalachian highlands region has generally baffled professional archeologists, hunters, hikers, and others who continually encounter these enigmatic remains. To date, little systematic research or scientific study beyond mere speculation has been associated with these obviously prehistoric remains.

Moundbuilding: Technology Challenge or Social Event?

With literally thousands of earthen mounds of all sizes scattered over much of the eastern United States the question is often asked, "How were they built and why are there so many?"  For us in the modern world looking at the tecnological level of the moundbuilders, who lacked any metal tools except for raw copper, it would appear a daunting task to build the huge earth

Moundbuilders, Myths, and Misunderstandings

   When Cyrus Thomas began his excavations of the thousands of earthen structures across the eastern and central United States for the Smithsonian in the late 19th century he began to unravel for the first time the true meaning of these amazing and enigmatic piles of dirt, which had generated every form of fantastic speculation since the first Europeans had arriv

Clovis first - last - or not at all?

In dealing with the on-going Clovis origins controversy in any form, one is always struck by the dedication (even ferocity) with which the various proponents of differing viewpoints cling to their ideas.  As one who was a graduate archeology student at Eastern New Mexico Univ. in the 70's and literally surrounded by the Clovis material an

Welcome to the People of the Stone informational website

This is the opening entry for archeolgist and novelist T.C. Kuhn's blog for the website People of the Stone is an on-going book series now in its fourth installment dealing with the major issues in native American prehistory from the perspective of both archeology and literature.


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