The class of 1985, Maple Woods Community College, digging along the roadway in the park where the Mayor at the time had predicted the road would be widened. The widening project would not actually take place until 2009- 24 years later!
The monument is in clear view in the background and the work began.
The photo shows me working in an especially rich area after class had ended. This square would not only end up being the richest part found, but would also end the excavations.
This is the same pit as two photos above...
This photo was taken just to the left of the monument. You can see my main assistant, Steve Lamkins removing mud after a recent rain and then excavating.
KING TUT'S DISEASE AND WHAT HAPPENED
It was July of 1991. Back then, it was common for me and my assistant Steve, to keep digging after class hours. In that pit, I contracted a form of "King Tut's Disease" from a rich pit. That ended my archaeological career. I inhaled a 2,000 year old enzyme that had laid dormant for 2,000 years. All it took for the enzyme to become active; was for me to inhale it where it had water and oxygen. It only took about 30 minutes for the enzyme to start shutting down all my main plumbing. I had blamed it on a Sonic chili dog, but within an hour I was peeing blood and had a temp of 106'. My wife, Mary (at the time), rushed me to the hospital where she was told if I was there 30 minutes later, it would have been too late. I do remember having strange dreams and visions and ended up writing a screenplay about it. I don't remember breathing the dust and don't remember much at the hospital. I do know I was there for 14 days and it was a month later before they figured it out.
When I arrived at the hospital, the doctors sent me naked to the morgue; which was the only chilled place with metal tables. They packed me in ice under my arm pits, my neck and my groin. At some point I do remember waking up there and looked around seeing at least one dead person who had no ice. It was definately a "come to Jesus" moment as I laid back down and passed out for probably 2 more days.
Today, I'm one of like 5 people who have contracted a 2,000 year old enzyme and survived. It's still in my lung in a dormant state and is a little larger than a BB. I have it check often as these things tend to cause cancer. Other than that, It has left me with 20% failure in my right lung. I'm the only person in the world who came in contact with a living thing from the Hopewell Period and still have it in the safest place it can be - my right lung. Some of those enzymes were indentified as: Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus.
Just a note about King Tut's Disease. That term is a very generic term and has nothing to do with some crazy curse or King Tut. It is based on Howard Carter's team entering the tomb where most all died within a year or so. Medical evidence was not that advance then, certainly in Egypt, but it was believed they too inhaled dust containing an enzyme and was activated by the moisture when it hit their lungs. That enyzme was not there on purpose. I do know when I contracted it, I nearly died within hours and that's why the doctors called it King Tut's disease. The doctors didn't figure it out for 3 weeks after I was released from the hospital. I think about it everytime I take a breath or cough........ A former student sent me a medical description of King Tut's disease. Pseudomonads are important in the balance of nature and also in the economy
of human affairs. Pseudomonads are globally active in aerobic decomposition
and biodegradation, and hence, they play a key role in the carbon cycle.
Pseudomonas species are renowned for their abilities to degrade compounds
which are highly refractory to other organisms, including aliphatic and
aromatic hydrocarbons, fatty acids, insecticides and other environmental
pollutants. Apparently, the only organic compounds that these pseudomonads
can't attack are teflon, styrofoam and one-carbon organic compounds
(methane, methanol, formaldehyde, etc.). Pseudomonads are also a regular
component of microbial food spoilage in the field, in the market place, and
in the home.
Unfortunately the dig was over that summer and the park continues and I still carry that ancient enzyme in my lung. Evidently, my lungs are made of teflon. Over the years since, I've broken the same 5 ribs twice on my left side and had a collapsed lung on the same side.
PHOTOS OF ARTIFACTS
Speartip made from a deer antler tip. The antler tine was carefully bored out to accept a shaft. The fact both ends are pointed remains a mystery, but suggests it was made to kill.
A bone believed to be from a fish which has been crafted into a weaving needle.
A classic example of a woodland spear point.
A weaving needle possibly from a turkey bone with a nice tapered edge and signs of use near the tip.
A scan of a dogs skull found in a burial.
An excellent photo of an early rim sherd from the Renner Site where just this fragment shows at least 6 different design patterns.
A nice sandstone abrader.
A hematite pendant. There are some scratches but no obvious markings.
A perfect bone fish hook.
A perfect example of a restored deer antler found in the bottom of a storage pit and was likely used as a handle for a digging tool.
This is a bone from the leg of a deer and is believed to be a beaming tool where the tool was used to scrape hide off the skin over a log.
A beautiful pink colored scraper.
This is a copper pin found in the storage pit [grid 26] shown 14 photos above and 125 cm below the surface. In 2009 this pin underwent diagnostic testing by Jim Feagins and included a cat scan. The artifact weights 23.3 grams with a length of 166.4 mm [or about 6.5"]-or shown about actual size. Feagins noted this is a rare find for KC Hopewell. The cat scan revealed the copper had first been hammered into a flat sheet and then rolled into the present shape. It is not perfectly round in shape, but more of an octagon shape with one end having a more pronounced point than the other end. This is the largest of three copper artifacts recovered by Brenner. Another was a small copper sheet fragment square in shape and about the size of a penny and half as thick. The other was nearly in exact size and shape to a modern day tooth pick where one end is slightly curved which may have been caused by modern plowing or excavating.
This is believed to be a flaked effigy possibly of a buffalo head? It is about 1 1/4" wide and 1" tall and is flaked on both sides.
This is a broken plat form pipe Brenner recovered in 1986. We are looking at the broken end.
This is a bad scan of the top view. The hole continues all the way through the piece to the mouth or right side.
A sample collection of bone awls from the Brenner collection.
A turtle shell with a hole drilled into it. The purpose is not known. No other pieces of the shell were found in the same area and it's possible this was either a simple ornament or that at one time the entire shell was a whole and later broken and discarded. The left and right side edges are rough as if broken yesterday, but the top and bottom edges are somewhat worn.
I call this a lithic tool kit. These are a flaked scraper and a knife made from the same core and were found with the dog burial. Move the scraper to the right and it fits into the spall of the knife.