SUBJECT: structures,throwing sticks,knotted 2ply yarn
DATE: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
FROM: Janet Levi
Sir, I have read your article with Roobol 2002 Preliminary...lava-tube caves etc with interest. I am an archaeologist not a geologist. My collegue is working on her doctorate on petroglyphs in the Negev hence the interest in the throwing sticks and my doctorate is on fibres, fabrics,textiles, basketry, sewing etc hence the interest in the yarn. Can you furnish any more info about the throwing sticks. Were they C14 dated with or without correlation and the yarn. What was the fibre. ?What was the knot. ?Is the fibre S spun Z plied? What was the diameter of the yarn? Throughout your article you refer to rain and damp sand and ripple marks. What is the per annum precipitation? p. 16 you refer to the throwing sticks as L shaped but the photograph in the appendix 1does not support this. You talk about 7000 B.P date for human habitacion. Is this a geological dating? If you can answer all, some or one of my questions i would appreciate it .Thanks Janet Levi.
Hello Janet,Thanks for your interest in the items we found in Mut'eb and Ghostly Cave. We passed the two throwing sticks and the cord to the head of the Riyadh museum many years ago and expected he would have them carbon dated. So far, however, nothing has been done and I understand they are lying in a drawer. I believe the knot was a simple overhand knot as my colleague was able to untie it quickly. No one examined the cord to determine the kind of fiber, but as for the diameter, you can calculate it from the photo (with ruler) in Figure A3-1. The average rainfall in Taif is 0.4 inches per year (high for Saudi Arabia). The two caves are located about 150 kms NE of Taif. I agree the shape of the sticks is not an L, maybe more of a J. To me this shape looks very much like that of the obect shown in a petroglyph (perhaps Neolithic) which we saw at Shuwaymis, about 300 kms N of the caves. I will send you a copy of this picture in a separate message. The 7000 years BP is a guess by Dr. Roobol who came upon many Neolithic ruins in the lava fields of Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately, authorities there were not interested in helping us to make sense of what we found and even less to finance the proper studies. We certainly could use an archeologist to join us on a visit to some of these caves. Did you check our most recent findings at Umm Jirsan Cave on www.saudicaves.com ? We wish we could find an organization outside Saudi Ararbia that might assist us. Maybe you have some ideas...
All the best, John Pint