The Acambaro Figures are figurines found at an
archaeological dig under the direction of Waldemar Julsrud
in Acambaro, Mexico in July of 1944.|
They are small,
ceramic figurines which some have claimed resemble
dinosaurs. They are sometimes cited as an anachronism, or as
OOParts. However, there is overwhelming evidence that the
figures are a modern hoax(Isaak 2004).
Some young-earth creationists and opponents of evolution
believe that these figures stand as credible evidence for
the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans, something that
would disprove evolution and offer support for a literal
interpretation of the Bible.
However, there is virtually no reliable evidence for the
validity of the Acambaro figures as actual ancient artifacts,
and they are accepted by practically no credible scholar of
archaeology or palaeontology, and the motives of many who do
support them are questionable.
History of the Acambaro
The Acambaro Figures were uncovered by a German immigrant
named Waldemar Julsrud. According to Dennis Swift, a
young-earth creationist and major proponent of the figures,
Julsrud was a hardware salesman who stumbled upon the
figures while riding his horse. Julsrud hired a Mexican
farmer to dig up the remaining figures and paid him for each
figure he brought back. Eventually, the farmer and his
assistants brought him over 32,000 figures. These figures
were representations of everything from the supposed
dinosaurs to peoples from all over the world including
Egyptians, Sumerians, and even 'bearded Caucasians.'
The figures attracted little attention from scholars and
scientists, and when Julsrud began to assert that these were
accurate representations of dinosaurs created by an ancient
society, he only alienated himself further from serious
scientific investigation. Tabloids and popular media sources
had been covering the story however, and the figures were
steadily becoming somewhat famous. It wasn't long before an
astute professional took notice. Archaeologist Charles C.
DiPeso was working for the Amerind Foundation, an
anthropological organization dedicated to preserving Native
American culture. DiPeso examined the figures and determined
that they were not authentic, and a product of local modern
day farmers. He published his results in the journal
American Antiquity. The accuracy of his investigation is
often scrutinized by supporters of the figures.
Julsrud was quick to gain supporters for the authenticity of
the figures. Charles Hapgood, pioneer of pole shift theory,
became one of his most high profile and devout supporters.
Other people have come to the defense of the figures. Earle
Stanley Gardner, the prolific fiction writer and creator of
the character Perry Mason, came to Julsrud's defense
claiming that the 32,000 figures could not possibly have
been produced by a single person or group of people. This
was in defence against accusations that the figures were a
hoax played on Julsrud.
The figures continue to draw attention. They have been cited
in some pseudoscientific books such as Atlantis Rising
by David Lewis. Don Patton, another young-earth creationist,
has emerged as their staunchest supporter. He has proposed
some new lines of evidence, including the figure's
resemblance to the dinosaurs depicted in Robert Bakker's
book, Dinosaur Heresies.
Evidence for the Figures
Supporters of the Acambaro Figures believe that several
pieces of evidence prove that the figures were not only
6500-1500 years old, but created from first hand experience
of dinosaurs and the cultures that the figures apparently
Radiocarbon and Thermoluminescence Dating
Don Patton, another young-earth creationist supporter of
the figures, has provided what he claims to be accurate
radiocarbon dates for the figures ranging from 6500 years to
The labs that produced these dates have claimed that they
were inconclusive, but Dennis Swift claims that once the
labs discovered what it was they were dating, they retracted
their original dates in order to keep with the science
community's agenda of suppressing 'real' knowledge.
Evidence from the Excavation
Supporters cite many individual's firsthand accounts of
the excavation and the matrix from which the artifacts were
discovered. According to Swift, the area surrounding the
figures was clearly an ancient strata. If the figures were
planted as a hoax, there would be evidence of disrupted
Resemblance to Dinosaurs
The most widely used line of support for the Acambaro
Figures is their resemblance to the dinosaurs featured in
Robert Bakker's book Dinosaur Heresies. It is claimed that
the resemblance of these figures to these drawing is
evidence that the figures were made from first hand
experience. The figures are too accurate to be anything but
first hand representations.
Evidence that the Figures are
Circumstances of the Figure's 'Excavation'
The very circumstances from which the figures first
appeared are dubious. Julsrud claims that he paid the
farmers for every figure they brought him. This alone gives
the farmers motive to create their own figures and disguise
them as ancient artifacts.
Condition of the Figures and the Excavation
According to DiPeso, the surface of the figures was
practically brand new. They showed no characteristic
evidence of having been in the ground for at least 1500
years. If they were authentic artifacts, they would be
scratched and marred from the rocky soil, which is
characteristic of artifacts found in that area of Mexico.
Also, these were apparently inexperienced people digging up
these artifacts. DiPeso mentioned that he saw them actually
crush through authentic artifacts to reach the figures, yet
none of the figures uncovered displayed any such marks.
Other evidence includes fresh manure found under the ground,
fingerprints found under the ground, and black fill from
other strata was discovered in sterile red earth, which
points to previous tampering with the site.
The Number of Figures and their Condition
The sheer number of perfect figures found is evidence for
a hoax. Over 32,000 figures were found, and all of them in
perfect condition except for a few that were cleanly broken,
obviously to create the illusion of antiquity. If these were
authentic antiquities, they would not be preserved with such
perfection in such an inhospitable environment. Pottery is
almost always uncovered as fragments called sherds; nowhere
has 32,000 unblemished ceramics been uncovered with none of
them in fragments and all of them in perfect condition
(cleanly broken in two does not count as fragments).