A small statuette of a humanoid, skillfully made of clay, was found in 1889 in Nampa, Idaho. Who could have created it 2 million years ago?
No hominid other than Homo sapiens created such works of art as the Nampa statuette. Thus, the evidence suggests that humans of the modern type lived in the Americas about 2 million years ago, at the turn of the Plio-Pleistocene.
In 1887, James A. Pinney, Nathan Falk, Joseph Perrault, John Bernard, and M.A. Kurtz formed an artesian water prospecting company in the new frontier town of Nampa, Idaho.
In July 1889, one of the owners of the drilling company, Mark A. Kurtz, was testing material delivered by a sand pump from a layer of clay more than 91 feet deep from a borehole. A strange object fell into his hands. After washing it off, he discovered it was a small human figure.
Kurtz later showed the figure to Charles F. Adams, president of the Union Pacific Railroad, who was passing through Idaho. Adams, who had recently read a book by J. F. Wright, wrote Wright about the discovery.
Wright, from the east coast of the United States, wrote Kurtz asking him to photograph the artifact. Kurtz replied that he had no way to take a photograph, so he sent the figure to Wright. Wright noted, “This object is about 3 centimeters long and is remarkable for the perfection with which it represents the human form.”
He added: “It was a female figure, and its details were done in realistic outlines, which does credit to classical art centers.”
The object was heavily stained with iron oxides, characteristic of deposits from the 91-meter level. Wright showed the object to archaeologist F. W. Putnam of Harvard University. “On showing the object to Professor F. W. Putnam,” Wright wrote, he at once noticed the character of the iron inlays on the surface, indicating the considerable antiquity of the relic.
It had spots of anhydrous red iron oxide in protected areas, which could not have formed on any fake object. During a visit to the site in 1890, he verified the samples to compare the change in color of the oxide in the image with the discoloration on the clay balls still found among the debris that came out of the well and to make sure they were identical.
This corroborating evidence in view of the very satisfactory character of the evidence presented by the parties who made the discovery, and corroborated by Mr. G. M. Cummings of Boston (then superintendent of that division of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, and who knew all parties and was on site a day or two after the discovery) had no doubt as to the authenticity of the discovery.
According to current Darwinian theories of evolution, figurines like the one found in Idaho were made only by modern humans, who appeared on Earth only about 200,000 years ago.
The Nampa figurine strongly challenges the evolutionary scenario, as noted by W. H. Holmes of the Smithsonian Institution. In 1919, Holmes wrote in his Handbook of American Aboriginal Antiquities.