Alternate Perceptions Magazine, May 2017
An Interview with historian and author Jason Jarrell on ancient giants, Indian Mounds, and Ancient Aliens
by: Brent Raynes
Jason Jarrell is an investigative historian, avocational archaeologist, and a student of many subjects including depth psychology, Biblical mysteries, political science, and comparative mythology. For close to a decade he has been involved in an independent project researching the evidence for gigantic human skeletons in North America and other parts of the world. He has presented at conferences on ancient mysteries and appeared on the Ancient Aliens television series. His first book (Ages of the Giants) was co-written with his wife and fellow researcher Sarah Farmer, and will be available in 2017. Jason and Sarah have also co-written articles published by Alternate Perceptions, Ancient Origins, Road 2 Ruins, and Ancient American Magazine.
Brent Raynes: Jason, how did you and your research partner and wife Sarah Farmer become involved in the so-called "giants" controversy, and what conclusions have you drawn regarding this intriguing mystery?
Jason Jarrell: I have been interested in archaeological mysteries, especially ancient giants, since I was a very young child. My mother taught me to read ahead of school with an Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt and Treasure Island. I also read through the entire Bible when I was around 13. So, I have always been fascinated with the ancient past and different types of humans, gods and monsters depicted in mythology. By my early 20’s I encountered Ross Hamilton’s original articles on the ancient American giants. His work taught me my most important lesson, which is that some incredible things have actually been scientifically documented but simply forgotten or ignored by the current group of experts.
I also experienced this during my studies of depth psychology, which I was actively engaged in for many years. Following the work of C.G. Jung, there is again demonstrable evidence of something incredible, in this case the archetypes of the collective unconscious, which profoundly affect art, religion, and every form of human interaction and expression. And yet this vast underworld of consciousness is disregarded today in the name of selling medications.
Ross followed in the footsteps of two incredible archaeologists of the 20th Century, Don Dragoo and William S. Webb, in associating the tall ones with the Adena Culture. The conventional dating places Adena between 500 B.C. and around 200 A.D. I suppose that the major contributions of Ages of the Giants (2017), that I wrote with my wife Sarah, would probably be the documentation of many more primary sources for the large skeletal remains, and also the time depth we have established for the tall ones both before and after Adena. The gigantic skeletons and cultures in our book span roughly 3500 B.C. to 450 A.D., including several archaic cultures and the Hopewell Culture, which followed Adena in the Ohio Valley and elsewhere. We also wanted to make sure to include lots of information about how these people actually lived. We extensively researched their settlement patterns, sociopolitical organization, and cosmology. We really wanted this book to show people how the world of the tall ones operated and how much we can actually know about them.
Brent Raynes: American Indian Mounds and ancient Earthworks have occupied a good deal of your time and attention too. What about this subject has drawn you deeply into this matter and what would you like everyone to know about these ancient sites?
Jason Jarrell: Well, two things that I would like to impress upon readers with regards to the earthworks are the extreme time depth and geographical range of these structures. In the Ohio Valley most Adena henges or sacred circles are considered to date to sometime after 300 B.C. However, our book chronicles several mound sites in the Ohio Valley dating to around 1500 B.C., and at least two circular henges—one in Ohio and one in Iowa—that date back to between 900 and 800 B.C. We also discovered that archaic mounds affiliated with the Old Copper Industry constructed by people possessing the same unique anthropology as Adena have been dated back to 2600-2200 B.C. If we include sites from outside the Ohio and Illinois River Valleys, burial mounds and earthworks in North America date back to the fifth millennium B.C.
There were thousands of earthworks constructed during the Adena—Hopewell period, and then the Mississippian Culture continued the traditions into the second millennium A.D. It is my personal belief, that these structures were more than just ritual sites, although they certainly did host ritual activities. In fact, they were constructed around the world, and we are planning to write about their possible origins and purposes in the near future.
Brent Raynes: Television's Ancient Aliens has generated a huge degree of public interest in ancient history and archeology from the perspective of ancient extraterrestrial visitations that theoretically influenced our ancient cultures. It has become a powerful movement. While much of it seems to be deeper on speculation and theory than solid evidence to substantiate the Ancient Alien premise, some of the legends, lore and written scriptures, texts, and holy writings from the distant past do make you pause and wonder. What are your personal thoughts on this subject?
Jason Jarrell: I am glad you asked about Ancient Astronaut Theory, because it is another subject we have investigated and we intend to publish our findings at some point. First of all, I do not personally believe that extra-terrestrial, or “alien” contact has occurred at any point in human history. That certainly doesn’t mean that I don’t respect people who do believe in it, it just means that I don’t necessarily trust any information that comes from governmental agencies or elite western families. For example, did you know that Prometheus Studios, the company behind Ancient Aliens, is owned by the same elite family that funded archaeological expeditions to find the mythical home of the Sumerian gods and the immortal Utnapishtum as early as the 1940s? Shouldn’t that mean something to us?
Ancient Astronaut Theory heavily relies upon Sitchin’s famous translations of cuneiform texts in which he portrays a group of gods known as the Anunnaki as beings from the stars who came down and either created—or manipulated the evolution of—mankind. We have been studying the cuneiform myth cycles concerning the Anunnaki for several years ourselves and there is nothing like this in the actual tablets. In fact, the Anunnaki are depicted as a pantheon of gods who were the children of the sky god Anu and his sister, Ki. Many archaeologists now believe that in the oldest form of this legend, Ki was actually a female mortal, who bore the children of the sky god. She never had a cult of her own and her name only appears in a limited number of creation texts. She was later developed into the Babylonian and Akkadian goddess Antu, consort of the god Anu (from Sumerian An). Essentially, this would mean that the Anunnaki were born of a union between a sky god and a mortal female, who was deified later in mythic tradition.
It may further interest some open-minded researchers to know that the Anunnaki were actually underworld entities. In tablets discovered at Nipur from around 2000 B.C., the Anunnaki are “the seven judges”, underworld fates who accompany Ereshkigal, queen of the subterranean realm. When Ishtar descends and is brought before the assembly, they fasten their “eyes of death” upon her, causing her to perish.
The reality is that the Anunnaki mythologies are much more suggestive of the Biblical tradition of the Nephilim than they are of creator gods from the sky. Of course, this does not mean that we do not accept that “something” is going on out there. Clearly there are phenomena materializing in our era that have a long documented history. I just think that we may not really have any real explanation for what the X-factor underlying all of this really is, and it is possible that many different influences have certain interests in manipulating our perceptions of what exactly these phenomena mean. I also think we should be very, very cautious about allowing Ancient Astronaut Theory to take on the status of a religion in our minds.
As a side note, I actually appeared on Ancient Aliens and showed documented proof that the Smithsonian discovered gigantic skeletons in the Adena mounds at Charleston, West Virginia, in 2016 (Season 11, Episode 10, “The Prototypes”). I was able to film with William Henry, who was just an amazing and professional collaborator.
Brent Raynes: I understand that you and Sarah are currently working on a book that I gather will explore these mysteries. Can you tell us some about it and when may we expect to see it in print, or perhaps as an ebook?
Jason Jarrell: The book Ages of the Giants will be available in print and digitally. The manuscript is finished and should be completely edited by the end of April, so you will definitely be seeing it soon. It is the first of two volumes that are the result of 8 years of research. Ages is written like an archaeological history of the tall ones, beginning in the Archaic period around 3500 B.C. and charting the cultures and gigantic skeletons through time to the collapse of the Hopewell Exchange Network at around 450 A.D. Along the way you will learn about the mounds and other types of tombs the remains were found in, as well as the artifacts, social interactions, hierarchical structure, and cosmological schemata of these ancient cultures. Cultures described in the book include the Old Copper, Red Ocher, Glacial Kame, Adena, Hopewell, and Squawkie Hill cultures. There are several Chapter devoted to little known aspects of the Adena Culture. For example, there was an intense Adena manifestation on the East Coast, spanning hundreds of years and featuring a truly unique elaboration of their cult of the dead. Another chapter is devoted to setting the record straight on the types of megalithic structures these people built in the Ohio Valley.
There will be lots of press and local history accounts of large skeletal remains, but we have also found many primary sources from antiquarians and actual archaeologists. In fact, the book validates several newspaper accounts directly, since we were able to find the matching site reports written by the excavators in the archives we consulted as we traveled around the Ohio Valley.
This book attempts to answer several questions along the way. For example, in Chapter 5 we discuss a social mechanism by which the lineages of the tall ones may have initially spread around the northeast from out of their original centers. The book features Marcia K. Moore’s remarkable recreations of Adena and Hopewell giants. The recreations were made using photographs of actual Adena and Hopewell skulls. The measurements for the physical forms came from actual site reports, as well as descriptions of Adena remains in the works of William S. Webb and Don Dragoo. The Hopewell recreation is in the image of one of the most famous Hopewellian artifacts ever discovered: the Shaman of Newark. Our investigations uncovered the fact that this artifact was found with a gigantic skeleton, as documented in the book.
Brent Raynes: What would you like the mainstream archeological community to know or come to realize about some of the more complex and unusual aspects of this field?
Jason Jarrell: Well, what I would ask the mainstream to try to understand is that this research is not intended to be a threat to them. I have met several archaeologists over the years that became my friends, and honestly, I love reading archaeology and it has truly become my passion. Of course, as we all know, and as Dr. Greg Little has repeatedly written about, there are some modern archaeologists who have partnered with Internet personalities and taken up the cause of constantly “debunking” the large skeletons or other theories. My position on this is that no one owns prehistory. Archaeological data should be reported raw and people should be free to interpret it as they choose—after all, these cultures never bestowed exclusive rights to anyone living today to study them. That being said, those of us in the research field need to constantly challenge ourselves to become more and more scholarly, well read and objective. The biggest threats to the field of the ancient giants are not the establishment sources—but rather individuals who want to simply use these remarkable remains to gain fame and attention or to sell a religion. If the many writers on this subject and others could learn to partner together and collaborate and share information, we would achieve remarkable things.
The final chapter of Ages presents our theory as to why these remains disappeared from the public record. In the chapter we exhaustively document the powerful influence of an arcane race religion upon the fields of anthropology and archaeology between around 1850 and the 1930s. All of the people who oversaw this are long dead, but their influence over academia at the time established many sacred cows through the University circuit, including the taboo on the tall ones. It is my belief that we are witnessing the first stirrings of a great awakening today that will affect every aspect of human life. Eventually, this will include a re-evaluation of ancient history, probably by a generation of scholars yet to come. It is they who will restore the remarkably powerful people found in the tombs of these ancient cultures to the record of American prehistory.