Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Glozel Est Authentique!

So, today while looking at something else (an obituary of OE scholar Bruce Mitchell), I came across a news article about the death, at age 103, of a French farmer who, back in 1924, set off a controversy still not settled today.

In brief: sixteen or seventeen year old Emile and his family claimed to have found a site that had a remarkable mix of artifacts: pseudo-Phoenician writing, neolithic carvings, primitive pottery, and much much more. Some proclaimed it the find of the century; others an outright fraud. Decades later, modern testings seems to have established that some of the artifacts seem to be genuinely old (though just how old -- Medieval? Classical? Neolithic? -- isn't readily apparent from a quick skim of the material). Definitely a topic worth further research.

My own interest in this stems from the fact that I recognized the name from an old THEATRE OF THE MIND Call of Cthulhu module I bought years ago but have never run. Digging it out again, I'm reminded that it contains two scenarios: GLOZEL EST AUTHENTIQUE! (the title adventure) and SECRETS OF THE KREMLIN, which I do remember running at a MonteCon back around 2001 (short version: given the choice, the Investigators found they'd much rather face the Mythos than Josef Stalin). I'll have to see if we can schedule the Glozel scenario into our Cthulhu group's alternating series of ongoing Cthulhu campaigns.

Here's a link to the Glozel museum here, with images of many of the odd artifacts found at the site.

I'm esp. curious about the writing (not surprising, given my interest in Bernal's CADMEAN LETTERS and Andrew Robinson's LOST LANGUAGES), but cdn't find any readily available account on it (something else to search for). The various carvings and statuary are also interesting; I wondered if any museum reproductions are available, but cdn't find any at the site (but then my French is not the best, so I might have missed it). I'm not likely to find myself in central France anytime soon (or, indeed, ever), but if anyone's passing through and visits the site and museum, I'd be interested in hearing your impressions of it.

And finally, just for fun, here's a rather loopy article on the subject from the FORTEAN TIMES (who are usually more credible and less credulous than this); once the author starts appealing to Graham Hitchcock (who I find like Von Daniken, without the gravitas) and Rennes-le-Chateaux, you know you're wandering off into unchartable waters.

A somewhat more neutral account can be found here:

current reading: TROY AND HOMER by Joachim Latacz (resumed)
current audiobook: THE FAERIE QUEENE, Bk II Canto XII.
current Kindle book: THE BATTLE OF THE LABYRINTH (Percy Jackson, Bk IV).
current manga: SKIP-BEAT

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