The Dropa Stones

Archaeology is not a glamorous profession, and there is no amount of Tomb Raider and Indiana Jones films can change that.  It is basically a treasure hunt without a map and most of the time without treasure.  It’s dirty.  It’s often hot because areas that are hot and arid preserve things better than places that are wet and cool.  Or it’s fumbling around in dark caves and hoping not to break a leg on bat guano.

If you are into archaeology, the dirt and heat can be worth it, because every so often someone finds something amazing, like the city of Troy.  Or Gobekli Tepe.  Or that Stone Henge is surrounded by lots of little Henges that have fallen into ruin.

Or you find Dropa stones while trying not to slip on bat guano and break a leg in a cave.  The Dropa stones are a set of stones that were found in a cave in China.  Oddly, they have disappeared, which is possibly the most fascinating part of the Dropa stones.

The Dropa stones reportedly look like stone records, the kind you put on a turn table to play music.  There are a few pictures of them, proving they exist that were taken by the archaeological team that found them.  Since the stones were found in the People’s Republic of China, they were turned over to the government, because that’s the way it works especially in a country that has State controlled media and research.

We don’t know much about the Dropa stones.  Supposedly, a few of them were sent to Moscow in the 1980s for study by communist researchers and scientists.  However, while the Soviet Union claimed to have received 2 of them, their whereabouts are currently unknown.

The stones are said to be 1,200 years old and made with a similar technique as what was used to make the Terracotta Army.  Unfortunately, this information was released by the People’s Republic of China at the same time they admitted they had no clue what had happened to the 76 Dropa stones.

This is where the history of the Dropa stones goes from interesting to UFO Conspiracy Theory material.  Theoretically, the stones are covered in tiny hieroglyphs that have never been decoded.  And the stones have never been displayed to the public.  This could be because it’s the People’s Republic of China, but conspiracy theorists say it’s because world governments don’t want us regular folks to see the obvious alien origin of the Dropa Stones.

Although, I do agree that it seems hard to lose 76 stones, most of them measuring more than 30 centimeters in diameter and weighing a couple of pounds each.  These aren’t exactly easy to lose in say a drawer.  But having some museum experience, I can see where they could be misplaced in an archive full of stuff.  On the flip side, I see why there is a conspiracy around them.  It isn’t just that they were lost, it’s that they were never displayed.  Compare that to the Terracotta Army, which has continuously been on display since the 1970s.  The stones were an amazing find, even in the late 1940s when they were discovered, so it does seem strange that even in the People’s Republic of China they were never put on display.  And researchers have discovered that the original photographs of the Dropa stones have also gone missing, which just adds more fuel to the conspiracy surrounding the stones.

However, until the People’s Republic decides to release them for research and viewing, we will probably not have a better understanding of the Dropa stones, because if the USSR discovered anything about the 2 stones they once held, their research and findings are also missing.  Then again, as one historian said, is possible that the Soviet Union never received the stones and that the Stones were intentionally lost not because of their connection with aliens, but because The People’s Republic decided they were detrimental to the narrative of their superiority.

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