Modern Technology for Magnification of Stone Enscriptions

The smallest objects that the naked eye can see are about 0.1 mm long or 0.0039 inches. That means that under the right conditions, we might be able to see an amoeba, a human egg, and a paramecium without using magnification.

A nanometer is a unit of measurement length in the metric system which is one billionth of the standard unit of measurement “meter”. It is denoted by ‘nm’. It can be expressed as 1 nanometer = 1×10−9m.

Today with the best equipment it is possible to increase the magnification of the smallest object that the naked eye can see by one million times. The whole world changes when our vision increases by a power of one million.

How can we understand the magnitude of today’s magnification technology? Let’s take a look at this example. Consider a tool with a hard point that cuts rock and is the thickness of a pencil point. Make a groove in the stone’s surface. Next, magnify the groove one million times, or to the equivalent of one mile, about the size of the Grand Canyon. A golf ball with a diameter of 1.6 inches could be distinguished in a groove enlarged to the size of the Grand Canyon when viewed using electron microscopy at a million times magnification.

It is difficult to imagine the magnitude of these magnifications.

wachs cu zn stem images

A nanometer is a unit of measurement length in the metric system which is one billionth of the standard unit of measurement “meter”. It is denoted by ‘nm’. It can be expressed as 1 nanometer = 1×10−9m. Here are images of copper and zinc magnified with a scale of one nanometer at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania..

Stone 32a

John White Collection Stone 32

Stone 32b

Phoenician Characters on John White Collection Stone 32.

Stone 32c

Phoenician Characters on John White Collection Stone 32.

Collaboration with Lehigh Microscopy Laboratory

It is a great pleasure to announce that the Lehigh Microscopy Laboratory has taken an interest in our research focus on Mississippi Valley engraved stones. The experts understand that this is a topic of high interest, and that it is not a trivial matter.

Some world authority figures have agreed to meet Heartland Research representatives in the coming weeks to discuss how the fundamental techniques of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) and Focused Ion Beam (FIB), can assist us in understanding the tools and methods used to engrave the more than 450 stones found in the John White Collection.

Lehigh Microscopy Laboratory has 78 participants from all over the United States and many other countries. It is with great anticipation that we will talk with these leading experts in the field of electron microscopy. We will ask them how we can collaborate so we can gain a better understanding of what tools were used to engrave the stones from the Mississippi Valley. We believe that the stones are ancient and that the engraving tools pre-date European settlement.

You can view 1,274 images of the stones in the John White Collection by clicking here.


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HRG History — by Jay Mackley

The Heartland Research Group is a grassroots, boots-on-the-ground organization that believes that the historical narrative of the Book of Mormon took place in the Heartland of North America. The HRG is active in archaeological research and in the acquisition, restoration and display of ancient American artifacts. The HRG is currently preparing an ancient ship replica called the "Phoenicia" for display. The ships construction design is patterned after a shipwreck dating to 600 BC. The Phoenicia ship made modern voyages, first around Africa and then also from the Middle East to Florida in 2019 – proving that voyages around Africa or from Sidon to North America were feasible anciently.

Heartland Research Inc is a 501c3 private operating foundation for archaeological research and to complete preparations for the Phoenicia display. Current plans are for a museum large enough to house the Phoenicia ship and many other ancient artifacts and exhibits from North America. The location of the museum is planned to be in Zarahemla which is Lee County Iowa, near the Mississippi river and east of Nauvoo, Illinois.

Our activities are too many to list, but some recent major expeditions are listed below. Many of these expeditions are open-ended and we expect to continue research in these and other similar activities as time, resources, and volunteers become available. We have dozens of volunteers and hundreds of donors, large and small, but we need many more. Check out the websites listed below for details of Heartland Research Group projects. Our current project is is our biggest yet: to refurbish the Phoenicia ship for display.

Go to the Donation Page

We invite you to support our efforts so we can complete these worthy goals!
If you have skills or knowledge to contribute to our research and discovery projects, please contact us directly to volunteer.

  • What: Sonar scanning of Mississippi between Nauvoo and Keokuk. The purpose of the expedition was to discover a crossing route that ancient people could have taken.
  • Who: Heartland Research Inc volunteers.
  • Where: Between Keokuk and Nauvoo, Iowa.
  • How: Private donations of money, time and equipment.

  • What: Magnetic scanning of 221 acres of farmland near Montrose, Iowa. The purpose of the expedition was the discovery of fire-pits and other evidence of ancient occupation.
  • Who: Members of the Heartland Research Inc, local farmers, volunteers, plus technicians from German company SYNSYS. Signs of habitation were found with magnetometery scanning and then C14 dating.
  • Where: Near Montrose Iowa and between Montrose and Fort Madison Iowa.
  • How: Large and small donations of money, time and equipment.

  • What: A one week seminar in Fort Madison, Iowa with 25+ participants. Included visits to the Putnam museum in Davenport, Iowa. There were twelve presentations on the ancient history and written languages of the upper Mississippi.
  • Who: Members of Heartland Research Inc plus presenters and interested attendees.
  • Where: Fort Madison, Iowa.
  • How: Private donations for space, time and lodging.

  • What: Ground penetrating electrical resistivity scanning for building foundations using electrical resistivity equipment from LandVisor.
  • Who: Members of Heartland Research Inc and volunteers.
  • Where: Zarahemla in Lee County, Iowa.
  • How: Private donations and ground support.

  • What: Metal analysis for alloy content. Ancient arrow and spearhead found in Wisconsin stream of cast bronze.
  • Who: Heartland Research Group
  • Where: Sample found in Wisconsin stream by scuba diver.
  • How: Private donations for lab analysis.

  • What: High resolution LiDAR scanning by supporter Air Data Solutions of 34,000 acres in Lee County, Iowa and also part of Illinois. The focus was to create high quality digital maps showing the terrain of the land, especially in the foothill areas where large earthworks are found. Discovery of 5-10 miles of ancient earthworks from LiDAR using QGIS and ArcGIS visualization software.
  • Who: Members of Heartland Research Inc plus AirData Solutions Inc.
  • Where: Lee County, Iowa and also part of Illinois, covering the much of Nauvoo.
  • How: Private donations for services, data processing, and analysis.

  • What: Commence process of restoring the world's oldest ship replica from 600BC, which has circumnavigated Africa and crossed the Atlantic ocean from the Middle East to America.
  • Who: Members of Heartland Research Inc plus volunteers.
  • Where: Lee County, Iowa between Montrose and Fort Madison.
  • How: Private donations for materials, space, and equipment plus donations in labor.

Mission Statement

The Heartland Research Group researches archaeological evidence of the ancient civilizations of America.
Heartland Research Group activities include:

  • Field Research
    Uses archeological techniques and scanning technologies to reveal the remains of ancient civilizations.
  • Ancient Artifacts
    Encourages and facilitate study of ancient North American artifacts, including tablets, tools, weapons, metal works, and other items.
  • Geography
    Research and develop maps, using scanning technologies and other means, to identify the locations and activities of ancient civilizations.
  • Linguistics
    Analyze and translate ancient writings found in North America, especially those relating to other civilizations world wide.
  • Preservation and Display
    Collect, restore, preserve, catalog and exhibit ancient artifacts and replicas, and make them readily available to researchers and viewable to the public.
  • Archaeology, Geology, and History
    Study and research into all aspects archaeology, geology, and history that shed light on ancient North American peoples and cultures.
  • Promotion and Support
    Raise awareness of our activities. Work directly with and support individuals and groups in activities that share our same goals.
The Heartland Research Group welcomes researchers and interested parties of all backgrounds to share their analysis and findings of ancient American heartland civilizations.

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