The Art Gerber Story: A Lifetime of Collecting Along the Ohio River depicts the life of one of the premier Native American artifact collectors of the Ohio River Valley. The Art Gerber collection embodies prehistoric cultural materials left behind by the early artisans who populated this region of the United States for many thousands of years.
The trained eye of a highly-skilled photographer has captured the beauty and craftsmanship of the Indiana and Ohio Valley prehistoric peoples. However, this work is much more than spectacular photography of unique and rare prehistoric artifacts. The stories within recreate a more than thirty year race to salvage a significant part of the region's prehistory from the famous Spencer County, Indiana Crib Mound site before it could be swept away by seasonal Ohio River flood waters.
A professional photographer and ardent collector, Gerber recorded several decades of natural destruction of the Crib Mound while risking life and limb each year to recover artifacts before the swollen river could claim them.
This book documents recovery of a spectacular trove of 10,000 flint bifaces or preforms of native Indiana hornstone (above), as well as, hundreds of finely crafted and rare atlatl weights or bannerstones, and thousands of other unique prehistoric treasures fashioned from stone, bone, shell and copper. The Crib Mound site was extraordinarily rich in cultural material as a result of more than 6,000 years of continual occupation. Its significance was overlooked by professional archaeologists, and the tangible evidence that it ever existed resides in the collections of the persistent treasure hunters who scoured the eroding Ohio River bank that was the Crib Mound.
A Chapter of this composition touches briefly on the destruction of the fifth largest Hopewell culture ceremonial mound in Posey County, Indiana. The author's involvement in salvage efforts by amateurs at this important archaeological site resulted in a national controversy that culminated in his arrest, prosecution, conviction and a federal prison sentence.
Readers will find Art Gerber an extremely interesting adventurer with an undeniable passion for prehistoric art that is exceeded only by his skill behind the lens.See More