The most frequent criticism of the mounds
study is how the mounds were initially selected. It has been argued that
perhaps the number of objects that could be classified as mounds is so
great that virtually any desired ordering could be found by arbitrarily
including certain mounds and excluding others (Flemming 1998). Mound S
is really four mounds, those of the City Square. Crater has come under
fire for using the geometric center of these four as the location of “one”
Crater and McDaniel argue that these criticisms
are unfounded for two reasons:
Crater specified the following criteria for
The population of mounds would have to be
substantially increased in number before the observed ordering could be
reduced to a reasonable level of chance.
The selection criteria used to determine the
test population was sufficiently stringent. The selection was not arbitrary.
With a cursive glance at a blow-up of the
City, it can be seen that there aren’t really that many mounds and the
selected ones look similar and are generally unique to Cydonia. Crater’s
definition of a mound was based primarily on the appearance of mounds A,
E, and D because they were the first to be noticed as marking the apexes
of an isosceles triangle. These are the archetypes of all the other objects
designated as mounds in Crater’s extended set and thus served as the model
from which all the others were selected (Flemming1998). It is astonishing
that the geometry found among the mounds are based on vertex locations
that are very accurately represented by the top-dead-center points on the
mounds, not just anywhere within the area covered by that mound.
Size – area in pixels between 49 and 132.
Albedo – brightness significantly greater
than the background.
Shape – faceted or dome-like, most having
shadows tapering to a point.
Isolation – a clear separation between the
object and other land forms.
Archeologists use many statistical methods
to calculate the probability that any given set of data scattered across
the landscape is random. A popular test used in Europe is called the Kolgomorov-Smirnov
test for randomness. When applied to the mounds, this test supports artificiality.
“…we are almost at the 1% confidence level (we are 99% sure) in finding
that the mound data is not normally distributed, as well as uniformly distributed…from
the viewpoint of a practicing archeologist, these calculations indicate
that we should take a closer look.” (McDaniel/Strange 1998).