The Acambaro figures

Did Dinosaurs and aliens frolic with pre-Columbian humans?

Adam Hennessy
5 min readJan 11, 2022

Watch any Ancient Aliens show, cryptozoology doco or delve into young-Earth creationist theory you will undoubtedly find mention of the Acambaro figurines.

So, what are they?

The figurines are a collection of around 33000 small ceramic figures. They have been quite aptly described as

“…a motley crew of prehistoric creatures, idols, utensils, humanoid figures with Egyptian, African, or Indian features, alien lookalikes, complex architectural compositions, dragons, and monsters.”[1]

How old are they?

They were discovered in 1944 by Waldemar Julsrud in the city of Acambaro, hence the name. Julsrud claims and had purportedly tested several figures and the sediment they were found in, that the figurines date to 6500 BCE. Other promoters of the figurines such as Don Patton (a renown creationist) date the dinosaur style figures to 1500 and the human-like figures to 4000 BCE. Either date range, or anywhere in between is historically ‘troubling’.

Historic relevance

If the figurines are dated to between 1500–6500BCE then the timeline of human history, specifically dinosaur/homo-sapiens interaction needs to be looked at. This is the reason the figures are so admired and promoted by creationist historians. A closer look at some of the figures shows what we, with a modern, paleontological, eye would classify as dinosaurs. Now the population of the time were not widely known for their knowledge of the distant past, so the conclusion is that homo-sapiens and dinosaur co-existed.

History tells us that the dinosaurs lived and died more than 6500 years ago. The Mesozoic Era, which lasted from about 250 million to 66 million years ago, is often called the Age of Dinosaurs.[2] Thus, we can say that we have an approximately 6,593,500 year discrepancy here.

Not without its problems! But we will return to this in a moment.

Other relevance

Ancient Alien/Astronaut theorist like David Childress endorse the find, even reporting in a paper titled “Archeological cover-ups” that radio-carbon dating in conducted by the University of Pennsylvania and additional tests using thermoluminescence indicated the objects were made 6500 years ago.[3]

The reason why they push so hard for this find to be real, to be as old as reported is due to the odd nature of some of the figurines. Not all were dinosaur-like figures, or ancient human figurines. There is also a significant collection of, what can only be described as, UFO’s.

Of course, we can make the usual arguments that if from 1500–6500 BCE they could actually be ceremonial objects, used for incense, liquid and offerings. Realistically, this is the likely answer, if from said time.

Check out my article on The Schist Disc for more

Are they really ancient?

Well, the answer is probably not — but maybe.

I know this is very equivocal and not satisfying.

Early in their lives the figurines were subjected to Thermoluminescence dating. This is the determination by means of measuring the accumulated radiation dose, of the time elapsed since material containing crystalline minerals was heated (lava, ceramics).[4] This occurred between 1969–1972 by Mexico City’s Museo Nacional Applied Science Center for Archaeology (MASCA) and found the date to be 2500 BCE.[5] This outraged historians and much to their relief not long after an article was published in American Antiquity which outlined new testing of the figures, detailing the errors made by the university and placing the date around the late 1930’s-40’s.[6]

It appears that the figurines are a hoax. But then why does some carbon dating result in earlier dates, why do some archaeologists maintain the story? We know why creationist and ancient alien theorist do, but why historians and archaeologists?

My Theory

I think that Waldemar Julsrud did discover some legitimate artifacts from somewhere between 1500–6500 BCE (likely closer to 1500–2500 BCE given the history of the region) on or before the 1944 date given. The story goes he stumbled across a figure while riding and then undertook and excavation. He is described as a merchant or shop keeper and we do not know a great deal about his life. But being mercantile in nature I think he saw an opportunity here and jumped on it.

As we can see below many of the figurines are not Fortean in nature, are not UFO’s, dinosaurs or anything else historically problematic.

They are human/humanoid in nature and quite of the time (the alleged creation time).

Less than 7km away at a place called Chupícuaro another set of figurines was unearthed at the beginning of the 1930’s by archaeologists. Colloquially known as the, ‘pretty ladies’ (even though male figures were readily present) otherwise called the Chupícuaro figurines they are a series of figures depicting stylised human forms.

Dating places these figurines from 200–1500BCE and there is no dispute about their provenance or timeline.

The reason I mention this is as follows here are some images of the Chupícuaro figurines. They are ceramic and depict human figures that are not, ‘normal’ in nature. I have not selected certain figures that meet my narrative, they all are depicted very similar to those shown.

Compare this to a blown up Acambaro figurine and the similarities are remarkable.

The eyes are similar, the head shape and even the size.

Now it is possible images and stories of these were circulating and Waldemar Julsrud saw them, replicated them, planted them and discovered them all 33,000 plus of them. Or I propose it is more likely he found a large cache of pre-Columbian figurines, knew the Chupícuaro figurines were not a cash cow and decided to create and add the more outrageous figurines from the collection. Unfortunately condemning the whole collection to the trash bin of history for some.

Keep hunting for the truth!







[6] Carriveau, G. W.; Han, M. C. (1976). “Thermoluminescent Dating and the Monsters of Acambaro”. American Antiquity. 41(4):497–500.