rating: +84+x

Item #: SCP-5970

Object Class: Safe

Special Containment Procedures: Containment Unit Alhaya-01 has been constructed to encompass SCP-5970. Its structure is resistant to wind erosion and long-term buildups of particulate matter, with the sole entrance being a single doubly-locked mechanical hatch that requires simultaneous operation by two persons to open. A radio beacon is wired to the locks, set to broadcast on Foundation communication bands if an entrance is detected. No additional equipment is installed within the unit.

SCP-5970 is subject to natural concealment protocols. Owing to the conditions of the surrounding landscape, the structure will experience a constant accumulation of sand over the following decades, building to a point where, by 2022, the entire containment unit is expected to be completely buried under a sediment layer. While desert conditions serve as the current deterrent for civilian discovery, the burial will impede any forms of visual observation, reducing the chance of discovery to effectively zero.

As of June 2006, all encampments constituting the Alhaya Preliminary Research Outpost have been dismantled.

Description: SCP-5970 is a black basalt obelisk (base width of 24m with a height of 40m), located 100km west of Chirfa, Nigeria. The structure was found partially submerged in a sand bank, lying at a 29° angle after having toppled over. Inside is a hollow chamber, measuring 11m x 11m x 30m, with grids of 0.3m x 0.3m x 1.1m square recesses lining the walls. Based on the presence of scuff marks along the outer edges and interior surfaces, these are presumed to have served as storage alcoves.

The obelisk and outlying areas (up to an approximate radius of 23m from the structure) are subject to an anomalous preservation effect where organic matter decays at a reduced rate. While this is most noticeable with materials derived from dead organic matter, such as plant and animal life, it extends to living tissue, decreasing the rate at which metabolism is necessary to retain vital function, along with the rates of cell death and growth. This occurs strongest in the chamber. Given complete isolation from the outside environment, it is expected that material could be preserved indefinitely. This effect is physically felt by persons within it, described by them as a tingling, cold air. No thermal abnormalities have been detected.

The exterior surfaces of SCP-5970 are engraved in rows of text at centimeter scales. These form a repeating message, rendered in a different language and writing system with each iteration. To date, only 17% of the languages have been identified, these including Bronze Age scripts, modern languages and their dialects, protolanguages, all known historical forms of English, and writing systems which were previously indecipherable. Based on the presence of unknown dialects derived from modern systems, it has been hypothesized that the anomaly includes languages yet to develop, though the Foundation's inability to predict linguistic trends prevents any investigation into the matter.

The message reads as follows:



Cultural symbols of knowledge, life, and aid are engraved at the top of the obelisk.

Sections of the structure are heavily damaged from events prior to its submersion. Most notably, the entire eastern wall is collapsed, having been breached from the outside at an unknown point in the past. The cause of this is unclear, though the presence of wooden shrapnel in the vicinity, the distribution of debris around the anomaly, and the patterns of faults in its stone suggest the use of an explosive device, rudimentary in nature. Radiocarbon dating was performed on the shrapnel to determine an age for the event, though too little 14C could be detected, failing to provide functional results. Excavations were attempted to uncover any correlated materials, but, after four months of work, none were found.

Only one artifact was present within SCP-5970. Placed in an alcove on the southern wall, the object is a parchment scroll bound in three-ply cord and wrapped around a wooden rotulus, constructed from the same wood as the shrapnel. While ink markings can be discerned on the parchment, environmental factors likely experienced before the obelisk's submersion caused the material to heavily corrode, reaching a point where restoration is now impossible. The markings are illegible.

At the time of discovery, the obelisk was flooded with sand, having filled as it sunk into the desert. Following an extensive clearing process, the anomaly, with exception of the aforementioned artifact, was found to be entirely empty. No signs of its original contents exist, and no remnants could be located. Given the far past date of the breach, these are presumably lost.

No further data on SCP-5970 exists. Until new information emerges, the Foundation Board of Containment Oversight has designated the anomaly a Priority 0 ("Least Concern") focus.

The current procedures are to remain in effect indefinitely.

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