|History Mystery: Ancients in America|
Long before Columbus sailed to North America, this hemisphere may have been visited by other Europeans, ancient Romans, Chinese and Japanese – even the ancient Egyptians!
In fourteen hundred and ninety-two,
Columbus sailed the ocean blue…
Many of us learned that rhyme, part of a longer history poem, when being taught in school that Christopher Columbus discovered America. Although nothing can be taken away from Columbus’ daring voyage, he certainly was not the first to arrive on the shores of the Americas. For one thing, there were already people here – many Native American nations inhabited what later became North and South America and even the Caribbean islands where Columbus landed. Columbus probably wasn’t even the first “white man” to make it here. It’s fairly well documented that Icelander Leif Ericsson successfully sailed to North America in the year 1000 – almost 500 years prior to Columbus’s voyage.
In fact, there’s a growing amount of proof suggesting that a lot of the familiar history of human exploration and “discovery” by our ancestors as we were taught it may be quite wrong. There is hard evidence of ancient civilizations making their mark in places where, according to traditionally accepted history, they just shouldn’t be. Here’s an overview of some of the most remarkable and fascinating cases.
Greeks and Romans in the New World
- Roman coins have been found in Venezuela and Maine.
- Roman coins were found in Texas at the bottom of an Indian mound at Round Rock. The mound is dated at approximately 800 AD.
- In 1957 by a small boy found a coin in a field near Phenix City, Alabama, from Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, and dating from 490 B.C.
- In the town of Heavener, Oklahoma, another out-of-place coin was found in 1976. Experts identified it as a bronze tetradrachm originally struck in Antioch, Syria in 63 A.D. and bearing the profile of the emperor Nero.
- In 1882, a farmer in Cass County, Illinois picked up bronze coin later identified as a coin of Antiochus IV, one of the kings of Syria who reigned from 175 B.C. to 164 B.C., and who is mentioned in the Bible.
- Pottery: Roman pottery was unearthed in Mexico that, according to its style, has been dated to the second century A.D.
- In 1966, a man named Manfred Metcalf stumbled upon a stone in the state of Georgia that bears an inscription that is very similar to ancient writing from the island of Crete called “Cretan Linear A and B writing.”
- In the early 1900s, Bernardo da Silva Ramos, a Brazilian rubber-tapper working in the Amazon jungle, found many large rocks on which was inscribed more than 2,000 ancient scripts about the “Old World.”
- Near Rio de Janeiro, high on a vertical wall of rock – 3,000 feet up – is an inscription that reads: ‘Tyre, Phoenicia, Badezir, Firstborn of Jethbaal…” and dated to the middle of the ninth century B.C.
- Near Parahyba, Brazil, an inscription on Phoenician has been translated, in part, as: “We are sons of Canaan from Sidon, the city of the king. Commerce has cast us on this distant shore, a land of mountains. We set [sacrificed] a youth for the exalted gods and goddesses in the nineteenth year of Hiram, our mighty king. We embarked from Ezion-Geber into the Red Sea and voyaged with ten ships. We were at sea together for two years around the land belonging to Ham [Africa] but were separated by a storm [lit. ‘from the hand of Baal’], and we were no longer with our companions. So we have come here, twelve men and three women, on a… shore which I, the Admiral, control. But auspiciously may the gods and goddesses favor us!”
- The Kensington Stone, discovered in Kensington, Minnesota in 1898 contains an inscription describing an expedition of Norsemen into the interior of what is now North America. It’s estimated that this expedition took place in the 1300s.
- In 1980, P.M. Leonard and J.L. Glenn, from the Hogle Zoological Gardens, Salt Lake City, visited a rock outcropping in Colorado that was reputed to be inscribed with “peculiar markings.” Leonard and Glenn believe they are excellent examples of Consainne Ogam writing – a type ascribed to ancient Celts. One of the many inscriptions was translated as: “Route Guide: To the west is the frontier town with standing stones as boundary markers.”
- A fist-sized, round stone was found during the early 1890s in an cemetery near Nashville, Tennessee. Its front was inscribed with symbols thought to be Libyan, pre-100 A.D. style. It translates as: “The colonists pledge to redeem.”
- Pictures: An experienced botanist has identified plants in an ancient fresco painting as a pineapple and a specific species of squash – both native to the Americas. Yet the fresco is in the Roman city of Pompeii.
- Statues: In 1933, in a burial at Calixtlahuaca, Mexico, archaeologist José García Payón discovered a small carved head with “foreign” features in an undisturbed burial site. It was later identified by anthropologist Robert Heine-Geldern as “unquestionably” from the Hellenistic-Roman school of art and suggested a date of “around AD 200.”
- Structures: Many stone chambers dot the New England countryside and most archaeologists insist they are all potato cellars built long ago by farmers. Others argue that they are too sophisticated for such a mundane application. One, is built into a hillside at Upton, Massachusetts, has sophisticated corbelling that follows they style of Irish and Iberic chambers. It’s theorized that it was really built by Europeans around 700 AD – long before the Leif Eiriksson.
- Ships: In 1886, the remains of a shipwreck was found in Galveston Bay, Texas. Its construction is typically Roman.
- Toys: A doll made of wood and wax was found deep in a “Well of Sacrifice” at Chichén Itzá, Mexico, on which is written Roman script.
- Tombs: In the Mayan ruins of Palenque, a stone sarcophagus was found that is very much in the style of the ancient Phoenicians.
The Far-Traveling Egyptians
- Statues: In 1914, archaeologist M.A. Gonzales was excavating some Mayan ruins in the city of Acajutla, Mexico when he was surprised by the discovery of two statuettes that were clearly Egyptian. One male and one female, the carvings bore ancient Egyptian dress and cartouches. They are thought to depict Osiis and Isis.
- Inscriptions: Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs have been found in New South Wales, Australia. Located on a rock cliff in the National Park forest of the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney, the enigmatic carvings have been known since the early 1900s. There are more than 250 carvings of familiar Egyptian gods and symbols, including a life-sized engraving of the god Anubis. The hieroglyphs tell the story of explorers who were shipwrecked in a strange and hostile land, and the untimely death of their royal leader, “Lord Djes-eb.” From this information, scholars have been able to date the voyage to somewhere between 1779 and 2748 BC.
- Fossils: In 1982, archaeologists digging at Fayum, near the Siwa Oasis in Egypt uncovered fossils of kangaroos and other Australian marsupials.
- Language: There are striking similarities between the languages of ancient Egypt and those of the Native Americans that inhabited the areas around Louisiana about the time of Christ. B. Fell, of the Epigraphic Society, has stated that the language of the Atakapas, and to a lesser extent those of the Tunica and Chitimacha tribes, have affinities with Nile Valley languages involving just those words one would associate with Egyptian trading communities of 2,000 years ago.
- Artifacts: Near the Neapean River outside Penrith, New South Wales, a scarab beetle – a familair Egyptian symbol – carved from onyx was unearthed. Another was found in Queensland, Australia.
- Tombs: The April 5, 1909 edition of The Phoenix Gazette carried a front-page article about the discovery and excavation of an Egyptian tomb in the Grand Canyon by none other that the Smithsonian. The Smithsonian has since denied knowledge of any such discovery.
The Scattered Tribes of Israel
- In 1889, the Smithsonian’s Mound Survey project discovered a stone in a burial mound in eastern Tennessee on which is inscribed ancient Hebrew lettering. Known as The Bat Creek Stone, experts have identified its letters as being Paleo-Hebrew dating from the first or second century A.D. Some of the letters spell out: “for Judea.”
- An abridged version of the Ten Commandments was found carved into the flat face of a large boulder resting on the side of Hidden Mountain near Los Lunas, New Mexico. Known as The Los Lunas Inscription, its language is Hebrew, and the script is the Old Hebrew alphabet with a few Greek letters mixed in.
- In June, 1860, David Wyrick found an artifact on the general shape of a keystone near Newark, Ohio that is covered in four ancient Hebrew inscriptions translated as: “Holy of Holies,” “King of the Earth,” “The Law of God” and “The Word of God.”
- In November of that same year, Wyrick found an inscribed stone in a burial mound about 10 miles south of of Newark, Ohio. The stone is inscribed on all sides with a condensed version of the Ten Commandments or Decalogue, in a peculiar form of post-Exilic square Hebrew letters. A robed and bearded figure on the front is identified as Moses in letters fanning over his head.
Asians on the West Coast
- Indian traditions tell of many “houses” seen on Pacific waters. Could they have been ships from Asia?
- Chinese history tells a charming account of voyages to the land of “Fusang.”
- Old Spanish documents describe oriental ships off the Mexican coast in 1576.
- Coins: In the summer of 1882, a miner in British Columbia found 30 Chinese coins 25 feet below the surface. The examined coins of this style were invented by the Emperor Huungt around 2637 B.C.
- Japanese explorers and traders left steel blades in Alaska and their distinctive pottery in Ecuador.
- Underwater explorations off the California coast have yielded stone artifacts that seem to be anchors and line weights. The style and type of stone point to Chinese origins.
- Structures: California’s East Bay Walls, ancient low rock walls east of San Francisco Bay, have long been a mystery. No one knows who built them or why. In 1904, Dr. John Fryer, professor of Oriental languages at U.C. Berkeley, declared: “This is undoubtedly the work of Mongolians… the Chinese would naturally wall themselves in, as they do in all of their towns in China.”