The Epigraphic Society
Society Occasional Papers
of Contents Volume 19 1990
Memoriam: Warren L. Cook (1 p) Warren W.
Dexter & Gloria Farley 19-p 9
Warren Cook (photo shown), D. Litt, Ph.D, Prof. of History & Anthropology, a Fellow of the Epigraphic Society and strong advocate for diffusion, became ill on 5 Dec. 1989 while flying from New York to the home of his brother Charles in California. The plane landed in Omaha, Nebraska, to hospitalize him. He died there on 7 Dec. 1989. His influence will long continue.
In Memoriam: Burrell Dawson (1 p) René Fell 19-p 10
Charles (Burrell) Dawson (photo shown), a valued member and Fellow of the
Epigraphic Society, passed away in his home in California on 31 July 1990. He
wrote a Gadelic- English dictionary which was published by ESOP in Volume
16 and following volumes. He will be sadly missed.
Editorial: Ave Atque Vale (1 p) Barry Fell 19-p 11
Fell announces his resignation from the editorship of ESOP and the appointment
of his successors, Bill Rudersdorf and Michael Skupin. His final words as
editor: "Lumen accipe et imperti" = Take the Light and pass it on.
Our Muse (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf
the motto of the Society: Ex Epigraphia historia = From Epigraphy, history.
Thus, the muse of the Society is history (known to the Greeks as Clio).
Nostalgia for Condemned Buildings (2 pp) Michael
Society's biggest challenge in the 90s will be "depigraphy" --that is,
dealing with frauds and misinterpretations (citing as an example the
"power-drill ogam" of Kentucky).
And All That (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf
the Society will have a significant part to play in the quinicentennial of the
15th century discovery of the Americas by Iberians (i.e., the anniversary of
Columbus' voyage in 1492).
Editorial: Our New
Look (1 p) The Editors of ESOP: Bill Rudersdorf & Michael Skupin
out that they have slightly changed the look and organization of ESOP with the
idea of making it easier to read. Also, instead of the title being
"Epigraphic Society Occasional Publications," it is now
"Epigraphic Society Occasional Papers." Content and policies will
remain the same. Just aiming for a more polished look.
Burrell and Margaret Dawson Building Fund (1 p) The
endowed fund has begun as a result of an initial bequest of $10,000 from
Margaret Dawson in keeping with the wishes of her late husband, Burrell. It is
to be a building fund, dedicated to projects for housing and maintaining books,
records and artifacts of the Epigraphic Society.
Congratulations (1 p)
A. Welch congratulates ESOP on E. Morgan Kelley's article which appeared
in Volume 18 (Kelley had two items in 18, but the author did not mention which
one he was commenting upon). Bruce, Prince de Conde of Morocco, thanks Barry for
material he sent and wishes the ESOP well. Ernest Mayr, an old friend, tells
Fell “I can believe it must be a great satisfaction to you that your work of
so many years is finally being recognized.” R. T. Huntingdon congratulates
Fell on the fact that he is beginning to receive the professional recognition he
deserves. Cites article by E. Morgan Kelley (without specifying which of the two
in volume 18 he meant: probably both). He also enjoyed Mike Skupin's
"incisive review" of Kelley's article.
Forum: Comalcalco Bricks (1 p) Sherri
writer is a director of the Foundation for Research on Ancient America which
funded the photography of 4,600 inscribed bricks from Comalcalco by Fred Weddle
and the late Steve Bryant, under the direction of Neil Steede, President of the Sociedad Epigrafica de Mexico. The writer thanks Fell
for publications sent and is gratified that the photographs are being used for
Forum: Irish (1 p) Sanford
writer, a Professor of Classical Languages at Tulane University, sends a item he
wrote in Gaelic which was recently published in Gaeltacht,
the only Irish language periodical outside of Ireland (published at Tulane). It
mentions Barry Fell's recent hospitalization in a San Diego hospital for cardiac
trouble (but now at home and recovering). “May all go well with you, Barry,
and may God prosper your work.”
Forum: Easter Island (1 p) Gordon
Hislop & Marshall Payn
a Chief of the Maoris, congratulates Fell on the "news from Easter Island
... What a wonderful success..." Payn passes on a phone conversation he had
with Petero Edmunds of Easter Island. Edmunds had met with the local Council of
Elders and explained to them Barry's premises for the translation of the
Rongorongo tablets. The Council members readily equated Barry's premises with
Easter Island tradition concerning "reverse talking" --i.e., person A
speaking to person B so that person C cannot understand the conversation.
Reverse talking called for the using of words which, when spoken, sounded very
close to the words they actually meant, but taken literally were gibberish. Payn
says that Petero was quite optimistic about "the accuracy of your
Forum: Secret Languages of Polynesia (1 p) Likeke McBride 19-p 15
that Fell's Easter Island hypothesis was upheld by none other than the late Mary
Kawena Pukui (a co-author of the Hawaiian Dictionary). Over 20 years ago
she told the author that "obscure talking" was an integral part of the
game Loku. The author cites other cases of "secret languages" known to
have been employed by Polynesians. [Buchanan note, July 2000: The Easter
Islanders even have a special word pon-ko = "noun: a jargon by which
the logical order of the syllables in a word is changed so as to talk without
letting the rest learn of the subject discussed; as a transitive verb: to talk
jargon." A US example would be "Pig Latin."]
Mississippian Dictionaries (1 p) Joseph P.
Mahan 19-p 15
is pleased that Fell plans to publish papers on the Mississippian dictionaries
and the MicMac hieroglyphs.
Dictionaries (2 pp) Elizabeth H. Stewart & The Editors 19-p 15
that dictionaries be published separately. Cites a friend who does not purchase ESOP
because of the number of pages devoted to dictionaries --also suggests that such
dictionaries would be easier to use if they were separate. Editors reply that
the number of pages devoted to dictionary material amounts to about 7% and the
cost of separate volumes would be prohibitive.
Forum: The Opposite Continent (1 p) G. G. Michaelyuk 19-p 16
a Russian, learned of Fell through his colleague, Dr. V. Gulyeyev. The author
has been a science historian for about 20 years. He has been dealing with
ancient geography and came to the conclusion that Homer was the first European
to describe the known world in its entirety, including both the Eastern and
Western hemispheres. He believes that references to Hades and the Underworld are
actually references to the Western Hemisphere. It was only later, he says, that
the term came to denote a "sepulchral world." He identifies rivers and
other place names with locales in the Americas.
Forum: A Missionary Story (2 pp) Don Eckler 19-p 16
Oct 89, while attending church in Oneonta, NY, Eckler was listening to Dr. Byron
and Mary Sheesly, two prospective missionaries to New Guinea, complain that
their studies of the language were being held back by lack of materials. Eckler
raised his hand and announced that he had a "Dictionary of New Guinea
Pidgin English" (ESOP, Vol. 12,
Part 3) in his car. He gave it to the thoroughly amazed, but profoundly greatful
couple. Fell and the Society (besides replacing Don's copy) also gave the
Sheesly's and the Wycliff Translators additional copies which were also greatly
Forum: Natural Formation? (1 p) Michael Cohen 19-p 17
Fell's view that the "Old Man of the Mountain" is a natural formation.
Forum: Language and Modern History (1 p) David Radloff 19-p 17
praises English for its rich vocabulary which allows its users to conceptualize
and express an unlimited range of subleties and meanings. He suggests that the
limitations "built in" to some languages have had an influence on the
course of human events: author has heard that Russian has no word for
"compromise" --does this affect the way they negotiate? etc. A
recipient of volume 18, he praises it.
Forum: An Icelandic Child (1 p) Edward T. Krumeich 19-p 17
author cites an Apr 1990 New Yorker article by John McPhee which states:
“...an Icelandic child, Snorri Thorfinsson, was born on an island in the
Delaware River, quite near the site of Philadelphia, in June AD 1002.” Barry
Fell replies that the statement is based on the Eirikssaga wherein
Thorfinn Karlsefni's wife, already pregnant when the Vikings were attacked by
Indians somewhere south of their landing-spot in Vinland in the Autumn of a year
said by some to be 1002, subsequently gave birth to a boy who was named Snorri.
All the saga says is that they were camped at hop (Barry calls it “Hope
Lake”). Where the reference to the Delaware River came from is unknown.
Forum: Farley’s Letter to ROA (1 p) Gloria Farley 19-p 18
behalf of the Society, Farley expresses appreciation for the article published
by the Review of Archaeology (vol. 11,
No. 1, Spring 1990) by Dr. David H. Kelley: "Proto-Tifinag and Proto-Ogham
in the Americas." She takes issue with Kelley, however, on his claim that
Dr. Fell had distorted an Ogham inscription (the alleged Poem to Mabo). She
pointed out that Fell had nothing to do with the copying of the inscription--she
had made the tracings herself and was most careful. She points out that photos
can and do produce mistaken readings and latex molds (which would settle the
question) are frowned upon. Kelley himself rendered the transcription
incorrectly. She hopes that Kelley can review the actual transliteration and
photographic data and the grouping of strokes in the inscrip- tions to see if a
reading closer to that of Dr. Fell can be justified.
Forum: Unusual Stones in Connecticut (2 pp) Lawrence Banks 19-p 18
of "stone circles and other stones" on an elevation near his home a
high point north of Long Island Sound at about 820 feet altitude some 14 miles
from the shore at Westport, Connecticut). He took John Williams (a founder of
the Society) to see the site in 1988. Among the stones there is an egg-shaped
boulder with a hole in its top which could have held a pole with a signal flag.
On the western face of that boulder was inscribed three vertical lines over a
horizontal line, resembling an Ogham "T."
Forum: Deal Replies to Lynch (2 pp) David A. Deal 19-p 19
replies to Richard Lynch's article "The Astronomy of Hidden Mountain"
(ESOP, Vol. 18, 1989, p. 101). He
suggests that Lynch has made several errors in his criticism of Deal's
interpretation of the Hidden Mountain petroglyph representing a datable solar
eclipse. He points out that the suggestion that it might be a zodiac was Phil
Leonard's, not his (Deal does not think it is a zodiac). He displays a graphic
of the inscription overlaid by a computer-generated graphic of relevant con-
stellations prepared by astronomer Charles Kleupfel.
Forum: Peterborough and Bohuslan – A German Scholar’s View (2 pp) Henning Fikentscher 19-p 20
author suggests that the population in ancient times was heavily youthful (due
to a heavy early death rate) and this affected the kind of mythology that grew
up. The mentally adult population was quite small for most of history and
Forum: Ogam, Tifinag, Futhark (1 p) G. R. Murray 19-p 21
author, editor of the Midwestern Epigraphic Journal, suggests that an
inscription seen on p. 15 of Barry Fell's Bronze
Age America (Ogam and Tifinag) contains a hidden meaning in that the Ogam
and Tifinag groups resemble runes from the Norse futhark.
Stay Tuned (1 p) Stuart M. Gross 19-p 21
author is in contact with Ted Timerick to make a film relating Barry Fell's
discoveries. He is also interested in Ethel Stewart's work on the Maiming tribes
in Alaska and Canada.
Review: Out of Egypt (4 pp) Michael Skupin 19-p 22
and Proto-Ogam in the Americas” by David H. Kelley appeared in the Review
of Archaeology, Spring 1990. Skupin commented: "An intelligent critique
of Fell's work is such a novelty that one is tempted to simply report it as a
wonder..." The general tenor of Kelley's paper (which dealt in detail with
Fell's work on the Peterborough inscriptions) is that Fell was right in general,
but wrong in certain particulars. Kelley goes on to say: “The presence of a
proto-Tifinagh alphabet at Peterborough seems to me certain.”
and “The iconography of the Peterborough site is thoroughly Bronze Age
Scandinavian, particularly resembling materials from Bohuslan.” Dr. Kelley
gives confirmation of the broad outlines of Fell's work in an important
Review: A New Landmark (2 pp) Michael
reviewed book is Pre-Columbian Contacts with the Americas Across the Oceans by John
L. Sorenson and Martin H. Raish, Research Press, 1989. If ESOP had a Book of the Year, this would be Skupin's choice. The 5613
entries cover the entire range of conventional, unorthodox, and popular
materials --evidences for and against transoceanic contacts, claims and
critiques, theory and method. It draws from the literature of many scientific
disciplines and descriptive abstracts of up to 1200 words are provided for most
Review: A New Benchmark (1 p) Michael
The reviewed article is “The Newark Holy Stones: the History of an Archaeological Tragedy” by Robert W. Alrutz, Journal of the Scientific Laboratories, Denison University, 1980. Skupin says: “This superb study is a must for everybody...Dr. Alrutz' work is consistently excellent...his writing is so clear, so polished that "The Newark Holy Stones" could serve as a model for similar efforts.”
Review: Yearning for Ivory Towers
(3 pp) Bill Rudersdorf
review is of an unpublished typescript, a work-in-progress, by James Guthrie,
Rollin Gillespie, Philip Leonard and William McGlone (add to that James Whittall
of the Early Sites Research Society, who wrote the cover letter forwarding the
33-page document). The typescript is divided into 3 papers: Introduction: The
Two Sides of the Epigraphic Controversy; The Confrontation of Science by
Epigraphy: Basic Issues, Methodology and Impasse; and The Demand for Artifacts:
Evidentiary Issues in the Case for American Epigraphy. Skupin takes the authors
to task for “...page upon page of graffiti, starting with the authors quoting
themselves, followed by a swarm of inflammatory quotations, often without
Review: A “Family Portrait” (1
p) Michael Skupin
reviewed volume is Exploring Rock Art by Donald L. Cyr, Stonehenge Viewpoint, 1989.
Skupin calls it “...a very instructive introduction to the state of the 'rock
art' question. Pictographic interpretation is included, but the emphasis is on
the zestier question of Ogam.” Cyr included a variety of viewpoints both pro-
and anti-Fell (leading the latter was Brendan O Hehir). He also included Fell's
reply to O Hehir (to be seen in Vol. 18 of ESOP).
Tabloid Epigraphy (3 pp) Michael Skupin
volume reviewed is Dragon Treasures by Donald L. Cyr, Stonehenge
Viewpoint, 1989. Skupin calls it "...a slapdash production...(It) cheapens
the subject, and does the reader a disservice by its inadequacies. He decries
Cyclone Covey's use of three different romanization systems to express Chinese
ideograms. Skupin does find two articles in the volume as useful. One on the
“iceblink” phenomenon (atmospheric conditions can reflect distant geographic
features) and the other on Chinese geomancy. Skupin says “...by including Don
Clifford's The Mongolian Connection,
which belabors a posthumous Mertz book, The
Mystic Symbol...” Cyr has done a further disservice. Henriette Mertz
should be remembered for her classic Pale Ink, not for the embarrassing
entanglement with the fraudulent “Detroit artifacts.”
Review: The Musical Parameter (1
p) Michael Skupin
article “Geography and Human Song” by Graham Pont appeared in New
Scientist, January 1990. It is a sequel to one by Denys Parsons in New Scientist for March 1977. The breadth of the subject becomes
evident when we consider that a lifetime is not enough to master even one of its
subdivisions. While uncertain as to how this research will be relevant to
epigraphy, Skupin commends the researchers for undertaking a formidable task.
Review: Stone Spirits (1 p) Barry
volume Spirits on Stone – the Agawa Pictographs is by Thor and Julie
Conway, Heritage Discoveries Publications #1. This 87 page soft-cover book deals
with the 117 Indian petroglyphs to be seen on rocks at Agawa Bay, Lake Superior.
The authors pay especially detailed attention to the surviving traditions of
Ojibway shamans (one of whom was their guide and instructor). Throughout the
text there is reverence for Indian lore and respect for the present-day Indian
descendants of the shamans who created the site.
Review: More Rock Art (2 pp) Michael
Colorado Archaeological Society Memoir #3, 1989, Rock
Art of the Western Canyons was edited by Jane S. Day, Paul D. Friedman, and
Marcia J. Tate. It is a collection of papers delivered in 1987 at a rock art
symposium. In the main they cover the same ground as Donald Cyr's Exploring
Rock Art, but more blandly. Skupin feels that the authors of the various
articles failed to rise to the urgency and excitement of their subject. Of
interest is that about a third of the space in the Memoir is given over to a
discussion of Southeastern Colorado petroglyphs.
Review: Soap Opera Digest (2 pp) Michael
review of Myth Makers: Epigraphic Illusion in America by James P.
Whittall II, Early Sites Research Society, 1990. It stirs up the embers of the
Burrows Cave hoax which “...has been debunked for some time now, except in the
minds of perhaps a half-dozen unconvinceables...” with a focus on the
sleaziness that has surrounded the affair. Skupin remarks that the publication
is “...voluble about the soap opera aspects of this controversy, yet strangely
tongue-tied on the decisive matter of the childish doodles on these
artifacts.” Apart from Burrows Cave, it “dawdles over other subjects
resolved years ago in ESOP...” He asks: “Are the organizers of Myth
Makers the new epigraphy cops, or are they merely vigilantes...?”
Review: Better than the Movie (1
p) Michael Skupin
reviewed book is Testament: The Bible and History by John Romer, Henry Holt, 1988. It
is a “fresh, stimulating and well-written overview of a subject of interest to
many of our readers. ...It deserves to be read.”
Review: Landscape/Mindscape (2 pp)
reviewed book is Manitou – the Sacred Landscape of New England’s Native
Civilization by James W. Mavor Jr. and Byron E. Dix, Inner Traditions
International, 1989. The book deals with archaeoastronomy and is “a handsome,
well-written book, that sets new standards in the examination of the megaliths
of New England.” Skupin, who is part Indian, did feel, however, that the book
was “permeated with the misty sentimentality that our day attaches to the
Review: Objects of Wonder (1 p) Bill
volume reviewed is Symbols of Power at the
Time of Stonehenge by D. V. Clarke, T. G. Cowie and Andrew Foxon, National
Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1985. Skupin
calls it “...a splendid presentation of artifacts which will help breathe life
into this bygone epoch...” (the Neolithic).
Review: Required Reading (2 pp) Bill
reviewed softcover volume is Motel of the
Mysteries by David Macaulay, Houghton Mifflin, 1979. It takes us on an
“adventure into the 39th century, when antiquarians of that date are beginning
to re-discover the 20th century and its marvels.” The conclusions drawn by the
archaeologists are often hilarious, for instance, stripes on traces of
super-highways seen from the air are thought to be planned as “landing strips
for extra-terrestrial craft or as coded messages...to their many powerful
gods.” The remains of a busy street lined with ads and signs is called
“Monument Row.” It epitomizes “...the folly of interpretation without
cultural context...” and “...of relying upon our preconceptions of the past
by way of circular argument...”
Review: Measuring Up (1 p) Marshall
reviewed volume Ancient Metrology by Donald L. Lenzen, 1989, is available
from the author. “Metrology is the science of measurement. ...Today
metrological standards are defined by atomic clocks and wavelengths of light.
The ancients used what was handy: so many grains of barley equals a shekel
(Hebrew); a cubic foot equals the volume of an amphora, the liquid weight of
which equals a talent (Roman); six handsbreadths equals a cubit (Assyrian).”
Lenzen shows how the measures of various cultures mesh together. The book is
well-illustrated and is “both a good introduction to this interesting field as
well as making a number of original contributions.”
Review: Short Measure (1 p) Bill
reviewed paperback volume is Full Measure
edited by Donald L. Cyr, Stonehenge Viewpoint, 1990. It deals with metrology,
the science of measurement. Rudersdorf decries the fundamental lack of accuracy
of authors who claim astonishingly close measurements for ancient artifacts
(such as the Pyramids). “Measured from where?” he asks. He concludes:
“Despite...shortcomings, much material is treated well in this useful volume,
and many good questions are raised, as well as possibly answered.”
Etymology of thc Lower
Mississippian Languages - Part I (13 pp) Barry
his return from Africa in 1978, Fell noticed that Algonquin words for certain
activities show a remarkable correspondence to the words for the same activities
in the languages of Egypt, notably Ptolemaic Greek, Coptic and Arabic. By 1981
his attention was drawn to an even more extraordinary correspondence between the
vocabulary of the Indians of the Lower Mississippi and that of the peoples of
the Nile Valley, specifically the speech of the Atakapa, Tunica and Chitimacha
tribes. The article is illustrated with maps of the areas involved and the
delineation of phonetic transforms that link them.
The Discovery of the Venus of Milo
(4 pp) J. Fergusson Roxburgh
is a little known account of the discovery and removal to France of the famous
statue by Jules Sebastian Cesar Dumont D'Urville (1790-1842) in 1820. It was
given to a meeting of the Hellenic Travelers' Club on 15 April 1930. It is here
reprinted from the Club's Proceedings.
Early Casualty (1 p) The Editors
Akhbar Bushiri of Bahrain has reported that, following the August 1990 invasion
of Kuwait by Iraq, the museum in Kuwait City was ransacked and, among other
things reported missing, are antiquities including the Dilmun seals which
Bushiri had been studying. Similarly, artifacts excavated from Troy were found
to be among the many items missing from the Berlin Museum in 1945. Once again
the past, as well as the present, is a casualty of war.
Albino Mice of Apollo Smintheus: a Touch of Troy Clyde
story of how the author traced a simple gene, that of albinism, back 4,000 years
in history to the time and place of the Trojan War.
Tender and Private (1 p) Michael Skupin
discusses language oddities and points out that ambiguities and
misunderstandings are common in language work. A radically different reading is
often generated by extra jots and tittles ...or simply by not possessing all the
necessary information. If a dollar bill is folded just so, you obtain the title
of this item: This note is leGAL TENDER for all debts, public AND PRIVATE.
is a Dolmen a Dolmen? – Tôlven, Dolmen, Dysse, and Dös (3 pp) Edward P. Roemer
term 'dolmen' as used by archaeologists in the past century, has had different
meanings at different times and places. The Breton word is used in France to
designate what British call a 'cromlech.' 'Dolmen' may be a corruption of
Cornish 'Tôlven' which denoted a
boulder left naturally perched on humps of rocks. In Sweden, 'Dös'
is the term used for 'dolmen.' The Tripod boulder is found across Northern
Europe and Northern North America. When a structure is made up of dressed stones
supporting a capstone and a mandatory body interred, it is NOT a dolmen.
Setting the Record Straight –
The “Epigraphic Controversy” (3 pp) George
reply to the article by Bill McGlone and Philip Leonard in Vol. 15 of ESOP
(1986). He accuses them of leaning over backwards “to nearly apologize for the
lack of communication” with the critics of Epigraphy and Diffiusion. Carter
cannot agree that the fault is on both sides. The epigraphers and diffusionists
are willing to talk, but the opposition is not and batter away with ad
hominum attacks and guilt by association remarks. They are the ones
A Revised Date for the Pontotoc
Stele (3 pp) Barry Fell
originally suggested a date of 800 BC for the stele. He now feels that it
belongs to about the first century BC, although its religious content appears to
be more appropriate for a much earlier era.
Monumental Errors (1 p) Bill
author quite rightly points out that the way the ancients actually wrote an
inscription is not the way we often see them depicted in carefully typeset
books. All too often ancient manuscripts and inscriptions were done in a variety
of cursive and degenerate forms every bit as bad as some modern handwriting and
with as many subtle and not so subtle variations.
Rock Art for the
Birds—Interpreting in Cultural Context (2 pp) George
points out that bird harvesting and capturing activity seen in Spain may also
have been used in Egypt and portrayed in Nefer-seshem-Ptah's tomb. He notes that
understanding scenes in rock art and inscriptions may require cultural
Hebrew (1 p) Michael Skupin
deciphers a modern inscription carved by a climber high up on a Canadian cliff.
Written in modern Hebrew script (with vowel points), a person named Preston
immortalized his ascent. This “Hebrew” inscription had stumped Barry Fell,
who rightly pointed out that the inscription, as it appeared, made no sense in
Hebrew. One is sometimes fooled by a familiar word (in this case, the name
Preston) in an unfamiliar script.
Archaeoastronomy on the Rocks? --A
Mere Mirage (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf
author examines recent findings concerning positional variations in observations
of the sun on the horizon (Refraction on
the Horizon by Bradley Schaefer and William Liller, July 1990) and its
effects on the findings of Alexander Thom. He takes issue with astronomer Gerald
Hawkins' remark (cited by Peter Weiss in “Reflections on Refraction,” Science
News, 12 Oct 1990): “The whole structure that [Thom] made has
collapsed.” Rudersdorf points out that Hawkins was known to “oscillate
between attacking and defending an astronomical interpretation of Stonehenge in
successive books.” He concludes: “We now have a good idea of the accuracy of
the position of the sun near the horizon as well as of the limits of the
accuracy of an astronomer in evaluating the life's work of a fellow
The Lost Princess - a
Misidentified Stele (3 pp) Gloria Farley
author describes the history of a boulder popularly known (erroneously) as the
“Indian Princess.” The boulder is carved with what appears to be a figure of
a round-headed human figure (some felt it to be a woman). The author saw the
stone at the Columbus (Georgia) Museum and Dr. Joseph Mahan said it had been
brought to the Georgia Dept. of Archives and History in Atlanta by someone from
Carrolton. Records indicated it was found near a stone structure in Carroll
County, Georgia. Orville Russell, however, did some research in the Smithsonian
and found that the boulder, carved with what was considered to be an image of a
“prehistoric god,” was found in 1909 in a wild area known as “Jack's
Hills” near the top of a cliff 100 feet above a creek in Douglas County,
Georgia, near Douglasville (bordering Carroll County). A 4 September 1909
clipping reporting the find is shown as well as a good Smithsonian photo of the
A Peterborough-style Rebus in
Georgia (1 p) Michael Skupin
author suggests that the Georgia “Jack's Hills” petroglyph contains an
inscription using the Tifinag script which may echo an inscription found at the
Peterborough site in Canada. He makes the point, however, that his readings are
tentative, pending further investigation.
For the Finding: The Pennsylvania
Story (3 pp) Jon D. Baughman
unusual sites in Pennsylvania which might reflect pre-Columbian visits by people
from the Old World: the Susquehanna Stones (Semitic script, possible Basque
language); a standing stone; the Indian Steps; mysterious stone walls; and the
enigmatic (possibly Celtic) Fort Hill site.
Ogam Consaine in the Book of
Ballymote (2 pp) Barry Fell & Marshall Payn
interview with Barry Fell by Marshall Payn which originally appeared in Cabrillo
#1, February 1990. This was in response to various charges and criticisms made
by Brendan O Hehir at a conference of the American Rock Art Association on 28
May 1988 (reported by Donald Cyr in his publication, Exploring Rock Art. Fell points out that Brendan's comments result
from Brendan's dependence on George Calder's publication of a the Ogam line in
question which was faulty. Fell worked from a better original which was checked
in Dublin by Philip Leonard with the librarian there on an original copy of the
Book of Ballymote. Fell's reading was proven correct.
The Newark, Ohio Inscribed Head -
a New Translation (5 pp) J. Huston
in brief the five Newark “Holy Stones” calling them into question. He dwells
in particular on the “Inscribed Head.” Robert W. Alrutz of Denison
University has written an exhaustive article on these finds. Joseph Schenck
(1982) has also compiled the complete text of many of the early documents
relating to these finds. The author points out that all efforts to read the
Hebrew letters as Hebrew have necessitating changing the reading of the actual
script somewhat. He notes that, read as English, the letters read: J - H - Nicol.
A Dr. John Nicol (or Nichols) and John Haines were two witnesses to the finding
of the Decalogue Stone (one of the five above). More credit was given to Wyrick
than Nichol. Annoyed, he fabricated two or more specimens to show how easily
people could be deceived. Nichol said that the 2 were afterwards found.
Kit for a Model of the Johnson-Bradner
Stone (2 pp) J. Huston McCulloch
Explains how to make a paper model of the Johnson-Bradner stone (one of the 5 “Holy Stones” found near Newark, Ohio).
Love Among the Runes: the Ohio
Runestone (2 pp) J. Huston McCulloch
out the discrepancies in runic usage exemplified by the inscription and traces
the inscription to its appearance in a novel by Nevil Shute, published in 1940: An Old Captivity. The stone is a fake.
North American Indian Tribal Names
(9 pp) E. Morgan Kelley
with the problem of proper classification of the many Amerindian languages. He
suggests that certain morphemes connect various tribes and also show a
connection to Old World languages. He makes a strong and interesting case.
The Petroglyphs at Tule Lake (4
pp) E. Morgan Kelley
lake is located at the end of Lava Beds National Monument, not far from the
border between California and Oregon almost directly northeast of Mt. Shasta.
The author discusses motifs found in inscriptions on rocks by the lake, breaking
them down into four groups: sun disk and cross and circle; snake-like forms;
cross-hatch/rectangular grids; and shaman or thunderbird symbols.
Meatball Mines (1 p) Marshall
author addresses the question of the fraudulent Burrows Cave artifacts and
bemoans the necessity to taking time over and over again to point out the
massive discrepancies that prove the falsity of the artifacts --time that could
be better used on more worthwhile controversies.
Russell Burrows Writes —Barry
Fell Responds (1 p) Russell Burrows & Barry Fell
letter from Russell Burrows to Dr. Fell threatening legal action if “any
further slanderous, libelous and defaming remarks” are made. Fell's reply to
Russell Burrows' letter is printed below the letter and Fell again calls the
Burrows Cave inscriptions fraudulent.
Epigraphy of the Illinois Burrows
Cave Tablets (2 pp) Barry Fell
points out that one of the Burrows artifacts is a copy of an inscription he
published in America BC which contained an error in transcription (later
corrected). Burrows' artifact faith- fully replicates the error, further
underlining the fraudulency of the Burrows Cave inscriptions.
The Burrows Cave Artifacts (7 pp) Charles
author's study of the Burrows Cave artifacts convinces him that they are
fraudulent. “It appears...that a prodigious effort has been made to
manufacture a bunch of stuff to hoodwink the unwary.” Several pages of
graphics of alleged inscribed artifacts from Burrows Cave are shown.
Skulls (4 pp) James L. Guthrie
According to the author, data from cranial studies made in 1967 and 1979 “support postulates of Indus Valley, North African [Egyptian], and other Mediterranean presence in ancient Peru.”
Memoriam: Orville L. Hope (1 p) Lynn
Stewart & Ida Jane Gallagher
of Orville Hope who died 27 October 1989 in Gastonia, North Carolina. He was the
author of 6000 Years of Seafaring and many published and unpublished articles.
He was an ardent diffusionist.
The Celtic Imprint on Stonehenge
(5 pp) Alban Wall
concludes that Stonehenge was built by Celts. It reflects the Celtic calendar
schemes found in the Coligny calendar and in later Celtic calendar systems.
the Calalus Texts (5 pp) Barry Fell
& Marshall Payn
interview with Marshall Payn, Fell cites linguistic and epigraphic evidence that
the Calalus inscriptions and artifacts are modern. The only “good” Latin in
the inscriptions comes from heraldic mottoes of the nobility as well as known
quotes from Virgil, Horace, etc. The rest is what Fell calls “ignorant
dog-Latin” with grammatical errors and misspellings. He suggests that the
Calalus objects may have been the regalia of some order of Freemasons with
special interest in Hebrews. He believes, however, that neither the finder, Tom
Bent, or his son, had any connection with any fraudulent plan to deceive.
Cyclone Covey first showed Fell photographs of the artifacts in 1977 and Payn
later arranged with Bent to let Fell study certain of the originals.
Calalus: a Hard Look (3 pp) Michael
concurs with Fell's findings concerning the "Tucson Artifacts,"
underscoring the many errors in the “dog-Latin.” He remarks that the Hebrew
on the inscriptions also shows a modern and uninformed touch, that the Hebrew
phrases were probably copied from a reference work of some kind. He concludes
that the inscriptions are modern. Cyclone Covey had implied that faculty members
of the Wake Forest University Classics Department had participated in the
translation of the artifacts, but Skupin found no members of that Department had
any desire to claim such credit and firmly disassociated themselves from the
The Tucson ArtiFacts: A
Fingerprint (1 p) Michael Skupin
suggests that one of the “dog-Latin” errors that makes no sense in Latin or
in English translation would make sense if the author was a Spanish speaker.
This clue to the origin of the artifacts should be taken into account.
The Tucson Artifacts: Starting
from Scratch (1 p) Michael Skupin
at the suggestion of George F. Carter, corresponded with Julian D. Hayden
regarding the Tuscon artifacts. Hayden replied that he remembered when the finds
were made and had kept up with the situation. He described how he believed the
artifacts were inserted from the side under layers of undis- turbed caliche. He
noted that there was little or no corrosion on the lead artifacts, but
lead-sheathed phone cables placed in Tucson caliche tend to corrode badly even
in a short period of time. Further, the caliche layer into which the objects
were inserted dated to a period 9,000-24,000 years ago.
The Tucson Artifacts: A Rebuttal
to Skupin (4 pp) Chris Hardaker
was hired by ISAC to examine and summarize archaeological investigations of the
Tucson artifacts. He points out that few participants in the discussion had read
further than Covey's book, "Calalus," and thus few were arguing with a
full grasp of the events that occurred. Skupin and the Epigraphic Society
had concluded that the artifacts were buried in the 19th century by some
club or cult and they were not a hoax per se while most modern archaeologists
believe it was a hoax. He scolds Skupin for “not doing his homework” and the
“cynical, cocky overtone of his presentation.” Hardaker concludes that
Skupin and Fell have “postulated the who and the why,” but “have not
succeeded in putting it all together to explain how.”
On the Level with the Tucson
Artifacts (17 pp) Bill Rudersclorf
author discusses the symbols and inscriptions on the artifacts in some detail
and relates them to Masonic symbols and practices. He points out that a possible
connection with Spanish Freemasonry and, by extension, with Masonry as practiced
Comments on Criticism of Calalus
(1 p) Cyclone Covey
defends his portrayal of the Tucson site and artifacts in his book. He states
that he and the colleagues he consulted were quite aware of the linguistic
errors in the Tucson inscriptions. He states that he and the Bents welcome proof
or disproof of the material equally.
If They were Aspirin: Questions
About the Tucson Artifacts (1 p) Jane
Eppinga, a Freelance Writer living near Tucson, recommends a more thorough
investigationof the artifacts and all the infromation available concerning their
The Origin of ESOP (1 p) Barry
describes the Society's founding on 4 July 1974 in Arlington Massachusetts
(originally under the name: The Polynesian Epigraphic Society; but George Carter
suggested dropping “Polynesian” from the title). The journal, originally
called Epigraphic Society Occasional
Publications [DB Note: sometimes Occasional
Publications of the Epigraphic Society which was often shortened to OPES], modified its title in 1990 to ESOP: Epigraphic Society Occasional Papers. ESOP's history has been one of small beginnings followed by steady
growth and increasing resources, both financial and scholarly.
American Ogam or Welsh Coelbren
y Beirdd? (3 pp) Barry Fell &
replies to Alan Wilson's who suggests that many so-called Ogham (or Ogam)
inscriptions in the US and the British Isles, as well as Etruscan and Phrygian
inscriptions, are all in Old Welsh and in the ancient script of the Welsh bards
known as Coelbren y Beirdd. Fell pointed out that the latter was not ancient,
but a spurious alphabet probably invented by Edward Wilson in the late 18th or
early 19th century. Although regarded as a fabricator and a forger, Wilson's
brilliance as a scholar and Romantic poet was nevertheless recognized.
The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids—Concrete Or Rock? (8 pp) D.H. Campbell & R.L. Folk 19-p 151
Principal Photographer of Construction Technology Laboratories, Skokie, Illinois
(Campbell) and a Prof. Emeritus of Geology at the University of Texas (Folk)
discuss “overwhelming evidence” that Davidovitz' theory that the Egyptian
pyramids were constructed of a form of poured concrete rather than stone. The
authors call the theory of cast-in-place origin “preposterous.”
Writing in America (9 pp) George F.
is an edited and updated version of a paper originally published in Diffusion
and Migration (1978), Univ. of Calgary. The author discusses the fact that
cylinder seals (sellos) exist in Mesoamerica (mentions seals found in Costa Rica
and Mexico). He mentions several American inscriptions which might be forms
similar to seals. In a postscript, the author relates information gained from
Julian Hayden of Tucson, Arizona, that his father found an Egyptian seal at a
depth of about 5 feet near Mecca, California.
Alphabetic Script on a Mexican Cylinder Seal (1 p) Barry
to the author, a number of Mexican seals present Old World alphabetic or
hieroglyphic scripts in the Libyan language. He highlights one inscription that
bore the Libyan characters for Q-T-Z-L (Quetzal), a reference to the Quetzal
bird. David Kelley comments on the inscription.
request for Information on Hill figures (1 p) Pattie
author asks for information on the Hill Figures of England. She is looking for
correspondence with individuals with similar interests.
Beards In North America Before
Columbus (7 pp) Lawrence F. Athy Jr.
author discusses the pre-Columbian occurence of beards on Amerindian artifacts:
of stone, clay, bone, wood, and metal; as well as in pictographs, and
manuscripts. He makes the point that full beards and moustaches on Indians only
occur in areas where advanced cultures existed.
The Mystery of the Székely Runes
(8 pp) Edward D. Rockstein
discusses the Székely Runes (also known as “Hungarian Runes;” the Székels
were a relatively isolated tribal group in Transylvania). The letters were
dubbed “runes” because they vaguely resembled the Germanic script. The
script also has elements that resemble the Italo-Celtic and Iberic scripts. The
Hungarians call it “Notch Script.” There are 32 character --several with
alternate forms. Comparisons are made to several other scripts including Turkic.
A Note on the Kuru-Bekiir Gorge
“Turkish Runes” (1 p) Edward D.
Dr. Rockstein presents and comments upon a paper by Russian colleagues which he received from Barry Fell. Rockstein states he is “no Turcologist, but rather a specialist in the languages of the more sedentary peoples of East Asia --the Chinese, Koreans and Japanese-- although I have dabbled in Kalkha Mongolian and Old Turkic and Uighur.” He tried his own hand at decipherment, but found there to be insufficient text and not enough help from the context.
Inscriptions and Petroglyphs of
the Kuru-Bekiir (4 pp) Gorge Ch.D.
Dzhumagulov et al.
authors sent Barry Fell a short paper with attached graphics of inscriptions
found in the Kuru-Bekiir mountain gorge by a Soviet expedition from the
Institute of History and the Institute of Language and Literature of the Kirghiz
SSR. The inscriptions appear to be in Old Turkic or Sogdian “Runes.” Edward
D. Rockstein adds his own comments and suggestions concerning the interpretation
of the inscriptions (starting on page 185).
Colloquial Carthaginian (14 pp) Michael
author does an excellent job of facing up to the challenge of retrieving and
explaining Punic words and phrases appearing in the text of an ancient play by
Plautus called Poenulus (the Carthaginian) --especially since the text
has passed through the hands of numerous non-Carthaginian scribes through the
Backstage Carthaginian (3 pp) Michael
author gives us insight into the interpretation of part of Hanno's opening
monologue in Plautus' play, Poenulus, illuminating ancient humorous
references and customs.
Barracks Carthaginian (1 p) Michael
author discusses a Punic word scratched onto a bowl found in a Roman outpost in
Redundant Carthaginian (1 p) Michael
discusses Carthaginian as revealed by Carthaginian writers who wrote in Latin.
Carthaginian (2 pp) Michael Skupin
Louis H. Gray's plagiarism of Paul Schršder's work on Plautin Punic.
Memoriam: Frederick J. Pohl (1 p) Gloria
Teacher, playwright, and diffusionist author, Pohl died at 101 on 21 Feb 1991. He was a recipient of ISAC's Root Cutter Award.
Gaelic Carthaginian (1 p) Michael
the attempts by Friederich Soltau and a certain Mr. O'Connor to relate Gaelic to
GeseniusCarthaginian (1 p) Michael
the work on Phoenician and Carthaginian by the noted Hebrew Scholar William
Funeral Carthaginian (1 p) Michael
suggests an alternate translation for the Weka inscription (a bilingual from
North Africa –see ESOP 1:9:43--
which shows connectiions to Maori). He suggests it may contain a formula similar
to that in inscriptions Fell discusses in ESOP 3/2:76:4 (specifically the
Grave Creek and Braxton Tablets from West Virginia).
An Ancient Egyptian Ship in Australia? (1 p) Charles Bailey 19-p 211
came upon an undated illustration in an Australian newspaper. It was the result
of a computer analysis of a badly faded pictograph of a ship found on Booby
Island off the coast of Australia. The ship appears to be clearly similar to
those of the ancient Egyptians.
The color plate on this page (which goes with the following article) is printed by courtesy of the Midwestern Epigraphic Society.
Four Fraudulent Ogam Inscriptions
(3 pp) from Kentucky Barry Fell
discusses faked Ogam inscriptions inscriptions in Kentucky (he identified them
as fake to Victor Moseley of the Midwestern Epigraphic Society as early as July
1988. He shows clearly that they were copied from his own publication of
material from valid sites in West Virginia. On p. 212 is a large color picture
showing three persons (unidentified, but probably from the Midwestern Epigraphic
Society) recording one of the fraudulent inscriptions. [Buchanan note: Dr. John
Payne of Kentucky subsequently gave an amusing talk to ISAC about how two
“good ol' boys” took him in with these inscriptions.]
Pictographs??? (13 pp) Raymond M. Beaumont
is a reprint of a Teacher's Guide pamphlet prepared by the author for use at the
Peterborough Site. The site displays markings which might reflect Old
Scandinavian as well as North African scripts. The paper mistakenly calls
Tifinag a “Nordic” script. Numerous examples of the script, with Fell's
translations, are given.
Easter Island Traditions (5 pp) Petero
response to a letter from Marshall Payn in which he replies to a series of
questions on the history and traditions of Easter Island. “I strongly believe
that the makers of the moai were not
pleople from the Indus Valley, nor from the Inca Valley, nor from the Egyptian
Valley, but were our tohunga (priests,
wizards, skilled artisans). And our tohunga
were Polynesian.” He recommends Englert and Routledge and Mulloy's writings on
Easter Island. He praises the Epigraphic Society for the work it is doing,
particularly for Fell's translations of the Easter Island script. He points out
that the ancient war on Easter Island was not between the “short ears” and
the “long ears” --this was a mistranslation. It was between the “short,
stocky race” and the “tall, slender race.” Heyerdahl, unfortunately,
perpetuated the mistranslation.
Easter Island: Unravelling
Mysteries (3 pp) Marshall Payn
Payn undertook a visit to Easter Island where he met with Petero Edmunds.
He tackled the questions: “(a) Who built the Moai (the statues)? (b) What was their purpose? (c) How were they
moved? (d) How were they erected on the ahu
(the base, platform or altar)? (e) What was the origin and meaning of the
hieroglyphs?” As for (a) and (e), Fell's translations show a Polynesian origin
--the boards seem to translate as historical documents. Marshall tends to mostly
agree with Heyerdahl about (d), but not necessarily about (c). Marshall relays
the Islanders' version of the historical war. As for (b), the moai
were repositories for the souls of past leaders and thus the ahus
and the statues were sacred places, not to be disturbed. On the last page is a
picture of Petero Edmunds and his wife.
Plants and Culture in the Origin
of the Polynesians (9 pp) George F. Carter
discusses the problem of accounting for the heavy Europoid element among the
Polynesians (in addition to the Melanesian and Asian elements in their racial
mixture). He holds that the evidence suggests repeated waves of people entering
the area at different times from differing directions. There is a connection to
the Uto-Aztecans in America noted through linguistic and cultural similarities.
He cites David Kelly's work (as well as his own and that of Mary Ritchie Key) on
trans-Pacific transfer of plants. He speaks of Heyerdahl's idea that people from
the Mediterranean came to Peru and also cites the work of John Rowe and Stephen
Jett. Carter sees overwhelming evidence for the presence of overwhelming
influence of a Mediterranean presence in the Andes. Biological and cultural
evidence definitely proves trans-oceanic contacts with Polynesia and the
Possible Ogam in the Paris Basin
(3 pp) Paul Minault
He cites an illustration (shown) in Gilles Tassé's "Pétroglyphs du Bassin Parisien" which he says shows linear markings similar to the Ogam writing discovered in the US. Tassé noted that such petroglyphs were found by the thousands throughout the sandstone deposits of the Paris Basin and Northeastern France.
Elements in the Paris Basin Petroglyphs (1 p) Barry
agrees with Minault that the markings discussed in his article were not
Neolithic, but later. Many could be mason's marks used as early as Roman times
and into Medieval times.
the Easter Island Tablets, Part 2 (27 pp) Barry
is a continuation of the article in Vol. 18 on the decipherment of the Kohau
Rongorongo of Easter Island. He mentions letters of support from Petero
Edmunds of the Easter Island Council of Elders and Likeke McBride of Hawaii as
well as Maui Pomare, a leading Maori chief and scholar. He also heard from
Gordon Hislop, an Otago chief. In this article, Fell gives a proposed reading of
the opening passage of the Kohau known as Tahua using Thomas Bartel's
transcription of the writing on the tablet published in 1958. A catalog of 270
Rapanui ideograms is given as well as the meanings of the phonoglyphs.
English Prosonomasia (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf 19-p 277
author compares the type of word play detected by Fell in the Easter Island
tablets to English examples as shown by the song “Mairzy Doats” (“Mares
eat Oats”) and “Ladle Rat Rotten Hut” (a garbled version of “Little Red
Polynesian Inscription from Tahiti (3 pp) Barry
deals here with Tahitian ideograms shown in a famous painting by Paul Gaugin (Merahi
Metua no Tehamana) and shows their relation to the Easter Island script Again he
makes his translations by finding appropriate words which are homo- phones or
isophones of the root meanings of the symbols. One is exemplified by the first
word of Gaugin's title: Merahi is probably intended to be M'Arahi = “the many.” Fell shows that the Tahitian script is a
form of the Easter Island script and adds that a form of the script can be also
found in the Caroline Islands (see Vol. 18, pp 86-89).
The Voyage of Tupac Inca Yupanqui,
Part 1 (8 pp) John Spencer Carroll
momentous voyage of discovery by a 15th century Incan ruler and conqueror which
apparently penetrated deep into Polynesia and Micronesia and may have reached
portions of Australia or Southeast Asia.
English-Gadelic Dictionary, Part 3
(10 pp) Burrell C. Dawson
covers the words beginning with the letters "R" and "S." It
will be continued.
The Comalcalco Bricks: Part
1—the Roman Phase (36 pp) Barry Fell
concludes that visitors from North Africa were present at Comalcalco during the
first three centuries of the Christian era. He considers the site to be a
predecessor of Palenque. This paper is focuses on a study of the markings on the
bricks from Comalcalco to bolster this deduction.
On the Cover
Gaugin's Merahi metua no Tehamana,
courtesy of the Art Institute of
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