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Volume 20/1


Epigraphic Society Occasional Papers

Table of Contents, Volume 20/1, 1991

In Memoriam: Dr. Jon Galster (1 p) Barry Fell 20/1-p 10

Dr. John Galster, 1915-1992, a Danish historian and linguist, best known for his books on Nordic history and archaeology, visited the Peterborough site and with Fell in California in 1982. He published a book in Danish in 1987, Hellerist- ningernes Tale …i Norden  og Amerika, which essentially confirmed Fell’s work in nearly every detail and adding some new insights based on Galster’s own observations in Scandinavia and Saxony.

In Memoriam: Francis J. Heyden, S. J. (1 p) Barry Fell 20/1-p 10

Francis J. Heyden, S.J., 1907-1991, an astronomer in Manila, the Philippines, was a Harvard man who joined the Society very early on. He was a close personal friend of Paul Mallery, the son of Arlington Mallery, the author of Lost America.

In Memoriam: Paul R. Cheesman (1 p) Norman Totten 20/1-p 11

Paul, 1921-1991 (photo available) was a good friend and colleague to many members of the Epigraphic Society. He was professor of Religious Education at Brigham Young University and Director of its Religious Studies and Ancient Scriptures Center. He served as a Navy Chaplain during the Korean War and was a corporate president for nine years. He made over 30 trips to Central and South America, wrote nine books, and made several short films on ancient American studies.

In Memoriam: Carl Wilhelm Sem-Jacobsen (1 p) Rene Fell 20/1-p 12

Born in Oslo, Norway, Sem-Jacobsen (1912-1991) graduated MD from that city’s university in 1941. During WW II he served in the Norwegian underground, transferring to the US Special Forces in 1944. He served as a Captain in the OSS Special Force Mission, receiving a citation from General Eisenhower and the Norwegian War Medal. After reading America BC, he became very interested in and enthusiastic about the inferences it contained. He devoted a great deal of time and effort in promoting Fell’s work and visited with Fell in his home many times. On one occasion he gave a presentation on the subject of early settlers in the New World before Columbus to a learned audience which included King Olav of Norway.

Editorial: Anger and Denial (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf 20/1-p 13

Notes that attacks on Fell by his critics are based heavily on anger and denial. They reveal their lack of proper study of the material and selective choice of texts to support their own views. He particularly cites Marshall McKusick (Davenport Conspiracy), Stephen Williams (Fantastic Archaeology) and Mainfort and Kwas (The Bat Creek Stone: Judeans in Tennessee?).

Editorial: Loose Lips (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 13

Urges that epigraphic sites should not be mentioned or described on television. The greatest threat to an inscription site is vandalism, which occurs far too often. Vandals cannot destroy what they cannot find.

Forum: Birthday Prosonomasia (1 p) Rene Fell  20/1-p 14

Rene received an amusing birthday card utilizing a Rebus (hippo birdie two ewe…).

Forum: Jacobites in Natchez (1 p) Norman Murphy 20/1-p 14

Notes the continued use by Scots descendants in the Carolina hills of themes on cap badges and brooches that memorialized the Stuart Risings of 1715 and 1745.

Forum: Vintage Prosonomasia (1 p) Elizabeth H. Stewart 20/1-p 15

A promotional ad for a wine which was –more or less—phonetically rendered.

Forum: The Four Horsemen of the Hypothesis (1 p) Russell B. Stafford 20/1-p 15

Supports Fell against his critics.

Forum: Stones of Contention (1 p) Richard C. Rauer Sr. 20/1-p 15

Takes issue with comments he attributes to Skupin (but were mostly by Fell) which were critical of the work of Henriette Mertz in her book Mystic Symbol.

Forum: Calalus Considered (1 p) Paul H. Chapman 20/1-p 16

Points out that Indians in Northern Mexico wore horned helmets and used iron (a la the Vikings –who, it turns out, did not as a rule wear horned helmets). There are also memories in Mexico of ‘Semitic types with beards’ known as Xue who con- quered Yucatan (he then remarks that the area where the Tucson Artifacts –possibly left by a Roman Jewish colony-- were found was once part of Mexico).

Forum: Portuguese Medicine Wheels (1 p) Walter Stendler 20/1-p 16

Presents an argument that such wheels date from Megalithic times.

Review: Omnnis Gallia (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 17

The Celts by V. Kruta et al, Rizzoli, 1991. “If ESOP had a book of the year, this would be my nomination.” A lavish book (1,100 fine illustrations; dozens of informative articles).

Review: Tunisian Glory (2 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 17

Carthage: Uncovering the Mysteries and Splendors of Ancient Tunisia by David Soren et al, Simon and Schuster, 1990. This book is a Punic buff’s dream come true, the capstone of a renaissance in Punic studies that began in the early 70s.

Review: … and a Companion Volume (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 18

Carthage: A Mosaic of Ancient Tunisa by Aïcha Ben Abed Ben Khader & David Soren, American Museum of Natural History, 1987. The photos are excellent, imaginative, and numerous.

Review: Forgotten Evil (2 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 18

Conquest of Eden, 1493-1515: Other Voyages of Columbus by Michael Paiewonsky, MAPes MONDEs Editore, 1991. An excellent introduction to the events that followed Columbus’ discovery of the New World. The book reveals the truth about the ugliness and horror Columbus visited upon the new world.

Review: Where Indeed? (2 pp) Donal B. Buchanan 20/1-p 19

Where Troy Once Stood by Iman Wilkens, St. Martin’s Press, NY, 1991. The author holds that the Trojan war took place in Northern Europe, specifically the British Isles. Whereas SOME of the place names in the Iliad may be found in Asia Minor, ALL of them can be found in Northern Europe along with the tribes that took part in the war. Far from being about Helen, the war was about a strategic material: tin  --control of which was a Bronze Age must. The known veneration of the horse in the British Isles matches well with the tale of the Trojan Horse.

Review: More Sooners (1 p) Ditlev Thyssen 20/1-p 20

Westward Before Columbus by Kåre Prytz, Oslo, 1990. It tells about Norse seamen’s journeys west and to the New World 1,000 years ago as told in the old sagas and other writings.

Review: Agitprop Matinee (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 21

Fantastic Archaeology – the Wild Side of North American Prehistory by Stephen Williams, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, 1991. Skupin recommends comparison of Williams’ approach to the study of the Tucson artifacts with Fell’s (he directs the reader to Fell’s and others remarks about the artifacts in ESOP volume 19). Both Fell and Williams stated that the site was modern rather than ancient, but Williams’ method of treatment of anomalous sites like Tucson and Kensington is to give them a superficial and supercilious brush-off. He prefers to ignore data and indulge himself in ridicule of serious scholars interested in diffusion.

Review: A Diffusion Primer (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 22

The Diffusion Issue by Donald L. Cyr, Stonehenge Viewpoint, 1991. This is an excellent introductory overview that sums up the lines of investigation and captures the tone of the debate.

Review: An Epigrapher’s Companion (2 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 22

The Rocks Begin to Speak by LaVan Martineau, KC Publications, 1987. This book, by a man who was raised by Utah Paiutes and lived and studied with other South-west Indians, discusses elements and combinations used in Indian inscriptions as only an insider could.

Review: Penelope’s Weaving (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 23

The Dead Sea Scrolls Deception by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, Summit, 1991. The authors present evidence that the cynical clique who for so many years were allowed to monopolize the study of the Scrolls were motivated by a desire to cover up texts that were potentially embarrassing to the religious (specifically Catholic) establishment.

Review: Grave’s Goods (2 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 23

The Civilization of the Goddess by Marija Gimbutas, Harper, San Francisco, 1991. Skupin accuses Gimbutas of turning out a “coffee-table book” and expressing opinions that are presented “with the take-it-or-leave-it finality of a Black Jack deal.” He criticizes her “way of pontificating over inscriptions she admits she cannot read.”

Review: Click! (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 24

A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya by Linda Schele and David Freidel, Morrow, 1990. Based on the most recent findings, the authors have written a comprehensive and integrated history. A beautifully written book.

Review: Columbian Kitsch (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 24

The Columbus Papers by Mauricio Obregón, NYW Publications, 1991. Another coffee-table book. Skupin regards the first half as a “waste of paper,” but recommends the second half since it contains a facsimile of Columbus’ 1493 letter as well as a transcription and meticulous translation of the same by Lucia Graves.

Review: Light on the Dark Continent (1 p) John J. White 20/1-p 25

Lightning Bird: The Story of One Man’s Journey into Africa by Lyall Watson, E.P. Dutton, 1982. This is a partial biography of anthropologist Adrian Boshier, a protégé of the great Raymond Dart. Nearly half the book summarizes the author’s know-ledge of the state of African Anthropology. The comments on ancient mining, rock drawings of Asiatic people, and the occurrence of Ogam writing should catch the attention of diffusionists.

Review: Adventure in Writing (2 pp) John J. White 20/1-p 25

The Ancient Inscriptions of Paraguay by Jim Woodman, Paraguay, 1989. This booklet summarizes the principal epigraphic discoveries in Paraguay. A total of 60 sites are mentioned. Iberic as well as Ogam-like writing appears to be present.

Review: A Mithraic Milestone (2 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 26

The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World by David Ulansey, Oxford University Press, 1989. The thesis of this excellent book is that astronomy is the key to the Mithraic religion. The author makes his point by uniting history, iconography, and numismatics. A must-read for those interested in archaeo-astronomy.

Review: A Trade Secret (2 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 27

African Presence in Early Asia by Ivan Van Sertima and Runoko Rashidi, eds, Journal of African Civilizations, 1988. This is less a review of Van Sertima’s book than of one of the sources used in the writing of that book: Anacalypsis: An Attempt to Draw Aside the Veil of the Saitic Isis or an Inquiry into the Origin of Languages, Nations and Religions by George Higgins (1773-1833). Skupin feels that Van Sertima’s writers handled the source material badly, that Higgins work deserved better. Higgins’ work is “enormously stimulating, both for challenging ideas and as a repository for references that…have been swept under the academic rug.”

Review: Anacalypsis II (2 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 28

Black Athena, Volumes I and II, by Martin Bernal, Rutgers University Press, 1987 and 1991. Its thesis: Classical studies have been hijacked by propagandists who have distorted our view of the ancient world. Bernal gives a history of how things got distorted in volume I and then proceeds to undistort them in volume II (citing archaeological evidence and the views of the ancients themselves).

Review: White Crow (2 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 29

In Search of the Indo Europeans: Language, Archaeology and Myth by J. P. Mallory, Thames and Hudson, 1989. Mallory presents his ideas well and introduces new parameters. He also includes Russian scholarship in the mix, which is a first. Modern discoveries, however, tend to date Mallory’s book. It would appear that the horse was available at a much earlier date than previously thought so the Indo Europeans, rather than spreading slowly by foot, spread rapidly and farther than expected by horse.

Review: If Adventure Had a Name (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 30

In Quest of the Great White Gods by Robert F. Marx with Jenifer G. Marx, Crown, 1992. “Marx tells of tales of thievery, deceit and corruption that may diminish the reader’s admiration for many a fine museum collection.” Much of the book deals with Marx’s maritime experiences, both as a sailor and as a diver.

Review: nostra culpa! (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf 20/1-p 31

American Epigraphy At the Crossroads by James Guthrie, Rollin Gillespie, Phillip Leonard and William McGlone; James P. Whittall Jr., editor, Early Sites Research Society, 1990. “This work is a compendium of the authors’ views on all that is wrong with the present state of the epigraphic scene. They give a list of suggestions for improving things, tossing in some of their previously unpublished work just to show critics what the real stuff looks like.”

Review: Language (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf 20/1-p 31

The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way by Bill Bryson; Our Language by Simeon Potter; The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States by H. L. Mencken. “For neophytes to the study of language … there is no better place to start than your first language.” For Rudersdorf these are “…three of my favorite books.”

Review: Bailey’s Beads? (3 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 31

Latin for All Occasions by Henry Beard, Villard Books, 1990. Skupin calls this a “delightful phrase book … a major contribution to the humor section of Latinity …and that’s not bad.”

Review: One for the Ages (2 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 33

The Great Sermon Handicap by P. G. Wodehouse, James Heineman, ed. James H. Heineman Inc. (3 volumes), 1989, 1990, 1991. A story by P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) is translated into many different languages, making a modern Rosetta Stone. The first volume includes Latin and its daughter languages; the second, Middle English and the continental Teutonic languages; and the third, Scandinavian. Other volumes covering Semitic and Oriental Languages are in the works.

Review: An Ally’s Monument (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 34

Vinculos de la lengua vasca con las lenguas de todo el mundo [Links of the Basque Language with the Languages of the World] by Imanol Agiŕe, La Gran Enciclopedia Vasca, 1980. This is a “big, difficult book, 629 meaty, energetic pages.” Agiŕe sets out his thesis in his introduction: that Basque is related to the Paleo-Siberian languages. He also provides background information on linguistics for the non-specialist and an overview of the state of Basque studies. The last third of the volume is a “briskly-paced history of the Basques and their language…” Agiŕe, an “expert writing for experts,” confirms Fell’s work with Basque “without any hedging or hand-wringing.”

Review: A Scholarly Stocking-Stuffer (2 pp) Bill Rudersdorf 20/1-p 34

The Rosetta Stone: Facsimile Drawing by Stephen Quirke and Carol Andrews, Abrams 1989. A British Museum publication, it includes a facsimile drawing, transliteration, translation, and commentary.

Review: Recalling a Renaissance (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 35

The Loom of Language by Frederick Bodmer, Norton, 1985. This book, with its lavishness and sheer bulk of material is a browser’s delight. It is recommended as a rich source of information about language and insights for linguistic do-it-your-selfers.

Review: A Wolf in Egghead’s Clothing (2 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 35

Myth, Metaphor and Language Reconstruction by E. Morgan Kelley, Mellen, 1992. This book is important because “it shows us new ways to clarify obscure questions. It is a well-written collection of stimulating thought experiments and carefully considered arguments.”

Euge, Serve Bene et Fidelis (1 p) Barry Fell 20/1-p 36

Volume 20 is the second volume of ESOP edited by Bill Rudersdorf in association with Michael Skupin. Much to the regret of their colleagues (especially Barry and his wife) and for personal reasons, they have decided to withdraw from their editorial role.

The Karanovo Zodiac (6 pp) Richard D. Flavin 20/1-p 37

“The Karanovo ‘Stamp Seal’ is variously regarded as a series of chalcolithic Bulgarian decorations, ‘proto-writing,’ and ‘signs consisting of straight lines … incised between the cross arms of a quartered disk.” The characters are incised on a clay disk 6 cm in diameter and 2 cm thick with a handle 2 cm long. It was discovered in the remains of a house destroyed by fire. Scholars disagree about the date of the level at which the artifact was found. Some date it to between 2600-2300 BC and at least one scholar dated it to about 4800 BC. The author seeks to demonstrate that the inscribed characters are actually a map of the sky –the earliest European map of the constellations yet discovered.

Etymology of the Lower Mississippian Languages - Part 2 (48 pp) Barry Fell 20/1-p 43

This continues the paper started in Volume 19 of ESOP. It further investigates the correspondence between the vocabulary of the Indians of the Lower Mississippi and that of the peoples of the Nile Valley. The article is illustrated with copious tables illustrating the grammar and vocabulary involved.

Maize in Asia and Elephants in America (5 pp) George F. Carter 20/1-p 91

Carter reviews the evidence for pre-Columbian knowledge of maize in the Old World as well as the Amerindian knowledge of the elephant.

The Voyage of Tupac Inca Yupanqui, Part 2 (24 pp) John Spencer Carroll 20/1-p 96

The author continues his examination of the voyage of discovery by Tupac Inca Yupanqui, a 15th century Incan ruler, initiated in ESOP Volume 19. It is obvious that the Inca knew a lot more of the world than has been supposed.

The Tip of thc Iceberg: Deciphering Polynesian History (2 pp) Herb Kawainui Kane 20/1-p 120

A native Hawaiian artist-historian congratulates Fell on restoring to Polynesians a portion of their lost history and culture. Biographic information on the author is given.

Deciphering the Easter Island Tablets, Part 3 (16 pp) Barry Fell 20/1-p 122

This is a continuation of the article begun in Vol. 18 on the decipherment of the Kohau Rongorongo of Easter Island. Fell explains that the vocalizations of the Easter Island hieroglyphics comprise prosonomastic language, meaningless in itself, but comprehensible when the punning transforms are recognized. Polynesian scholars have written Fell to support this finding.

Occam's …Eraser? (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 137

The author elucidates the proper meaning and use of William of Occam’s contribution to the language: “Occam’s Razor.” Basically, it means “Don’t clutter up your explanations.”

Deciphering the Easter Island Tablets, Part 4 (8 pp) Barry Fell 20/1-p 138

As above, this is a continuation of the article begun in Vol. 18.

Easter Island Writing—the Hawaiian Connection (4 pp) Likeke R. McBride p 146

A professional Hawaiian story-teller provides a comparison vocabulary for the Hawaiian and Easter Island languages. The similarities are evident.

Never Forget the Oral Tradition (1 p) Norman Murphy 20/1-p 149

The author stresses the importance of primary sources.

Was there a Prehistoric Migration of the Philippine Aetas to America? (3 pp) Virgilio R. Pilapil 20/1-p 150

The author presents evidence that Asiatic pygmies reached the Americas in prehistoric times. They may even have introduced the use of the bow and arrow.

Interpretation of the Cast of a Latex Mold Submitted by Gloria Farley (1 p) Barry Fell 20/1-p 153

This shows a graphic of an Ogam inscription the latex mold of which had been sent by Farley to Fell. Fell’s transliteration of the inscription is given.

The Grid Hieroglyph and Associated Ogam in Oklahoma (1 p) Gloria Farley 20/1-p 154

The author tells of her visit to the site of the above inscription (called “the Cattle Shelter”) in June 1973.

An Ogam Solution to the Agricultural Grid Symbol (2 pp) Barry Fell 20/1-p 154

Fell explains the meaning of the Ogam “agricultural grid” symbol and deciphers the inscription described above. He infers that the sense of the inscription refers to a location nearby of arable land suitable for the growing of corn or other crops.

Marshall McKusick and American Epigraphy (19 pp) Barry Fell & George Carter 20/1-p 156

A discussion by Barry Fell and George Carter, with additional comments by Norman Totten and David Kelley. They reply to McKusick's accusations and misrepresentations with a reasoned rebuttal to unreasoned arguments. Graphics of Libyan (Tifinag) inscriptions are shown as well as the Bat Creek Stone and the Paraiba inscription (Netto’s version).

Review: Poison Ivy League Archaeology (6 pp) George F. Carter 20/1-p 175

Fantastic Archaeology, the Wild Side of North American Prehistory by Stephen Williams, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1991. Williams’ stated aim is to show the need for critical thinking, but the format of the study “is decidedly an argument ad hominem,” despite his denials. For Williams the notion of overseas contacts is simply “some hyperdiffusionist madness.” Carter chides Williams for his “inability to get details right.”

Review: American Epigraphy on the High Road (2 pp) Lawrence F. Athy, Jr 20/1-p 181

American Epigraphy at the Crossroads edited by James P. Whittall Jr., ESRS, Rowley Mass, 1991.  Athy regards the book as timely and well-done, but he has a problem with it: it concentrates on an illogical and unimportant epigraphic controversy between pseudo-scientists, archaeologists and epigraphers. The archaeology-epigraphy controversy seems to be a false issue brought about by a few epigraphers who have sought the approval of anyone and everyone and by a few archaeologists who feel threatened by what they do not know or understand. Athy quotes from the book: “…It would seem best to avoid debate with the archaeologists unless there is artifactual evidence. … It is the linguist who will have to get involved if we are to be successful … and their interest can only be expected after careful and accurate transcriptions have been disseminated.” Athy recommends that the Epigraphic Society develop and disseminate standards for site identification as well as for methods of transcription of inscriptions. He also advocates the creation and maintenance of a central database of inscriptions.

American Epigraphy at Cross Purposes (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 182

The author comments on the above book: “…now they are publishing opinions about opinions about approaches to inscriptions in general. When is all this going to bottom out?”

Bat Creek Rebuttal: a Check-list for Doubletalkers (2 pp) Joseph B. Mahan 20/1-p 183

Mahan is responding to an article in Tennessee Anthropologist (volume XVI, number 1, Spring 1991) by Robert C. Mainfort and Mary L. Kwas: “The Bat Creek Stone: Judeans in Tennessee?” Mahan says it is full of “subterfuges, half-truths, and cleverly disguised deceptions.”

Clay Pigeons (1 p) Michael Skupin p 184

Skupin explains why this volume concerns itself with replies to critics.

Tales of the Thought Police (13 pp) Raymond M. Beaumont 20/1-p 185

A man with ten years experience teaching in Northern Indian communities tells of the troubles he incurred when he revealed to the educational establishment that he was taking Fell’s work on Canadian inscription sites seriously and disseminating it as part of a teachers guide.

Gaelic As She Was Spoke (2 pp) Barry Fell & Bill Rudersdorf 20/1-p 198

Fell responds to attacks by Brenden O Hehir. Skupin adds a comment taking O Hehir to task for his attack upon the late Robert Meyer for supporting Fell (O Hehir alleged that Meyer, in his final years was mentally unstable and a drunk). Skupin quotes Donal Buchanan who testifies to Meyer’s excellence as a teacher who never drank to excess.

English as She is Rit (1 p) George Carter 20/1-p 199

Carter takes a stab at deciphering a modern inscription.

The Scientific Explanation (1 p) Warren W. Dexter 20/1-p 200

Dexter shows that the language of the nay-sayers hasn’t changed in years.

Review: Old Dog, Old Tricks (2 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 201

The Bat Creek Stone: Judeans in Tennessee? by Robert C. Mainfort Jr. and Mary L. Kwas. Skupin says: “This dreary hatchet job is a rebuttal to J. Huston McCulloch’s 1989 article on the same subject. It is mostly the ex cathedra name-calling and misrepresentation one would expect, but carried out … clumsily…”

Corrected Carthaginian (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 202

Skupin does an excellent job of correcting himself. He reveals himself as an erudite –and honest—scholar.

Defining the Question (4 pp) Archibald S. Thom 20/1-p 203

The author compares Fell’s work to that of his father, Alexander Thom.

Editorial: Looking Both Ways (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf 20/1-p 207

Reports the existence of evidence for the early peopling of the Americas from Europe as well as from Asia.

Review: Archaeocentricism at its Best (4 pp) Lawrence F. Athy, Jr 20/1-p 208

Frauds, Myths and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology by Kenneth L. Feder, 1990. Athy congratulates the author of the book for an excellent chapter on epistemology. The author of the book stated that his aim was to put the analysis of unsubstantiated claims about the human past firmly within the perspective of the scientific method as it relates to archaeology rather than simply to debunk individual claims –then he proceeded to discredit all claims with total disregard to scientific methodology.

More Prosonomasia (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 211

Spanish examples of prosonomasia.

Three Lost Collections -- a Photographer's View (12 pp) Warren W. Dexter 20/1-p 212

Dexter tells of his investigation (with Warren Cook) of the artifact collection of Father Crespi in Cuenca, Ecuador; that of Credo V. Mutwa (with Brenda Sullivan) in South Africa; and finally, the forty year collection of the late Dr. Warren Cook. Excellent photos of Cook, Crespi, and Mutwa are shown, along with various inscribed artifacts, including: a copy on slate of a very old Zulu tri-alphabetic inscription (part of which is in Ogam); a verdite phallus from Soweto, South Africa, inscribed in vowelless ogam, Egyptian hieroglyphs and apparent “branch ogam” (latter not shown); apparent Bronze Age inscriptions in the Transvaal; the “Moses” Ten Commandments tablet in square Hebrew with some apparent Egyptian hieroglyphs; a verdite effigy of the Mother Goddess Banu (Tanit) on the back of which are inscriptions in Ogam and Tifinag; a verdite stone effigy of the ancient fertility god Baal, showing the symbol “Eye of Baal” on his chest, with the name B-L spelled out in vowelless ogam; also excellent pictures of four inscribed artifacts from Crespi’s collection.

Bahrain Honors Bushiri (1 p) Barry Fell 20/1-p 224

On 14 March 1992, Ali Akbar Bushiri received the State Award for National Achievement from the Prime Minister of Bahrain. This was in recognition of his past fifteen years of work on the culture of Dilmun.

Alphabetic Libyan Mason's Marks on Mochica Adobe Bricks (7 pp) Barry Fell 20/1-p 224

In 1990, while Fell was working on deciphering the masons’ marks on the Comalcalco bricks, James Woodman informed him that he had seen similar marks on adobe bricks in the Huaca Las Ventanas pyramids of the pre-Inca Mochica civilization. Fell studied those as well and concluded that the markings on them con-formed to established Libyan alphabets. They exhibit clear-cut and unquestionable affinities with the Libyan civilization of Roman times.

Tales of a Wall-Nut (1 p) Russell Swanson 20/1-p 231

There are a series of ancient walls in the hills of the eastern side of San Francisco Bay that have raised Dolmen-like stones associated with them.

On Cuna Writing (3 pp) George Carter & James Case 20/1-p 232

The Cuna Indians are among the few Amerindian tribes which are documented to have had writing at the time of first contact. It has not received the attention it deserves, perhaps because no texts in a form which allowed comparison with other writing were preserved. Few now can write or understand the Cuna ideographs.

Micmac Music? (1 p) Michaei Skupin 20/1-p 235

A report on the “Mass Book of Chief Abraham Jeremez of Nova Scotia,” a little know example of Micmac hieroglyphs that appear to be accompanied by musical notation. It is known to be a Kyrie. Skupin suggests that the notation was inspired by the Roman Catholic chant book, the Liber Usualis; and the tune may be a Micmac song preserved in plainchant notation.

The Bird and Fish Motif - New World and Old (1 p) Gloria Farley 20/1-p 236

The author notes that the same motif (a bird standing on a fish with its beak close to the fish’s mouth) exists on Mimbres, New Mexico, bowls, an Egyptian hieroglyph, a Babylonian vase, and was also used by the Chimu Indians in Peru.

The Size of a Man's Hand (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 237

Skupin introduces us to Fell’s very first work: “The Pictographic Art of the Ancient Maori of New Zealand,” published in Man, a publication of the Royal Anthro-pological Institute, in 1941.

You see what you are prepared to see! ((3 pp) George F. Carter 20/1-p 238

Archaeologists are trained to look at artifacts in a certain manner and thus can miss clues to conclusions that lie outside their experience, such as the presence of writing where no writing is expected. Carter points to the evident existence of Tifinag in the Western Mediterranean (Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Spain), Scandinavia, and in the Americas (at Peterborough in Canada, Penobscot Bay, and, perhaps, amongst the Maya).

In Memoriam: Theodor H. Gaster (1 p) R. D. Flavin 20/1-p 240

The famous Semiticist passed away quietly on 3 February 1992. He made great contributions to ancient Near Eastern studies in religion and linguistics.

The Davenport and Newark Inscriptions (2 pp) Charles Moyer 20/1-p 241

The author corrects an error made by Fell in his reading of the Davenport stele: the word kholak does not refer to an event in March, but one in November or December. This makes the Djed festival a Winter Solstice event, not one for the Vernal Equinox. The writer also finds difficulties with the Newark “Holy Stones.”

Lost Horizons (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf 20/1-p 243

Rudersdorf replies to Moyer’s article, saying: “…Moyer did not have a good command of the facts.”

The Davenport Stone (1 p) Barry Fell 20/1-p 244

Fell also replies to Moyer’s attack. He suggests that the Davenport inscription cannot be earlier than the late Byzantine, perhaps a Late Byzantine adaptation of the old Djed Festival.

English-Gadelic Dictionary, Part 4 (12 pp) Burrell C. Dawson 20/1-p 245

The author continues his compilation of a Celtic vocabulary based on the decipher-ments of Barry Fell.

Proto-Ogam in Scotland (1 p) Lawrence F. Athy 20/1-p 257

The author highlights the comments of Francis C. Diack, expressed in a little known paper, “The Origin of the Ogam Alphabet,” published in Scottish Gaelic Studies, Volume 3, 1929. Diack postulated the existence of “Proto-Ogham” (possibly vowelless Ogham?) of which many examples can be found in Ireland and Scotland, but are ignored by most investigators as being simply “pseudo Ogham.”

Other First Thanksgivings (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf 20/1-p 257

A contemporary account of a Spanish expedition in Texas in 1598 states that they camped near El Paso and had a feast –leading Texas to plan to announce a second Thanksgiving day. Since it also seems that colonists in Maine in 1607 also gave thanks for a safe arrival in the country, we could end up with three Thanksgiving Days!

Photo: Midsummer sunrise at El Morro (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf 20/1-p 258.

Midsummer Sunrise at El Morro (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf 20/1-p 259

The author tells of his investigation of many inscriptions located within the bounds of the El Morro National Monument in New Mexico.

The Margaret and Burrell Dawson Memorial Fund (1 p) Margaret Dawson & Jon Polansky 20/1-p 260

Margaret Dawson, the wife of the late Burrell Dawson, who had previously given $10,000 to the Epigraphic Society sends a further check amounting $30,000 for a total donation of $40,000. It is intended to be used towards a “future repository for the Society’s books and collections.” Jon Polansky, then Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Epigraphic Society wrote in response that the Board had voted unanimously to restrict the use of the funds to the purpose stated in her letter.

A Smithsonian Collectible (2 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 261

This is a review of a 10 page position paper on Barry Fell’s work issued by the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History, May 1978, prepared by Yves Goddard and William W. Fitzhugh. Skupin derides it as dated, full of spurious absolutes delivered with a condescending and paternalistic attitude.

Pre-Columbian Syphilis and East Asia (1 p) JAMA 16:473-474, 1892 20/1-p 262

This is a reprint of an article which appeared in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1891. The pre-Columbian existence of Syphilis in the Americas serves as proof of an early contact with Asia.

Review: Do-It-Yourself Hieroglyphics (1 p) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 263

Fun with Hieroglyphics by Catherine Roehrig, The Metropolitan Museum of Art & Viking. It is a short but sound guide book about the history of hieroglyphics with a set of rubber stamps and an ink pad so that the alphabetic portion of the hiero-glyphics can be rendered. It is a good companion piece to Egyptian Hieroglyphics: How to Read and Write Them by Stephane Rossini, Dover, 1989, which is an excellent, well-thought-out and elegant introduction to the field.

Origin of the Micronesian Script (6 pp) Barry Fell 20/1-p 263

Fell explains the history of the discovery of the Micronesian syllabic script. A table of the signs is given. Other graphics illustrate the authors thesis that the Micronesian script shows a strong connection to Egyptian hieroglyphs.

A Cree Centenary: Kit Utumeskatin, Lokan! (1 p) Barry Fell 20/1-p 269

Fell congratulates Fellow of the Epigraphic Society Robert Archibald Logan (known to his Cree friends as Lokan Metistikwan; photo shown) on his upcoming 100th birthday. Logan is the author of a Cree grammar as well as a two volume Cree dictionary.

How to Read an Inscription Upside-down (1 p) Barry Fell 20/1-p 269

Fell illustrates how even the “professionals” can make embarrassing mistakes. The famous Phoenician Stele found in Nora, Sardinia, was for many years read upside down and backwards until the error was corrected by Frank Moore Cross Jr. in 1980.

Petrographic Techniques and Styles of the Fremont and Anasazi Culture (6 pp) E. Morgan Kelley 20/1-p 270

An excellent overview of Southwestern petrographic inscriptions and attempts to date and decipher them. Highlights the work of LaVan Martineau as an “enlightening parallel” to the decipherments by Fell.

The Shaman Motif and the Kokopelli Figure (4 pp) E. Morgan Kelley 20/1-p 276

The author continues his excellent elucidation of Southwestern petrographic motifs.

A Ninth-Century Irish Scholar's Cat (1 p) Lucas Fysst 20/1-p 279

Gives his translation of a portion of a famous Old Irish poem about Pangur Ban, a scholar’s cat. [Buchanan comment: This is one of my favorite ancient poems and I’ve attempted my own translation of it.]

Barry Fell and the Anatolians (32 pp) Michael Skupin 20/1-p 278

The author again demonstrates his considerable erudition with an excellent and thorough introductory examination of the question of Anatolian roots for a number of ancient inscriptions (Etruscan, the Lemnos Stele, etc.). There is a particularly good elucidation of Fell’s decipherment of the three Pyrgi inscriptions on gold leaf (LP I – Phoenician; LP II & III – Etruscan).

Ainsuca: a Shaman's Solar Calendar? (14 pp) Harry A. Marriner 20/1-p 312

The author introduces us to a petroglyph site in Columbia which may been carved by a Shaman who used them as a calendar.

The Classical Labyrinth: Old World and New (14 pp) Charles F. Herberger 20/1-p 326

The author discusses the antecedents of the labyrinth and gives examples from both the Old and New Worlds.

Cuna Obstetrics Medicine (1 p) Clyde Keeler 20/1-p 340

The author, a medical man as well as an expert on the Cuna, discusses Cuna obstetrical medical practices.

On the Cover

The Karanovo Zodiac (the disc is shown at 2.8 times normal size). The photo is by Vladimir Vitanov of Sophia, Bulgaria.


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Last modified: January 09, 2005