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Volume 21


Epigraphic Society Occasional Papers

Contents • Volume 21 • 1992

In Memoriam: Robert Edward Walker 1927-1992 (2 pp) Marj Haase & Larry Works 21-p 10

Walker, a retired Geologist, died in an automobile accident in Zambia where he was on assignment with the International Executive Service Corps. He drew the attention of the Society to the Ogam inscriptions in Cedar Canyon (north of Rock Springs, Wyoming –see Volume 16).

In Memoriam: Vincent J. Derbes, MD, FACP, 1912-1991 (2 pp) Rene Fell 21-p 11

An MD and a retired Chief and Professor of Dermatology at Tulane Medical Center in Louisiana, Derbes drew the Society’s attention to possible Ogam inscriptions on some of the artifacts found at Poverty Point in that state.

On fitting pieces together (2 pp) George F. Carter 21-p 12

He highlights the possible presence of Japanese mythological elements in Amerindian folklore (similar depictions of badgers and rabbits for instance).

A Heuristic Approach to Evaluating Epigraphic Evidence (7 pp) Jon Polansky 21-p 14

Discusses the importance of using other disciplines to validate or invalidate epigraphic finds. It is the author’s hope that the Epigraphic Society will continue to provide a heuristic testing ground in which scholarly ideas can be discussed openly in an attempt to sort through differing proposals so that the process will move ahead dynamically.

Forum: Three Scholars Comment on Burrows Cave (3 pp) Jean Hunt, Warren W. Dexter, & Dorothy L. Hayden 21-p 20

Jean Hunt informs as to how she decided not to publish an article by Russell Burrows after she discovered that he lied to her. Warren Dexter writes defending the late Warren Cook as scrupulous and truthful. [Buchanan comment: Which indeed Cook was to the greatest degree. He could be mistaken, but he always dealt from the top of the deck.] Dorothy Hayden, in her review of The Mystery Cave of Many Faces by Russell Burrows and Fred Rydholm, calls the book a hoax (it had been billed as the definitive book on Burrows Cave and its artifacts, but it is anything but). She says that “most of the book is irrelevant” and laced with “galloping paranoia” – one long “diatribe of complaint about all those who have not rushed to proclaim the artifacts genuine despite the fact that … all qualified people who tried to approach the project with an open mind were met by general and prolonged obstruction.”

Forum: Epigraphy in Cuba (1 p) Jorge Diaz 21-p 22

A gentleman from Cuba informs the Society (in Spanish) concerning the possible presence of inscriptions there in Ogam, Phoenician and Libyan. They are located in the Yumuri Valley in the Matanzas region of Cuba.

Forum: Robert Logan (1 p) Maria Vodden 21-p 22

The author thanks the Society for its kind letters and cards on the occasion of Robert Logan’s 100th birthday.

Review: Sichan Safari by Clyde Keeler (2 pp) Rene Fell 21-p 22

This book speaks of Clyde Keeler’s 1930 quest for Apollo’s Sacred White Mice in Turkey and the Greek Islands. He had been teaching at Harvard Medical School and had received a grant to go to Turkey to collect mice –a special breed suspected of carrying a recessive white albino gene. He went through many trials and vicissitudes at the hands of ignorant, suspicious, and corrupt authorities. As a result his final report read like fiction and he had difficulty getting it published. A book you can’t put down.

Review: Discovering Columbus by Paul H. Chapman (2 pp) George Carter & Norman Totten 21-p 24

An extraordinary book. It shows that Columbus was far more knowledgeable, accurate, and less lucky as a navigator than has been widely believed. It deals less with his discoveries than with the sources of his information. The book is logical, factual, and as accurate as the remaining records permit.

Review: Columbus Was Last by Patrick Huyghe (1 p) Barry Fell 21-p 25

A readable and entertaining account of the work of several modern epigraphic scholars.

Review: Did the Greeks Sail the Atlantic? (1 p) Victor Kachur 21-p 26

The Secret Code of the Odyssey by Gilbert Pillot (translated by Francis E. Albert), Abelard-Schuman, New York, 1969. The author pursues his theory that Greek mariners extended their explorations far into the Atlantic.

Review: Cave Man (2 pp) M. Skupin 21-p 26

The Mystery Cave of Many Faces by Russell Burrows and Fred Rydholm, Superior Heartland, 1991. A tiresome book full of name-calling, recriminations, and narratives that don’t gibe with one another.

Symbolism on a Qing Period Embroidery (3 pp) Norman Totten 21-p 28

The author discusses the meanings present in symbols appearing on an 18th century Chinese chair-cover.

Deciphering the Easter Island Tablets Part 5: Maui and the Fire Goddess (10 pp) Barry Fell 21-p 31

The author continues his series on the decipherment of the Rongorongo inscriptions. Fell reveals a masterful knowledge of Maori myths and culture.

lnscribed Bricks in Paraguay (1 p) Jim Woodman 21-p 40

The author points out that examples of Guarani native art from 1609 exist on adobe bricks made for early Jesuit Missions. A ship drawn on one of the bricks looks very unlike Spanish or Portuguese craft and more like a Scandinavian boat. Locals claim it is evidence of Viking visits.

Deciphering the Easter Island Tablets Part 6: Powers of the Tohunga (10 pp) Barry Fell 21-p 41

The author completes his series on the decipherment of the Rongorongo inscriptions.

The Crosses of the Inca, Part 2 (5 pp) Walter Stender 21-p 51

The author continues his discussion (begun in volume 17) of the use of the "square cross" (like the Red Cross symbol) by the Inca, which he maintains was a continuance from preceding cultures. He includes a graphic of a page from a America’s Ancient Civilizations by A. Hyatt Verrill which shows an inscription (believed by Verrill to be Sumerian) on a stone tablet found at Sachuayacu near Urumbamba, 150 miles north of Cuzco.

Annotated Transcription of the Ohio Decalogue Stone (16 pp) J. Huston McCulloch 21-p 56

An excellent analysis of a fascinating artifact by a careful scientist. Without remarking as to whether the artifact is a forgery or not, he states: “…a person rather fluent in Hebrew wrote the substance of the Decalogue down from memory, abridging it and paraphrasing it, but using standard square Hebrew letters, complete with terminal forms. …another person who knew the standard Hebrew alphabet, but who had very imperfect knowledge of the Hebrew language transcribed this text into the unique Ohio Decalogue alphabet, introducing a few outright orthographic errors in the process.”

A Greek Kylix Reconsidered (3 pp) Luise Ebert 21-p 72

The design on a Laconian bowl suggests to the author the possibility of a trade connection between China and ancient Greece.

Tree of Life and Labyrinth (16 pp) Clyde Keeler 21-p 75

A discussion of the cosmological beliefs of the Cuna Indians.

The Man Who Found the Runestones (1 p) Albert G. Hahn & Barry Fell 21-p 91

A photo of Walter Elliott, the discoverer of the Spirit Pond Runestones. Al Hahn has presented the Society with his collection of clippings recording the discovery and all that happened to Elliott and the stones after that.

The Spirit Pond Runestones of Maine, a Proposed Dating and Tentative Translation (22 pp) Richard Nielsen 21-p 92

An exhaustive examination of the Spirit Pond Runestones. The author concludes that rather than dating to 1011, they actually date to 1401. He further states that they are the result of a well-established trade route from Western Scandinavia to Iceland, around Greenland and on to North America –one more corroboration of an extensive pre-Columbian inter-exchange with Europe.

An In-depth Examination of the Spirit Pond Runestones (24 pp) Paul Chapman 21-p 114

Another scholar provides his decipherment of the Spirit Pond Runestones (excellent color photos accompany the article). Chapman attempts to show that the locale shown on the Mapstone is not Spirit Pond, but the northern tip of Newfoundland.

A New Look at the Spirit Pond Runestones (27 pp) Donal B. Buchanan 21-p 138

Buchanan published his first attempt at decipherment of the Spirit Pond Runestones as a special publication of the New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA) in 1972: A Preliminary Translation of the Spirit Pond Runestones. This article is his final decipherment, discussed line by line. He shows transcriptions of the inscription, transliterations, and cognates; and makes comparisons with the work of colleagues (Einar Haugen, Alf Mongé, Richard Nielsen, and Paul Chapman) as well as his own earlier work. His carefully rendered graphics represent hours of study of the originals using a magnifying glass.

King Juba Remembered? (11 pp) Norman Totten 21-p 165

This is a progress report of research on the existence of possible North African Berber influence in the Andes, dealing with the origin of the Tiwanaku and Moche civilizations.

The Yuchis, American and Asian (4 pp) Joseph B. Mahan 21-p 176

The author compares the nomenclature and cultural practices of the Amerindian and Asian Yuchis.

The Sacred Cut in the Geometry of Stonehenge (8 pp) Charles F. Herberger 21-p 180

An examination of the units of measurement used in the construction of Stonehenge.

The Shawnee Creek Stone of Oklahoma (5 pp) Ali Akbar Bushiri & Gloria Farley 21-p 188

The author comments on symbolic elements appearing in the inscription on the Shawnee Creek Stone (see volume 18 of ESOP). He relates the motifs to Sumerian, backing Fell, who arrived at a similar conclusion.

Takhelne, a Celtiberian Language of North America (47 pp) Barry Fell 21-p 193

Fell feels that Celts (perhaps traders?) from Portugal and Spain, who spoke a dialect of Gaelic, were present in North America between 800 BC and later Roman times. Their linguistic traces are few because they were probably absorbed into the larger Algonquin population. Non-Celtic traders (Egyptians and Libyans) later visited the same region. Fell suggests that the Amerindian Takhelne preserve a large part of the language of the original Celtiberians of New England.

Dragons around the World (15 pp) Norman Totten 21-p 240

The author compares depictions of dragons found in Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

Nitukki, Kurutile, Tilmun and Dilmun Symbols (8 pp) Ali Akbar Bushiri 21-p 255

The author argues that the Dilmun culture existed as early as 3200 BC. He presents an analysis of pictographic and cuneiform signs found at Dilmun.

An Ancient Zodiac from Inyo, California (5 pp) Barry Fell 21-p 263

Fell updates his research concerning the inscription complex known as INY-272 (recorded by Heizer and Baumhoff in 1962) a portion of which was reported on by Fell in volume 8 of ESOP (Fell’s identification of the Inyo Zodiac). He has consulted with Robert F. Heizer and with Roderick Schmidt (whose work indicates that the whole complex needs reconsideration).

Swansea, a Multicultural Petroglyph Site in Inyo County, California (9 pp) Roderick L. Schmidt 21-p 268

Schmidt provides an excellent report on the petroglyph complex known as INY-272 in Inyo County, California, identified by Heizer and Baumhoff and heaviliy researched by Schmidt and the late Burrell Dawson.

Stick Charts of the Marshall Islands (18 pp) K.O. Emery 21-p 277

An explanation of the stick charts used by natives of the Marshall Islands to navigate within their archipelago.

The Micmac Manuscripts (26 pp) Barry Fell 21-p 295

Fell returns to his decipherment of Micmac using comparison with ancient Egyptian signs, elucidating previously unread material.

Easter Isiand Writing - The Hawaiian Connection, Part 2 (6 pp) Likeke R. McBride 21-p 321

The author compares the language of Hawaii with that of Easter Island, and also the shared symbols. He finds more connection between the languages than between the engraved symbols of the two cultures.

Four Hypothetical Mayan Star Clocks (3 pp) Milo Rea Gardner 21-p 327

A report on Mayan systems for measuring time.

Commentary on the Foregoing Paper (1 p) Alban Wall 21-p 330

A comment by Alban Wall is appended to the previous paper. He does not fully agree with Gardner’s findings, but believes his work is important.

The Transmigrations of Tanit (12 pp) Gloria Farley 21-p 331

The author discusses the appearance of representations of Tanit in a number of ancient cultures in the Mediterranean, Africa and the Americas.

Homer's Geographical Concepts and Their Influence on Ancient Authors (3 pp) Grigory G. Mikhailyuk 21-p 343

The author explains the Greek view of the World on the basis of their dependence on the works of Homer. Ancient maps appear to have had an East-West rather than a North-South orientation, with Eurasia as the Upper World and the Americas as the Underworld.


On the Cover

A Qing Period silk and metal thread embroidery; photo by Norman Totten.



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