The Epigraphic Society
Epigraphic Society Occasional Papers
Table of Contents, Volume 23, 1998
Officers of the Society (1 p) The Editors 23-p 2
officers and Board members of The Epigraphic Society are listed and information
is provided about them.
Barry Fell (1 p) Jon Polansky 23-p 4
short elegy to Dr. Fell (1917-1994), lauding him as a teacher who encouraged
independent thought and the pursuit of the scientific method.
Editorial: A Continuing Heritage (1 p) Donal Buchanan 23-p 5
explains what Barry meant to him. Fell was important, not because he was always
right –he wasn’t; but because he taught one to think.
To Members & Subscribers (2 pp) Norman
introduces the first issue of ESOP to be published since Fell’s death.
“The same emphasis on creativity will be maintained, with greater emphasis on
On Reading Ancient Scripts (4 pp) George
defends Fell’s record. Critics accused Fell of “forcing” a translation or
decipherment and thus often falling into error. Carter points out that
decipherment is not an exact science: even the best scholars often come to
different translations of the same inscription. He goes on to describe evidence
for difussion provided by scholars other than Fell.
Editorial: ESOP 23 and Beyond (4 pp) Jon Polansky 23-p 9
The Chief Editor of ESOP enlarges on his plans and desires for the journal. An interdisciplinary approach to developing methods and data bases for the investigation of cultural diffusions (including the involvement, where applicable, of Amerindian experts), the fostering of exchanges between scholars of differing views, as well as critical evaluation and re-evaluation of the evidence.
Under Our Noses‑Too Close to See (2 pp) Warren
points out that often we miss items of importance that others outside our frame
of reference see at once. As an example, he points to an inscribed pillar
(possible Ogham) on the Milk River in Canada (photo by Dexter shown).
Pre‑Columbian Contacts With Native American Cultures (2 pp) Vine
Deloria points out that besides inscriptions which may have been left by Old World explorers before Columbus, there is evidence from Amerindian sources of pre-Columbian contacts.
Early African Presence in the New World (4 pp) Richard
writer sets forth evidence for an early pre-Columbian African presence in the
Letter: Semitic Inscriptions in the Americas (1 p) James Trimm 23-p 19
A Semiticist expresses his interest in proposed Semitic inscriptions found in the Americas. It is his hope that he can contribute to future investigations of this controversial question.
The Cree Syllabary and Native American Writing (2 pp) The
An introduction to the next two letters, a correspondence on Cree between two noted scholars with widely differing views.
Historical Context of the Cree Syllabary (4 pp) Gerald
Hutchinson sets for the evidence for the creation of the Cree Syllabary by the Rev. James Evans.
The Cree Syllabary: An Indigenous Writing System (3 pp) Louis
Parry considers that the weight of the evidence clearly shows a pre-Columbian use of the Syllabary by the Cree (a graphic of the Cree Syllabary is provided).
Kuna Writing/Kogi Mythology (1 p) Daniel
Draws attention to a Kuna mola (graphic shown) which shows usage of a script similar to the Muisca glyphs known from the Bogota plains area of Colombia which are associated with calendrics (graphic shown).
Ancient Kuna Writing? (2 p) Tom Strider
Strider points to the strong similarity between Kuna writing as seen in an article by George Carter in volume 20 (graphic shown) and that used in the Wichub Wala document (graphic shown) apparently authored by one Enrique Figueroa (of Wichub Wala in the San Blas Islands where the Kuna lived). Indeed the Wichub Wala graphic appears to be a close duplicate of the first 13 lines shown in Carter’s graphic.
Walrus Bone Golden Numbers of the Norse (2 pp) Frans
The author argues that the Walrus Calendar illustrated by Worm in 1643 dates to as early as 1100 AD rather than 1347 AD as suggested by Bugge.
The Epigraphic Seal (1 p) Bill Rudersdorf & Michael Skupin
and Skupin commissioned an artist, Tex Welch, to create a steel replica of the
Society’s seal for presentation to Dr. Barry Fell on the occasion of his 75th
Megalithic Monuments in Connecticut (1 p) E.T.
Provides color photos (shown) of a stone chair and a possible dolmen, both located at sites in Connecticut.
Report: Old World Sites in the Northeast (3 pp) John
One of the earliest members of the Society reflects upon his relationship with Barry Fell in research carried out in New England over a 20 year period (photos of stone chambers in New York and Connecticut shown).
Report: Mesoamerican Research: A Comalcalco Update (4 pp) Neil
Steede originallycontacted Barry Fell at the suggestion of Alexander von Wuthenau. His relationship with Fell resulted in useful insights and added a focus and testable hypotheses to the ongoing research at Comalcalco and elsewhere (excellent color photos of the Comalcalco site shown). He discusses progress made since his last report on the site.
Report: Ship of Controversy (10 pp) George
Discusses the original ship-glyph used as inspiration for the Society’s seal. He compares the various renditions with other depictions of early ships (numerous graphics).
Decipherment of East Central Iberic (24 pp) Donal
The sound values for the East Central Iberic script are for the most part identical with those for the Southwest Iberic script. While the area where this script is used was at one time known to be heavily Celtic before the arrival of the Romans, the language cloaked by this script is not Celtic, but a form of non-literary Latin or Old Spanish. The inscriptions using the script probably date no earlier than about 180 BC and, in some cases, may be as late as 100-200 AD. Decipherments of a number of inscriptions are given with numerous supporting graphics and a detailed vocabulary: The Abengibre Plates; Lead Laminas from El Llano de Consolacion, La Bastida de les Alcuses (Mogente); the inscribed stone at El Salobral; and the La Sagra Bowl.
Precise Petroglyph Equinox Marker in Eastern California (15 pp) Alan
Petroglyph site INY272 contains a simple pecked marker consisting of six vertical bars that can be used, during the week of the equinox, to predict the time of the equinox, relative to sunset, within 3 hours. The site, which is determined to be at least several hundred years old, reveals a surprising astronomical sophistication on the part of its creator (well illustrated).
Karanovo Zodiac and Old European linear (7 pp) Richard
An examination of the origins of writing. Recent work comparing Old European Linear script with Cretan Linear A and Classical Cypriote syllabaries suggests a writing tradition which continued from Neolithic times down to later Mediterranean cultures, challenging earlier theories.
Linguistic Associations in the Mediterranean (7 pp) N.
author offers decipherments of eight Etruscan and Illyrian inscriptions from
Italy and Albania (ancient Illyria), using Albanian as the key language. She
also attempts the decipherment of two inscriptions from Southern Portugal. [Buchanan Comment: Unfortunately, the
transcriptions she used for the latter two inscriptions were faulty. See my The
Decipherment of Southwest Iberic, ESOP
volume 20/2, 1991.]
District Inscriptions: Fr. Japan to the Ancient Orient (11 pp) H.
The author, a member of the Japan Petroglyph Society relates the inscriptions to Sumerian mythology and symbols.
Curious Element in Uto-Aztecan Linguistics (32 pp) Bryan
A linguist sets forth data for a possible connection between Semitic and Uto-Aztecan.
Rochester Creek Petroglyphs, Part 1: New Proposals (5 pp) Jon
Images suggesting the Corona Borealis and Bootes at the Rochester site led to the consideration that other aspects of archaeoastronomy or star lore traditions might also be represented there. Investigation suggested a Milky Way depiction involving recognizable Zodiacal elements. Both Old World and Amerindian elements can be seen.
Interpretations: 6-toed Footprints in Western Petroglyphs (7 pp) Gloria Farley 23-p 146
author compares 6-toed Footprint petroglyphs in the Southwest with similar
depictions in Egypt and Southern Africa.
Dimensions (13 pp)Norman Totten
picks up the baton dropped by the late Clyde Keeler and expounds on Kuna culture
and religious beliefs.
Quincunx as an Internal/Extemal Orientation Symbol (9 pp) C.
The Quincunx or quadrilateral with crossed diagonals, like the swastika and the labyrinth, is one of the primordial symbols of untold age and worldwide distribution. It is a symbol of orientation with external and internal implications, referring to the sun’s movement in space as seen from the earth and its marking of cyclical time: a symbol of cosmological unity and wholeness.
260 Day Count: Augury Table, not Calendar (12 pp) Terry
Building upon the author’s previous work, this presentation illustrates that the 260 day calendar has a lunar basis. It is not a calendar, but an augury table.
Forum: The Kensington Runestone --Introduction (1 p) The Editors 23-p 187
editors introduce the participants, giving biographic information on Richard
Nielsen, Robert Hall, and James Knirk.
Kensington Stone Linguistics (50 pp) Richard
paper concentrates on the non-Runic aspects of the Kensington Runestone and
reviews the work of six well-known detractors of its authenticity --three Danes:
Harry Andersen, Erik Moltke, and Karl Martin Nielsen; two Swedes: Sven Jansson
and Brigitte Wallace; and one American: Erik Wahlgren. Their unsubstantiated
assertions are all refuted by new evidence brought forth here.
Commentary (6 pp) Robert Hall
that the “negators” fail to do their ‘homework’ and, in the case of the
Kensington Runestone, failed to follow the normal procedures of scholarly
investigation. Lauds Nielsen for placing the whole discussion on a new and
Commentary (4 pp) James Knirk
presents linguistic difficulties that suggest strongly that the Kensington
Runestone could not have been carved at the time suggested, but is a late
Responses (18 pp) Richard Nielsen
concurs with Hall’s review and adds highlights with additional examples. He
also responds to the specific linguistic criticisms by Knirk.
Memoriam: Howard Barraclough Fell (1917-1994) (4 pp) René
Fell has written a touching tribute and excellent biography of her husband (good
Memoriam: Barry Fell (1 p) Norman Totten
lauds his old friend as a gentle warrior, peeling back the mysteries that time
sets before us.
Memoriam: Clyde Keeler (1900-1994) (2 pp) Gloria
excellent biography of Clyde (with a photo) by an old friend.
Joseph Mahan (1921-1995) (1 p) Donal B. Buchanan
of the founder of the Institute for the Study of American Cultures (ISAC) (photo
Alexander Von Withenau (1 p) Neil Steede
remembers him as an inspiring scholar who first suggested that he get in touch
with Barry Fell about his Comalcalco site (photo available).
Roberta C. & Edward A. Smith (1 p) Gloria
remembers two fine researchers whose lives were snuffed out in a car accident in
1994 (photo available).
Dr. Albert Gottfried Hahn (1917-1994) (1 p) Paul
memory of a gentle scholar who will be sorely missed by his colleagues.
Information for Authors (1 p) 23-p 274
the Society’s requirements for authors desiring to appear in its publication.
The final paragraph sets forth the copyright policy: that material appearing in
ESOP may not be reproduced by others without prior written permission of the
author(s) and ESOP, in whole or part, electronically or otherwise. Copyrights
are retained for the authors who may reproduce their own work as they wish.
On the Cover
A photograph of a relief sculpture of Barry Fell made prior to his death.
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