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Volume 24


Epigraphic Society Occasional Papers

Table of Contents, Volume 24, 2006


Officers of the Society (1 p) The Editors 24-p 2

The officers and Board members of The Epigraphic Society are listed and information is provided about them.

Three Dimensional Corn Representations from India in Pre-Columbian Times (1p) Carl Johannessen 24-p 4


Explains that the cover photo illustrates one of the many ears of corn in the hands of Goddesses in temples in Karnataka State, South India. Johannessen says these are clear indications of trans-oceanic cultural diffusion.


Consideration of Asian Crops Indicate Longstanding Transoceanic Pre-Columbian Contacts (8 pp) Carl Johannessen 24-p 5


In our cover story, the author discusses his investigations in India and his findings that lead him to conclude that many cultures traded ideas and items with several others, either through intermediaries or directly. The evidence is irrevocable and we need to catch up with the realities of history.


Filler: Excerpt from an Interview with Carl Johannesen (1 p) Lauren Polansky 24-p 12


Lauren interviewed Johannessen in August 2004 about how he got interested in the subject of trans-oceanic contacts. (Photo of Johannessen.)


Editorial: The President’s Message –ESOP and History (2 pp) Norman Totten 24-p 13


The author describes Barry’s early struggles with the establishment during his founding of the Epigraphic Society. He goes on to discuss work done on the present volume and plans in existence for volumes 25, 26, and 27.  After some remarks concerning the Society’s library and his desire that it be catalogued and established in a permanent location, Totten concludes with comments about the Society’s finances and the necessity for production of a quality publication. (Photo of Totten.)


Interview: Totten Receives the Kidger Award (5 pp) The Editors 24-p 15


Editor Jon Polansky interviews Norman Totten about his career and his part in the founding of the Epigraphic Society and the furtherance of epigraphic research in America. (Photo of Totten receiving the Kidger Award.)


Filler: The Tunnel Rock Ogham: An Artist’s View (1 p) Ann Buchanan 24-p 19


This inscription was found at Corridor Site 3, Colorado, in  1976, by Don Ritchie of the Bureau of Land Management. It was deciphered by Barry Fell and featured in Ancient Celtic America by William McGlone and Philip Leonard.


Editorial: To My Epigraphic Colleagues (3 pp) Jon Polansky 24-p 20


Jon discusses the delay in publication of 24, mentioning his persistent illness. He apologizes to authors whose publications were delayed, and to the readers who had come to expect an ongoing source of epigraphic information. He goes on to discuss the contents and structure of volume 24 and future plans for the publication.


Filler: A Quote from Boswell’s Journal of a Tour of the Hebrides (1 p) James Boswell 24-p 22


Boswell expresses sorrow for the extinction of any language “because languages are the pedigree of nations.”


Editorial: Why the Issue Was Delayed (2 pp) Donal B. Buchanan 24-p 23


Enlarges on the discussion begun by Jon. Says that the editors are seeking to turn out a publication that can bridge the gap between professionals and amateurs. This necessitates that, insofar as possible, articles undergo review by knowledgeable people, and authors be requested to make revisions where necessary, all of which takes time. He points out that Barry was not always right but, in the final analysis, was able to face up to errors. We should emulate Barry by displaying a similar level of intellectual courage. We should beware falling into a ‘siege mentality’ when beleaguered by unfair criticism. We look forward to a more regular publication of ESOP and welcome the presence of other epigraphic publications and activities. We will carry on towards our goal: to provide a respected vehicle for the exchange of carefully acquired information about epigraphy and epigraphic sites and findings. We believe this is consistent with Barry’s vision for the Society, and look forward to making it a reality. It is a privilege to follow in his footsteps.


Filler: Comments On An Etruscan Inscription (1 p) Donal B. Buchanan 24-p 24


A sample page from the Etruscan Database under compilation by Buchanan. This particular inscription, while considered Etruscan, shows strong connections to both Latin and Greek.


Correspondence: Discussions with Ed Robertson (9 pp) Donal Buchanan & Ed Robertson 24-p 25


A selection of correspondence dated between July 1999 and February 2000. Robertson, writing from Scotland, is deeply involved in the study of Italo-Celtic languages with particular emphasis on Raetic. There is a lively discussion of Buchanan’s work on SW Iberic, the Lemnos Inscription, the Caslir and Ceglie inscriptions (Italo-Celtic), and the Scholastic Ogham inscriptions on Pictish stones in Scotland. A possible connection between the Etruscan and Iberic scripts is suggested. Discussions follow of Glyphbreaker by Fischer, Ruhlen’s Origin of Language, and Conway’s Prae-Italic Dialects. Also discussed: The Phaistos Disk and the Magliano Plate (graphics are shown of the latter). After receiving a sending from Buchanan containing his work on Lemnos, SW Iberic, and so-called ‘Pictish’ Ogham, Robertson asked 5 specific and pointed questions which Buchanan then answered.


Correspondence: Louis L’Amour –An Early Fan (2 pp) The Editors 24-p 34


The archives of the Epigraphic Society have turned up the fact that Louis L’Amour, the famous Western writer, was in touch with Dr. Fell as early as March 1977 (a letter from him to Fell was published in ESOP 14 in 1985). L’Amour speaks of coin finds he knows about and of a cave at Smith’s Fork, a branch of Caney Fork, where the bodies of three white people with red hair were found wrapped in deerskins sewn together and then further wrapped in blankets of woven bark. He stated that in the course of his research he had come across many such accounts. Only a one page of the letter is available at this time. It was in a folder with material on the Judaculla Rock, a petroglyph site on Caney Fork Creek, Jackson Co., NC. Information on Judaculla Rock and its inscriptions follow, along with quotes from L’Amour’s books showing his continuing interest in epigraphy and diffusion.


Correspondence: An Ogham Inscription in Colorado featured in Website (1 p) Marilynn Thomas 24-p 35


Thomas calls our attention to which discusses the inscriptions found in Picture Canyon and Crack Cave (deciphered by Fell in 1985). A good photo by Bob Appel of one of the alleged Ogham inscriptions is shown.


Correspondence: Really Ancient Epigraphy (6 pp) Gordon Currie 24-p 36


Currie sent in an excellent photo (shown) of markings on rock found above Fraser Canyon in British Columbia. He asked for information, citing an article by Bruce A. MacDonald in ESOP Volume 7: The Inscribed Rock Near Spuzzum, British Columbia. Buchanan sent him the article (included here in its entirety) and remarked that the inscription reported by MacDonald looked remarkably like the ones reported by Currie. A reprint of MacDonald’s article is included at this point. Currie replied with his thanks for the article and stated that he had conducted tests that proved that the markings were not man-made, but fracture markings (illustrative picture shown). Buchanan thanked Currie for his material and requested permission to publish. He noted that while Fell had published MacDonald’s interesting report, he had never attempted a decipherment nor suggested there was one.


Correspondence: A Puzzlement to Solve (1 p) Fabio Campos 24-p 41


Campos sent Buchanan his copy of a strange script he had run across (shown). Buchanan replied that he was unable to identify it and asked for further information on its provenance. No reply was ever received. Input from readers requested.


Correspondence: The Saga of the False Cove Stone –The Epigrapher’s Tale (3 pp) Patrick L. Abbott 24-p 42


In September 1989, Barry Fell and his wife found an inscribed boulder on a rocky beach at False Cove, 300 yards north of Tourmaline Park at Pacific Beach, San Diego.  Abbott, a geologist with the Department of Geological Sciences, San Diego State University comments on Dr. Fell’s published translation of the Ogam-like markings on the stone and suggests that the grooves were most likely made by modern scoops and scrapers used to clear the beaches of kelp and other debris. (Good photo of Fell with the stone, p 42; excellent photo of stone, p 44).


Correspondence: The Saga of the False Cove Stone –Dr. Fell’s Reply (1 p) Barry Fell 24-p 45


Fell replies to Abbott’s critique pointing out how unlikely it would be that three successive attacks by a bulldozer could account for uniformly arranged letters in a Numidian text with a uniform patina covering the whole.


Correspondence: The Saga of the False Cove Stone –The False Cove Rock Gets a New Home (1 p) Marshall Payn 24-p 45


Marshall Payn, in a an e-mail exchange with Buchanan reports on the donation of the False Cove Rock to the Heritage of the Americas Museum on the Cuyamaca college campus where it will be amply safeguarded and will bear a plaque stating that it is the earliest known writing on the west coast. This donation, from the Epigraphic Society of Southern California, was arranged by Wayne Kenaston Jr. (President of that Society) and Marshall Payn (V.P. of that Society).


Correspondence: The Etowah Stone (2 pp) Amos J. Wright Jr. 24-p 46


An exchange of correspondence between the late Amos Wright and the editors of ESOP concerning an inscribed stone found in Etowah County, Alabama, in 1999. Wright was referred to ESOP by Donald Gilmore, Sue Carlson and Roz Strong of the New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA). There is a facsimile of a news item about the stone written by Danny Crownover as well as good photos of the stone itself in two different orientations.


Correspondence: A Petroglyph in a Cave in New Mexico (1 p) Noel Chitwood 24-p 48


Chitwood contacted Donal Buchanan concerning an inscribed stone he saw in a cave in New Mexico. A good photo of the inscribed stone is shown. Buchanan suggested that the markings might be Amerindian.


Correspondence: Some Comments on Barry Fell’s Decipherment of the Rongo-Rongo Script  (4 pp) Phil Garn 24-p 49


Garn comments at length on Barry’s decipherment and on the structure of Polynesian languages. He discusses the religious and cultural practices of the area which are important to consider when attempting such a translation. He complains that he cannot find all of Fell’s references and admits that he is unable, due to his lack of knowledge and references, to comment critically or challenge Fell’s decipherment. He states that Fell’s approach was logical and finds no fault with his methodology.


Reprint: A Polynesian Inscription from Tahiti (4 pp) Barry Fell 24-p 52


As an adjunct to Garn’s correspondence we take pleasure in presenting a reprint of one of Fell’s most famous Rongo-Rongo decipherments (originally appearing in ESOP, Vol. 19, 1990, pp 278-280). He deciphered the inscription shown in the background of a painting by Paul Gaugin of his Tahitian mistress and entitled “The Many Ancestors of Tehamana.” Fell suggests that the Easter Island script was long known in Tahiti, but concealed from the European administrators of the island.


Correspondence: The Cree Syllabary and Native American Writing (7 pp) (continued from pp 19-25, Vol. 23) Editorial Comment 24-p 55


A second installment of the discussion begun in Volume 23 of ESOP by Gloria Farley, Louis Buff Parry, and Gerald Hutchison. Both Hutchison and Parry are preparing substantial contributions on related topics for a future edition of ESOP.


Correspondence: The Ancient Origin of the Cree Syllabary (4 pp) Gloria Farley 24-p 55


Farley tells of her reception of a Chippewa Indian alphabet (shown) from a Creek Indian friend in 1976. She sent it to Fell who identified it as an earlier example of the Cree-Ojibway alphabet and synonymous with the script of the ancient Arab city of Palmyra, in Syria. She cites ESOP, Vol. 3, Part I, paper #54. She goes on to speak further of Fell’s work on the Algonquian Cree syllabary (shown) and his identification of its relationship to the Basque syllabary. She shows a petroglyph of a turtle with an inscription on its back in Cree letters Fell read as “ke-si-toh” = “he makes” or “he creates.”


Correspondence: Origins of the Cree and Ojibway Syllabaries (2 pp) Louis Buff Parry 24-p 58


Parry relates the Cree and Ojibway syllabaries to proto-Hebrew and demonstrates its relationship with Palmyrene, a conclusion independently arrived at by James Evans, Barry Fell, and himself.


Correspondence: The Steinhauer Declaration (3 pp) Gerald Hutchison 24-p 59


Hutchison reviews Evans’ career as a Methodist missionary in Canada and his work on the syllabary. He quotes an Anglican missionary named William Mason who credits Evans with the invention of the Cree Syllabary. They were apparently unaware that the Cree characters may have been in existence before the advent of Evans.


Correspondence: Further Observations of Kogi Knowledge (2 pp) Daniel Lucas 24-p 62


Lucas follows up on his correspondence in ESOP 23 re Kuna writing and mythology. He recommends a BBC documentary on the Kogi: “Heart of the World” as well as a book by Alan Arera titled “Elder Brother.” He gives a corrected version of a graphic that was inadvertently published upside down. He discusses the queta symbols (sun symbols?) and the pispiska symbols, both apparently related to Kogi astronomical concepts.


Correspondence: A Passage in Ganong’s Cartographic Work, 1964 (1 p) Terry Deveau 24-p 63


Deveau brings our attention to a passage in William Francis Ganong’s Crucial Maps in the Early Cartography and Place-Nomenclature of the Atlantic Coast of Canada (Toronto, 1964) in which he mentions several undoubtedly ancient Norwegian battle axes, spears and smaller objects as having been found in divers parts of the Minnesota region. Ganong cited no references and ESOP readers are asked for information if available.


Correspondence: An Old Hebrew Inscription from Wadi el-Hol (3 pp) James Harris 24-p 64


Harris shows (and reads) an inscription in the Old Negev (proto-Sinaitic, proto-Canaanite) script dating to the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, c. 1800 BC. A table on the “Origin and Emergence of Archaic West Semitic Alphabets” is given. In the opinion of Editor Jon Polansky, work on Old Negev and related scripts may elucidate inscriptions found in the American Southwest such as the one shown on p. 140 of ESOP 23 (reprinted here).


Correspondence: Swedish Museum Working with Kensington, Minnesota (2 pp) Susanna Larsson p 66


Ms. Larsson works for the Halsingland Museum in Sweden. The Kensington Runestone, through the efforts of Richard Nielsen, was part of a display in two Swedish museums, the Historiska Museet in Stockholm and the Halsingslands Museum in Hudiksvall. She speaks of an exhibit on the Kensington Stone that they are working on which they would like to share with America –the city of Kensington having been chosen to host it. It will, through the use of artifacts, text and pictures, focus on the life and times of Olof Ohman (the discoverer of the Runestone) in Sweden and America. It will be a cooperation between the Halsinglands Museum and the City of Kensington. Donations are requested.


Filler: The Noble Twins Inscription –An Artist’s View (1 p) Ann Buchanan 24-p 67


A lovely rendition of the inscription located in the Sun Temple Site in Southeast Colorado.


Research Report: Progress on the Kensington Runestone (31 pp) Dr. Richard Nielsen 24-p 68


Nielsen goes into great detail on the work accomplished since the Forum on the Kensington Runestone in ESOP 23 (an excellent photo of Nielsen at work heads the piece). He carefully reviews his publications and presentations (including his responses to criticisms raised by Dr. James Knirk and Nielsen’s collaboration with Scott Wolter) since the forum and discusses Olof Ohman, his family, and his origins in Sweden.


Research Report: The Geology of the Kensington Runestone (5 pp) Scott F. Wolter 24-p 99


A thorough-going report, profusely illustrated on the geology of the Runestone as well as that of the so-called “AVM Stone.”


Filler: Thoughts on Dating the Trojan War (1 p) Donal Buchanan 24-p 103


It is suggested that the Trojan War took place at a much later date than usually recognized, perhaps sometime between –770 to  -675 BC.


Article: The Decipherment of a Sepulchral Inscription from the Island of Lemnos (11 pp) Donal B. Buchanan 24-p 104


This inscription, usually regarded as Etruscan, is shown to be in a variant Italo-Celtic script deriving from Western Greek (thus sharing an origin with the group of scripts to which Etruscan belongs). I cloaks a language which is basically a heavily Latinized dialect of Celtic. A decipherment is given, showing that the site is probably the sepulcher of a Roman soldier of Celtic lineage who was resettled in Lemnos after retirement, perhaps in the second century BC.


Filler: Whatsit? (1 p) Donal Buchanan 24-p 114


Readers are asked to identify or comment on an un-Etruscan seeming inscribed artifact found in a no-longer function website dealing with Etruscan finds.


Article: Decipherment of the “6-Month” Inscription from the Anubis Caves (5 pp) Donal B. Buchanan 24-p 115


The author, while in the main supporting Fell’s decipherment, has a small disagreement about the reading of the final portion of the inscription. He gives his decipherment and points out that while Old Irish and other Celtic languages seem to have a VSO structure, this inscription shows and SOV structure. Perhaps the VSO language, existing in a sea of SOV Amerinds, eventually shifted to SOV.


Filler: Comments on a Scholastic Ogham Inscription from Scotland (1 p) Donal Buchanan 24-p 119


Buchanan elucidates an inscription from a knife handle. It apparently was a “birthing knife” used by a Scottish midwife named Mattie.


Article: The Hidden Mountain Astronomical Petroglyphs (5 pp) Zena Halpern 24-p 120


Halpern discusses the “Zodiac Stone” located at the top of Hidden Mountain near Los Lunas, New Mexico, and its possible relation to the apparent paleo-Hebrew inscription (often called the “Decalogue Stone”) located at the base of the mountain. She suggests they could have been left by ancient voyagers from Judea or the surrounding Mediterranean diaspora sometime in the second or first centuries BC.


Article: The Hidden Mountain Petroglyphs: Evaluation of Astronomical Proposals (2 pp) Louis Winkler 24-p 125


The late Louis Winkler, an astronomer, differs with David Deal’s 1984 reading of the petroglyph. He agrees that it is an astronomical petroglyph. He suggests that it marks an eclipse which occurred on 18 September 107 BCE (Julian).


Article: Rock-Art Dating at the Turn of the Millenium (4 pp) Alan Gillespie 24-p 127


The author reviews the process and difficulties of rock-art dating. He concludes that it remains difficult and uncertain.


Filler: A Dislike of Empty Space (1 p) Donal Buchanan 24-p 130


The Editor gives his reasons for the many fillers used –his dislike of “empty spaces” in a publication.


Article: Astronomical Dating of a Solstice Sun-dagger Petroglyph at Swansea, Inyo County, California (19 pp) Alan R. Gillespie and Donald E. Sabol 24-p 131


The authors discuss a petroglyph at INY-272 which appears to mark a Summer Solstice site. They date the creation of the petroglyph to a period postdating 10 CE give or take 210 years.


Article: The Forgotten Harmonical Science of the Bible (20 pp) Ernest G. McClain 24-p 150


The author calls this a “progress report” on the decoding of ancient biblical arithmetic. He points out that Philo of Alexander, writing in the first century AD, concluded that Moses must have understood tuning theory long before Pythagoras brought it home to Greece. McLain demonstrates a deep knowledge of biblical arithmetic and harmonic practices. He adds an appendix on “Davidic” harmonic theory.


Filler: The Wyoming County, WV Inscription –An Artist’s View (1 p) Ann Buchanan 24-p 169


A reproduction of a painting done in the 80s in honor of Dr. Fell’s decipherment. It now hangs proudly in the Buchanan home.


Article: The Canon of Lespugue (6 pp) Ralph H. Abraham and William Irwin Thompson 24-p 170


Linear measurements taken from the Venus of Lespugue, a 25,000 year old sculpture, closely match the diatonic scale of the Vedic Aryans, also known as the Dorian mode of the ancient Greeks.


Authentic Medieval Elements in the Kensington Stone (6 pp) Keith A. J. Massey and Kevin Massey-Gillespie 24-p 176


The authors examine two lines of the inscription that have been neglected in some important aspects. They contain authentic medieval elements that suggest to scholars of the medieval period, even outside of runology and Scandinavian linguistics, that a reexamination of the Kensington Stone is necessary.


Filler: Comment on an Iberic Inscription from Liria (1 p) Donal Buchanan 24-p 181


Buchanan elucidates a short inscription found on a ceramic artifact from Liria. This comes from his Inscriptions Database.


Article: A Sphinx Pipe from Missouri (4 pp) Gloria Farley 24-p 182


The author suggests that an artifact found by a Missouri family may indicate an ancient Egyptian contact with American Indians.


Filler: Quote from The History of Language (1 p) Henry Sweet 24-p 185


“In philology, as in all branches of knowledge, it is the specialist who most strenuously opposes any attempt to widen the field of his methods.”


Article: A Global Tau (9 pp) T. R. Greaves 24-p 186


The ancient “Tau” character is found in diverse artistic, ritual, and architectural contexts in the pre-Columbian Americas. These closely parallel and often duplicate examples taken from Old World cultures. It is considered very unlikely that any mechanism other than communication could account for this conventionality in meaning and use.


Article: Native American Boats of Renewal (16 pp) Jesse E. Warner 24-p 195


Analyses were conducted of possible boat depictions in a survey of petroglyphs from the American western deserts, in which context, repetition, and potentially relevant ethnographic sources were evaluated. Several were identified as probably pertaining to a “boats of renewal” concept –a concept known from other continents. These observations are discussed as part of studies concerning observed associated forms, and ideas relating to their meanings being developed from studies of petroglyphs, primarily in the American west. In the context of native American traditions, these appear to relate to a ‘metaphysical transport’ of the soul to the land of the dead or back to the beginning place of creation.


Filler: Identification of a ‘Lost’ Mayan Language (1 p) David Keys 24-p 210


A sacred religious language once used by the Mayan ruling class has been identified with a language spoken by the Ch’orti in Guatemala. See Keys’ report at


Article: Introduction to the Fertility Symbolism at the Rochester Creek Petroglyph Site: The Role of Symbolic Solar Interactions (SSIs) (21 pp) Jesse E. Warner 24-p 211


The author examines a number of sites which show the presence of distinctive Rochester Creek (RC)-style copulation scenes. This, and other symbolism at the sites indicate that intricate mysteries are being represented. The author introduces some of his current thinking on the apparent ‘sexual symbolism’ on and near the main panel at Rochester Creek. The placement of the glyphs on the rock surface in relation to cracks and other natural features is noted as important –as well as the presence of potentially informative Symbolic Solar Interactions (SSIs).


Article: The Rochester Creek Petroglyph Site: Further Relationships of Iconography to Star Lore Traditions (Continuation of Part 1) (10 pp) Jon R. Polansky 24-p 232


The author has further evaluated the iconography at the Rochester Creek (RC) petroglyph site in Utah for the influence of star lore traditions that might complement his prior findings. The earlier identification made of the prominent ‘rainbow’ arch on the main petroglyph panel as the Milky Way was used as an initial framework to consider other star groupings/constellations and potentially related mythologies. Evaluations of three new regions on the main RC panel provided additional evidence of important asto-mythic content. This paper illustrates ways in which archaeoastronomy and astro-mythology can be considered together in developing useful knowledge at the RC site. Similar approaches could have value at other Native American sites.


Filler: Comments on an Iberic Inscription from Barcelona, Spain (1 p) Donal Buchanan 24-p 242


Like many Iberic inscriptions found in the Inscriptions Database, this illustrates that the language is a dialect somewhere between Common or Vulgar Latin and Old Spanish.


Article: Deciphering Poussin’s Reversed Relief of “The Shepherds of Arcadia” at Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire, England, on the Lichfield Estate (2 pp) Louis Buff Parry 24-p 243


“The Shepherds of Arcadia” depicts two key motifs: the Shepherd and the Crypt. The enigmatic Roman letters between the D and the M (seen below the relief; the D and M standing for 1500) tell us precisely where at Machpelah (where Jacob is said to be buried) the Grail “stone” is buried. (Photos of Poussin’s painting and the Shugborough Hall relief are shown.)


Filler: Glozel (1 p) Donal Buchanan 24-p 244


Inscription 86/3C (photo shown) from the Glozel Corpus as compiled by the author. It is as yet undeciphered, but probably reads boustrophedon from the upper right. Buchanan has published suggested decipherments of some inscriptions and is watching with great interest the work of Hans-Rudolf Hitz. Alice Gerard and her husband are working closely with Hitz in his effort to solve the mystery of the Glozel material.


Article: The Language of Ancient Astronomy –A Clue to the Atlantis Myth? (21 pp) Harald A. T. Reiche 24-p245


It is clear that Stone Age man lacked our mathematical systems and computational techniques and the knowledge of writing. It is equally clear, however, that he was able to raise Stonehenge and similar structures which involved precise measurements and celestial alignments. Reiche seeks to explain how they did it –what they used in lieu of technical language. He finds his answer in the vast storehouse of formulaic phrases (illustrated in the works of Homer). It is suggested that the form in which Neolithic and Bronze Age astronomers explained and transmitted knowledge was rhythmic (i.e., metric and versified speech), perhaps coupled with melody and elaborately styled pantomime. Reiche draws heavily on the work of Hertha von Dechend. He identifies 4 corollaries which define the method: 1) the mythological motif of successive world ages; 2) the mythological motif of monstrous deeds followed by “catastrophes,” usually floods or fires or both; 3) the association of each world age with a planetary ruler (i.e., one of the naked-eye planets); and 4) the consensus, virtually universal among ancients that the “true” identity of a foreign deity can be deduced from its attributes. In the remainder of the article, the author reconsiders Plato’s Atlantis myth in the light of the above corollaries. He identifies Plato’s Atlantis myth as a piece of sacred cosmology deliberately expressed in pseudohistorical and pseudogeographic terms familiar from “mythic” language in its ancient capacity as a technical shorthand for astronomical systems.


Filler: Comments on an Inscription from a Cathedral in Roskilde, Sjaelland, Denmark (1 p) Donal Buchanan 24-p 266


This inscription was possibly carved by a bored chorister (it was found on a wall behind the choir benchs). It is an example of Runic Cryptography and memorializes Godfrey (probably the chorister) “over the nave” who cut it on feast of St. Magnus, Sunday, 6 October 1168.


Forum: Interview with Gloria Farley (7 pp) Alan Gillespie 24-p 267


Gillespie conducted the interview in 2002. Biographic information on Farley (with a good recent photo) is given and they discuss her long and wide-ranging epigraphic work.


Filler: “The Sun Strikes (Here) on the Day of Bel” –An Artist’s View (1 p) Ann K. Buchanan 24-p 273


A lovely rendition of an Ogham inscription found on the north wall of the Crack Cave site in southeast Colorado. It was deciphered by Phil Leonard.


Forum: Interview with Roderick Schmidt (14 pp) Alan Gillespie 24-p 274


Schmidt (photo shown) speaks candidly with Gillespie concerning his background and his archaeological and epigraphic interests. They speak in depth about the California site INY-272 (also studied by Gillespie) and Schmidt’s ideas concerning the site. Schmidt has established an excellent web site known as “The Equinox Project,” one aim of which is to facilitate the preservation of INY-272. It also features information concerning the Epigraphic Society.


In Memoriam: William R. McGlone (4 pp) Ida Jane Gallagher, Phil Leonard, Ted & Alma Barker, David H. Kelley, Judy Morehouse, Jim Guthrie, and Larry Athy 24-p 288


Several friends remember a good friend (photos shown). Bill co-authored 3 books and was working on a fourth at the time of his death. He also produced numerous articles for scholarly publications. He was a man of extraordinary attributes, endowed with an uncommon combination of talent and character. A member of the American Rock Art Association, and an honorary member of the Colorado Archaeology Society, Bill was a founder and dedicated leader of the Western Epigraphic Society. He is sorely missed.


In Memoriam: Donald Lee Cyr (2 pp) Marianne Macy 24-p 291


Don Cyr (photo shown) had a lifelong involvement in archaeological theory and his thoughts on the subject were often years, if not decades, ahead of the rest of the pack. His central work was an interdisciplinary study of the idea that Stonehenge was not just an astronomical observatory, but was set up to study halos, a meteorological phenomenon he believed the ancients observed in the sky and recorded in everything from stone carvings to high art. His was a lifelong quest that involved him in travel all over the world. His theories drew upon the work of Isaac Vail. Cyr’s ability to draw associations between ancient texts and maps and possible historic voyages was dazzling. Many in the Epigraphic Society will remember Cyr’s publication, Stonehenge Viewpoint.


In Memoriam: Don Gladstone Rickey, Jr. (2 pp) Donal Buchanan 24-p 292


Don (photo shown –in full kilt as High Commissioner of the Stewart Clan) had a long career as an historian of the American West and the Indian Wars. He held several important positions in the National Park Service and also served as Lecturer and Curator in Military History at the Army War College. He ended his career with the Bureau of Land Management in Denver, CO. Members of the Epigraphic Society will remember him for his interests in identifying and deciphering enigmatic inscriptions he ran across during his researches about the West.


Filler: Lives of Great Men (1 p) Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 24-p 293)


Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime and, departing, leave behind us footsteps in the sands of time.


In Memoriam: James P. Whittall Jr. (3 pp) David P. Barron, Donal Buchanan, and Connie Whittall 24-p 293


Jim Whittall (photo shown) was many things: an architect, founder of the Early Sites Research Society (ESRS), and an excellent archaeologist who shared his expertise with many others. He was an avid collector of old books, particularly on Celtic researches, and was an indefatigable scholar who had little patience with anything he regarded as mental laziness. He was always ready to challenge old ideas and thoroughly investigate new ones. He was one of a kind and is sadly missed.


Cartoon: J. P. Whittall Expected in Heaven (1 p) Donal Buchanan 24-p 295


Angel to St. Peter: “We’ve got a curmudgeon from New England coming in who wants to test the authenticity of the Ten Commandment tablets.”


In Memoriam: David P. Barron (2 pp) Doug Schwartz 24-p 296


Dave (photo shown) was president and founder of the Gungywamp Society in Groton, CT, a non-profit educational research organization dedicated to preserving possible Christian carvings and signs of serial occupancy at an ancient site in northern Groton (one carbon date placed an element of the site at 455 AD). Dave died far too young and leaves a great void.


In Memoriam: Dr. Hertha von Dechend (2 pp) Richard D. Flavin 24-p 296


A controversial scholar, Hertha von Dechend is most often remembered for her co-authorship with Giorgio de Santillana of Hamlet’s Mill: An essay on myth and the frame of time (Boston, Gambit Inc., 1969). Although she majored in archaeology and ethnology, Dechend concentrated most of her efforts in the study and teaching of science. Her major publications were few, but her intellect and influence were profound.


In Memoriam: Ethel Georgina Stewart (1 p) John J. White III 24-p 298


Stewart was an Indian teacher and Northern Affairs administrator in the Northwest Territories of Canada for 20 years. Her writing career began with articles published by Thomas Lee (Anthropological Journal of Canada) and Barry Fell (ESOP) and culminated with her magnum opus: The Dene and Na-Dene Indian Migration –1233 AD: Escape from Genghis Khan to America.


In Memoriam: Paul Haselton Chapman (1 p) Donal B. Buchanan 24-p 299


A successful businessman, Paul (photo shown), in retirement, pursued an interest in the history of early American discovery, researching and writing books and one docudrama. Besides his scholarship, he made heavy financial contributions to both ISAC and the Epigraphic Society and deserves strong credit for the survival of both organizations.


In Memoriam: Cyrus Herzl Gordon (2 pp) Donal Buchanan, Eric Pace, and Richard Flavin 24-p 300


Cyrus (photo shown) was a scholar of Near East culture and a leading expert on ancient languages. He was a professor of Near Eastern Studies at Brandeis (1956-1973), and chairman of its department of Mediterranean studies (1958-1973). He was a professor of Hebrew Studies at NY University (1973-1989). For some years he was also directory of NYU’s Center for Ebla Research. During WW II he served as a military cryptanalyst, a fitting position for a great decipherer (his work on Ugaritic is widely recognized). Dr. Gordon became a friend and correspondent of many members of ISAC and of the Epigraphic Society.


In Memoriam: Vincent John Mooney Jr. (1 p) Donal B. Buchanan 24-p 301


Vincent (photo shown) was a dedicated student of diffusionist theories. His mastery of written Hebrew served him well in his studies of anomalous inscriptions. A longtime supporter of the International Fortean Society (INFO), he made many presentations to their meetings. He also served as an advisor and consulting editor for the Ancient American magazine. He was active in the Epigraphic Society and was a Conference Chairman for the Institute for the Study of American Cultures (ISAC). He was also a member of Mensa and often served as program chair for their local organization. He was also a good friend.


In Memoriam: Dr. Louis Winkler (1 p) Zena Halpern 24-p 302


Louis (photo shown) was a professor of astronomy at Pennsylvania State University for 37 years. He was a scholar with wide interests, one of which was the application of astronomy to historical problems (this led to his teaching a class in archaeological astronomy at Penn. State). He was fascinated with ancient cultures and their astronomical knowledge. He was a good man and a good friend.


In Memoriam: Rollin Wilson Gillespie (2 pp) Alan R. Gillespie 24-p 303


Rollin (photo shown) was an unusual person who had an unusual and varied career. Trained in chemistry, he started out with the Geological Survey as a dishwasher and assistant chemist. He was later involved in rocket design and orbital mechanics (he had a hand in the establishment of NASA). He was attracted to the Epigraphic Society because he suspected that ancient peoples were as adventuresome as their modern counterparts and there were no overwhelming technical obstacles preventing them from traveling widely –including between continents. He never failed to maintain a strong interest in and enthusiasm for epigraphic concepts and evidence, but he felt strongly that epigraphic scholars should not be afraid to submit their research to critical examination.


In Memoriam: René Fell (3 pp) Julian Fell 24-p 304


René was Barry Fell’s helper, his chauffeur, house-mate, companion and soul mate. She danced totally to her own tune. Conformation to the conventions of society occurred only when those conventions coincided with her own inclinations. She was a unique persona. It was René who persuaded Barry in 1974, when he found he could not publish his epigraphic discoveries concerning Polynesia, to establish the organization which later became the Epigraphic Society (and which she served ably as its first Secretary).


In Memoriam: George F. Carter (1 p) Stephen C. Jett 24-p 307


A professor of geography, George (photo shown) had two principal research and teaching interests: Early Man in America and the sea-borne exchange of culture and domesticates between the hemispheres. Both these interests were controversial and Carter was often bitterly attacked by his colleagues. Nevertheless he remained true to his convictions and enthusiastic in the pursuit of truth as he perceived it. He was convinced that humans were very early in the New World and felt that pre-Columbian transoceanic diffusion played a key role in the development of the cultures of the two hemispheres. This latter interest led to his collecting examples of Old World writing in ancient New World contexts. He shared his interest with Barry Fell and inspired Fell to shift his epigraphic interest from Oceania to the New World. And the rest is history.


In Memoriam: Mary Ritchie Key (1 p) Stephen C. Jett 24-p 308


Mary Key (photo shown) was a Professor of Linguistics at the University of California, Irvine. She was the author of about 100 scholarly articles, reviews, and books and edited a number of works. She had a strong interest in the history of linguistics and collected an extensive list of works proposing relationships between Old World and New World languages. She hypothesized early Pacific crossings as well as ancient voyages around the tip of Africa and across the Atlantic. Her research materials have gone to the library of her alma mater, the University of Texas, Austin.


In Memoriam: Lawrence F. Athy Jr. (1 p) Gayle Athy, Tom Stryder & Houston Chronicle 24-p 309


Larry (photo shown) was a long-time member of the Epigraphic Society and once served on its Board. He had a vast knowledge of and was a longtime collector of pre-Columbian and African artifacts. He became engrossed in the study of the Ogham alphabet and trained himself to be a leading expert in the script. He also developed a marvelous collection of Oghamic and other epigraphic material.


In Memoriam: Warren Lawrence Cook (1 p) Warren W. Dexter 24-p 310


Warren Cook (photo shown) and Warren Dexter were extensively involved for a number of years in research on ancient cultures worldwide. Cook earned his Ph.D from Yale University awarded for his production of a magnificent book: Flood Tide of Empire –Spain and the Pacific Northwest 1543-1819. This book received a Pulitzer nomination and won the Herbert E. Bolton prize for Latin American history. He taught history and anthropology at Castleton State College in VT from 1960-1989. In 1978 he published Ancient Vermont in which he suggested that several ancient cultures, much before Columbus, had visited the Americas. We miss a good friend.


In Memoriam: Jon Polansky (2 pp) Donal Buchanan, Stephen Jett & John White III, Vol. 24, p 311


Jon was an early student of Dr. Barry Fell and rose to become a mainstay of the Epigraphic Society. He was a member of the Board of the Society and Chief Editor of Volume 23 of ESOP as well as the present volume. Jon was also a Vice President of the Institute for the Study of American Cultures (ISAC). As a research ophthamologist he was chiefly responsible for identification of the gene responsible for primary open-angle glaucoma, opening up new vistas for diagnosis, management, and possibly new therapies for many glaucoma sufferers. As his work in epigraphy progressed in later years, Jon became increasingly interested in Native American matters and developed a number of important contacts in that field. He is survived by his wife, Cindy Van der Stuy, his daughter, Lauren, and his younger brother, Jerry. [Buchanan Comment: He was a wonderful scholar and friend and will be sorely missed by all who knew him.]  

Information for Authors (1 p) 24-p 311

Delineates 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

Illustrates one of many ears of corn in the hands of Goddesses in temples in Karnataka State, South India.


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Last modified: January 15, 2006