The Epigraphic Society
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
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
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.
Excerpt from an Interview with Carl Johannesen (1 p) Lauren Polansky
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
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
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
Filler: The Tunnel Rock Ogham: An Artist’s View (1 p) Ann Buchanan
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
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 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
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
Filler: Comments On An Etruscan Inscription (1 p) Donal B. Buchanan
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
Correspondence: The Saga of the False Cove Stone –The False Cove Rock
Gets a New Home (1 p) Marshall Payn
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.
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 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
Correspondence: Origins of the Cree and Ojibway
Syllabaries (2 pp) Louis
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 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 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 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
readers are asked for information if available.
Correspondence: An Old Hebrew Inscription from Wadi
el-Hol (3 pp) James
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
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.
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
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
It is suggested that the Trojan War took place at a
much later date than usually recognized, perhaps sometime between –770 to
Article: The Decipherment of a Sepulchral
Inscription from the Island of Lemnos (11 pp) Donal B. Buchanan
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
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
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 elucidates an inscription from a knife
handle. It apparently was a “birthing knife” used by a Scottish midwife
Article: The Hidden Mountain Astronomical
Petroglyphs (5 pp) Zena
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
“In philology, as in all branches of knowledge, it
is the specialist who most strenuously opposes any attempt to widen the field of
Article: A Global Tau (9 pp) T.
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
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
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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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 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
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
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
In Memoriam: William R. McGlone (4 pp) Ida
Jane Gallagher, Phil Leonard, Ted & Alma Barker, David H. Kelley, Judy
Morehouse, Jim Guthrie, and
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
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
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
Angel to St. Peter: “We’ve got a curmudgeon from
New England coming in who wants to test the authenticity of the Ten Commandment
In Memoriam: David P. Barron (2 pp) Doug
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
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
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
In Memoriam: Paul Haselton Chapman (1 p) Donal
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
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
In Memoriam: Vincent John Mooney Jr. (1 p) Donal
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
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
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
In Memoriam: René Fell (3 pp) Julian Fell
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
Memoriam: George F. Carter (1 p) Stephen C. Jett
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
In Memoriam: Mary Ritchie Key (1 p) Stephen
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
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
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.
Send mail to email@example.com
questions or comments about this web site.