Ancient Roman Presence in America


What you see above is a Mi’kmaq petroglyph interpreted to be soldiers marching.  Kind of inconclusive of Roman presence until you add all the Roman artifacts that have been discovered in and around Nova Scotia, the home of the Mi’kmaq.

The most famous is probably the Oak Island (Nova Scotia) sword.

This is the most common  image of the sword.     Photo credit:


The sword and other evidence:

Most internet accounts state the sword was found 70 years ago by two fishermen.  J. Hutton Pulitzer did an analysis of the sword and found it had traces of arsenic and lead–traces that are consistent with ancient Roman manufacture. Indeed, Mr. Pulitzer says it is identical to metals used by the Romans. However, based on analysis done by the History Channel, the metal used to make the sword is also consistent with mid 19th century brass. Hoaxing?  Maybe, or maybe just a lost reproduction from someone’s collection.

Searching further, I found there is a shipwreck believed to be Roman off Nova Scotia and other Roman artifacts have been found in the area, including a legionnaire’s whistle and a shield.

Artifacts are not the only evidence of early Roman presence in the area:

  • A DNA marker for the Mi’kmaq people can be traced to the Mediterranean area.
  • A reported 50 terms are shared by the Mi’kmaq and Romans–most of them nautical.
  • The Romans used the plant  Berberis Vulgaris to prevent scurvy on long voyages. It is not indigenous to the Americas but has been found on Oak Island.
  • The Roman symbols shown below were found on Oak Island:

An enhanced photo of a rock found on Oak Island that J. Hutton Pulitzer believes may be inscribed with Roman symbols. (Courtesy of J. Hutton Pulitzer/


Photo credit: J. Hutton Pulitzer/


Is there evidence of ancient Roman presence anywhere else in the Americas?

For years there have been rumors of Roman coins washing up on Beverly, Massachusetts beaches. Substantiating it has been difficult, but I did find one interesting article about coins found along the Chesapeake Bay.

I also found a report of Roman presence in Ohio about 70 AD.

There is a report of a Roman bust found in Mexico from 200 AD.

And coins found in Ohio and Kentucky.

Finally, there may have been an ancient Roman Christian colony outside Tucson, AZ dating about 700 AD.

Primary References on the Oak Island Sword:
And, of course, J. Hutton Pulitzer who has a YouTube channel.

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