More evidence of Assyrians in America 4000 years ago

chief_joseph_assyrian_flag1.jpg

Last week I spoke about the Chief Joseph tablet and other evidence of cuneiform in America 4000 years ago. I mentioned that the tablet had been carried by Chief Joseph in his medicine pouch, a pouch that some say has the Star of Ashur on it.

Who was Ashur and did he have a star?

Ashur (also Assur) was the primary god of Assyria in the third millennia BC, (2000-3000 BCE). This, of course, corresponds to the date of the cuneiform tablets (2042 and 2040 BCE).  Like the gods of old, Ashur morphed from one name to another, one conceptualization to another, one geographic location to another.

The Assyrian symbols most commonly used to represent him are the solar disk and wings:

Wall_relief_depicting_the_God_Ashur_(Assur)_from_Nimrud..JPG                                                                                      File from Wikimedia in public domain

 

And, due to the hand positions this figure with the pesky purse has been identified as Ashur:

34400.jpg

 

Even though Ashur is most commonly a sun god, he may have had the same roots as the god Shar, or Anshur, the “star of the height” or polar star. But that seems to be his only connection to the stars. A tenuous one at that.

 

Is that really the Star of Ashur?

The Assyrian Times presented this picture for the Star of Ashur:

Ashur5.jpg                                                               File from Wikimedia in public domain

But I could not confirm that the star is for Ashur and not a symbol of something else–like the goddess Ishtar. So that got me wondering: Was it really through Ishtar, not Ashur,  that we find the association between Chief Joseph’s symbol and Assyria?

This is the Star of Ishtar:

Kudurru_Melishipak_Louvre_Sb23_Ishtar-star.jpg                                                              File:Kudurru Melishipak Louvre Sb23 Ishtar-star.jpg in Public Domain
7f484574830bfd22ee630bbb58c82929.jpg     Ishtar. [Photograph]. In Britannica Online for Kids. Retrieved from  http://kids.britannica.com/elementary/art-6099

 

They compare quite favorably to Chief Joseph’s pesky purse–um, I mean medicine pouch:

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But for sure, his pouch compares to the modern day flag for Assyria with the Assyrian star. And, yes, that is the symbol for Ashur above the star and rays:

Flag_of_Assyria.svg.png

 

One more tantalizing piece of evidence

The Assyrian Times presents this comparison as well:

anassyrianwoman2650bc-1.jpg

nez_perce_baby_1911-1.jpg

 

Both the symbol on Chief Joseph’s medicine pouch and the similarity between the Assyrian headdress and the cradle board could be coincidence or even what archeologists claim is “independent invention,” meaning that two different cultures invented the same thing independent of each other.  But cuneiform writing as independent invention?  It is impossible for it to have been independently invented in both the middle east and America at the same time.

 

Information in this blog is from the much quoted articles by Benjamin Daniali of the Assyrian Times (as well as my own researches).

http://www.assyriatimes.com/assyrian/knowledge/a-common-history-of-assyrians-and-native-americans/3401

http://www.assyriatimes.com/assyrian/knowledge/a-common-history-of-assyrians-and-native-americans/3401

 

Cuneiform in America 4000 years ago

Judging from the artifacts they left behind, the Assyrians and Sumerians made quite an extensive voyage to the Americas about 4000 years ago. This the first installment of a three entry blog that presents the evidence.

Chief Joseph’s Cuneiform Tablet

chief_joseph_cueniform_tablet.jpg

The most famous piece of evidence passed down among the Nez Perce tribe of Montana was a strange cuneiform tablet known to us as the Chief Joseph Tablet. Housed in the museum at West Point, this tablet was photographed by Warren C. Dexter in 1991, the tablet was taken from—some say gifted by—Chief Joseph when he was captured in 1877.

Chief Joseph, best known for his statement, “I will fight no more forever,” claimed he inherited it from his white ancestors and that it had been in his family for generations. He carried the inch square baked tablet in a medicine pouch with the Star of Ashur, an Assyrian symbol, on it. (That is the subject of my next blog.)

Translated by Professor Robert Biggs of the University of Chicago, the Chief Joseph tablet reads, “Nalu received 1 lamb from Abbashaga on the 11th day of the month of the festival of An, in the year Enmahgalanna was installed as high priestess of Nanna.” That would be 2042 BCE.

Now, some websites claim this tablet is a forgery, to which I would reply: Really? Chief Joseph knew the Assyrian language and wrote in cuneiform, you say. And he knew the history of the priestesses of Nanna, too. So tell me how Chief Joseph came by that knowledge in the 1880s? (That in itself is a good mystery—especially since cuneiform was first deciphered in 1857 in Britian.)

 

The Hearn Cuneiform Tablet

hearn_cuneiform_tablet-1.jpgThe Hearn tablet was discovered in Georgia in 1963. It is a receipt for sheep and goats intended as sacrifice to the sun god Utu and the goddess Lama Lugal. The scribe, Enlila, states it was the 37th or 38th year of the reign of King Suigi of Ur, Sumeria. That dates this tablet to 2040 BCE, two years prior to the Chief Joseph tablet.

The Hearn tablet is made of lead, not clay. There are other lead pieces found on the Hearn property dated to the same time. So it would seem at least this tablet may have been created here in the Americas. Lead smelting and the need to create a receipt for goods exchanged, I would say, indicates a larger presence than just a handful of explorers.

 

The Shawnee Creek Stone of Oklahoma

inanna_dilmun.jpg

The Shawnee Creek Stone is yet a third important discovery.

According to Gloria Farley who was one of the pioneers of the movement to discover and preserve evidence of pre-Comumbian trans-Atlantic travel:

“Borrowing the [Shawnee Creek] stone, I made a latex mold and my son Mark Farley obtained a clear photograph, both of which were sent to Dr. Barry Fell. His returning telephone call told me that he believed the find to be of great importance, as the design resembles the seals from ancient Dilmun in the Arabian Gulf. (This is the name which the Arabs give to the Persian Gulf. Dilmun was located mainly on the island of Bahrain.) The inscription, said Dr. Fell, appears to employ the ideographs used by Dilmunian scribes, especially the ones for ‘Inanna, Goddess of Love and Queen of Heaven.’ He told me that Inanna also related to the Sumerians. Sumer is now modern Iraq.”

Molds of the inscription were sent to Ali Akbar H. Bushiri a scholar of ancient Bahrain who wrote about the Dilmun culture. He confirmed that four of the five symbols related to Inanna. We have the circle with 8 rays (the Venus star), the vertical line with semicircle (Inanna), the “U” shape (Nanna, Moon God and father to Inanna), and the vertical line with 2 of 3 bars–the third bar having been chipped off (symbol of fertility).

Who was Inanna?

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The reign of Inanna (also spelled Innana) as the Goddess of Love seems to have begun in 5300 BCE (the date for the “founding” of Sumer) and lasted right through the period of Akkadain rule in both Sumer and Assyria (2334-2218). Dilmun is south of Sumer. This places the Shawnee Creek Stone in the same date and geographic range as the two cuneiform tablets, although the stone could also have been much earlier or even later.

So we have one tablet (2042 BCE) that is Assyrian, one tablet (2040 BCE) that is Sumerian and one that is carved stone related to either Sumer or Assyria. All three can be related to one single era—just before the Akkandian rule of both Sumer and Assyria.

 

How did these artifacts get to America?

It is argued that neither the Sumerian nor the Assyrian people were navigators and could not have made it to America. So how did the tablets come to be found in America?

We need to remember that the Akkadian period began with the conquest of Assyria and Sumeria by Sargon of Akkad. His desire to expand and gain power may have extended to exploration, even across the Atlantic.

But the two cuneiform tablets are dated firmly to 2042 and 2040 BCE and Sargon’s conquest is dated to 2334 BCE. So either the tablets were made in Assyria and Sumeria before the conquest and then brought to America during a later Akkadian exploration, or they were made in America signifying Assyrian/Sumerian exploration before Akkadian rule.  In which case, we need to re-examine the statement that the Assyrians and Sumerians were not navigators. Perhaps they did navigate far distances, even across the Atlantic.

And we must remember Chief Joseph claimed his “white ancestors” passed the stone down through the generations. Is it possible that Assyrians and/or Sumerians came to this country to escape Sargon of Akkad and his conquering armies? If so, this would not be the last time the Americas became a haven for those escaping harsh conditions in their motherlands.

 

Credits:

Photos of the tablets and some basic information in this blog are from the much quoted articles by Benjamin Daniali of the Assyrian Times.

http://www.assyriatimes.com/assyrian/knowledge/a-common-history-of-assyrians-and-native-americans/3401

http://www.assyriatimes.com/assyrian/knowledge/a-common-history-of-assyrians-and-native-americans/3401

But for more detailed and substantiated information see: Farley, Gloria (1994). In Plain Sight: Old world records in ancient America. Muskogee, OK: Hoffman Printing Company (pp. 150-155).        (There is a picture of the Shawnee Creek stone translation on p. 153.)

Terra Preta de Indio–The mysterious soil of the Amazon (and beyond)

Manaus-Amazon-NASA.jpg     Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

What if there was a soil that could increase crop yields by 800%, reproduce itself so that fertilization with chemicals was not required, and reduced pollution by pulling carbon out of the atmosphere? And what if this same soil could transform nutrient poor soil all over the globe opening areas to agriculture in food-starved regions?

There is such a soil. It is called Terra Preta and it was first uncovered in the Amazon basin in the 1870s, but not really studied until the 1950s.  At that time, two explanations were put forth.

The first theory goes like this: the soil was the natural consequence of volcanic ash, slash-and-burn farming, and garbage from ancient middens.

The problem is this:

  • This mysterious soil does not cover the  expanses implied by slash-and-burn or volcanic ash.  It is generally found in well-defined plots up to two acres. Deliberate plots, not accidental plots.
  • The soil levels are up to 9 feet deep. That is a lot of slashing-and-burning.
  • In order to make the soil, you need partially burned wood–charcoal. Ash will not do the trick.

The second theory, based in part on the information above, is that the soil was invented–created by a past civilization. When? Usual dates say 1500 BCE to 500 AD.  But this is based on known habitation dates. And, unless the civilization was built with stone, this environment is not known to preserve archeological evidence for us to discover.

So, I looked further for other opinions. I did find one web article claiming the soil is 7000 years old–but there was nothing in the article to substantiate this claim. I did a web search and found something in Google ebooks: Agroecology, Ecosystems, and Sustainability edited by Noureddine Benkeblia. It attributes the 7000 year old date to Neves (2003). I wanted to go directly to Neves, but the book’s bibliography is not available without paying $80 for the ebook, and Amazon wants almost $100 for the print edition. I tried searching for Neves (2003) in ABE and other book sellers–no luck, but I suspect it is in Portuguese.  I hate dead ends!

I did discover the Amazon basin is not the only area where this nutrient rich regenerating soil is found. In the harsh environment of Bolivia’s Llanos de Mojos there is evidence of an advanced sophisticated civilization with canals, mounds, causeways, villages, and–you guessed it–Terra Preta.

And I wasn’t really surprised to learn that Terra Preta has been found in other locations on the South American continent– Ecuador, Peru, and French Guiana.

But here is what did surprise me:

Terra Preta has also been found in Liberia, an “easy” skip across the broad Atlantic from South America, and in South African savannas.

Independent discovery? Or was it “transplanted” in cross-Atlantic voyages thousands of years ago? And if so, who taught whom? Or was there a common origin with both areas receiving the knowledge from an even older source?

Oh, and I finally found a recipe for making it: If you have a minute, check out the list of ingredients. It will make you smile!

Truth is, though, they still don’t know exactly what is in it.

The Metcalf Stone: Racial memories of a pole shift?

While I was looking for evidence of comet impacts in the Americas, I came upon this interesting artifact on the noahsage blog and, as usual, it took me off in a whole different direction.

metcalf.JPG

Photo credit: Cyrus H. Gordon in Before Columbus (1971) p. 91

The Metcalf Stone was found in Fort Benning, Georgia in 1966 or 1967 by Manfred Metcalfe who was “mining” stone from an abandoned mill for his barbecue pit–a common practice that has destroyed many of our ancient treasures. (Mining stone from ancient sites that is, not building barbecue pits.)  Fortunately, Mr. Metcalf realized what he had and had the good sense to bring it to the Columbus Museum of Arts and Crafts.

Perhaps the most comprehensive work done on the stone is by Cyrus H. Gordon, PhD. His book is Before Columbus: Links Between the Old World and Ancient America. Here are his thoughts:

  • The area in which it was found (assuming it was not imported before being built into the mill) is the home of the Yuchis.  This Native American group have an eight day festival quite similar to the Hebrew Feast of the Tabernacle.  (Maybe a topic for another blog? Teaser: The Hope of Israel site claims, “Dr. Cyrus Gordon, of Brandeis University in Boston, was privileged to sit in on one of the fall harvest festivals of the Yuchi Indians, and listened to their chants, songs, and sacred ceremonies. An expert in Hebrew, Minoan, and many Middle Eastern languages, he was incredulous. As he listened, he exclaimed to his companion, ‘They are speaking the Hebrew names for God!’“)
  • The script on the stone has elements of Minoan, Mycenaean, and early Phoenician, placing it at 1200-2000 BCE.  (Remember the Phoenicians were great sailors from the Mediterranean. Their crews were multi-cultural.)
  •  Similarities to Mayan and Aztec glyphs have been noted by other researchers. (I cannot help but wonder whether that means this is an Aztec or Mayan artifact or whether sea travelers influenced both Mediterranean and Aztec/Mayan scripts. And then, of course, which way did the influence go? We think Europe to America, but did it? What real proof do we have it was not the other way around? Or, more reasonably, both ways. Or a central origin that went in both directions.  Oh dear, there is that “A” word again.)

From here Dr. Gordon’s book, now out-of-print, goes into a detailed discussion of the various Mediterranean scripts and how they are interrelated. But he never deciphers the stone.

In 1994, Gloria Farley (p. 11) speculated it might be a list of commodities.  As far as I can see, Barry Fell does not mention it in any of this works.

The only translation I can find is from the noahsage blog and it is quite interesting. Check out the website for specifics.

metcalf-stone-sketch-2.jpg          Photo courtesy of noahsage.com

 

This places the dates of the stone in accord with Dr. Gordon.  But when was the last pole shift?

Here is what NASA has to say:

“Reversals are the rule, not the exception. Earth has settled in the last 20 million years into a pattern of a pole reversal about every 200,000 to 300,000 years, although it has been more than twice that long since the last reversal. A reversal happens over hundreds or thousands of years, and it is not exactly a clean back flip….”

On the other hand, there are those who believe the poles shifted between 50,000 and 12,000 years ago. And that is a more likely date if this stone records a racial memory of this incredible event.

And there is evidence of an impact crater of recent origin at Hudson Bay–once the North Pole. The resulting debris impacted the Carolina bays–not far at all from Georgia.

Is this a record of the Hudson Bay impact–one that shifted the earth’s crust ending the last Ice Age? Perhaps.

 

 

Bibliography:

Farley, Gloria (1994). In Plain Sight: Old World Records in Ancient America.   Muskogee, OK: Hoffman Printing Company.

Freeborn, B. L. (2013). The Metcalf Stone Gives Up Its Secret.   Retrieved March 1, 2016 from: https://noahsage.com/tag/metcalf-stone/.

Gordon, Cyrus H. (1971). Before Columbus: Links Between the Old World and Ancient America. New York: Crown Publishing, Inc.