Ancient Roman Presence in America

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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.

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

 

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/InvestigatingHistory.com)

 

Photo credit: J. Hutton Pulitzer/InvestigatingHistory.com

 

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:
http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/roman-sword-discovered-oak-island-radically-suggests-ancient-mariners-020663
http://www.ancient-origins.net/news-history-archaeology/more-evidence-ancient-romans-may-have-made-it-oak-island-canada-0052
And, of course, J. Hutton Pulitzer who has a YouTube channel.

Did the Mi’kmaq from Eastern Canada write in Egyptian Hieroglyphics?

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The story goes like this:

Father Le Clerq,  a Roman Catholic Missionary from the late 1600s, claimed to have seen Mi’kmaq (Micmac*) children taking notes (writing) on birchbark as he was giving his lessons.

Pierre Milliard, also a Catholic Priest but in 1730s, documented the Mi’kmaq writing system and claims to have added to it to help his converts learn prayers and responses to the Catholic Mass.

In the interim, the birch scrolls containing the writings of past generations had been destroyed.  So it is Abbe Milliard’s works, including his book Manuel Hieroglyphique Micmac, that is most helpful in documenting the similarity between Mi’kmaq writing and ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics.

(I believe it was Barry Fell who found Milliard’s book and discovered the similarities.  The table above is from Fell’s work.)

Note the dates for Abbe Maillard and Father Le Clerq: late 1600s and early to mid 1700s.  Now note the date that Egyptian Hieroglyphs were deciphered: 1823.

So it is impossible for the priests to have taught the hieroglyphics to the Mi’kmaq people–even if the priests knew about them, they could not have known the meanings of the Egyptian glyphs.

Here is another really interesting example that I found on the Mathisen Corollary blog:micmac cartouche name.jpg

 

Indeed, Barry Fell (1976, 1989, p.256) claims several thousand of Maillard’s recorded hieroglyphics are similar to or exactly like dynastic Egyptian.

Who are the Mi’kmaq?

They are a Native American group from Canada–Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and along the coastline of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence through eastern New Brunswick and even into eastern Quebec.

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Their lands included the famous Oak Island where evidence of both a Roman and a North African presence has been discovered. (More on the proto-Tifinagh–North African–inscriptions found on Oak Island in another blog.)

This area was clearly a port of entry for Old World peoples thousands of years before Columbus. Perhaps they were after the copper from the Great Lakes via the St. Lawrence River–but that, too, is a topic for another blog.

If you are interested, Kirsten Dally (2011) is worth reading. She cites many similarities between the Mi’kmaq and the Picts (northern British Isles) including the use of blue tattoos, a matriarchal society, similar governance, and similarities in some words.

Oh, in my research I did find one other interesting tidbit: Compare the Mi’kmaq flag to that of the Templars. A port of entry, indeed.

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References:

Fell, Barry. (1976, 1989). America B.C.: Ancient Settlers in the New World. Muskogee, OK: Artisan Publishers.

Dalley, Kirsten (2011). Exposed, Uncovered, and Declassified: Lost Civilizations & Secrets of the Past. Career Press. Kindle Edition.

 

* I have seen both spellings–Micmac is the more common. Mi’kmaq is the more traditional and the one that seems to be preferred by the Mi’kmaq themselves. Use both if you are doing a search.