Ancient Riddles to Test Our Wits: The Purse from Assyria

© 2017 B. L. Freeborn, updated Sept. 2022

The object that appears to be a purse found in the art of the Olmecs of Mesoamerica and in ancient Assyria in the Middle East was discussed previously in posts on the Odd Little Purse and Its Meaning.

Assyrian Purse

A stone carved weight from Assyria located in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.

Now, one has been found! In the New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Assyrian Collection there is an intricately carved stone purse about a foot in width. It is decorated with the tree of life motif that is so prevalent in art from the period.

The museum description reads that it was probably used as a weight or counter balance for a scale. Indeed, in the photo one can see that the upper left side of the handle seems worn from use as if it had been hung on a hook repeatedly. Next to this stone purse was another of similar design but smaller with a broken handle.

Assyrian Purse in relief

Assyrian Relief with Winged Genius, Walters Art Museum, Wikimedia

This independent confirmation by the museum that it was a weight reinforces ideas presented in other posts. Because of its central position in these beautiful works of art, such as the Assyrian Relief shown here, it must be intrinsic to the story they relate.

Could they actually be depicting a comet coming to the center of the ‘weight of the world’, or the then massive northern ice sheets, where the ‘tree of life’, now known as the magnetic north pole, emanates?

This iconography also appears at Gobekli Tepe. (Image from Wikipedia.) On pillar 43 three purses appear in a row with vultures below them. One appears to be tossing a ball. ?!?


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Ancient Riddles to Test Our Wits: The Secret Chamber

© 2016 B. L. Freeborn (updated Feb. 2023)           (PDF version of post)

This stone with a Latin inscription was found in rural New York.

This stone with a Latin inscription was found in rural New York.

Another ancient riddle presents itself in stone. This one is also from rural New York. The very readable words ‘In camera’  are still used today. It is a legal term in Latin for behind closed doors or in secret. What secret does this stone hold?

Roman numerals were in common use until the 11th century when they began to be replaced by Arabic style. They persisted into the 15th century and in some instances are still used today. The numbers read:  XLV = 45, XXX = 30, LXXV = 75, and LIII = 53.

Obverse side of stone with a Latin inscription found in rural New York.

Obverse side of stone with a Latin inscription found in rural New York. Numbers read 45 30 and 75 53.

What then do the numbers mean? Hint. Notice 30 + 45 = 75. When does 45 equal 75?

Perhaps in true ‘Da Vinci Code’ style the words In Camera are an anagram or in an entirely different language?

Find the words in italics on the front face:

Baal struck the center of the rule that governs the world.

The eye marks the angle that divides.

The smoking rocks struck deep into the mountain of ice

and the water flowed.

The numbers read:

XLV = 45, XXX = 30,

LXXV = 75, and LIII = 53.

Notice 30 + 45 = 75. When does 45 equal 75? And what of the other numbers?

  • 45 minutes equals .75 hours.
  • .53 radians equals 30 degrees.
  • 45 and 30 as 4530 is 79 radians.
  • The sum of 75, 53 and 30 is 158 or twice 79.
  • The sum of all four numbers is 203. There are 360 degrees in a circle. 203 / 360 = .564.

Notice that if the numbers in the top line are adjusted to be 4.5 and 3.0 then:

  • Sum 75 to 4.5 and find 79.5 and then sum 53 to 3.0 and find 56.0.

The hidden numbers then are 79, 79, 79.5, 56, .564.

The association with time, degrees and radians suggests measures of longitude and latitude.

What lies at 79 degrees West and 56 degrees North?


Perhaps the two V’s are lined up for a reason. They point downwards between the A and M of Cam in ‘In camera.’ The word ‘am’ in Old English means ‘reed’ suggesting a measuring stick. The word ‘cam’ suggests came. The picture has a ruler on an index which reinforces the previous idea. Are the two V’s double daggers or twin comets? Does it say” in – came -arrows”? Is the octopus actually a smoking crater in a mountain of ice?  In Old English ‘Amier’ means destroyed.

Notice these other words: LIN or Line, MAC or make, LAER or lair, and there are three X’s in a row.

Is the phrase ‘IN CAMERA’ an anagram for:

  • Can I mare … meaning …’round eye sea’?
  • Mark lie in A …?
  • I name Carl … meaning… ‘I, Carl, wrote this’
  • N. America?

– – – – –

Furthermore, if the Younger Futhark Alphabet and its number equivalents are used, the text can be transliterated into numbers so that it reads:

Text…………….  into numbers …….. and sums.

XL    V  XXX… 10 15    2    10 10 10… Sum is 57

LXX V  LIII….. 15 10 10 2 15 9 9 9…. Sum is 79. ✓

IN CAM ERA… 9 8 6 10 14 9 5 10… Sum is 71.

9,8,6,10,14,9 sums to 56 then 5,10 or 565,10  This looks remarkably like 56.5 and the numeric value of Yahweh 5,6,5,10.

Sometimes the longitude and/or latitude of the location where a stone was inscribed is recorded in the text. The problem is the location has to be known first. The sum 71 looks like the longitude of Newport, Rhode Island area. The sum of the 15 and 9,9,9 is 42 which is remarkably close to its latitude as well. Boston Harbor has values 71.0̊ W and 42.36̊ N. The Nomans Land Inscription was found at 71̊ W and 41.3̊N. The three X’s sum to 30. Newfoundland Island is at 56.5̊W and 48̊N. The sum from 10 to 10 in the last line is 48. Since the subject of the numbers discussed at the beginning is latitude/longitude, it is highly likely that some location is recorded here in addition to the location of the ‘secret chamber.’ These locations are implied by the numeric text.

There is perhaps a date here as well. Notice the word ERA which means ‘time period.’ Numerically this is 9,5,10. Just above this word is the number LIII or 53 and the second line if summed as 15,10,10,2,15,1 and 1,1 is … 53 and 2 or 532 which repeats the 53. This number 532 is important to dates in that the Perpetual Easter Calendar is on a 532 year cycle. To use the table three numbers are required: the Golden Number (GN), Day Letter (DL), and usually the line number or some way to narrow down the possibilities.

In this case using ERA or 9,5,10 the date 1130 is found. This is line #19, GN 10, DL 5. The three III in the Latin numerals provides for the 11 in 1130. The 30 is above in the XXX. This is the most likely date but it should be noted that the following dates can also be found and are also supported by the text: 1112,1211,1009,1199,1015,1201,and 1220. All of them are plausible but 1130 is the most clearly stated. We shall just conclude:

Carl wrote this in 1130 on the east coast of America.

In the North lies the Eye Can Sea where in a line are three marks

in the melting ice mountains from the double comet.

They struck at the pinnacle, at the measuring point.

The three are the lairs in camera.

Similar Runic posts begin here.

Previous Post  ……. Next Post

From Wikipedia

Ancient Riddles to Test Our Wits: The Mammoth at the Top of the World

Elephant Tablet found during construction of Cuenca Airport, Ecuador

Elephant Tablet found during construction of Cuenca Airport, Ecuador

© 2016 B. L. Freeborn, Updated August 2022

This piece from the Crespi Collection was found during construction of the Airport in Cuenca, Ecuador. By identifying the letters as Paleo-Hebrew (Phoenician) circa 200 to 100 BC and Hebrew Letters as derived by J. Huston McCulloch in his study of the Newark Decalogue Stone from Ohio, the Elephant Tablet is translated. The language used to aid with the translation is Anglo-Saxon. A study of the stele when read in Boustrophedon style (back and forth) provides these words: bad, death, beat, cave or pole, dwell, lame, bucket, An, dish, change, origin, peck, cave or pole, eye, Baal, and area.

So perhaps they suggest…

The back of the mammoths was broken –

It was a bad death. It beat at the pole. There is a bucket where An dwelt. It is a dish where it changed (?) the origin (?). It pecked at the pole at the eye. Baal was there.

The letters can be converted to numbers as shown in the next image and the sums as shown can be found:

This number study reveals the all important 565. The numbers that comprise the word Yahweh by way of gematria are 565 10.

The number 79 was found and one can also easily find 792 or 7920 by using the 20 and 2 in the line above. The diameter of Earth is 7920 miles.

The 864 refers to the number of seconds in a day and to the seconds of longitude of the Earth or 86,400.

The 51 created by the letters AN then remains. There is this interesting fact. Cuenca sits nearly on the equator. By traveling 79 degrees longitude to the east and 51.51 degrees north of it one finds London and Greenwich, England the prime meridian. ??!!! ??

There is at least one other 56.5 that can be found. Because the letter noted as ‘sa’ or ‘a bucket’ is a pictogram the stele is composed of eleven letters and three pictures or 113 which is 2 x 56.5.

The most important idea here is that these numbers have been imbedded in ancient documents for millennia which lends credence to the Ohio Hebrew being valid and thence, the Newark Stones.

Continues in the next post with a comparison to other elephant stones ……………


See full article on the alphabet by J. Huston McCulloch at:

Paleo-Hebrew at


Back to Newberry Tablet beginning or its  conclusion.

The Newberry Tablet Reveals….

© 2015 B. L. Freeborn, Sept. 2022

Smithsonian Photo of Newberry Tablet, compliments of Roger Jewell

Smithsonian Photo of Newberry Tablet, compliments of Roger Jewell

To the first post on the tablet – To the previous post on the tablet.

In the last posts we looked at the overall layout of the Newberry Tablet and many symbols. The list has grown and the reading is completed here.

The symbol identification thus far has suggested the topic of the tablet is a double comet collision and its crater was to be a point of reference for future measurements. The remaining symbols should support this story.

The last of the study comprises 15 symbols. The remaining symbols are left for the reader to identify. There is one symbol that resembles the ‘Q’ of the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet. It is suggested it represents cue or to line up, or quay, the place where ships line up. Since cows walk in a line and the Old English word for cow, spelled cu, is very similar; the symbol perhaps means to line up and/or skin, an important by product of cows.

The symbol similar to a rectangle is found in the Luwian symbol list #89 and has sound value ‘tu.’ This is very similar to the word tow and is so noted.

The symbol that is a square divided in half is always followed by the symbol that looks like a ‘Y’. Both symbols are extremely similar to the ‘ch’ and ‘vav’ of the Paleo-Hebrew Alphabet. Substituting the sounds ‘ch’ and ‘w’ into the table find the word ‘chew’ repeated four times. This word is also an original Old English word.

The circle with a hook on top is found in the Luwian Glyph list at #435 with sound ‘a’ and is noted in the table as crater/hook.

The symbol that looks like a large curling ‘e’ most likely means ‘turn’ since the Adena Tablets and the New Hampshire Mystery Stone included this idea. It is so noted in the image.

The symbol that is the cup with a dot in the middle and a small stroke at the top is translated by understanding that in Luwian Hieroglyphs the small stroke added to another symbol is an ‘r’. This gives us an eye-r-cup or perhaps ‘ire cup’ and is so noted in the table.

Newberry symbols replaced with proposed meanings. See images below and text for more information.

It took some time to identify the symbol first row, fourth from the right and the symbol in the sixth row second from the right as being related to each other. The latter is found in the Luwian glyph list at #506. It is also found in Assyrian art and Olmec art described in a previous post as the odd little purse. The glyph list notes it as having sound ‘hana.’ In Old English this word means boundary stone. The symbol in the first row combines it with a ‘cup’ so that the distorted ‘B’ shape is created. They are noted in the chart as boundary and cup/boundary.

The symbol in the second row third from the left is similar to a reversed ‘e’ with an extra mark below it. In fact it appears to be an ear. In Old English the word ‘ear’ besides meaning ear means wave or flood. The association no doubt arises because of the whirlpool design of the ear. It is noted as ‘flood’ in the table.

Since many of the symbols are similar to Paleo-Hebrew perhaps the cup that is upside down and upon an upstroke is the letter ‘ts’. The words ‘toss’ or ‘tease’ is essentially defined by this sound. The similar symbol that combines the former symbol with a short stroke is then ‘ts’ and ‘r’ and is actually closer to the Paleo-Hebrew ‘ts’. This then sounds out the word ts-r or tesserae and is so noted in the table. This word means a small square tile.

The hook or staff studied in previous posts can now be associated with Paleo-Hebrew ‘P’ which begins such words as pea, power, pole, and point. The ‘P’ has been added to the table.

The symbol in the first row fifth from the left that appears to be a triangular ‘e’ with a large side stroke reminds one of the Paleo-Hebrew ‘B’ with the Luwian ‘r’ added. This gives the word b-r which suggests the word bear as in direction and it is noted in the table as bearing.

The Newberry Tablet's translation.

The Newberry Tablet’s translation.

The triangle with the stem suggests the Paleo-Hebrew ‘R’. It might have a side stroke as seen in the ‘bearing’ symbol. It is noted in the chart as ‘ray.’

The last symbol identified here is the circle with the two side strokes like antennae and the dot in the middle. The Paleo-Hebrew letter Ayin or ‘A’ is a circle. The dot supplies eye or sound ‘i’ and the two strokes give two r’s. So then we have r for ray, an eye, and a-r. The latter suggests the Old English word ‘or’ which means origin. It is noted in the table as ray-eye-origin.

So then, the table provides short readable sentences. The first line perhaps reads: The battle at the cup where lays the noble bearing is the to/from boundary. The cup is the dead pole and the eye.

Continue to line two and read: Many here caused the flood. It was the powerful ruler that was chewed. It is Baal’s line at the angry wandering cup …(unknown term).

In other words they say: There was a comet impact. It is the crater at magnetic north. Here is the reference boundary for longitude. The crater is the former north pole and the eye of the comet.

Many comets here caused a flood. It was the north pole that was destroyed. It is the longitude of the double comet’s (Baal’s) crater that….

The remainder of the table can be studied at one’s leisure.

Enjoy your New Year! Happy Holidays!

On to more riddles!!

The Bat Creek Stone – Translated – Not So Plain and Simple

Bat Creek Stone - photo by Scott Wolter

Bat Creek Stone – photo by Scott Wolter

© 2015 B. L. Freeborn, Updated Sept. 2022

The Bat Creek Stone was found in a mound with a skeleton in Loudon County, Tennessee in 1889 during a dig by the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology. Because it appears to have Phoenician or Paleo-Hebrew letters it has been dubbed a fraud. Arguing in favor of its validity is J. Huston McCulloch who describes the controversy at the site noted below and linked here. Scott Wolter also argues in its favor. It is also described at Wikipedia under the Bat Creek Inscription.

No satisfying, controversy resolving translation has been made. The following may not put the matter to rest either but it is new and unique! All other attempted translations have failed to note this is an extraordinary number riddle. The numbers are found by recalling that letters originally had number equivalents and not separate symbols as we have today. Using the Hebrew gematria or number/letter system the values appear as noted below and the riddle of the numbers is solved. In turn this confirms that the correct letters are identified in the translation.

The two lines and dot in the upper left were not shown in a detailed sketch of the stone done in 1890. Scott Wolter successfully demonstrates in his show America Unearthed that they were not part of the original inscription.

The Translation

The letters used to translate this inscription are from and were in use in 800 BC by the Phoenicians. Note that the L and P are more in the modern Latin Alphabet style and a reversed E which is an H in Phoenician also appears.  So, there are intentionally two alphabets in use in this inscription. It is typical of highly educated people still to this day to insert some Latin phrase into their argument for emphasis and so we see it is also done here. The L and P are further confirmed and identified in this manner. (See note to reader below about using P as R.)

The language is not Hebrew but Anglo or Old English as has been noted in other Adena Tablets from the nearby Ohio area. This does not mean it is a fraud but that there is a major part of history that has not yet been recovered.  The impossible idea that this stone is -valid- because it is in English/Anglo written in Phoenician letters is an idea that will be expounded upon in further posts. The reader should understand that academics tell us English (Anglo) originated 1300 years after this alphabet was in use or 500 AD.  (See Sator Rotas post.)

The stone is read – left to right.  (The letter ‘u’ has sounds: u, v, o, w.)

Note most importantly, that the S letter is a line with hatch marks such as used in latitude. It is suggested here it means South and/or latitude. Also note it is directly under the letter I. This suggests a further word or two depending on pronunciation: is and ice. Both apply here.

It translates as follows (see image below):


……………or filling in a bit:

AN HILl UP South Is Ice


An Hill of Ice that was up is now South

……. or…..

The ice mountain of  An that was north is now south.

Presumably this is the goddess An spoken of in ancient texts and in modern terms is magnetic north.

The Latin Style letters (E,L,P) and numbers provide:  ‘E’ LaP  and  PaL ‘E’


the ‘Ae’ lap is at the pole source

…… or…..

The first lap begins at the magnetic source and pole.

Recall that in Hebrew gematria the sound for ‘a’ has a one value. There is no value and letter for ‘e’ so here the ‘E’ is given the value 1 or as spoken it is ‘a’ or ‘an’ meaning one. Combining these ideas then this phrase suggests that the One original pole is at this ‘lap’ or latitude/longitude position. We recognize two poles today: magnetic north and true north. This leads to the final idea and most important part of the riddle.

By solving the number riddle (see below) this critical line can be added:

It lies at 56 degrees 30 minutes and 79 degrees.

(This is the location of southeast Hudson Bay in the arc and close to old magnetic north which is moving northwards.)

Relationship to Sator-Rotas

satar rotasThe reader should note that the Bat Creek Stone is still easily translated (in words but not numbers) if the P is actually an R. The wording changes to ‘or’ = origin, and ‘ro’ = row, order. The witty riddler cleverly hides another word in the letter’s confusion. This is the word ‘pr’ and ‘rp’. The first suggests pair and the latter reap or rape.

A raping pair is the origin of order.

But there is more to this confusing letter! The H looked suspiciously like an E and if this is combined with the r-p duo then the words e-p-r and e-r-p, or appear and a-rope are created. They suggest that:

The raping pair appeared and provide the one rope.

This interpretation recalls the riddle of the Sator-Rotas Square. The inner ring of that puzzle is formed by the repeating letters E, P, E, R, E… or, P, E, R, E … which now look suspiciously familiar. The words ‘ro’ ,’or’, ‘op’, and ‘po’ are notable in that puzzle as well as ‘en’ and ‘ne’. Notice the clever reversal of the N to create the Hebrew letter a.

The Number Riddle

The number riddle is solved by substituting the Hebrew number equivalents for each letter and by noting the left and right half separated by the dot should be equal. This resolves any confusion about identifying the letters and how the ‘p’ was determined over the other possible letters ‘q’ and ‘r’. If the ‘i’ (letter directly left of the ‘L’) is considered to be an angle sign then the left half reads 56 (angle) 30 = 86. This 56 degrees 30 minutes is the latitude of Hudson Bay. (Hudson Bay is where magnetic north has moved from). The 86 is the diameter of the Sun or 864000 miles. It is reminds us of 86400 seconds of longitude. The forty of 864000 is present if the numbers (1 50 5 10 30 6 80) are read as 56 40 86. Adding further support to this idea, recall that a square of sides of 40 has a diagonal of 56.5. The 56 degrees 30 minutes can be written as 56.5 degrees. The reference to the sun also suggests they are talking about latitude since the sun is used to measure latitude.

If the ‘i’ is given its 10 value then the sum of all the terms on the middle line left side is 96.

The sum of the main line is then 182. Add the 60 given by the lower ‘s’ as 182.60 and double. This is 365.2 or the number of days in a year.

Counting the letters left of the dot find 5 and right find 2. There are 52 weeks in a year. There are 7 letters in this main line. There are 7 days in a 52 week year.

The total number of symbols is ten. The word ten is associated with tien (fork tines) and teon (torn) in Anglo /Old English. This idea and use of the word ten appeared in the Sator Rotas.

Observe further that the 5, 7 and 2 can be assembled to create 57.2. The number of degrees in a radian (used in spherical calculations such as astronomy and navigation) is 57.29.

Notice further that the sum of 56 + 30 = 86  on the left plus the 86 on the right is equal to 172. The bottom number is 60. Subtract 172-60 and obtain 112 or twice 56 again. Also note that the total sum on the right, 96, plus the 60 beneath is 156 and this repeats 56.

Note also this manner of counting: The main line is 5 symbols then a dot for 6 making 56. Count from the right 2 and a dot for 3 and find 23 again. The count can be continued right to left. The 23 is followed by 5 for 23.5. This 23.5 is the latitude of the Arctic Circle which surrounds the north pole!

This same manner of counting can be applied to the letter I which is the up down triangle. Count the angles, 3, and the line segments, 4. Find 34 and this distance in degrees from the pole is 56 degrees.

Indeed, we must consider that that pesky P was meant to be an R so that P as 80 and R as 200 gives 280 or half of 560!

But note two last important values ….

The numeric value of Yahweh is 5,6,5,10.

And a triangle of sides 56 has a diagonal of 79.2.

Enough is enough! There are probably more!


So, whoever the hoaxer was that inscribed this stone we know for a fact they were darned good at math riddles and knew gematria. That narrows the field of who dunits down a bit. The original author of this riddle was educated in two alphabets: Phoenician and Latin. He/she also knew that R and P can be confused and took full advantage of it. The Phoenician letter style used was in use east of the Atlantic in 800 BC. The Latin letters evolved from Etruscan about 700 BC. Letter P was used as an R in the original alphabet. It evolved into a P as used today a few centuries later. This gives an upper limit to the age of the  stone as 2700 years. The lower limit depends on when Paleo-Hebrew / Phoenician fell out of use on the west side of the Atlantic and when the last time this stone was copied to remember the wit and wisdom of the saying.

Next the Grave Creek Stone is examined. It too has a fascinating translation.



Updated May 2021 to remove two scratch marks from translation.

Back to the very beginning of series on Adena Tablets

Previous Post on the Shaman Stone

Posts on: Adena Pipe, Numbers and their Meaning, Ramey Peet Tablet, Gridley Stone

McKensie and Bainbridge Tablets, Cincinnati Tablet,

Egyptian Art Comparison, Wilmington Tablet, Lakin A Tablet,

The Gaitskill Clay Tablet, Allen Tablet, Grave Creek,

The Kiefer Tablet, Wright, Lakin B and Meigs Tablets,

Berlin Tablet, Gaitskill Stone Tablet, The Low Tablet,

The Waverly Tablet, Metcalf Stone, and pdf article on

Hudson Bay as a comet crater of recent origin.

(updated Nov. 2018)