The Adena Tablets of Ancient Ohio – The Allen Tablet

© 2014 B. L. Freeborn

There are about a dozen small stones decorated with art that are called the Adena Tablets. They were found in various places throughout Ohio and in neighboring states. Sometimes they were found lying on the surface of the ground, but most often they were associated with mound sites. There are several persons who have published translations such as David W. Penny in the Mid-Continental Journal of Archaeology in 1980, J. Ralston Skinner in the Cincinnati Society of Natural History in 1885, (Note the time span.) and Duncan Caldwell in 1997 in Ohio Archaeologist.

A new way of reading them will be suggested here. So, we begin with the easiest only because it is so obscured by time there is virtually nothing left and ultimately we will be reading such beautiful art as the Ohio Adena Pipe, now a Ohio State symbol, and the Hopewell Shaman – Bear. Check out the links at Ohio History to see these items.

The Allen Tablet, Art from Ancient Ohio

The first reading is of the Allen Tablet as shown in the sketch. (No better image was found.) It is unclear if David Penny drew this or if he took it from Ellis H. Holmes’ 1944 article. Either way, all that can be seen is six circular blurbs. The original is long missing so there is no way to verify its design further. Penny reports it is made of sandstone. It is only 2″ wide and 3 ½” tall so it easily fit within the palm of a hand. These were often covered with red ocher and some suggest they were used in printing or laying on designs. Based on reading Lena Lenape Indian traditions, it is possible the red ocher was used to make them more beautiful and to make the designs leap out.

So, …. how is it this stone just happened to be 2″ by 3 ½” ? Of all the random sizes available how did the artist just happen to use measurements that fall so close to standard English inch sizes? We shall examine this topic closer in the future. Also note it was 3/4 of an inch thick and then observe the numbers as noted in the diagram that can be made from these dimensions: 7, 34 and 23.5.

From the art itself other numbers can be created just by counting the circular blurbs. Find: 23 32, and 56. The most obvious should be noted: three circles and three circles creates 33.

These are seemingly six random meaningless numbers, yet we see 34 + 56 = 90 and there are 90 degrees from the equator to the pole and 90 degrees in each quadrant of direction North to East, East to South, etc. Degrees are composed each of 60 minutes and 23.5 degrees can be written as 23 degrees 30 minutes which looks remarkably like the 23 32 obtained from counting blurbs. The Arctic Circle is defined by this latitude.

Seven we realize is the number of days in a week but there is no way these people also had seven day weeks or perhaps they did. Either way, seven is of great importance throughout a vast number of old world religions.

But we saw this 23 32 before in the Newark Earthworks. And we saw it in the Scottish Pict’s Aberlemno Stone. We also saw 56 in both of those and we found 34 there as well. Could this art lend credence to that strange tale related about the validity of the Newark Decalogue Stone?

Perhaps…. this is more Baalist artwork. But what does it all mean?

The mystery unravels further one stepping stone at a time.


Index to posts on Adena Stones and beginning post:

Metcalf Stone

Next post on Grave Creek Tablet, and pdf article on

Hudson Bay as a comet crater of recent origin.

Great Serpent Mound of Ohio

Without commentary….. a video on the Great Serpent Mound Earthworks in Southern Ohio.

. . .

Back to PREVIOUS POST – A Visual Tour of Newark Earthworks

Back to POST on Newark Earthworks and Decalogue Stone debate in PDF.

Back to FIRST POST on Newark Earthworks and debate surrounding Decalogue Stone

A Visual Tour of Newark Earthworks

Without commentary….. a video on the Newark Earthworks including the Octagon, Observatory Circle, and Great Circle in Central Ohio.


Back to PREVIOUS POST on Newark Earthworks and Decalogue Stone debate in PDF.

Back to FIRST POST on Newark Earthworks and debate surrounding Decalogue Stone.

Forward to NEXT POST.  A video on Great Serpent Mound of Ohio

Creeping Away with Time

By B.L. Freeborn © 2013

How is that more than one researcher can claim these mounds are precisely laid out yet they are so out of round that they vary in their diameter? The Great Circle varies from 1163 to 1189 feet. The Observatory Circle varies from 1050 to 1058 feet. The Octagon is visibly unsymmetrical. It is wider at the end joining the circle.

Large burial mound overlooking Ohio River. See more images of mounds at

There are three plausible explanations for these irregularities. The first is the variation was intentional as was suggested in the difference between the sides of Wright Square of 926 and 928 and later numbers will show that this stretching was done to achieve certain distances. The second explanation is that when they were reconstructed by the Ohio National Guard and others (see complete explanation in Hively/Horn) they were altered.

The last explanation is creep. Let us say the mounds are thousands of years old and that the reason they still exist today is that on a regular basis they were maintained. The manner in which this is done can contribute to their movement.

The Miamisburg Mound is burned every other year to keep weeds and trees from overtaking it. Many mounds throughout Ohio are owned by the Ohio Historical Society and they allow massive trees to take root. Over time the roots push out, break down and do their part in returning the mounds to the landscape. In effect the Society is allowing that which they have been charged with preserving to be destroyed. The Newark Octagon is a golf course and is groomed with precision machines. The grass cover keeps the soil in place.

Carbon dating of charcoal at the Alligator Mound tells us it was built about a 1000 BP. Or does this actually tell us the date of a forest fire or a controlled burn to maintain the site?

Trees, erosion and careless reconstruction all contribute to creep but there is another way they creep out of round.  Persons charged with digging the dirt out of the ditch at the Great Circle and putting it back onto the top of the mound year after year work around the circle. Each and every year slight variations are introduced. The change is so incrementally small that it is never noticed until someone comes back a thousand years later and says, “Yo, your circle looks like an oval!” They creep out of shape. What can contribute even faster to creeping is a sloped site. Fortunately, few are on slopes. Numerous reconstructions and rearrangements in areas such as Thornborough indicate that over the centuries different generations have left their mark, so too we must assume this has happened at both Hopewell and Adena sites.

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  1. Hively, Ray, and Horn, Robert, Geometry and Astronomy in Prehistoric Ohio, “Journal for the History of Astronomy, Archaeoastronomy,” Supplement, Vol. 13, p.S1; also Science History Publications, 1982.      See:
  2. Image of Mound from:

Perfection Lost, Perfection Found

By B.L. Freeborn © 2013, updated Nov. 2018

Right side of Newark Earthworks from Burks drawing.

Right side of Newark Earthworks from Burks drawing.

The most accurate existing map of the Newark Mounds was made by David Wyrick who found the much debated Holy Stones. It is similar in appearance to a map made by Burks and is found in Alrutz’s book. The most striking difference between the latter two and the Squier-Davis map is in the depiction of the large oval north of Wright Square which appears as a half circle in the Squier image. The structure lay very close to Raccoon Creek which was probably used to fill the oval for ceremonial use during spring festivals when the creek would have been full. The Squier survey gives a cross section of the neck of the oval that projects to the southwest towards the creek. It seems to be constructed in such a manner that water flow could have been restricted. (The east-west straight line is a railroad and the north-south wavy line is the canal built through the structures.)

Detail through neck of Oval at Newark Earthworks from Squier-Davis drawing.

Detail through neck of Oval at Newark Earthworks from Squier-Davis drawing.

The concept that this Oval could have been filled with water would be even more important to the Decalogue Debate if it can be shown to relate to the story of Noah, the ark and the flood as was suggested in the sideways “ark” appearance of the Decalogue Stone.

We leave the oval and notice that the square and oval are connected via mound lined paths to the Octagon very similar to those we saw at Thornborough. Those were about 200 feet across. These are also 200 feet across. The path from the Oval is different in that its middle is raised perhaps to allow foot traffic while the ditch on each side is flooded ceremonially.


The paths at Newark Earthworks form angles as they meet at the Octagon. Drawing made from satellite image and blending in missing portions from Squier-Davis Drawing. By B.L. Freeborn.

Having arrived at the Octagon via the path we note that the paths form angles as they converge. They are depicted by each artist in a strikingly similar manner. Their angles and a bit of math is shown in the above image. We find a repeat of the number 56 and the reappearance of 584. The 140 is twice 70 which we have seen before. A new and simple number appears and that is an angle of 50 degrees.

Does 50 have any pertinence to our growing list? Indeed it does! The engineer of the past left no possible element in his design to chance. The sin 50 degrees = .766. We have seen this number in Newark’s distance from the Serpent Mound (76.6 nautical miles). We shall see it again. We might want to pause to note that the square root of 7.66 is 2.76767…. (repeating infinitely) which makes it quite interesting. While the root of 7.7 is a slightly less impressive 2.77 although the 7’s are repeated in the root. From Geller Hill, which sits rather quietly to the southwest of the Earthworks, it is 7.7 miles south to where Wyrick and others found the Decalogue stone at the site where the Great Stone Mound was. In other words, Geller Hill and Great Stone Mound are located 7.7 miles apart. We might want to add that from Grave Creek Mound it is 79.2 miles to Geller Hill, a strikingly important number! We shall look next at what else Romain discovered about this hill.

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The Cross that Tells Us…

By B.L. Freeborn © 2013

Book of Kells, Chi Rho Page. PD.

Book of Kells, Chi Rho Page. Wikipedia. PD.

The Cross amid the art of the Book of Kells symbolizes the cross of Christ. Or does it? Why would a people be led to constantly remember this shape through the retelling of the death of its messiah? A not so simple answer is that once upon a time someone wanted something else entirely remembered and since they were soon to become a conquered people they worked their own beliefs into the newly arrived religion. So we see in this art a beautiful cross and what do we see laid out quite neatly in Newark? Why a cross! And amid the cross is a diagonally placed square just as we see in the Book of Kells!

A  cross imbedded in the layout of Newark Earthworks. Wright Square is similar to the diamond that appears in the Book of Kells Cross.

A cross imbedded in the layout of Newark Earthworks. Wright Square is similar to the diamond that appears in the Book of Kells Cross.

We begin telling the story portrayed in Newark’s layout by examining the square within the cross. This portion of Newark Earthworks called the Wright Square is all but gone. There is a small portion that remains that marks the spot and other than that there are only survey notes. The beautiful Squier-Davis image is known to be incorrect for scaling despite its details. We know from a survey by Thomas in 1894 it was 928 feet by 926 feet. It is assumed by Romain1 2 and others that this is an error from an ideal of 925 feet yet these measures are not too far off for we see 926′ x 928′ gives us an area of 859,328 feet or very nearly 860,000 feet. Hively and Horn report that the east-west axis of the square is 92.8 degrees.3 They felt this was a .8 degree error from the Lunar rise-set point. Yet, one should pause to note the similarity between this number and the size of the square, 928′, which suggests there is no error here.

Going further they report the northwest entrance path runs perfectly straight for 160 m (useless meter!) or 525 feet (or was it 528?) at an azimuth of 306.8 degrees. It then enters the square at an angle.  With a bit of math it is easily determined this is an angle of 56 degrees to the azimuth of the north-south axis. (360 – 306.8 + 2.8 = 56) Furthermore, they were perplexed as to why this avenue did not enter at the center of the side but instead at 30m (useless meters again!) north of the center of the side. We calculate 98.4 feet + 926/2 = 561.4 feet. In other words, the opening breaks the side into two portions: one 561 feet and the other 365 feet. We should immediately recognize the meaning of the latter! This notably repeats the value of the angle of the path at 56 degrees.

Let’s not stop here because the picture is not complete. We have not added them! 926 + 928 = 1854 which is very nearly a number we saw twice at the East Fork. Indeed, 926 and 928 are quite close to 924 and 935 feet we saw there. They were also positioned perpendicularly. Their sum was 1859. Both sets of numbers are portraying not the idea of a simple radius but the idea of an oval, an oblate sphere as we saw in the egg at the Serpent Mound. To do this the values must be similar yet “off.” So they have described quite completely an object with this string of numbers: 365, 926, 928, 1854, 859,000 or at East Fork they used 924, 935, 1859 and 864,000. They threw in two additional reminders of 56 as well.

The square has been discussed first because it seems so insignificant but it appears in all ancient art. It is usually portrayed as the literal seat of all measurement.

Overall, we see in this layout of Newark two structures on the left and three on the right. Two and three create the number 23 or perhaps it is 32 if read right to left. We have seen that the square of 5.656 is 32. Perhaps we should think of it as 23 degrees and 32 minutes and add it to our growing number list.

Does this place with its mounds and ditches speak of the gods? Does it speak of Baal? We note that in Hebrew gematria bet, B, is 2 and lamed, L, is 30. So, the value of the name Baal is 32. The layout then “counts” the name. But if it is 23 then kaph, k, is 20 and gimel, g, is 3. Keg  in Old English is the modern word keg. Might this layout “counted” out mean Baal’s keg? Or Baal’s crater?

What other mysterious coincidences might lie here?

Forward to NEXT POST




  1. Romain, William F., Ph.D., Newark Earthwork Cosmology: This Island Earth, “Hopewell Archeology: The Newsletter of Hopewell Archeology in the Ohio River Valley,” Vol.6 (2), March 2005.   See:
  2. Romain, William F., Ph.D., Design and Layout of the Newark Earthwork Complex, “Hopewell Archeology: The Newsletter of Hopewell Archeology in the Ohio River Valley,” Vol.6 (2), March 2005.  See:
  3. Hively, Ray, and Horn, Robert, Geometry and Astronomy in Prehistoric Ohio, “Journal for the History of Astronomy, Archaeoastronomy,” Supplement, Vol. 13, p.S1; also Science History Publications, 1982.      See:
  4. Book of Kells Image from Wikipedia. See:

Altman’s Penny Theory

By B.L. Freeborn © 2013,

updated Nov. 2018

Rochelle Altman’s “First,…recognize that it’s a penny”: Report on the “Newark” Ritual Artifacts describes the penny theory like this: if a US penny is found at a dig, it is still a US penny. In other words, forget about where they were found and just look at the artifacts.1

Dr. Altman has given us two things in her interesting and well written article. She has used her many decades of experience in ancient languages to give us a clear picture as to why the Newark Stones are not forgeries but actual ritual artifacts. There is no question that she makes a series of valid explanations as to why the artifacts could not have been faked. She concludes they originated from medieval southern Europe. The second part of her report delves into explaining how these real articles came to be in Ohio in 1860, a bit of a who dunnit involving a murder and theft. She proposes these articles were stolen from the person whose remains were found at the Stone Mound site. She asserts the victim was a European settler who had brought them as family heirlooms to the region. Sherlock Holmes would have cringed at her theory but … it is possible they were family heirlooms and were acquired for the dubious reason of perpetuating a hoax on Wyrick. Alas, the problem with this theory is that as medieval family heirlooms they would have been priceless. It would have required a substantial outlay of cash to obtain them, and then the hoaxer would have had to expend the time to go to the site (7 ½ miles each way by foot or horse) to bury them in tough clay and then hope they would be found by his would-be victim. All for what?

Stone bowl found with Decalogue Stone.

Stone bowl found with Decalogue Stone.

If we toss out the attempt to explain how they got there, the stones at least have a ring of validity they have not had since Dr. Arnold Fischel made the same claim in 1861. So it took a mere 150 years to prove what they knew at the start but did not have enough archaeological knowledge to accept as fact then.

But…there always is a but….although it was easy to believe Dr. Altman, it was mistakenly assumed while reading her article that she was trying to prove an origin date of 1500 BC +- . However, she concluded it was medieval. A second read through clarified the misunderstanding … almost.

These then are the reasons from her report that seemed to indicate a date far earlier than she concluded:

See article at:

Sec. 2) Format: Incantation format dates back to Babylon 8th century BC. (This is the style in which the stones are inscribed.)

Sec. 3) Sculpture: Body portrayed in profile dates back to oldest known stele from Akkad (2371-2255 BC). “In the classic Semitic pose, the figure is in profile, one hand is raised or the arm is bent forward pointing at something or holding something.”

Note:  In this case both are true, the right arm is raised and the left is bent forward.

Sec. 4) Script: Base script in which eleven letters match is late Medieval Hebrew squared fonts. (Yet, 1st century BC fonts are extremely similar.)

The “m” she calls South Sinaitic from the 16th century BC. The tsadik is from 16th century BC as well. Both are converted from cuneiform letters. She discusses the possible “magic” reasons why it would have been used as opposed to a more modern version.

Perhaps we should pause to question how a forger in the 1860’s would have known about Cuneiform letters when the symbols were newly discovered and their decipherment still being debated. The same question can be asked of an artist in the Medieval period who certainly should have not known of these letter forms. Does this not indicate a far earlier period?

Sec. 4) Script: The ayin is in a South Semitic form dated to 10th century BC.

She notes the vav and zayin are consistently reversed. Their forms are dated to 10th century BC Phoenician. The gimel (g) is similar to a Phoenician g from the same period. The straight line yod was used in the late BC. The L she calls Nabatean is also Phoenician from the same era. The Hebrew alphabet had its beginning in 10th century BC when the letters were borrowed from Phoenician.

The Keystone was written in modern Hebrew letters using stress and durational notation. This “modern” style of letters dates back to 1st century BC and durational notation to the age of Sumer.

At the center top front there is a symbol she says is unidentified. It looks like a modern Y or the Hebrew Ayin. On the center back no comment is made about the symbol at the top of the inner arch that looks like an incomplete circle. Ironically, both Altman and the Epigraphic Society Report by McCulloch state the letter tet is not represented, yet this symbol is the modern way of denoting a tet.

Overall, her explanation of the stones’ appearance, script, and use is complete and thorough. She believes the items to be of medieval origin. Furthermore, it turns out the small bowl is by far the most important artifact indicating an age between 1st century BC and 2nd century AD. As far as her theory as to how they came to be in Ohio …. well … let us look for a better explanation.





References / Footnotes

  1. Altman, Rochelle, ” First,…recognize that it’s a penny”: Report on the “Newark” Ritual Artifacts.”  See:


Lepper’s One-Way Leap into Oh-Oh

Stela of Ashurnasirpal II from 900 BC. Similarities to the Decalogue Stone are apparent.. From Wikipedia by Geni. CC-BY-SA GFDL

Stela of Ashurnasirpal II from 900 BC. Similarities to the Decalogue Stone are apparent. From Wikipedia by Geni. CC-BY-SA GFDL

By B.L. Freeborn © 2013,

updated Nov. 2018

Bradley T. Lepper, Ph.D. is the most anti-Newark Decalogue Stones voice of our time. He seems to be stuck in 19th century rhetoric and cannot see beyond the limited arguments of the past. Many arguments for/against the authenticity of the stones both then and now bring to light the politics of the era during which they were found. Lepper is stuck in the period and regurgitates the arguments of the past quite thoroughly. If you are looking for a review of past arguments then read his paper published by the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum (present home of the stones)1. His article “The Newark Holy Stones” in Timeline2 is a repetition of these exact same beliefs. Or for no expense at all these articles can be summed up in total as:

They are fake. Proven fakes! Because I said so!

You may see this for yourself at these free sources:

In the second link, pause to look at his sources. Yes, all his sources are himself.

Perhaps it is time to recall a thing or two about archaeology.

The typical way to examine these stones usually contains an overview of the political environment in Ohio during the time period and then it deteriorates into an impossible who-dun-it. Lepper has forever committed himself to this one view. Let us look at another aspect of the historical time period that archaeologists then could not comment on because they did not have a crystal ball to see what was to be unearthed in their own newly developing field.

The Keystone was found in late June 1860 and the Decalogue Stone in November of the same year. The Civil War was just around the corner. What else was happening?

Frenchman Paul Emile Botta on the banks of the Tigris in the area of Mosul discovered Ancient Assyria in 1843 to 1846. He had unearthed a summer palace near the ancient city of Nineveh. Up until this time the oldest civilization known was that of Egypt. The only source of information on the ancient world at that time was the Bible. It was a newspaper sensation! He had happened on a city complete with monuments and written records in undecipherable cuneiform. The discovery of Nineveh would follow. This is a mere fourteen years before the Keystone would be found. It was twelve years after that in 1872 when George Smith labored over cuneiform texts and read the story of Gilgamesh for the first time in modern history. It would be some years before he would find the story of Ut-napishtim, one of the precedent versions of the tale of Noah. It was not until 1880 until the stela of Lagash would be unearthed. It would be some forty years before the Tower of Babel would be discovered.3

It is an image described as being that of Nimrod that Henry Layard discovered a few years prior to the stones’ discovery that Lepper uses in his article to compare to the image on the decalogue. Because they are both Caucasian men in profile under an arch, he concludes it is fake. Pardon me, but if it is authentic would it not show a Caucasian man in profile under an arch just as in the above image?

The Rosetta Stone was discovered in 1799. Thomas Young began to decipher the hieroglyphic version of the stone and published his discoveries in 1816. Jean Francois Champollian continued deciphering hieroglyphic Egyptian and published in 1822 only to be greatly opposed. Indeed as Cyrus Gordon summed it up “As a rule, innovation is welcome only when it is confined to surface details and does not modify the structure as a whole.” 4 Opposition to Champollian’s work did not end until 1866 when he was proven correct by another discovery. This was 34 years after his death and two years after David Wyrick, the discoverer of the Newark stones, took his own life. The Johnson-Bradner stone was discovered a year later. Into this level of archaeological science were these stones brought to the light of day. With this level of knowledge were they judged valid or fake.

Is everything known today about the ancient world so that a true assessment can be made? Of course not! Ugarit would lie beneath the soil undiscovered until 1929. Decipherment of their language moved quickly building on previous work and by 1930 it was solved. Is Ugarit an important language? Yes! It is used today to help define words in its relative language Hebrew. All of this was un-imaginable in 1900 let alone 1860.

An entire empire was rediscovered in the late 1800’s. Excavation began at Bogazköy, Turkey (Hattusa) in 1906. Archaeologist Hugo Winckler found a royal archive with 10,000 tablets.5 These tablets are still being translated. Work on this language continues at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. All of this ongoing work has revealed a vast and powerful empire that reigned for 600 years until its collapse in 1178 BC. It had been forgotten but for a whisper.

It will be sometime before this vast library is completely translated. What is Lepper going to do if one of those documents refers to great earth monuments built on a distant continent in a great valley far to the west in one of their distant colonies? What if another stone in a script similar to the Ohio Hebrew appears in the future at a “legitimate” dig?

If your exclamation is Frank Moore Cross, Harvard University Professor of Near Eastern Languages, is of the opinion that the Decalogue Stone is a “grotesque forgery that cannot be taken seriously.”  Please recall Cyrus Gordon (1908 – 2001) was not so adamant and thought they were Samaritan mezuzah stones (prayer stones that are put over the door) as opposed to phylacteries (prayer stones worn on the arm).

We have also not looked at Altman’s opinion as of yet either. In other words – don’t leap with Lepper just yet. We have a few other opinions to peruse and then those promised numbers ….. !






  1. Lepper, Bradley T., Newark’s Holy Stones: the Resurrection of a Controversy, “Newark “Holy Stones”: Context for Controversy,” Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum, 1999.
  2. Lepper, Bradley T., Gill, Jeff, The Newark Holy Stones, “Timeline,” Ohio Historical Society, Vol. 17 (3), 2000.
  3. Ceram, C.W., “Gods, Graves, and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology,”  New York: Bantam Books, 1951.
  4. Gordon, Cyrus, “Forgotten Scripts,” New York: Dorset Press, 1987.
  5. Wikipedia: Hittites. See
  6. Wikipedia: Ashurnasirpal_II.  See

153 Years and the Debate Still Rages: Newark Mounds and Decalogue Stone

Front Face of Newark Decalogue Stone

Newark Decalogue Stone, photo by J. Huston McCulloch

By B.L. Freeborn © 2013 (updated Nov 2018)

If the Newark Indian Mounds of Newark, Ohio were not large enough to contain a golf course (which they do) they would have been declared a fraud and a hoax. The Decalogue Stone and Keystone, two stones with Hebrew inscriptions found at and near the site have been declared both a fake and real. The debate over the stones has raged 153 years.

Today’s greatest anti-stone debaters are: Kenneth L. Feder, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology at Central Connecticut State University and Bradley T. Lepper, Ph.D., Affiliated Scholar at Denison University in Granville, Ohio and Archeology Education Coordinator at the Ohio Historical Society.  They are joined by others who parrot their words such as Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews, Archaeology Officer at North Hertfordshire District Council, England, educated at University of Lancaster and Letchworth Grammar School and is a former nightclub DJ who writes “Badarcheaology.”

They are opposed by J. Huston McCulloch, Ph.D., Professor of Economics and Finance at Ohio State University; Rochelle I. Altman, Ph. D. Medieval English Literature, Scotland, a specialist in ancient phonetic-based writing systems; Suzanne O. Carlson, architect and NEARA Board member, James Guthrie, retired industrial chemist and avocational epigrapher, and others.

Some of their arguments are logical. Some of them are not.

Keystone found near Octagon in Newark, Ohio

Keystone found near Octagon in Newark, Ohio,
Photo by J. Huston McCulloch

There is considerably less written on the Newark Mounds since there is just not as much to debate. They exist. They existed prior to European settlement so they are not forged. They have been altered but that work was either done in the interest of preserving them or removing them from existence, which is why three large portions of the mounds are in viewable park-like condition today and the rest has made way for progress. There is serious academic work being done on them with some pretty cool new instruments like LiDAR. William F. Romain, Ph.D. Archaeoastronomy, Research Associate for Newark Earthworks Center, Ohio State University leads in this field by far. He picked up where Ray Hively and Robert Horn of Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana left off in 1982. Joseph M. Knapp has written web-articles “Hopewell Lunar Astronomy: The Octagon Earthworks” and “On the Great Hopewell Road” which begins in Newark. He introduces us to James A. Marshall who has spent many hours actually surveying the mounds and has studied the geometry used in building them. This lovely image of the mounds is from James Q. Jacobs extensive site on the archaeoastronomy of ancient sites.

Newark Earthworks, Link to James Q. Jacobs Site and Photos.

Newark Earthworks, Link to James Q. Jacobs Site and Photos.

No one can say academic archaeologists are ignoring this topic. It is a mainstream debate and the arguments are becoming increasingly scientific … well…. except for Lepper’s and the Dj’s. To add to the topic at this point either good tools and/or observations are required.

There are a few gaffs in the arguments on the Stones on both sides. Perhaps the only way to really resolve the issue is to look at the Mounds themselves. Instead of debating endless rounds of “who is/is not guilty of faking them” perhaps we should change the question entirely. To do so we might have to throw out a lot of what we presume is actual fact. We need to see if there are any circumstances under which it would be appropriate for a “Jewish looking” stone to be found at the mounds pre-Columbus. In my mind their presence can only be logical and legitimate if they can be associated to the mounds themselves.

So we begin looking at the Stones by looking at some of the arguments of the current debaters and then there is a good deal of mathematical information about the mounds to share. The legitimacy of the stones aside, the geometric study proves a great intelligence lies behind the design and layout of the mounds. When done you will have a solid opinion …of some sort.

So we will pick up next with………… “They left no garbage!”



Back to posts on KNOWTH KERBSTONES



  1. Newark Decalogue Stone and Keystone photos by J. Huston McCulloch.
  2. Knapp, Joseph M., “Hopewell Lunar Astronomy: The Octagon Earthworks,” 1998.
  3. Knapp, Joseph M., “On the Great Hopewell Road,” 1998.
  4. More photos and archaeoastronomy information by J. Q. Jacobs.

Newark Decalogue Stone and Earthworks: An Unraveling Mystery

The following twenty-five posts were a pleasure to write and even more so to share with you. 

Newark Decalogue Stone and Earthworks: An Unraveling Mystery  … Full document as pdf.

B.L. Freeborn   © July 2013

“As a rule, innovation is welcome only when it is confined to surface details and does not modify the structure as a whole.” – Cyrus Gordon

Table of Contents

  1. Lepper’s One-Way Leap into Oh-Oh

    Front Face of Newark Decalogue Stone

    Front Face of Newark Decalogue Stone

  2. The Remains according to Romain

    Keystone found near Octagon in Newark, Ohio

    Keystone found near Octagon in Newark, Ohio

  3. Ohh… Let It Not be True

    Newark Earthworks, Link to James Q. Jacobs Site and Photos.

    Newark Earthworks, Link to James Q. Jacobs Site and Photos.


See another example of Ohio Hebrew here.