A Holy Place Lies Here

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

Famous drawing of Earthworks in Newark, Ohio by Squier, Davis and Whittlesey, 1837-1847.

Famous drawing of Earthworks in Newark, Ohio by Squier, Davis and Whittlesey, 1837-1847.

Hopewell is a name of coincidence. It is the name given to the mound builders of Ohio. Adena is the other name bestowed on them. Hopewell comes from the name of the man who settled land on which mounds were situated. Adena, similarly, came from the name of a homestead. Neither name has any historic relevance. Yet when these mounds were laid out, did not their designers Well Hope they would last for eons? Would they have situated them where they had the best chance of surviving? If we can figure out how they were placed will that give us a clue to the knowledge within the minds that placed them?

We have noted the importance of 40 in Judaism. What is 40 miles from nowhere on a vast empty continent? Nothing. But line of latitude 40 runs through the middle of this flat, open terrain. In fact, Newark lies only 2 minutes of latitude north of it. J.Q. Jacobs notes that the Serpent Mound lies at longitude 83 degrees 25′ 52″ and the Newark Earthworks lie at 82 degrees 25′ 48″. This is one degree of longitude separation.1 2 The Serpent holds an egg in its mouth and this egg is an oval 120 feet by 70 feet. The inner diameter of this oval is 76 feet across. We have seen this 70 before. We have seen 12 before and we shall soon see many references to 76.

Main layout of Earthworks in Newark, Ohio

Layout of Earthworks in Newark, Ohio created by drawing over satellite image and blending area above Great Circle and paths with those portions from Squier-Davis Drawing. — Drawing by B.L. Freeborn.

Surely, this Serpent has something to do with the placement of Newark or vice versa. The Newark Earthworks lies 76.6 nautical miles or 88.15 miles north of the Serpent. Indeed, from the prominently placed Miamisburg Mound the distance is 87.7 nautical miles or 100.9 miles. But these are two local monuments. Do they align with any other great monument? Why was the Newark complex placed here?

Romain posits that the Newark Octagon and the Great Circle are both placed in reference to Geller Hill at a distance of 7 OCD from each. Geller Hill is located at 40 degrees 2′ 12″ N latitude.  Let’s look at that closer 40, 2 and 12. The numbers sound familiar. But the longitude is 82 degrees 27′ 26″. This is not very pretty at all. However….maybe this spot was chosen for another reason. The distance between the Great Pyramid and this innocuous hill in Ohio is 113 degrees 35′ or 113 degrees and .583 degrees. We can see the 583 reminds us of the 584 we saw at East Fork but that can be purely coincidental ….well… until one adds it to 113 and recall the ancients loved to double. So 113.583 equals 2 x 56.7916. What are the odds that 56 and 7916, nearly 7920, would show up here? Consider further that 113 is 2 x 56.5. Let me throw this additional coincidence out. In the story of Noah it rained for 40 days and Noah lived to the grand toothless age of 950 years. Are we supposed to convert that 950 say from years to months, or inches to feet, to obtain 79.16? What other not so pure coincidences can be found at Newark?

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  1. Jacobs, James Q., “The Great Circle Earthwork, Newark, Ohio,” 2006.  See:  http://www.jqjacobs.net/archaeo/newark.html
  2. Jacobs, James Q., “Newark Octagon, Newark, Ohio,” 2006.  See: http://www.jqjacobs.net/archaeo/octagon.html

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As Plain as Day

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

Book of Kells, Chi Rho Page. PD.

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

Some things we know as plain as day and other things we see and do not comprehend. Let us return to the debate surrounding the Decalogue Stone. Two events were occurring in 1860. Mormonism, a newly created religion by the dubious con man Joseph Smith, was seeking legitimacy and the 84-year-old predominantly Christian nation of the United States was on the brink of collapse into civil war. A religion was rising, a nation was falling and for those involved in these issues life and faith hung in the balance. Their world became myopic and they could not recall that this is the way of things. History was repeating itself. Just as Scientology rises today, Mormonism rose then and before that Islam rose, and before that it was Christianity. And there we tend to stop. We know that with the rise of the United States a people and their land was conquered. We know that Islam today vows to conquer all. We know that young men in white shirts and ties come to our doors and attempt to persuade us to join their religion. They are subtle conquerors as all peaceful missionaries before them.

Do we recall a time when Christianity swept north through Europe with the advance of Roman soldiers and conquered the Pagans? And from whence did the Christians come? They arose as followers of Paul’s church who distorted Judaism to suit his needs. From whence did the Jews come? They tell us they came out of Egypt and were allowed to return to their homeland. To Canaan they went where the cities of Ugarit lay buried beneath the soil. Or did they come out of Babylon in 485 BC. The priests of Babylon had been massacred by the Greeks. This is the story of another conquered people and the fall of a great religion that had lasted for centuries. And eventually Paganism, after fighting a long and hard battle, vanished in the middle ages in the burning and torture of its last beholders. We forget how very much history we lost as a result of the Greeks killing the intellectuals of their era followed by the killing of the Pagan priests in later centuries. The Pagan and Babylonian Priests were the keepers of their history. As victor, the Greeks wrote history and in that history they usurped achievements of bygone eras. But they could not lay claim to that which they could not comprehend such as measurement of longitude. The Pagan priests did not vanish in total, nor did the Babylonian Priests. They left us something as plain as day and yet we do not see it.

The monks of Ireland, newly Christian, laced their beliefs into their art as they decorated their new doctrine. From the art in the Book of Kells we see their beliefs have passed through time to us. And what is this image? We see a cross curled round and around the cross are circles. Does the art depict Christian or Pagan beliefs?

Does Jewish history reveal anything of the Pagans? Or perhaps we should call them Baalists, worshipers of Baal. This deity is little understood. Baal was the most significant god in the Canaanite pantheon.1 The religion conflicted with Judaism. The Book of Kings I tells how Elijah met the priests of Baal and had 450 of them killed. Book of Kings II relates that the “cult” arose again and was put down once more. This “cult” arose yet again and was again put down.

Book of Kells, Incipit to the Gospel of Matthew. PD. Wikipedia.

Book of Kells, Incipit to the Gospel of Matthew. PD. Wikipedia.

“Cult” makes it sound so small, trivial and such a local phenomena. Yet according to 17th century historian Geoffrey Keating at each Beltane in medieval Ireland there was a sacrifice made to a god named Beil. Some doubt the veracity of Keating’s facts.2 Either way, Beltane is a festival celebrated on May Day that involves the union of male and female, and this is symbolized by the maypole and the cords woven around it. Very little ancient information is available on the significance of Beltane except that it involved bonfires and blessings. Martin Brennan in his book “The Stones of Time: Calendars, Sundials, and Stone Chambers of Ancient Ireland” relates that “Baal or Bel is another name for the sun and forms part of many place names in Ireland including Bel-ain, which means ‘Bel’s ring’ or the sun’s circuit.” 3 The name is similarly found in place names in the area of Israel.

Brennan also tells of the old native Irish god Dagda who was all-powerful and omniscient. This deity was considered to be the good god and Lord of Great Knowledge. In the distant Mediterranean archaeologists have uncovered the Temple of Dagon in Ugarit. Whereas Baal, “the King,” was the son of El; Dagon was the god of fertility and wheat.4 So we have two gods of similar names in these two distant lands. Is this the roots of Paganism, the religion that Judaism in its rise to power in the Middle East sought to conquer? Or were the Jews Baalists all along pretending to be someone else to avoid persecution by the Greeks? Perhaps this was not a small cult but a religion that spanned all of Europe and was finally annihilated by the Christians rather recently.

The beauty in the Book of Kells cannot be argued. Do the images conceal Pagan beliefs? Is that the cross of Christ or the intersection of longitude and latitude in the first image? Is that diamond square a decoration or does it mean something significant? Is that backwards L a measuring square? Is that the maypole of Beltane next to it and the cords wrapping around it? In the next image, is that a serpent winding and twisting about in the monogram which is to remind us of something important, just as the Great Serpent Mound that graces southern Ohio?

When we look at the Decalogue stone and the little bowl found with it, are we looking at a piece of long forgotten history? Judaism was not always the seamless religion it appears to be today. It had its own battles as the Book of Kings I tells us to gain prominence, just as the religions we see rising into acceptance currently. Did the Baalists continue on by hiding their beliefs from those in power? Did Dagas/Dagon and Baal play a role in Newark, Ohio?

We return to Ohio and the mysteries of the mounds laid out there for us to ponder across time.

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  1. Douglas, J.D., and Tenney, Merrill C., “NIV Compact Dictionary of the Bible,” Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House, 1989.
  2. Wikipedia article: Beltane.  See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beltane
  3. Brennan, Martin, “The Stones of Time: Calendars, Sundials, and Stone Chambers of Ancient Ireland,” Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International, 1994.
  4. Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ugarit
  5. Book of Kells, Chi Rho Page Image. See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KellsFol034rChiRhoMonogram.jpg
  6. Book of Kells, Incipit to the Gospel of Matthew Image. See:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KellsFol029rIncipitMatthew.jpg

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Where Magic Lies

By B.L. Freeborn © 2013

We have detailed a magnificent earthwork to be constructed. It will be a mile in length so it will require a large plane. It will use three circles to display an idea composed of numbers. If it is properly placed, its power will be so great it will defy the ravages of time.

It is decided that it will be placed 79.2 miles from the place that links many places of power and it will be placed 32 degrees longitude from another place of power. This number 32 is the most important squaring of 5.656 while 79.2 represents the diameter of the Earth. This mile long work of art actually exists just as described. It is laid out in a plain, not too close to the East Fork Works, with its mounds that run in straight lines, and not to near the great works in Newark with its similar design of concentric circles of mounds and ditches. The great ones of the past chose a flat plane that lies on line of longitude one, 1 , where many other mounds have been built. This mile long structure begins 79.07 miles north of Lincoln Cathedral, England and ends 80.05 miles north which places 79.2 miles within the middle of the structure. Indeed, it lies 32 degrees from the Great Pyramid in Egypt. But to add more power to the placement of these two great structures, they will be 32 degrees and 40 seconds apart. This number, 40, is great in beauty and power. We recall its power was used to poetically describe how long it rained during Noah’s travails and how many years Moses endured in the wilderness: 40 days, 40 years, and now 40 seconds. And what does this simple number reveal?

A square 40 to the side has a circumference of 160 and an area of 1600. This is the important number 16 we saw in the Decalogue Stone: 16 x 16 = 256 or the number of letters on the stone. But most importantly a square of 40 has a diagonal of 56.56 and this most secret number is always with us.

The site for this great work is chosen by aligning it with other places of power. Thornborough Henge in its newly finished form shimmered with white gypsum some 5000 years ago, 3500 to 2500 BC. It lies an ocean away from Ohio and the home of the mound builders. And so our mystery is now convoluted by time and great distance…..

Thornborough Henge in England. Image by

Thornborough Henge in England. Image by 2013 Google, Digitalglobe, Infoterra Ltd. & Amp; Bluesky.

The Ohio mounds, we are told, are rather recent being almost as old as the language in which this is written. Newark Earthworks, the largest complex in the world, are dated to 250 – 500 AD. Surely, scientists have discovered that Watson Brake complex in Louisiana dates to 5400 years ago or the same era as the Thornborough Henge.

The Newark Earthworks were built, we are led to believe, by people who had newly discovered the geometry of a circle and how to use a rope to make one. Yet, the missing East Fork works suggests otherwise. We are further led to believe their significance had to do with their cosmology and it had no relation to our present day life other than being the historical religion of the native people at that time. These people, we are fervently told, came via a land bridge from Asia some 10,000 years ago even though they have lost the characteristics typical of Asians and look Caucasian-African. And while trucking over the continent they were stopped in Louisiana by a large gulf and there, some 5400 years ago, they built mounds. If these fellows had a ship, like the Egyptians of their era, they could have gone all the way to England and seen the distant ancestors of the English who had also just created mound earthworks! What a marvelous synchronicity! Oh, but what a dilemma for the scientist! Alas, he must choose between evidence of synchronicity or pre-Columbian (and pre-Leif) contact!

Perhaps if we understood what message lies hidden in this great earthwork in England we could grasp why they are similar? What is it that we still do not understand about them and these numbers? What is the importance of 56 and even 860? Of 16 and 584?

Longitude measured by Neolithic people? Hidden messages, people traveling great distances, measurements that ought not be there, and identical structures built on unknown continents? This is all contrary to our education! So it cannot be.

Perhaps there is something here we really do not want to understand. Perhaps they have drawn it out for us as plain as day but because of our education we cannot see it.

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The Mounds that were Imagined by the Army

Hanukkiah Earthworks as surveyed by the Army before they were destroyed.

Hanukkiah Earthworks as surveyed by the Army before they were destroyed.

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

What else does Dr. McCulloch have to offer? As a long time advocate for the stones his website has a few things not found anywhere else. If one visits his Archaeological Outliers Page1 one will find an image of a great earthwork that no longer exists. It met with the colonial plow and lost. Formerly, this great earthwork was to be found east of Cincinnati near the East Fork of the Little Miami River. Fort Ancient and Chillicothe both have large concentrations of mounds and are relatively close.

It takes little imagination to see in this image an oil lamp and a candelabra particular to Jewish tradition called a Hanukkah menorah. McCulloch explains in detail the different surveys done at this site. One survey was done by the US Army but in accordance with the anti-debaters logic the earthworks never existed. It is a short leap after seeing this to concluding the Decalogue Stone is Jewish. But again we must hesitate to make that leap since if it is Jewish, present day Jews would have some understanding of what the earthworks are all about. The Jewish are a people who tenaciously adhere to tradition. If the earthworks are of Jewish origin, then would there not be a tradition of making earthworks in their religion? Since there is not, we continue looking for an explanation.

The East Fork Works is portrayed in this image. The 2000 foot length on the image is believed to be incorrect. (See full resolution image at McCulloch’s link below.) It is noted in two places as 200 feet and then later someone has written in a zero to make it 2000 feet. Frank Otto proposed in 2006 that the correct dimension is probably 900 since 9’s and 2’s can look similar and this was probably a mistake in taking the information from field notes. The spacing on the candles is 66 feet. Scaling the image accordingly the 900 foot dimension is confirmed in the locations shown in the image below. The overall dimensions on the bottom and left are 924 x 935 = 863,940 or 864,000 square feet. This 864 looks familiar. We saw it in the Decalogue Stone.

Hanukkiah Earthworks with Dimensions Added.

Hanukkiah Earthworks (East Fork) with Dimensions Added.

The other numbers found on the stone were: 56, 5656, 69.2, 69, 70, 79, 58 and 16. The 79 appears in the East Fork Works at the bottom as 792. The average diameter of the Earth is 7920 feet. The 56 appears at the bottom of the candlestick as 560′. The lower branch actually bumps out to give the dimension. The 58 appears at the top closer to its correct value of 584 which reminds one of the distance Earth travels in a year or 584 million miles. Easily summed and used to check the scale is 66 x 8 = 528. The 528 was found by James Marshall at the High Bank Works south of Chillicothe2 as the radius of the giant circle there. 528 feet is exactly 1/10th of a mile.  Its prominent display here is also indicating measurement by the mile. The distance 660 feet is called a furlong. There are eight in a mile. The candles are then set at 1/10th of a furlong. The radius of the small top circle is also 66 feet making the diameter the noted 132 feet. The 132 feet appears as the length of the bottom small square. Its vertical height of 110 feet is 1320 inches. The area of this square is .333 acres. We saw on the back of the Decalogue Stone the number 9 and recalled that it is 3 + 3 + 3 = 9. The 3’s appear in the area .333 but more so the 9 appears as the 900′ dimensions. The area of a 900′ x 900′ square is 18.59 acres.

This value repeats. The side lengths 935′ and 924′ sum to 1859′.

The topic of the Sumerian inch of .66 inches has previously been studied.3 The value 66 reminds us that Earth travels at 66624 mph. Furthermore, one cannot possess a really important length of .66 inches unless one’s standard is actually one full inch. The same follows for the Indus inch of 1.32 inches. The value 1.32 is reflected in this image as well.

If one has taken the time to follow this, it leaves more questions than answers. Why are there all these odd elements in one place: English measurement, numbers of Sumerian and Indus importance, Jewish symbols, Jewish letters, and an accurate measurement of the Earth’s diameter? Not to mention in the last post we brought into play the deity Baal. The mystery grows in complexity rather than being solved.

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  1.  McCulloch, J. Huston, “Archaeological Outliers Page.”    See: http://economics.sbs.ohio-state.edu/jhm/arch/outliers.html
  2. Marshall, James, Intelligence Inscribed before the Printed Word in North America, Caxton  Club of Chicago, 2004. See: http://www.caxtonclub.org/reading/2004/jul04.pdf
  3.  Freeborn, B.L., “The Inch, The Megalithic Yard, and The Sumerian Inch,” 2013. See:  https://noahsage.com/2013/01/13/the-inch-the-megalitic-yard-and-the-sumerian-inch/

Looking for a Better Explanation

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

J. Huston McCulloch’s website, “The Newark Holy Stones,” 1 and his 1992 paper, “An Annotated Transcription of the Ohio Decalogue Stone,” 2 are the most thorough description of the stones to be found. In the latter article he gives all 256 letters plus the 2 unidentified symbols with the matching Hebrew word and its English translation. Clear images are found on the website, as well as a good overview of its history and past debates.

Ohio HebrewThere is something missing in all of the above excellent reports and that is numbers. When studying the Indian mounds of North America or European earthworks the first items noted are lengths, areas, and heights. Numbers are intrinsic to this study. So we begin looking at the numbers related to the stone.

According to Altman this is a ritual artifact in incantation format. If it is real, the numbers should repeat numbers of historical ritual significance. McCulloch states there are 256 letters on the stone. 256 is 16 x 16.  The stone, as measured by it’s copy, measures 6 7/8″ x 1 3/4″ x 2 7/8″ (or 6.875 x 1.75 x 2.875). Its rough volume is then 34.59 cubic inches. Twice this value is 69.18.

1.75 is 2 x .875. From prior work in the subject it can be predicted that the correct value is .864″ which gives a corrected thickness of 1.73″.

Two times 2.875 is 5.75. This can be rounded to 5.8 which indicates the correct measurement is 2.9″.

6.875 can be rounded to 6.9 which is the desired value as well.

Substituting these corrected values for its measurements and determining the volume once again gives us 34.62 cubic inches or virtually the same value. Twice this value is 69.23 cubic inches.

The circumference is then 3.46 inches. Two times this is one-tenth the same value just obtained or 6.92″. The circumference in the opposite direction is 17.26 or 2 x 8.63. This is almost the desired correct value of 8.64.

Why is this all important? How can one know the expected correct values? The expected values are determined by repetition. They appear at ancient sites. Again and again in ancient artifacts they will appear. The measurements will be in English inches. The distances in English feet and miles. If this is a valid ancient object the expected numbers must be present. If it is a forgery, any value can be found. In a similar manner, the New Hampshire Mystery Stone portrays the diameter of the Earth in its circumference.

The numbers do not end here. Hebrew does not have a separate set of signs for numerals. All Hebrew letters double as numbers which makes the Torah a document that is dually written. It is written both in words and in numbers. Each letter on the decalogue equates to a number. This is called gematria. Take for example the three letters over the head of Moses. They convert to 5, 300, 40 which sums to 345 and twice this number is 690 which reminds us of the height of the stone 6.9″. Two further examples are found in numbers we just found on the stone. The gematria of Noah is 58 and that of Elohim (a name of God) is 86.

It was mentioned in the prior post that there were two symbols ignored by Altman. If the symbol at the top center front is an Ayin it is nearly the standard letter. Yet Ayin in the text is depicted by a square. The double depiction then indicates that the one was used to contain the magic of the incantation and the second to depict the meaning of the letter ie. a wye, a junction of lines. Its value is 70 very nearly the value of 69 and if one is talking about 69.2 miles between lines of longitude at the equator then 70 is a good close approximation of the value. All of these lines meet at the pole and wye out from there.

On the back of the stone is a nearly closed circle symbol that could easily be a Hebrew tet. The value of tet is 9. What is important about 9? Consider 9 x 9 = 81, 9 + 9 = 18 (its reverse) and 3 x 3 = 9 and 3 + 3 + 3 = 9. All this makes the number look very magical. But its importance in this position confirms that one of the most important numbers in this ancient secret system is present and prominent, yet hidden. The front symbol ayin, 70, plus the rear symbol tet, 9, creates 79. The diameter of the Earth is 7920 miles and any good navigator or surveyor knows the diameter of the Earth. But where is the 20? Is it here? The symbol for 20 is Kaf in Hebrew and its shape is a half circle, a sideways arch. The arch is the top of the stone. Historically and right up to today the arched tablet carrying a message whether it is the Ten Commandments, church windows, or a headstone is ever present. This completes the number.

The other number that should be present is 56. This number appears in the text of the Decalogue. It appears three times. It appears twice as words noted as being misspelled. See McCulloch’s Transcription in line 5. In this rendition it is het, vav, het, vav or 5656. It should be het, yod, het, yod and means he-shall-be. It is also a misspelled word in line 8 and is situated on the back just above-right of the tet. It is also het, vav, het, vav or 5656. It should be spelled het, vav, het, yod for 5, 6, 5, 10 = 26 or the Hebrew word we know as Yahweh. The third instance is on the front right midway in the line and it is composed of three letters lamed-kaph-vav and means or-anything. This sums to 56.

The number 56 also appears in a second hand manner in the number of letters inscribed on the stone or 256. This method of emphasizing the importance of 56 is still present in modern measures. The length of two miles is 10560 feet or to say it another way, a fifth mile is 1056 feet. (This number will become important later.) And the number of feet in an acre is a very odd value….43,560.

If this was faked then it was well done for there is one more instance of 69 that should be noted. The 5656 that appears above the tet is immediately preceded by the letter aleph or 1. So that the two letters directly above the tet are 1 and 5. 1 + 5 = 6 with tet, 9, creates 6 9 once again. We might say the incantation is sealed front to back by the 69 of 2 x 345 in Moses on the front and this 69.

In summary, in this stone we have these numbers appearing: 56, 5656, 69, 69.2, 70, 79, 864, 58 and 16. The reasons why some of them are important have been discussed. Others will appear in a later posts.

What other things can we see in this stone that help to prove its validity? Well… there are a few things that are quite clever!

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References/Footnotes:

  1. McCulloch, J. Huston, The Newark, Ohio Decalogue Stone and Keystone. See:  http://economics.sbs.ohio-state.edu/jhm/arch/decalog.html
  2. McCulloch, J. Huston, An Annotated Transcription of the Ohio Decalogue Stone, “The Epigraphic Society Occasional Papers,” Vol. 21. See:  http://economics.sbs.ohio-state.edu/jhm/arch/wyrick/transcrpt.pdf
  3. Freeborn, B.L., “The Deep Mystery: The Day the Pole Moved,” Tiw & Elddir, 2013.

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:   http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/Altman_Newark.shtml

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.

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References / Footnotes

  1. Altman, Rochelle, ” First,…recognize that it’s a penny”: Report on the “Newark” Ritual Artifacts.”  See:  http://www.bibleinterp.com/articles/Altman_Newark.shtml

 

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 ….. !

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Footnotes/References

  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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hittites
  6. Wikipedia: Ashurnasirpal_II.  See  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ashurnasirpal_II_stela_british_museam.jpg

Newark Decalogue Stone is Fake because there is No Garbage!

Front Face of Newark Decalogue Stone

Front Face of Newark Decalogue Stone

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

From Kenneth L. Feder, Ph.D. we hear, “Applying these post-Columbian historical models, most archaeologists deduce that if travelers from the Old World visited the New before Columbus they can be expected to have left similar, mundane material evidence of their presence in the form of artifacts culturally distinguishable from those of indigenous people.” 1

He means garbage. We all leave garbage lying about. They should have left more stuff with inscriptions lying about. They should have left more Old World origin stuff in their garbage piles. One can both agree and disagree.

Point in fact: David Wyrick found stones with inscriptions in 1860. Because he did, he lost his reputation and ultimately committed suicide. Suppose another intelligent person in 1860 had also found something, would he come forward to be lamb-basted? Not likely. So we might conjecture that any other ancient artifacts found in the 1800’s went into the garbage and fast.

Have things changed? If one found an artifact today would one come forward? Many would at the risk of their reputation. The artifact might also be confiscated never to be seen again. Things disappear even on legitimate archaeological digs. Is it worth impugning the reputation of the researchers over something out-of-place?

As far as other “garbage” in Newark2 we note there was:

  • a quartz ball found with the Keystone,
  • numerous other round balls were found at other mound sites,
  • the Keystone was found in a tough ball of clay,
  • “two beautiful plumb bobs but instead of being either round or oval they are eight square” were found with the Decalogue Stone,
  • the Decalogue stone was in an oval, round case which creates a large “rock” when closed and it was found with a small stone bowl,
  • the Johnson-Bradner stone found at the same location as the Decalogue was in a skull.

In fact, the other “garbage” these people left behind was monstrous earthworks that greatly resemble in detail earthworks in England and Ireland.

This does not mean the native people of the time period did not make these monuments. Of course they did! It does not mean today’s Indians are not descended from the original builders. Unless they all died off from disease or were killed off, of course they are descended from them! The mounds are enormous complexes that did not appear overnight nor were they built by a small group of people. (Nor were they built by Mormons, or lost tribes.)

What Dr. Feder wants to see to believe the stones are real is “a convincingly authentic, archaeological site with its complex of artifacts and features with all their spatial associations and stratigraphic contexts.”

In other words, he wants to see a typical community layout with an area of houses, a cemetery, and the always present garbage heap which in this case must contain relics similar to the Decalogue Stone or something from the Old World like a belt buckle.

What we do have is a site that has enormous spatial associations (the number stuff that is to come).  William Romain, Hively, Horn and James Marshall have begun to show us already that these sites were formally laid out geometrically. James Q. Jacobs and Joseph Knapp are hard at work showing the astronomical correlations. These mounds were not randomly built. In order to place these sites with the precision other authors demonstrate (and will be shown here later) they must have had either astronomy or surveying skills, or acquired the skills by association with another party. Today we hire engineering services. Today we are even persuaded by outside parties to build engineered monstrosities we do not want like Wheelabrator’s Incinerators. In other words, a small outside party amongst the population cannot be ruled out by the lack of their specific garbage. Their presence may be deduced by the results left behind, ie. a monstrous Wheelabrator Trash plant means “they were here.”

Someone engineered these sites. Who? How about the chap they unearthed where the plumb-bobs were found? Plumb-bobs are used in surveying. They found the Johnson-Bradner stone within a skull. That is a nice gruesome touch if it was forged. Two other interesting facts about this burial. The “crypt” was a coffin made from a hollowed tree trunk surrounded by and encased in fine white clay. Fine white clay is not found everywhere in Ohio. Its presence must indicate this person was special enough for his mourners to go to the trouble to get it. Over the clay was placed a layer of stones and wood bracing. Upon these were copper rings. Indeed, on top of this site was a mound of stones described as being 180 feet in diameter and 40+ feet high. This mound of stones was so large it took 75 wagon teams to remove the stones to make the dam to create Buckeye Lake in 1831-1832. This is an estimated 10 to 15,000 wagon loads. We may assume that each stone placed on that cairn was to show respect for those buried there. They were extraordinarily special in some way. They were so revered that people left so many tokens of respect that a great mound of stone was formed. For all we know the deceased was a visiting dignitary from the Old World. More likely he/they were the engineers who laid out the great Newark site and other vast mound systems. A plumb-bob was found after all. Would they not be laid to rest with their favorite tools?

We might ask where they learned their trade? Mesoamerica, Cahokia, or were they buried with something they brought from their homeland? Like a “Jewish looking” stone? There is another piece of forgotten history that will shed light on who might have been buried on that hill under that massive mound of stones.

“Another group of people also lived among the Cherokee. They were called the Ani’-Kuta’ni. Prior to Mooney there were other much older sources that stated these people were…

“…the priestly clan, having hereditary supervision of all religious ceremonies among the Cherokee, until, in consequence of having abused their sacred privileges, they were attacked and completely exterminated by the rest of the tribe, leaving the priestly functions to be assumed thereafter by individual doctors and conjurers.”3

“The Mound Builders are addressed in Mooney’s book. There are two versions to this story. One group said the mounds were built by another people with no association to the Cherokee while another story said they were built by the ancestors of the Priests Ani’-Kuta’ni.”

This report is from “The 19th and 7th Annual Reports Bureau American Ethnology,” 1897-1898. It gives us an unexpected picture of very early American history and may explain some parts of this story while still leaving us wondering about who the Ani’-Kuta’ni might have been.

We might also ask did they teach anyone else their trade and pass along their knowledge? There is evidence they did.4 The quick argument is that Native Americans did not own land and so surveyors were not required. The thoughtful answer is surveyors are required if you take the placement of your monuments very, very seriously. Were they placed precisely? They were, just as Romain concluded, but more than he could have imagined. This will lead to more numbers to be looked at!

Next we look at Lepper’s leap into oh-ohh.

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Footnotes/References

  1. Feder, Kenneth, Coming to America: Investigating Claims of Precolumbian Forays to the New World, “Newark “Holy Stones”: Context for Controversy,” Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum, 1999.
  2.  Alrutz, Robert W., “Newark Holy Stones: The History of an Archaeological Tragedy,” Coshocton, Ohio: The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum, 2010.
  3. Mooney, James, “Myths of the Cherokee and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees, From the 19th and 7th Annual Reports Bureau American Ethnology,” 1897-1898.
  4. Brennan, Tom PE, Civil Engineer and Surveyor, “Land Surveying Long Ago,” 2013 Spring Conference Presentation NEARA.

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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!”

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Footnotes

  1. Newark Decalogue Stone and Keystone photos by J. Huston McCulloch.  http://economics.sbs.ohio-state.edu/jhm/arch/decalog.html
  2. Knapp, Joseph M., “Hopewell Lunar Astronomy: The Octagon Earthworks,” 1998.  http://www.copperas.com/octagon/oindex.html
  3. Knapp, Joseph M., “On the Great Hopewell Road,” 1998.  http://coolohio.com/octagon/onroad.htm
  4. More photos and archaeoastronomy information by J. Q. Jacobs.  http://www.jqjacobs.net/archaeo/octagon.html

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.

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See another example of Ohio Hebrew here.