Diameters, Radii and Other Great Numbers

By B.L. Freeborn © 2013

This study of Newark Earthworks and the Decalogue has created a significant list of numbers. Before we look at the cosmology we need to review the Great Circle and then apply some meaning to this growing list of numbers.

Side view of Great Circle. Newark, Ohio.

The Great Circle can fit entirely inside the Octagon. Its exterior dimension averages 1200 feet (measured with Daftlogic.com). Its shape is not perfectly round which may have been on purpose or a result of creep as described previously. The ditches surrounding its circular shape and neck were very deep. Within its middle is a shape called a bird mound which appears to be composed of four joined ovals. Its span is 200 feet. On the side opposing the neck is a crescent moon shape. Meteoric iron and crescent shapes have been found among recovered artifacts. This is what Feder would call legitimate garbage.

The Great Circle is essentially a series of numbers stated via the radii. A review of the diagram reveals the numbers: 528, 560, 580, 1056, 1200 and 600. The 528 we recognize as a tenth mile. The 1056 is a fifth mile and Hively’s OCD. The 1200 reminds us of the twelve houses in the Zodiac at 30 degrees per house. 600 reminds us of the seconds in an hour and minutes in a degree of latitude. The 560 is the essential part of the mystery. Which leaves only the 580 to explain from this list. Similarly, a study of the neck reveals the numbers 56.25 and 56.5. The neck opening was on an azimuth of 66.6 degrees which also needs to be explained. This brings us to the point of finding meaning for all the remaining numbers.

Detail of Neck of Newark Great CircleThe four inner most mounds of the Octagon are a good place to begin understanding the numbers. We can see in the next diagram these four mounds are so placed as to give us a reminder of the mile’s length and two dimensions that are key to understanding the whole layout. 914 and 945 sum to 1859 which we saw in the Wright Square and the East Fork side dimensions. These two numbers, 91,400,000 and 94,500,000 miles are quoted today by NASA as the closest and furthest distance of Earth to the Sun. The diameter created across Earth’s orbit at these two extremes is 186,000,000 miles. Wright Square had 8 inner mounds inside 1 square or put another way these two numbers, 1 square and 8 mounds, create 18. Further still this 1859 is another form of Millon’s 187′. The 1859 is usually seen rounded up to 1860 or stated as 186.

Octagon Inner MoundsThe largest diameter of the Octagon was 1728 feet or 2 x 864. This number, or its simpler form 86, was found in the square foot area of East Fork, the thickness of the Decalogue Stone, the value of the gematria of Elohim, the diameter of the two great circles at Thornborough in England, the area of Wright Square, the multiplication of the lengths of the sides of the neck of the Octagon-Circle and two times the azimuth angle between Wright Square and the Great Circle. We also find it today in the measurement of time, 86400 seconds in a day, and most importantly, it represents the diameter of the Sun at 864,337 miles (NASA). This is the value calculated by multiplying the 292′ and 296′ of the neck of the Octagon-Circle or 86432.

There were 256 letters on the Decalogue Stone or 16 x 16 letters. The distance Earth travels in any given day is roughly 1600,000 miles. It travels this distance at 66,624 miles and hour. This is the angle Hively could not explain at the Great Circle, 66.6 . It is used in our numbering system still today as shown in the East Fork work. Eight increments of 66 reminds us of 8 furlongs of 660′ equals a mile.

The Great Circle displays a radius of 580. In other places it appeared as 584. This value was found in the width of the Decalogue Stone as 2.9″, the gematria of Noah as 58, the distance between Wright Square and the Great Circle as 2920′, as 584 in the arc of the oil lamp at East Fork, in the distance between Giza and Newark, as 292′ in the throat of the Octagon-Circle, as the average length of the side mounds of the Octagon, and as a reminder in the 50-80-50 triangle. If the Earth continues to travel about the Sun at 66,624 miles per hour every day then each and every year it travels 584,000,000 miles. This is the circumference of Earth’s orbit.

Romain discovered the multiple 7 OCD. Seven multiplies with the azimuth angle, 52.2 degrees, of the Octagon to give us the days in a year. The numbers 76, 760, 77, 770, 2.72, 2.77 suggest such important numbers as the return period of Halley’s Comet.

The number 56 and its variants 56.5, 560 and its other form 32, appears at such distant sites as the much debated 56 Aubrey Holes at Stonehenge. It appears in the gematria of Yahweh and Baal. We found it at Thornborough in the radius 320′. Its appearance at Newark occurs repeatedly. We find it today preserved in our measurement of the acre as 43,560 feet. We will discover it in a few other places before we are done here.

And the last number that we found in the gematria of Moses, 345, was the half of 69. Its other versions are 69.18 and 69.2 and  it is often rounded up to 70. These were not observed as frequently in Newark. This is the distance between lines of longitude at the equator.

The diameter of the Earth represented by 79 and 792 was found at Newark. Each and every time the number 528 is used it also refers to 792. Using cubits of 18″ or 1½ feet, means 528 cubits is 792 feet. It was found in the distance in miles between Grave Creek Mound and Geller Hill. This was the same distance Thornborough lies from Lincoln Cathedral. Twice 792 is 1584. This is the distance Romain used between the Octagon-Circle. This number is always present yet often quite hidden. In Stonehenge it appears as its square root 89 and at Thornborough it was the difference in lengths between the two sides. On the Decalogue Stone it was the two unidentified symbols front and back that sum to 79. At East Fork it appeared boldly as the length of the base. At Newark, although reconstructed too often to confirm, it seems to have been the length of each of the 8 inner mounds of the Octagon.

All in all a masterful blending of these important numbers appears at each and every one of these ancient sites. The proof that they are all interrelated is apparent. There is no question that the Decalogue Stone and the gematria of the Torah are equally related. This then leads us to the important question as to how simple people with no “pertinent garbage” could have measured these celestial values of immense size.

Just when we should be upon a solution the problem grows exponentially! We have arrived back at the debate with even more things to debate!

Forward to NEXT POST





  1. Freeborn, B.L., “The Deep Mystery: The Day the Pole Moved,” Tiw & Elddir, 2013.
  2. 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:   http://articles.adsabs.harvard.edu
  3. 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:  http://www.nps.gov/mwac/hopewell/v6n2/one.htm
  4. 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:   http://www.nps.gov/mwac/hopewell/v6n2/two.htm

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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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!






  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.

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 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.






  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.






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.  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.


See another example of Ohio Hebrew here.