Bat Creek Stone – photo by Scott Wolter
© 2015 B. L. Freeborn, Updated Sept. 2022
The Bat Creek Stone was found in a mound with a skeleton in Loudon County, Tennessee in 1889 during a dig by the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology. Because it appears to have Phoenician or Paleo-Hebrew letters it has been dubbed a fraud. Arguing in favor of its validity is J. Huston McCulloch who describes the controversy at the site noted below and linked here. Scott Wolter also argues in its favor. It is also described at Wikipedia under the Bat Creek Inscription.
No satisfying, controversy resolving translation has been made. The following may not put the matter to rest either but it is new and unique! All other attempted translations have failed to note this is an extraordinary number riddle. The numbers are found by recalling that letters originally had number equivalents and not separate symbols as we have today. Using the Hebrew gematria or number/letter system the values appear as noted below and the riddle of the numbers is solved. In turn this confirms that the correct letters are identified in the translation.
The two lines and dot in the upper left were not shown in a detailed sketch of the stone done in 1890. Scott Wolter successfully demonstrates in his show America Unearthed that they were not part of the original inscription.
The letters used to translate this inscription are from oocities.org and were in use in 800 BC by the Phoenicians. Note that the L and P are more in the modern Latin Alphabet style and a reversed E which is an H in Phoenician also appears. So, there are intentionally two alphabets in use in this inscription. It is typical of highly educated people still to this day to insert some Latin phrase into their argument for emphasis and so we see it is also done here. The L and P are further confirmed and identified in this manner. (See note to reader below about using P as R.)
Translation of Bat Creek Stone using 8th century BC Phoenician Script
The language is not Hebrew but Anglo or Old English as has been noted in other Adena Tablets from the nearby Ohio area. This does not mean it is a fraud but that there is a major part of history that has not yet been recovered. The impossible idea that this stone is -valid- because it is in English/Anglo written in Phoenician letters is an idea that will be expounded upon in further posts. The reader should understand that academics tell us English (Anglo) originated 1300 years after this alphabet was in use or 500 AD. (See Sator Rotas post.)
The stone is read – left to right. (The letter ‘u’ has sounds: u, v, o, w.)
Note most importantly, that the S letter is a line with hatch marks such as used in latitude. It is suggested here it means South and/or latitude. Also note it is directly under the letter I. This suggests a further word or two depending on pronunciation: is and ice. Both apply here.
It translates as follows (see image below):
AN HIL UP S IS
……………or filling in a bit:
AN HILl UP South Is Ice
An Hill of Ice that was up is now South
The ice mountain of An that was north is now south.
Presumably this is the goddess An spoken of in ancient texts and in modern terms is magnetic north.
The Latin Style letters (E,L,P) and numbers provide: ‘E’ LaP and PaL ‘E’
the ‘Ae’ lap is at the pole source
The first lap begins at the magnetic source and pole.
Recall that in Hebrew gematria the sound for ‘a’ has a one value. There is no value and letter for ‘e’ so here the ‘E’ is given the value 1 or as spoken it is ‘a’ or ‘an’ meaning one. Combining these ideas then this phrase suggests that the One original pole is at this ‘lap’ or latitude/longitude position. We recognize two poles today: magnetic north and true north. This leads to the final idea and most important part of the riddle.
By solving the number riddle (see below) this critical line can be added:
It lies at 56 degrees 30 minutes and 79 degrees.
(This is the location of southeast Hudson Bay in the arc and close to old magnetic north which is moving northwards.)
Relationship to Sator-Rotas
The reader should note that the Bat Creek Stone is still easily translated (in words but not numbers) if the P is actually an R. The wording changes to ‘or’ = origin, and ‘ro’ = row, order. The witty riddler cleverly hides another word in the letter’s confusion. This is the word ‘pr’ and ‘rp’. The first suggests pair and the latter reap or rape.
A raping pair is the origin of order.
But there is more to this confusing letter! The H looked suspiciously like an E and if this is combined with the r-p duo then the words e-p-r and e-r-p, or appear and a-rope are created. They suggest that:
The raping pair appeared and provide the one rope.
This interpretation recalls the riddle of the Sator-Rotas Square. The inner ring of that puzzle is formed by the repeating letters E, P, E, R, E… or, P, E, R, E … which now look suspiciously familiar. The words ‘ro’ ,’or’, ‘op’, and ‘po’ are notable in that puzzle as well as ‘en’ and ‘ne’. Notice the clever reversal of the N to create the Hebrew letter a.
The Number Riddle
The number riddle is solved by substituting the Hebrew number equivalents for each letter and by noting the left and right half separated by the dot should be equal. This resolves any confusion about identifying the letters and how the ‘p’ was determined over the other possible letters ‘q’ and ‘r’. If the ‘i’ (letter directly left of the ‘L’) is considered to be an angle sign then the left half reads 56 (angle) 30 = 86. This 56 degrees 30 minutes is the latitude of Hudson Bay. (Hudson Bay is where magnetic north has moved from). The 86 is the diameter of the Sun or 864000 miles. It is reminds us of 86400 seconds of longitude. The forty of 864000 is present if the numbers (1 50 5 10 30 6 80) are read as 56 40 86. Adding further support to this idea, recall that a square of sides of 40 has a diagonal of 56.5. The 56 degrees 30 minutes can be written as 56.5 degrees. The reference to the sun also suggests they are talking about latitude since the sun is used to measure latitude.
The translation of the Bat Creek Stone into both letters and numbers.
If the ‘i’ is given its 10 value then the sum of all the terms on the middle line left side is 96.
The sum of the main line is then 182. Add the 60 given by the lower ‘s’ as 182.60 and double. This is 365.2 or the number of days in a year.
Counting the letters left of the dot find 5 and right find 2. There are 52 weeks in a year. There are 7 letters in this main line. There are 7 days in a 52 week year.
The total number of symbols is ten. The word ten is associated with tien (fork tines) and teon (torn) in Anglo /Old English. This idea and use of the word ten appeared in the Sator Rotas.
Observe further that the 5, 7 and 2 can be assembled to create 57.2. The number of degrees in a radian (used in spherical calculations such as astronomy and navigation) is 57.29.
Notice further that the sum of 56 + 30 = 86 on the left plus the 86 on the right is equal to 172. The bottom number is 60. Subtract 172-60 and obtain 112 or twice 56 again. Also note that the total sum on the right, 96, plus the 60 beneath is 156 and this repeats 56.
Note also this manner of counting: The main line is 5 symbols then a dot for 6 making 56. Count from the right 2 and a dot for 3 and find 23 again. The count can be continued right to left. The 23 is followed by 5 for 23.5. This 23.5 is the latitude of the Arctic Circle which surrounds the north pole!
This same manner of counting can be applied to the letter I which is the up down triangle. Count the angles, 3, and the line segments, 4. Find 34 and this distance in degrees from the pole is 56 degrees.
Indeed, we must consider that that pesky P was meant to be an R so that P as 80 and R as 200 gives 280 or half of 560!
But note two last important values ….
The numeric value of Yahweh is 5,6,5,10.
And a triangle of sides 56 has a diagonal of 79.2.
Enough is enough! There are probably more!
So, whoever the hoaxer was that inscribed this stone we know for a fact they were darned good at math riddles and knew gematria. That narrows the field of who dunits down a bit. The original author of this riddle was educated in two alphabets: Phoenician and Latin. He/she also knew that R and P can be confused and took full advantage of it. The Phoenician letter style used was in use east of the Atlantic in 800 BC. The Latin letters evolved from Etruscan about 700 BC. Letter P was used as an R in the original alphabet. It evolved into a P as used today a few centuries later. This gives an upper limit to the age of the stone as 2700 years. The lower limit depends on when Paleo-Hebrew / Phoenician fell out of use on the west side of the Atlantic and when the last time this stone was copied to remember the wit and wisdom of the saying.
Next the Grave Creek Stone is examined. It too has a fascinating translation.
Bat Creek Stone’s number riddle.
Updated May 2021 to remove two scratch marks from translation.
Back to the very beginning of series on Adena Tablets
Previous Post on the Shaman Stone
Posts on: Adena Pipe, Numbers and their Meaning, Ramey Peet Tablet, Gridley Stone
McKensie and Bainbridge Tablets, Cincinnati Tablet,
Egyptian Art Comparison, Wilmington Tablet, Lakin A Tablet,
The Gaitskill Clay Tablet, Allen Tablet, Grave Creek,
The Kiefer Tablet, Wright, Lakin B and Meigs Tablets,
Berlin Tablet, Gaitskill Stone Tablet, The Low Tablet,
The Waverly Tablet, Metcalf Stone, and pdf article on
Hudson Bay as a comet crater of recent origin.
(updated Nov. 2018)