More and more, scholars are coming to admit that peoples from the Middle East reached the New World long before Columbus or the Vikings. One stone, found at Fort Benning, Georgia, has unusual markings all over it. I saw the stone myself, and took photographs of it. Professor Stanislav Segert, professor of Semitic languages at the University of Prague, has identified the markings on the stone as a script of the second millennium before the Messiah, from the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete!
In Quest of the White God, Pierre Honore points out similarities between the ancient Minoan writing and the script of the ancient Mayas. Independently of him, other scholars have noted striking similarities between Aztec glyphs from Mexico, and Cretan glyphs on the Phaistos Disc from the island of Crete in the Mediterranean.
In addition to these remarkable discoveries, Dr. Cyrus Gordon told me that Jews were in America in ancient times. The inscription on the stone, he asserts, is in the writing style of Canaan, the promised land of the Hebrews. Concludes Gordon, whom I interviewed at his old, New England style home in the suburbs of Boston: "There is no doubt that these findings, and others, reflect Bronze Age transatlantic communication between the Mediterranean and the New World around the middle of the second millennium B.C."
In 1968 Manfred Metcalf was looking for slabs to build a barbeque pit. Several strange-looking, flat rocks caught his eye; he picked up a large flat piece of sandstone about nine inches long, brushed it off, and noticed odd markings on it. Metcalf gave the stone to Dr. Joseph B. Mahan, Jr., Director of Education and Research at the nearby Columbus Museum of Arts and Crafts at Columbus, Georgia. Mahan sent a copy of the stone to Cyrus Gordon. Gordon reported:
"After studying the inscription, it was apparent to me that the affinities of the script were with the Aegean syllabary, whose two best known forms are Minoan Linear A, and Mycenaean Linear B. The double-axe in the lower left corner is of course reminiscent of Minoan civilization. The single verticle lines remind us of the vertical lines standing each for the numeral '1' in the Aegean syllabary; while the little circles stand for '100.'"
Concluded Gordon: "We therefore have American inscriptional contacts with the Aegean of the Bronze Age, near the south, west and north shores of the Gulf of Mexico. This can hardly be accidental; ancient Aegean writing near three different sectors of the Gulf reflects Bronze Age translatlantic communication between the Mediterranean and the New World around the middle of the second millennium B.C."
Gordon offers the exciting thought, "The Aegean analogues to Mayan writing, to the Aztec glyphs, and to the Metcalf Stone, inspire the hope that the deciphered scripts of the Mediterranean may provide keys for unlocking the forgotten systems of writing in the New World. A generation capable of landing men on the moon, may also be able to place pre-Columbian Americas within the framework of world history" (Manuscripts, summer of 1969).
Further proof that transatlantic travel and communication existed in the Bronze Age, in the middle of the second millennium B.C., during the time of David and Solomon, and before, comes to us from South America.
In 1872 a slave belonging of Joaquim Alves de Costa, found a broken stone tablet in the tropical rain forests of Brazil's Paraiba state. Baffled by the strange markings on the stone, Costa's son, who was a draftsman, made a copy of it and sent it to the Brazilian Emperor's Council of State. The stone came to the attention of Ladislau Netto, director of the national museum. He was convinced of the inscription's autthenticity and made a crude translation of it. Contemporary scholars scoffed. The very thought of Phoenicians reaching Brazil thousands of years before Columbus was viewed with disdain. Few scholars took the stone at all seriously.
In 1966 Dr. Jules Piccus, professor of romance languages at the University of Massachusetts, bought an old scrapbook at a rummage sale containing a letter written by Netto in 1874, which contained his translations of the markings on the stone and a tracing of the original copy he had received from Costa's son. Intrigued, Dr. Piccus brought the material to the attention of Cyrus H. Gordon. Dr. Gordon, the head of the Department of Mediterranean Studies at Brandeis and an expert in ancient Semitic languages, as well as author of some 13 books, was amazed. He compared the Paraiba inscription with the latest work on Phoenician writings. He discovered that it contained nuances and quirks of Phoenician style that could not have been known to a 19th century forger. The writings had to be genuine!
Gordon translated the inscription as follows: "We are Sidonian Canaanites from the city of the Mercantile King. We were cast up on this distant shore, a land of mountains. We sacrificed a youth to the celestial gods and goddesses in the nineteenth year of our mighty King Hiram and embarked from Ezion-geber into the Red Sea. We voyaged with ten ships and were at sea together for two years around Africa. Then we were separated by the hand of Baal and were no longer with our companions. So we have come here, twelve men and three women, into New Shore. Am I, the Admiral, a man who would flee? Nay! May the celestial gods and goddesses favor us well!"