Bat Creek Stone

Discovery

“Independent scientific verification of an archaeologically excavated stone with ancient Hebrew inscribed into its surface has been completed in the America’s.  And where was this stone recovered?  In a Hopewell burial mound in eastern Tennessee.

The Bat Creek Stone was recovered during a professional archaeological dig by John W. Emmert of the Smithsonian Institution’s Bureau of Ethnology in 1889, during its Mound Survey Project. The inscribed stone was found in an undisturbed Hopewell burial mound along the Little Tennessee River near the mouth of Bat Creek.  The inscription was assumed to be “Paleo-Cherokee,” and was subsequently published by the Smithsonian in their Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology, 1890-1891 on page 392.” 1

Bat Creek Stone

Writing on the Stone

“In 1964, Chicago patent attorney Henriette Mertz and Hebrew linguistics expert Dr. Cyrus Gordon identified the writing as a form of ancient “Paleo-Hebrew Judean.” They discovered that the stone had been published by the Smithsonian upside down and that it was legible Hebrew, once the stone was rotated 180 degrees.

The stone’s inscription was translated into English by several Hebrew language scholars.  What was the translation?;  ”For the Judeans,” or “For Judea,”  a clear reference to ancient Israel.

 Because of the style of writing, Dr. Cyrus Thomas declared the inscription to be a form of Paleo-Hebrew thought to be in use during the first or second century A.D.  Hebrew scholar Robert Stieglitz confirmed Gordon’s translation.  Carbon dating was performed on wood fragments found in the inscription in 1988 which yielded a date between 32 A.D. and 769 A.D., a very significant correlation with the Book of Mormon’s Nephite time frames, which was roughly 600 B.C. to 400 AD.”   2

The Petrographic Analysis

In June 2010 the stone underwent Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) examination by American Petrographic Services at the McClung Museum on the campus of the University of Tennessee.  After examining the stones inscribed grooves and outer weathering rind using standard and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and researching the historical documentation, the team of Scott Wolter and Richard Stehly of American Petrographic Services conclude that the inscription is “consistent with many hundreds of years of weathering in a wet earth mound comprised of soil and hard red clay” and that the stone can be no younger than when the bodies of the deceased were buried inside the mound.” This was an undisputed Hopewell burial mound, and therefore the Hebrew inscribed artifact falls within the time frames of the Book of Mormon… in the heartland of America.

Their findings were subsequently published and an online version is available on their website3

Why is this stone important?

“Such findings may finally provide precedent to re-examine the Newark Holy Stones which also bear ancient Hebrew inscriptions and were recovered from a Hopewell burial mound near Newark Ohio.  One of the arguments against the authenticity of these stones is the supposed lack of corroborating evidence for Hebrew language.  Together, these stones may work in concert to verify the presence of ancient Hebrew civilizations in the heartland of America.  Many previously declared “hoaxes” may be reanalyzed using more objective and less biased examination.  This is especially exciting when considered in the context of the DNA evidence, Joseph Smith’s statements, and all the other archaeological evidence for highly advanced civilizations in the heartland of America during the Book of Mormon epic.”   4

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Notes:

  1. Rod Meldrum, Hebrew Confirmed in Hopewell Civilization!, http://bookofmormonevidence.org/history-of-the-bat-creek-stone/ 
  2. Rod Meldrum, Hebrew Confirmed in Hopewell Civilization!, http://bookofmormonevidence.org/history-of-the-bat-creek-stone/ 
  3. Rod Meldrum, Hebrew Confirmed in Hopewell Civilization!, http://bookofmormonevidence.org/history-of-the-bat-creek-stone/ 
  4. Rod Meldrum, Hebrew Confirmed in Hopewell Civilization!, http://bookofmormonevidence.org/history-of-the-bat-creek-stone/ 

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