Posted by: Jay | August 18, 2007

The Bat Creek Stone – Proof for the Book of Mormon?

bat_creek_stone.jpg

I was in the University of Tennessee’s McClung Museum today to check out an exhibit that my wife wants to take the kids to about dinosaur eggs. While there I decided to walk around the small museum and see what else they had on display. There was a “large” section of the museum set aside for Cherokee artifacts found in Tennessee.

I was watching a video on what archeology is and I started to get bored. Looking on the opposite wall, I noticed nearly rectangular stone no bigger than a dollar bill mounted in a Plexiglas case. Curious, I drew closer and read the small caption next to the display.

It was a small stone found in a burial mound 40 miles south of Knoxville, Tennessee that dated back to about 100 B.C. I continued to read and discovered that this little stone was the center of much controversy. It turns out that a Smithsonian archeologist (i.e. John W. Emmert) discovered the stone in 1889 and sent it to the Smithsonian where it stayed in storage for about 70 years.

The interesting thing about it was the letters carved into its surface. When Emmert found the stone he reported the letters to be Cherokee in origin. However, 60+ years later a professor of Mediterranean Studies named Cyrus Gordon claimed the characters were a form of paleo-Hebrew and that they translated into English as “for the Judeans”. At this point I was reading intently.

This new revelation lead to the theory that ancient Romans actually discovered America before Columbus. I seem to remember that it is widely accepted that Columbus was not the first to discover America, but nobody has proposed that it was the Romans that were first. Of course I immediately thought of the Book of Mormon and how odd it was that I had never heard of this stone before. The review ended by stating there continues to be controversy to this day as to the
authenticity of the stone.

After doing a little research (I got a bibliography of all the papers published on the subject at the museum) I found that there are many that believe it is a hoax and a few that believe it is real. Although the critiques are quite compelling, none of them really rule out that the stone is indeed authentic. Of course other than the stone and the circumstance of its discovery there is nothing that compels anyone to say that it is authentic either.

I have attached a drawing of the stone and can vouch that it is an accurate rendering of the stone I saw in the museum. It appears that generally this stone is considered suspect by many mainstream archeologist. This doesn’t surprise me because there is very little, if any, archeological evidence of Book of Mormon peoples in America. So the notion that the only thing left is this stone makes it highly suspect in the eyes of professional archeologist. Some say that Emmert fabricated it to get notoriety. This was my first thought too, but Emmert claimed it was Cherokee writing and never received or sought after any unusual recognition for the find. So if he was seeking for fame, he had a strange way of going about it. There are other valid critiques of the stone out there if you’re interested. None of them I’ve read so far conclusively rule out its authenticity. At the very least it make you wonder.

I was just surprised that there was something in this little museum that had a connection with the Book of Mormon (even though it was not presented as such). It’s weird some of the things you run into.

About these ads

Responses

  1. I read sometime back (like 2 years ago) that ancient burials were dicovered somewhere in TN that had a connection to the hebrews and egyptians, I wish I could remember where I read it…….

  2. Oh, I just tried to google it and it may be the same thing which you speak of in this blog……… ????

  3. Yes, I think it is probably the same thing. Now you know where to come see it:)

  4. Hey Jay…
    I live in Tennessee!!! I didn’t even realize that you must be here too or at least near by…… anyways just thought i’d tell you we were neighbors :)

    P.S I hope that doesnt freak you out, I promise i’m not a crazy LDS stalker :)

  5. Hi neighbor!

  6. You folks should swap email. You might be in the same stake, if not ward.

  7. We’re actually a few hours from each other.

  8. Not to rain on the parade here or anything… but what about that cylindrical boat type objects that were found in Chicago? Have you heard of these at all… apparently they are too fragile to move so you have to dive if you want to see them, they seem to have an openning on the top and the bottom.

    Please remember that I am the BIGGEST skeptic although, I was just wondering if anyone else had heard of this, or if it was mormon folk law???

  9. Cherryn, I haven’t heard of them, but I would like to know more,

    You say you are a skeptic, Are you LDS or do you just want to know more about mormons?????

  10. Cherryn,

    Never heard of them. What cylindrical boat type objects?

    The bat creek stone is a real object. I’ve seen it. Is it authentic? No one knows for sure, but it’s interesting to think about. I just posted it hear out of interest. I’m not trying to say it proves anything.

    Let us know more about the boat thing, if you have any solid references. Thanks!

  11. okay I will look into it, but I defiantely remember something about it, ships found in the mouth of a river…I will get back to you on this one.

  12. Joseph Smith and the Iroquois

    Among the indigenous peoples of America is a story of a pale prophet that visited from the Great Lakes all the way to the South Sea Islands. One such story is among the Haudenosaunee or Iroquois.. they called him The Peacemaker. The ancient history takes place in what is now New York State. The Peacemaker befriended a woman, The Great Peace Woman of the Wendot Neutrals. She became the first to accept his message of Peace and so he made women the proprietors of the Great Law.. and renamed her “Mother of Nations”. She left her homeland and village at Tonawanda, and took up residence at a place known as Ganondagan in Seneca territory.. Here she presided over the Peace, and her name Jikohnsaseh became the office for all presiding head clan mothers who followed in her footsteps. The last known Jikohnsaseh was Caroline Parker, sister of the notable Ely Parker, Last Grand Sachem of the Seneca. The office has not been filled since then which was the early 1800’s.

    Now in 1830, a religious phenomena started just 15 miles from the center of Peace, Ganondagan. A young man named Joseph Smith was acquainted with the Iroquois in his vicinity. He helped to forge at least three of the treaties with the Indians. Here in this friendship, Joe learned of this pale prophet called the Peacemaker among the Indians there, and he learned many other things from the Indians that he began to teach and share with his wife in the attic of their log home… before long other women were coming to hear what Joe had learned. This was the beginning of the churches Relief Society, an organization for women. However two of the women were married to preachers Oliver Cowdry and Martin Harris respectively. Before long, these teachings took hold of them and they realize a new religion if they only combined the Indian teachings of the Pale Prophet with the religious fervor that was going on at that time… And so they wrote a book based on the story of the Pale Prophet but in a similar linguistics of the Bible.

    The story of the Pale Prophet was true and many of the stories in what would be come known as the Book of Mormon were based on the oral history of the Haudenosaunee. In 1830, the idea of the internet, and DNA had not occurred to them that their fraud would one day be discovered.

    The book they wrote had some serious fallacies but to those that know nothing about Indian ways, they would not be privy. They wrote about Indians domesticating horses, cattle, sheep and livestock, when in truth none of these animals made an appearance on this continent until the Europeans arrived. It is a total fabrication. Native Peoples did not domesticate animals, other than lamas in the mountains of Peru, there is no record of domestic animals in the sense of Euro tradition.

    Joes story was about the Indians in NY around Hill Cummorah…Supposedly this is where great battles ensued and much history right there in Joe’s back yard. Supposedly, the civilization wiped themselves out.

    And yet among the present day Iroquois is the legend of the Peacemaker, a man of Peace, born of a virgin.. who brought Peace to the warring nations. Could these people be the descendants of the Book of Morman… or is the Book of Morman a novel written by the inspiration of stories from the history of the living legacy of the Peacemaker????? You decide.

    In the Book of Morman women are a matter of support for the men, there being no woman of valiancy. The book is about the men with women as mere supporting actors of the tale keeping women in 19th Century appropriate custody of White Man Supremacy. Even the Bible did better than this with many stories of women who are the central figures.

    Lets take a look at the teachings left by the Peacemaker to the Haudenosaunee and compare. I would think they should be similar if not exact. The Native American had perfected oral history to science something they were instructed to do by the Peacemaker and to hide up their records when the Turtle Men (Spanish) began to appear, for these Turtles would destroy their Keepings.

    The Haudenosaunee are a Matriarchal Society and has been since the Pale Prophet set up the Great Laws. The Pale Prophet made women the proprietors of the law. Women owned the political and spiritual positions, choosing the men for the people to OK. And the women removed them if they proved unworthy. Women were the sole deciders on War or Peace. Only they could declare war.. Only they could veto war. Women owned their own bodies. No Haudenosaunee man would think of abusing or raping a woman and often stepped between white men who were beating their women. Women ran the economics of the villages. It was women who negotiated prices for products. It was the women who negotiated proper treaties… Treaties without them are bogus. It was women who owned the homes. It was women who were the lineage line for children.. It was women who were recognized as the most powerful healers. Women!! WOMEN!!!

    Compare that with Mormanism… Women hold no such place. Women must even wait at the veil of Heaven for a man to pull her through. If the Book of Morman were true, should it not follow the same teachings the Peacemaker gave to the People anciently? I would think so.

    Modern day information tells us that in the time of Jesus, it was Mary Magdalene who was the leader of Christ’s Church, not Peter. And it tells us also that there were women Apostles. Where ever Jesus went Women were made equal with the men. They enjoyed a higher status than other women. It is consistent. Then the Catholic Church took women out of the equation, and all 19th Century reformation followed suit.

    But that is not all:

    They wrote of steel swords none of which any have ever been found, nor anything made of steel. They wrote of two massive battles where as many as 250,000 were killed…entire nations; first the Jaredites and then the Nephites wiped out… with no one left to bury the dead and yet no skeletons or steel swords or even any evidence at all of major battles can be found on Hill Cummorah when battles in the Old World, even minor skirmishes have left battle marks and artifacts yet today. In fact Hill Cummorah is little more than a knoll in JS back yard, while 15 miles away where real battles were fought, Ganondagan commands a view of the valley

    They contrived a civilization that expanded hugely in just 30 years to include labors in economics that there just could not be enough people to actually function in so many job opportunities ….unless they drafted inhabitants already here into their work force. In 30 years there could not have been enough wealth or labor to build a temple the size of Solomon’s in the old world.. The logistics are totally against it.

    And they have propagated the story of the Indians being the descendants of Nephi and Laman, … descendants of Israel… New technology known as DNA testing has brought forth the information that 94% of the Indians came from the land bridge, while 6% do have other DNA but none of it from Israelites.

    They took a true story and put their own twist on it… just put “proof of Book of Mormon Archeology” into google and see all the Mormon sites trying to provide proof they can not find… Besides a lot more info than I have listed here. It is quite a situation for Mormon archeologists. They can not find one shred of proof for their Faith. Much of what they point to does not support the Book of Morman if you realize that this info existed prior to JS and he simple learned about it.

    Yes Jesus came here. Yes he taught the people. Yes he left a legacy here on this continent…and yes there were light skinned (X DNA) and dark skinned people here on this continent. Both lived in the area of Joe Smith’s home but these truths do not support the book of Mormon. The truths were here first and these truths inspired the fraud that has been perpetrated on the world.

  13. Joseph Smith was acquainted with the Iroquois in his vicinity. He helped to forge at least three of the treaties with the Indians.

    Really? What source did you get this from? I’d like to know more about him forging treaties with the Indians and who gave him that authority.

    Here in this friendship, Joe learned of this pale prophet called the Peacemaker among the Indians there, and he learned many other things from the Indians that he began to teach and share with his wife in the attic of their log home

    Again how do you know this? What is the source? I get kind of skeptical when I start seeing someone say they know what was going on in the attic of Joseph Smith home.

    In 1830, the idea of the internet, and DNA had not occurred to them that their fraud would one day be discovered.

    DNA and the Internet do not disprove the Mormon faith. There is no silver bullet that has done that yet. It is compelling evidence, but not proof.

    Supposedly this is where great battles ensued and much history right there in Joe’s back yard.

    While some lay members may share this view, many LDS faithful do not. The battles could have taken place elsewhere far from New York.

    In the Book of Morman women are a matter of support for the men, there being no woman of valiancy.

    This isn’t completely true. There are valiant women in the Book of Mormon and given that it is much smaller than the Bible it is not surprising that there would be fewer stories about women. From my reading of the Bible women also take a back seat to men. This is not only an issue in Mormonism, but all Christianity and many other religions.

    Women must even wait at the veil of Heaven for a man to pull her through.

    Well they wait for Christ to “pull” them through. Since he is not there a male member of the LDS Church represents him. If Christ were a female then it would be a woman.

    If the Book of Morman were true, should it not follow the same teachings the Peacemaker gave to the People anciently?

    Not necessarily, what you have posted was, as you said, an oral history and while probably generally accurate, I imagine it was corrupted over time. If history shows anything its that if you don’t write it down when it happens the event will either disappear or be corrupted. It doesn’t matter how well they were at preserving it, oral histories are not entirely reliable.

    Modern day information tells us that in the time of Jesus, it was Mary Magdalene who was the leader of Christ’s Church, not Peter.

    Where do you get this from? I think there are many many theologians that would argue this point and not just men. Nonetheless, I am curious to know what your source is.

    no skeletons … or even any evidence at all of major battles can be found on Hill Cummorah when battles in the Old World, … left … artifacts yet today.

    Again, the battle may not have even taken place in New York.

    … there just could not be enough people to actually function ….unless they drafted inhabitants already here into their work force.

    That is exactly what many LDS scholars think happened.

    New technology known as DNA testing has brought forth the information that 94% of the Indians came from the land bridge, while 6% do have other DNA but none of it from Israelites.

    Not completely true there is some Israelite DNA found among Native Americans. It is a small amount (<3%) and many scientists say it is the result of the European arrival, but there is really no way to know that for sure. They are basing that assumption on the history that is commonly accepted.

    Much of what they point to does not support the Book of Morman if you realize that this info existed prior to JS and he simple learned about it.

    You could also claim that it is an actual history so of course you would see similarities in indian stories. There are also many details in the Book of Mormon that make you wonder. The presents of Chiasmus throughout the Book of Mormon is one thing that comes to mind. There are several other things that offer compelling reasons to believe the Book of Mormon is true. Although I grant that they are not proof.

    Yes Jesus came here. Yes he taught the people.

    What religion are you (just curious)? I’ve never heard another Christian admit that Jesus visited North America.

    Morman

    MormOn, sorry it just kept bugging me. I couldn’t tell if you meant to miss spell it to emphasize that the Mormon faith is patriarchal or if you just spelled it wrong on accident.

    Thanks for leaving a comment I enjoyed reading it.

  14. Sorry to dredge up an old one, but actually the almost invisible role of women in the Book of Mormon is utterly alien to Joseph’s 1800s American culture.

    In that period of American history, people were hopeless romantics. Everything was done “for the love of a woman.” Woman were objects of value, adoration, and worthy of heroics, squabbles, and jealousies. The literature of the early to mid 1800s is chock full of this kind of heavy romantic sentimentality.

    Just read a few letters Civil War soldiers sent to their sweethearts. It’s almost unbearably syrupy. Joseph’s letters to Emma were of a similar nature. And the literature reflected that.

    In reality, the Nephite culture of utter indifference to women is completely alien to 1800s America. Even if Joseph was imitating the Bible, the Bible at least had women in a prominent role in many stories. It even had whole books devoted to women (Esther, Ruth).

    In the Book of Mormon, you have Lehi’s wife Sariah mentioned by name (when the group were still essentially Jews – with Jewish sensibilities). But by the time of Mosiah, women are literally invisible in Nephite culture. The only time you hear about women from this point (that doesn’t talk about them solely as a man’s possessions) is when looking at the LAMANITE culture. Apparently the Lamanites treated their women with a bit more affection that the cold Nephites.

    This is alien to the 1800s mindset, and to the Old Testament mindset. But it is not alien to many Native American cultures. Ancient Central American cultures, for instance, did treat women in this fashion.

    It’s hard to believe that the highly sentimental and affectionate Joseph Smith, with his culture of feminine idealization, would have concoted a culture of such cold and ruthless indifference to women.

  15. I think most can agree that women are not well represented in the scriptures, whether it is the Bible or the full cannon of the LDS Church. There are a few exceptions, but overall they are not the positive main characters you find men frequently playing. The patriarchal order of things is very ancient and probably stems from simple biology. Men are physically stronger than women and therefore tended to take leadership positions in the family and society. As the need for physical strength to dominate has diminished women have begun to take a more prominent role in society. Of course all this happens slowly because of prejudices that must be overcome as well, but it is undeniable that it is happening. I believe it’s a good thing.

  16. Jay-

    I realize this topic is kind of old, but I did not notice it until it popped up in the recent comments section. If you are interested in theories other than the main stream “Columbus discovered America”, check out books by Barry Fell. His books are very informative and interesting with plenty of evidence to make a strong case for pre-Columbian maritime trade, Roman visitors, etc.

    My wife is an anthropology major, specializing in Mayan and Inca cultures. She was not a member of the LDS church when she was studying and she was not a member when I met her. You could imagine here surprise when I told her the history of the Book of Mormon. She did not believe it at all. She asked me many hard questions and I had no answers. She told me she would write me a paper disproving the Book of Mormon. This started a research race. I wanted to write her a paper “proving” it. Needless to say, she has joined the church and our study continues (though not at the pace it did before we had kids).

    If this is a topic that interests you, I would study the debate that happened in the late 1800’s among prominent scientists, some claiming Isolationism, some claiming Diffusionism, and what happened when the Isolationists won out. Also, punch “Grand Canyon” and “Egyptian” into Google and see what pops up.

    There is a whole world of research out there that is not taught in schools.

  17. Fascinating reading ,

  18. The Stone is a fake. It was carved by Luther Blackman. I have personally read his diary telling why and when he did it. The diary has been proven authentic in his own hand writing. It was dated back to before the discovery of the stone.

  19. You should read the book: Bat Creek Stone: At a Glance by Mandel Cook. He is married to the Great Great Granddaughter of LM Blackman and owns his diaries.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: