Monday, May 08, 2017

The Newark Stones as emancipationist forgeries?

NOT ANCIENT NEW WORLD ARTIFACTS, ANYWAY: Archaeology: Newark ‘Holy Stones’ are 19th century fake news (Brad Lepper, The Columbus Dispatch). The Newark stones are Hebrew-inscribed objects found in found near Newark, Ohio, in 1860. They have been argued to be ancient, but no one remains convinced today.

Dr. Lepper and his colleague Jeff Gill at the Ohio History Connection are making the case that the objects were forged in the nineteenth century by the Rev. Charles McIlvaine. They were intended as a compelling argument for the abolition of slavery in the U.S.A. The case sounds indirect to me, but Dr. Lepper really doesn't have the space to make it fully in this brief essay. I look forward to hearing more.

Everyone agrees that the Newark Stones are not genuine ancient New World artifacts, although Rochelle Altman argued some years ago in a Bible and Intepretation essay that they are medieval Jewish artifacts that were placed secondarily in the locations where they were found. But if this theory was every published in a peer-review journal, I haven't seen it.

Some past posts on the Newark Stones and other dubious New World Hebrew inscriptions are here, here, here, here, and here. Dr. Lepper and his theory come up in a couple of these posts.