Phoenicians Inscriptions from Around the World

These worldwide inscriptions can only have been during the time of David and Solomon's Empire, and after.

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In Australia-Toowoomba: A group of seventeen granite stones were found with Phoenician inscriptions. One had been translated to read "Guard the shrine of Yahweh’s message" and "Gods of Gods". Another inscription reads, "This is a place of worship or Ra" and "Assemble here to worship the sun." (Ra was the Egyptian sun god)



A large ironstone slab is in Rex Gilroys museum at Tamworth NSW. It was ploughed up by a Rockhampton area farmer some years ago. It bears a Phoenician inscription that reads: "Ships sail from this land under the protection of Yahweh to Dan."

The Phoenician coin presumed to contain a map of the ancient world

If Mark McMenamin is correct, neither Columbus nor the Vikings were the first non-natives to set foot on the Americas. McMenamin, the Mount Holyoke geologist who last year led an expedition that discovered the oldest animal fossil found to date, may have made another discovery--one that sheds radical new light on present conceptions of the Classical world and on the discovery of the New World

Working with computer-enhanced images of gold coins minted in the Punic/Phoenician city in North Africa of Carthage between 350 and 320 BC, (please see sketch of coin right and where the world map is supposed to have been inscribed) McMenamin has interpreted a series of designs appearing on these coins, the meaning of which has long puzzled scholars. McMenamin believes the designs represent a map of the ancient world, including the area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea and the land mass representing the Americas.

If this is true, these coins not only represent the oldest maps found to date, but would also indicate that Carthaginian explorers had sailed to the New World.

In fact, it was his interest in the Carthaginians as explorers that led McMenamin to study the coins. The Carthaginians were closely linked to the Phoenicians of the Middle East in terms of origin, culture, language, and naval enterprise. Both peoples are widely credited with significant sailing exploits through the Mediterranean, to the British Isles, and along the coast of Africa.


This detail of a gold coin shows what McMenamin believes is a map of the Mediterranean area, surrounded by Europe, Britain, Africa, and (at left) the Americas. The image appears on coins minted in Carthage between 350 and 320 BC. The enhanced and colorized version is based on the illustrations courtesy of Mark McMenamin.

In one of the coins studied by McMenamin, a horse stands atop a number of symbols at the bottom of the coin. For many years, scholars interpreted these symbols as letters in Phoenician script. When that theory was discounted in the 1960s, it left scholars baffled. Working over the past few months, McMenamin was able to interpret the design as a representation of the Mediterranean, surrounded by the land masses of Europe and Africa, with, to the upper left, the British Isles. To the far left of the representation of the Mediterranean is what the geologist believes is a depiction of the Americas.

A number of classical texts bolster this theory. For example, in the first century bc, Diodorus of Sicily wrote " the deep off Africa is an island of considerable size...fruitful, much of it mountainous.... Through it flow navigable rivers....The Phoenicians had discovered it by accident after having planted many colonies throughout Africa."

"I was just the lucky person who had the geologic and geographic expertise to view these coins in a new light," McMenamin notes. "I have been interested in the Carthaginians as the greatest explorers in the history of the world."

McMenamin's interest in Carthage led him to master the Phoenician language. He has published two pamphlets on his work regarding the Carthaginian coins. One is written in ancient Phoenician, representing probably the first new work in that language in 1500 years.

He has submitted a paper on his theory to The Numismatist, a leading journal in the study of coins, which has accepted McMenamin's paper on the theory for publication. At the same time, the scholar is trying to gain access to a number of coins --or casts of their impressions-- currently held in European collections. These impressions will further aid him, he hopes, in proving the world map theory's validity. "If I had the time and the money," McMenamin observes, only half-kidding, "I'd be in North Africa with my metal detector trying to find Carthaginian coins to further confirm my hypothesis."

Additional study may well reveal that it was Punic explorers not Europeans who "discovered" the New World. At the very least, McMenamin hopes his theory will focus new scholarly attention on ancient Carthaginian culture.


  1. Geologist Mark McMenamin, Mount Holyoke College


Ancient Queensland mine could change world history, ABC News, 19/7/00

 The discovery of a 3,000-year-old mine and harbour on the coast of central
 Queensland is set to change Australian, if not world history.

 Resident Val Osborn has traced the remaining structures to the early
 mining endeavours of the Phoenicians around 1000 BC.

 Mr Osborn, who has been closely guarding his discovery for four years,
 says the area's rich mineral deposits attracted the Phoenicians to the
 northern Australian coast more than 2,700 years before Captain Cook.

 Mr Osborn says the discovery at Freshwater Point, near the big coal ports
 south of Mackay, has attracted world scientific attention.

 It includes huge sea walls designed to allow exporting by sea.

 "They were labour intensive, huge, the one at Sarina is some 800 metres
 long," he said.

 "The harbour wall and the boulders are polished granite and they're set in
 iron slag cement and copper slags.

 "I mean it's a monstrous thing you could put three, 200 foot ships end to
 end in there. It's as calm as a mill pond and beautifully engineered."

 Mr Osborn says the structures will be further dated when archaeologists
 visit Sarina.

 "We've got also a Phoenician bell temple and it's typical and we've also
 got a cemetery and we'll have to wait and see the archaeologist."

 "Nothing has been done yet, we've got various academics around the world
 interested in it of course, it's changing world history."



In nine long seasons (1957-1965), the adventurer Gene Savoy established himself in Peru with honor. He had followed the Great Walls of Peru, from the northern Pacific coast through the western deserts, until they disappeared in the Andes. He had studied scattered ruins and giant fortresses, remnants of the desert kingdoms built before the Incas. He had seen great highways of old that linked the valleys of the coast, and he had located the one ancient Gateway that led to them from the jungle highlands. In the southern jungles, on an enchanted plain, he had revealed the lost city of the Incas, the fortress citadel where the Incas held off their Spanish conquerors for years before they fled towards the north to seek refuge in the Chachapoyas Kingdom. He had already found that Inca trail, and now he followed it, into the North, east of the Andes, in search of the Seven Cities of that fabled kingdom.

In the winter of 1966, the American explorer found in Amazonas, Peru, a series of figures inscribed on the wall of an ancient tomb. High up in the Andes, in the region of the legendary Chachapoyas, one of the glyphs, the largest and most imposing, resembled a figure he knew to be of Middle Eastern origin. He translated the glyph to say "Ophir," the biblical name of a secret land, where Hiram's Phoenician sailors loaded their ships with gold and precious stones from King Solomon's mines to adorn, in Jerusalem, the walls of Solomon's Temple.

After Savoy had discovered that enigmatic glyph in the Andes, another inscription appeared, this one in Israel, at Tel Qasile, an ancient site near Tel Aviv that dates from King Solomon's time. The inscription, on a potsherd unearthed by archaeologists, bears this message in Phoenician-Hebrew: Gold of Ophir, the possession of Beth-Horon, thirty shekels. The inscription once marked a pot of gold stored in the hold of an ancient Phoenician merchant ship. At its center was the symbol Savoy had found cut into the cliff face of a mountain on ancient Chachapoyan lands.

The glyph, in all its varied forms, recurs more often than any other in the epigraphic samples which Savoy and his team can attribute to the ancient Chachapoyas. For years, the expedition team had called the glyph a "ship figure" because it resembled the shape of an ancient vessel at sea. Now, Savoy and his team refer to it plainly as the "Ophir symbol. "

The inscription on the potsherd in Israel verifies two important facts:

(1) Voyages to Ophir actually took place.
(2) Phoenician ships acquired gold there during the time of Solomon.

     This glyph --a symbol called "Ni-ther " by ancient Egyptians-- holds a special significance for most scholars. Many biblical archaeologists believe that this symbol marked all the ships that travelled to Ophir in Solomon's navy.

In 1989, as Savoy and his team of explorers prepared to leave the ancient city of Gran Vilaya, they came upon three dolmen tablets at the mouth of a cave on the outskirts of the city. Within the inscription on one of those tablets was the same glyph Savoy had seen in 1966, the same symbol that marked the Ophir ships of Solomon. Since then, the expedition team has uncovered innumerable inscriptions and similar designs, on stone, on walls, on pottery, and on textiles in the region.

The walls of Solomon's Temple were lined with gold. This much is known. There was not enough gold in all of ancient Israel to accomplish that task. This too is known. For centuries, historians, scholars, and archaeologists have tried in vain to find the source of King Solomon's gold.... To determine the true Ophir of the Bible and to document links between high civilizations in ancient times-- these are the goals of the voyage the Ocean Sailing Club will undertake for seven years across the seven seas.




Appeared in the OTTAWA CITIZEN, June 22, 2000

The rock drawings nobody wants to talk about


The 900-odd "Peterborough Petroglyphs,'' etched on a marble slab near Stony Lake about 80 kilometres north of Peterborough, have caused a quarter-century of controversy. In the 1960s, Joan and Romas Vastokas of Trent University mapped glyphs, dating them to about 1300 and attributing them to native Algonkians. However, the Vastokases noted that some of the "spirit canoes,'' depicted with masts and side rudders, were very similar to Bronze Age ship glyphs in Sweden.

In 1974, Barry Fell of Harvard University asserted that some of the glyphs, especially those of "spirit canoes,'' had been made by Bronze Age Scandinavians about 800-1200 BC. Fell also claimed the dots beside some glyphs were actually writing, a script called "Tiffinagh'' that was widely used in Bronze Age times from North Africa to Scandinavia. Beside a cluster of confused ship glyphs, Fell translated "ships fighting.'' Beside a human figure holding a hammer, he translated "Mjolnir'' -- the hammer of Thor -- and beside a wolf-like figure "Fenris,'' a wolf of Scandinavian mythology.

At that time, Native identity was beginning to intrude on public .. consciousness. It was, and is, politically correct in Canada to assert that Native culture had not been influenced by Europeans before John Cabot discovered Canada in 1497! . Fell's opinions were drowned out by indignant statements. "Fell's opinions are an affront to Canadian anthropologists and Native people,'' ranted the Peterborough Examiner in a typical response.

National politics encouraged this reaction. Strong Native identity was seen by the federal government as a bulwark against Quebec separatism. Mohawks and Cree threatened that if Quebec separated from Canada, they would separate from Quebec. The federal and Ontario governments found it convenient to support First Nation perspectives.

Fell's opinion may have been an affront, but was it correct?

In 1991, I visited the Peterborough glyphs again, with David H. Kelley of the University of Alberta and Gerard Leduc of Concordia University. I assured Kelley and Leduc that the smooth curved hulls of the ships seemed like curraghs to me.

Everyone thinks of "Vikings'' and wood-planked long ships when Scandinavians are mentioned as explorers, but Bronze Age Scandinavians used curraghs -- wood-frame boats covered with a skin or leather hull. Curraghs could be up to 20 metres long were seaworthy, but carrying cargo could be fatal if the hull was punctured. The glyphs showed curraghs with masts and side rudders in the right places. Hash marks on the hulls, presumably paddles, indicated crews of 10-20 people -- about right for the larger seagoing curraghs, or "Farfarers'' as Farley Mowat calls them. With this assurance that the ship glyphs were curraghs, the badly weathered dots seemed more likely to be Tiffinagh.

Kelley confirmed in the Review of Archeology that the dots did appear to spell "ships fighting,'' "Mjolnir'' and "Fenris.'' Kelley is undoubtedly Canada's greatest expert in inscriptions and enjoys an international reputation for his contribution to "breaking'' Mayan. In short, he was putting his considerable reputation on the line by confirming that at least some of the 900 Peterborough glyphs had been made ! by Europeans about 800-1000 BC.

Kelley, Leduc and I converged on Peterborough in 1991 because we had just been investigating a ruined, or more likely never completed, dam. This structure and other artifacts cluster around Mansonville, Quebec on the shore of Lake Memphremagog near the Vermont border. At that time, surveyors' stakes associated with the dam had not yet been carbon dated. When Leduc had the surveyors' stakes carbon dated, he announced in 1997 that two different labs came up with 1450-1550 AD.

Leduc also spoke of the "gargoyle'' that had been discovered downstream from the dam in 1985. At my request, two art experts examined it in 1998. They agreed it was apparently Celtic-Scandinavian work of about 1440-1500. A&E Network asked Leduc and me to do an television documentary about the dam and gargoyle in November 1998.

There's an iron-reinforced, large dugout boat in a museum near Mansonville. It was recovered from Lake Memphremagog. The museum's curator refuses to have it carbon-dated for fear it will turn out to be "pre-contact,'' and cause political problems. Most "establishment'' Canadian experts and media have also done their best to ignore the Quebec discoveries for the same political reasons. But the PQ is very interested, also for obvious reasons.

In spite of British and Canadian propaganda with the 1997 "Matthew Project'' and the associated "Unity Flotilla'' to welcome Cabot's alleged replica of his alleged ship, there is no first-hand evidence that John Cabot crossed the Atlantic to discover Canada. His voyage was "necessary,'' however, to establish British claims to New France. Part of this mythic history is denying that the Peterborough glyphs are partly or wholly European. This denial supports Native myths that they were undisturbed by white men until John Cabot's unfortunate discovery.

In reality, Canada has a rich pre-Cabot European history.  Bronze Age Scandinavians pen! etrated inland as far as Peterborough about 1000 BC, probably to acquire copper. There was a European community around Lake Memphremagog before Cabot -- only a community needs a dam for a mill and has leisure to carve "gargoyles'' -- and there is reason to suspect it was a community of religious heretics. There is evidence this community was massacred about 1500-1550.

But who knows how many other Europeans "discovered'' and even settled in Canada? Mowat's The Farfarers argues that there were European settlements in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from 600-1300 AD.

Perhaps the country can be held together with government-approved .. Native and English-Canadian myths, but I doubt it. Michael Bradley has published 18 books, including Grail Knights of North America: On The Trail of The Grail Legacy In Canada And The United States, published in 1998.