Bat Creek Stone: At a Glance

Bat Creek Stone: At a Glance

  • Bat Creek Stone: At a Glance
  • Release Date: November 1, 2011
  • ISBN: 978-1-61979-982-0, 978-1468012316, 1468012312, 1619799820

The Bat Creek Stone is a controversial artifact that was discovered during a mound excavation in the 1800s near the mouth of Bat Creek in Loudon County, Tennessee. The stone is smaller than the size of an average cell phone. One side of the stone has a polished appearance and eight symbols are engraved into the center of the stone.
Cyrus Thomas published in the Ethnology Report that the inscription on the stone contained Cherokee symbols. However, he later realized an error in his logic. In his book, Cherokees in Pre-Columbian Times, he stated that the symbols could not possibly be Cherokee because the mound where the stone was found was older than the Cherokee alphabet. Due to his misinterpretation of the symbols, many speculate the stone is a fraud.  The stone did not hit the spotlight until the 1970s when Professor Cyrus Gordon suggested the inscription was most likely a form of Paleo-Hebrew, an ancestor script to the current Box Hebrew.
Religious groups, such as the Latter-Day Saints, used the stone as proof that members of a lost tribe of Israel were the ancestors of the Native Americans. Even with the positive response of the stone by the Latter-Day Saints, others still did not believe it was authentic, including the Smithsonian Institute. However, if it was a fraud, who is to be credited for the forgery? What was their motive? How did the perpetrator do it?

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More Information

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Major Luther Meade Blackman

John W. Emmert

John P. Rogan

Additional Reading

Major Luther Meade Blackman: At a Glance

Sample Bat Creek Stone: At a Glance on Google Books