Roman Explorations of the New World

The Lost History of Ancient America

Roman Artifacts in the New World

A 16th Century Scholar Marineo Siculo first claimed that the Americas were discovered not by Columbus and the Spaniards, but rather by Ancient Romans. He cites the discovery of a Roman coin bearing the image of Augustus in a Gold mine in Darien Panama.{1} Since that time there have been several scholarly speculations and circumstantial discoveries indicative of Ancient Roman ventures into the American Hemisphere. The most noteworthy being the settlement in Arizona of Terra Calalus {Silverbell road artifacts}

Romans in Texas

Dr Valentine Belfiglio, a professor at Texas Woman's University wrote an article Circumstantial Evidence in Support of an Encounter Between Indian Texans and Ancient Romans"

Dr Belfiglio found reports of a mysterious shipwreck In the Galveston Daily News Archives, apparently in 1886  a ship whose construction is typically Greco-Roman was unearthed by severe storms that year. The Galveston Daily News reported on July 9, 1886, that

'Her stern, or what is supposed to be her stern, is put together in such a manner as to contradict any reasonable supposition that she was a vessel fashioned even as early as the sixteenth century. It is composed of the most massive and solid oak, fully six or seven inches in thickness, and the pieces laid crosswise over each other, secured with huge iron spikes, totally unlike any craft coming within the category of modern construction'

 In 1993 Dr Belfiglio and others embarked on an expedition in the Galveston Bay area of St. Joseph Island to search for Roman artifacts

'An ancient coin {was} unearthed from eight inches below the surface, 25 feet from shore, on the beach facing the Gulf of Mexico at the southeast section of the island. The discovery was made on September 5, 1993 at 10:35 A.M. Kamron identified the language of the inscription on the coin as Latin. The likeness and inscription on the coin indicate that it was minted during the reign of Trajan (A.D. 98-117). It appears to be made of silver'.

 Belfiglio cites accounts of Roman coins unearthed in Texas, such as one found in Round Rock, Texas on the bottom of an Indian mound dated at approximately 800 AD.   Belfiglio also cites apparent linguistic and cultural similarities between the Romans and the Karankawa Indians.

Jeremiah Epstein, wrote a short article refuting some of Belfiglio's claims. Most noteworthy is his feasible hypothesis that the coins could have been dropped on top of the mound in Post Colombian times and carried underground by rodents and tree roots. [*1]

Romans in Brazil

In 1976 in the Bay of Guanabara, near Rio de Janeiro Brazil 2 clay storage vessels , known as amphorae were discovered by a diver. In 1982 at the same location archaeologist, and treasure-hunter Robert F. Marx found thousands of pottery fragments , including many partial amphorae.

They are believed to be from the wreck of a Roman ship of the 2nd Century BC .  A bottom survey by Harold E. Edgerton, an MIT researcher, located what Marx thought to be remains of two disintegrating ships. [*2]

Romans in Arizona

The Tucson Artifacts and The City of Terra Calalus.

Calalus: A Roman Jewish colony in America from the time of Charlemagne through Alfred the Great

In 1924 Charles Manier and his father went hiking through the desert northwest of Tucson . At a place called Silverbell Road they discovered a cache of religious items, weapons and tools, emblazoned with Latin text dated between A.D. 700 and 900.  The artifacts leave the impression of having been left by a Judeo-Christian Community attempting colonization in the Americas.

Some suspect that this cache is a hoax. For one the term "AD" is used in the inscriptions to denote several dates, this term was not believed to have been in general use at the time the artifacts are alleged to have hailed from.

The Anno Domini dating system was devised in A.D.525 by Dionysius Exiguus, who used it to compute the date of the Christian Easter , the Romans of this epoch tale landed in America in A.D.775

The number system used is Hindu-Arabic which also didn't come into general use in Europe until the 12th and 13th centuries, the accepted system at the time the artifacts allege to hail from was the Roman Numeral system {I ,II, III, IV ...}.


Hebrew symbols are also present, which would tend to suggest that these were people not necessarily of Europe, but elsewhere within the Roman sphere of influence, which encompassed the entire Mediterranean and most of the Middle East.

' ...Dr. Fowler, Charles T. Vorhies (..University of Arizona), A.E. Douglass (Directory of the Steward Observatory), Dean Byron Cummings (Director of the Arizona State Museum) and the Museum's Assistant Director, Karl Ruppert, were present when the heavily inscribed crucifix had been excavated under their professional supervision. Later, Dean Cummings verified that all the objects had been removed directly from the gravel pit at the lime kiln under scientifically controlled conditions.

The Dean of the College of Mines and Engineering at the University of Arizona, Dr. Gordon Montague Butler, personally excavated two halves of a leaden spear-shaft from the lime kiln ('Arizona Star', February 17, 1928).'Even if we accept the hypothesis that the soil was washed down by the rains,' he declared, 'it is ridiculous to contend that the objects were buried there within recent years. There is no evidence of burial or of recent disturbance. To have 'planted' the soil in place would have necessitated moving tons of it at a time."

Dr. Alexander A. Stoyanow (Professor of Geology), Dr. T.T. Waterman (Associate Professor of Anthropology), and no less than ten other professional colleagues concurred with Dr. Butler's assessment of the spear parts' genuineness. He was soon joined by other leading academic figures of the day, including Phoenix archaeologist, Dr. O.A. Turney; Tucson science writer, Clifton J. Sarle, Ph.D.; and Wade H. Ellis, of Washington, D.C.'s National Archaeological Society. The experts were unanimous in their conclusion that the Silverbell Road materials were authentic artifacts From overseas visitors at least 600 years before Columbus arrived in the New World."

Roman Coins in Venezuela

"Shortly after World War II ...US Military Attache at Caracas, Venezuela was approached by a local peasant ... had uncovered a hoard of some 6,000 miscellaneous coins just below the High tide level... issued by Roman legionary settlements in Spain sometime before 350 AD' two of the coins were from 8th Century AD Arabia. [*5]

The hoard included many duplicates, which diminishes the likelihood that it could have been a discarded or buried collection of colonial origin. It seems more likely is that it is the wealth of a Roman trader lost when his ship was wrecked . A ship following the North Equatorial Current westwards from the Cape Verdes would be carried directly to the northern coast of Venezuela, right where this hoard of Roman Coins was found.

"In the early. 19th century, finds were reported at separate localities in Tennessee. [*6] A silver coin minted circa 180 AD was discovered In 1882 outside Fayetteville, Tennessee, not far away around the same time another ancient coin was found in Fayetteville while digging a cellar. - Western Messenger Volumes 6 -7

Assorted Ancient Roman Artifacts in the New World

Roman Clay head found in Well

In 1933, in a burial at Calixtlahuaca, Mexico, archaeologist Jose Garcia Payon discovered a small carved head with 'foreign' features in an undisturbed burial site.

It was later identified by Austrian anthropologist Robert Heine Geldern as 'unquestionably' from the Hellenistic Roman school of art and suggested a date of around AD 200. [*8]

A doll made of wood and wax was found deep in a 'Well of Sacrifice' at Chichen Itza, Mexico, on which is written Roman script.

1976 - In Heavener, Oklahoma, a bronze tetradrachm originally struck in Antioch, Syria in 63 A.D. and bearing the profile of Nero was discovered. Heavener is the same town in which the "Heavener Runestone" is located . "Various runestones have been found across the State , from Tulsa to Shawnee, dated by one scholar to 13 year period in the Eleventh Century. [*3]

In Cass County, Illinois a bronze coin identified as a coin of Antiochus IV, a king of Syria who is mentioned in the Bible and reigned from 175 B.C. to 164 B.C. was discovered {Scientific American 1882:382} [*4]

Near Phoenix City, Alabama, In 1957 a coin from Syracuse, on the island of Sicily, and dating from 490 B.C. was found. According to Dr. Barry Fell , "The profile is of Nero, with the Greek inscription on the obverse saying 'Nero Caesar Augustus'." Once again, it is conceivable, but not likely that the coins arrived here at much later dates, which would detract from the sensationalist aspect.



Footnotes and References

1. Pre Columbian Old World Coins found in America - Examination

2. Romans In Brazil During The Second Third Century?

3. It Happened in Oklahoma book

4. Cited From Pre Columbian Old World Coins found in America - Examination - above.

5. Fair Gods and Feathered Serpents: A Search for Ancient America's Bearded White God

6. Pre-Columbian Old World coins in America: An Examination of the Evidence (Offprint from Current Anthropology, February 1980)

7. Unlocking the Prehistory of AmericaPrehistory of America Pg. 44

8. The Calixtlahuaca Head Ohio State University.

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