Newark "Holy Stones": Context for Controversy
Public Symposium

at the

Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum

in historic Roscoe Village,
300 Whitewoman St.
Coshocton, Ohio 43812
Saturday, Nov. 6, 1999
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Admission $8.00

Phone the Museum at (740) 622-8710 for advanced registration.
FAX (740) 622-8710*51.

Is there archaeological evidence of pre-Columbian European or Middle Eastern settlement in the Americas? The "Newark Holy Stones," discovered in the 1860s in the context of the two-thousand year old Hopewell Culture Indian mounds near Newark, OH, were immediately controversial. Inscriptions on the stones were in a form of Hebrew that suggested that Jewish visitors may have been present in the Ohio Valley and even, perhaps, were the moundbuilders themselves. The debate over the authenticity of the stones has erupted again in recent years as archaeological, linguistic and anthropological evidence of pre-Columbian contacts and voyages to the Americas has been discovered. Various peoples from throughout history, from ancient Egyptians, Hebrews and Phoenicians to the Irish, Welsh and Norse of the Middle Ages have been advocated as pre-Columbian visitors. Much of the controversy rages around the evidence. Are iconoclastic scholars making too much of limited and circumstantial evidence? Or, are mainstream archaeologists and academics so entrenched in their traditional paradigms that they're ignoring any signs to the contrary? The symposium will allow for advocates from both sides to present their views and engage in discussion and debate. Don't miss this rare opportunity to explore such a controversial and fascinating subject.

Symposium panelists include

  • Architect Suzanne O. Carlson from Maine, reads Old Norse and is an authority on potential Norse contacts. She is on the Board of Directors and Publications Chair with the New England Antiquities Research Assoc. (NEARA). Ms. Carlson is a regular contributor to the NEARA Journal and a popular lecturer on New England archaeological finds, the Viking legacy, and the Newport Tower and Spirit Pond runestones. Her article, "The Decipherment of American Runestones," was published in Across Before Columbus?, a volume of papers delivered at the Columbian Quincentennial Conference sponsored by NEARA.

  • Dr. Kenneth L. Feder, Professor of Anthropology at Central Connecticut State University, received his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut. He has been involved in archaeological fieldwork since 1972, presented numerous papers at meetings and symposiums, and published prolifically in journals and books. Dr. Feder's subjects range from archaeological discoveries in Connecticut and scientific models for archaeological discovery, to archaeological hoaxes and myths. He has authored and co-authored eight books, the most recent being Lessons From the Past: A Reader in Introductory Archaeology; Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology; Field Methods in Archaeology; and Human Antiquity: An Introduction to Physical Anthropology and Archaeology.

  • Dr. Bradley T. Lepper is an archaeologist and coordinator of archaeology education at the Ohio Historical Society. In addition, he is an occasional visiting professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Denison University. He is also editor of the international scientific journal Current Research in the Pleistocene published by the Center for the Study of the First Americans at the University of Oregon. Dr. Lepper received his Ph.D in Anthropology at Ohio State University. He has written extensively for both technical journals and magazines in the areas of prehistoric archaeology, paleoindian prehistory and Hopewell prehistory. Especially noteworthy research includes the excavation of the Burning Tree mastodon and the discovery of the Great Hopewell Road, first reported in 1995.

  • Dr. J. Huston McCulloch is Professor of Economics and Finance at Ohio State University. His articles on archaeology-related issues have been published in Tennessee Anthropologist, Biblical Archaeological Review, Epigraphic Society Occasional Papers, and Ancient American. Dr. McCulloch's article, "The Bat Creek Stone: A Reply to the Critics," is published in Across Before Columbus?, a collection of papers delivered at the Columbian Quincentennial Conference sponsored by NEARA. Dr. McCulloch maintains a website at with pages on the Newark Decalogue Stone from Ohio, the Bat Creek Stone from Tennessee, the Ohio East Fork Earthworks, and other related artifacts.

  • Dr. Robert Fox , a corporate ergonomist at General Motors in Detroit, will be the moderator. He received his Ph.D. from Texas Tech University and has published in the ergonomics and human factors engineering field. Dr. Fox did his graduate work in anthropology and the population biology of ancient populations with focus on the ancient Egyptians.

    The symposium takes place at the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum where the Newark Holy Stones are permanently displayed. Authors will have their books available for purchase and signing. Cost is $8. (Includes Preceeding Booklet with position papers by each panelist and break refreshments.) Advance registration is recommended. Contact the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum for more information and to receive registration form.

    Contact person: Patti Malenke, Director.


    A writeup on the symposium by William D. Conner, with photos, may be viewed at the MES Homepage.

    Page maintained and links added by J. Huston McCulloch,

    Up to Newark "Holy Stones" webpage.

    Last revised 7/7/99

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