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No. 11: Summer 1980

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Numismatic Ufos

Jeremiah Epstein has assembled an absolutely fascinating analysis of some 40 "discoveries" of Pre-columbian coins in the United States. The lengthy table detailing the finds and the long list of references are alone enough to make this article a classic. Epstein carefully scrutinizes each find with admirable dispassion. His conclusions: frauds, counterfeits, and recent losses of imported ancient coins suffice to explain all of the data. Supporting and disagreeing comments from researchers active in the field follow Epstein's article. The advocates of Pre-columbian diffusion naturally take issue with Epstein, claiming that there is a residue of cases not adequately explained.

(Epstein, Jeremiah, F. et al; "Pre-Columbian Old World Coins in America: An Examination of the Evidence," Current Anthropology, 21:1, 1980.)

Comment. Shades of UFOs, sea serpents, the Kensington Stone and of course ancient humans in America. It is all so familiar.

From Science Frontiers #11, Summer 1980. 1980-2000 William R. Corliss