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No. 43: Jan-Feb 1986

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How old is the los lunas inscription?

Volume 13 of the Epigraphic Society's Occasional Publications (one of two volumes for 1985) contains several articles of great interest to anomalists with an archeological bent. We have space for only two in this issue of SF.

In the first of these, Barry Fell deals with the criticism that the now-famous Los Lunas (New Mexico) inscription cannot be the work of ancient Hebrew-writing visitors to the New World because it employs modern punctuation marks. Fell counters this by reproducing several ancient texts that use similar punctuation conventions, thus blunting this attack on the antiquity of the Los Lunas inscription.

For readers unacquainted with the Los Lunas inscription, it consists of the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments) engraved in ancient Hebrew on a large basalt rock near Los Lunas, NM.

In the second paper, geologist G.E. Morehouse comes to grip with a second criticism leveled at the inscription; namely, that the engraving looks fresh and lacks the patination characteristic of great age. Morehouse concludes that the freshness actually derives from the frequent, recent scrubbing of the inscription (with wire brushes on some occasions) to improve its visibility. Taking this into account, Morehouse estimates the age of the Los Lunas inscription by comparing its weathering with a nearby 1930 inscription. Conclusion: the Los Lunas inscription is much older than 1930. Any length of time from 500-2000 years or more older would be "quite reasonable."

We are, therefore, still left with the possibility that Old World travelers with a knowledge of ancient Hebrew visited what is now New Mexico perhaps as early as the time of Christ.

(Fell, Barry; "Ancient Punctuation and the Los Lunas Text," Epigraphic Society, Occasional Publications, 13:35, 1985, and Morehouse, George E.; "The Los Lunas Inscriptions, a Geological Study," Epigraphic Society, Occasional Publica tions, 13:44, 1985.)

From Science Frontiers #43, JAN-FEB 1986. 1986-2000 William R. Corliss