THE NEWLY KNOWN AND THE LONG KNOWN THAT REMAIN UNKNOWN
By Professor Cyclone Covey, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
Note: The following article was read by Covey at the 1995 Spring ISAC Conference as his presentation, however, since so much of it rattles on and on, it was decided to feature only the excerpts that pertain to the issue at hand. Therefore, only about half of his lecture is recorded here and I doubt that anyone would have ever noticed had they not been informed.
AT DISTANCES of 1000 to 2000 miles east, west and south of Burrows Cave, gifted grown friends who have broken the 1952 myth-barrier have been syllogizing a myth in the abstract. Even our renowned George Carter late last year was referring to the "mythical cave." Assertion, passion, of a majority vote will make no difference to the cave, which, if it has existed an eon, will probably exist another.
Suspicion does not run all on one side. I wonder about incurious state archaeologists and leaping suggestions such as: Burrows purchased stones stolen from Etruscan tombs! Skepticism doesn't bother me; it's an automatic ambush. But I leave aside the unprofitable unempirical.
EMPIRICALLY SPEAKING, Bill and Marilyn Kreisle in the 1994 Midwestern Epigraphic Journal analyze two Burrows Cave Stones that map the Mississippi before its lower course shifted eastward to its modern Gulf outlet, and show a circular bayou east of Vicksburg, visible today only in LANDSTAT imagery. In 1944 Prof. Harold Fisk on Louisiana State University classically divided the Mississippi meander belts into 20 stages by 100-year increments and heading a team for the Army Corps of Engineers personnel, reported in 1952 that our last belt struck southeastward between 50 BC and 550 AD. This team primarily sampled Atchafalaya Basin between the former and present course. Later carbon-dating bore out Fisk's estimated chronology (little detail).
Both stones demark the site of Burrows Cave--more properly Burrows City--by a 4-prong symbol on the Skillet Fork branch of the Little Wabash. By a double semicircle, Map 1 further demarks Cave-In-Rock on the Ohio 75 miles below Burrows Cave where Josiah Priest in 1831 and William Pidgeon in 1848 noted frescoes with hieroglyphics, the depicted humans striking Priest as Greek or Roman, Pidgeon as Egyptian--all traces vandalized away since 1848. Both mapstones show the Illinois and trace indefinitely on north, Map 1 explicitly beyond the St-Croix/Mississippi confluence in northern Wisconsin, also adding the Wolf River below Memphis and extending the Rio Big Black which empties below Vicksburg. LaSalle found Illinois Indians on the Illinois and Shawnees and the Wabash speaking Algonquin, whose substrate, Silas Rand and Barry Fell discovered was Egyptian.
OLDER MAP 2 labels Lake Pontchantrain as LATSBA in Etruscan letters, also a horizontal lake then lying along the Arkansas that linked present Swan Lake and Noble Lake below Pine Bluff as LATSBA, and a site beyond the Platte branch of the Missouri at Grand Island, Nebraska as SUOU (isn't that interesting?) with a B to one side which could stand for a tribe or town or chief's domicile. Dots could stand for a tribe or town or chief's domicile. Dots along the rivers must indicate towns, as on a third stone that Hubbard and Schaffranke discerned maps the Guadalquiver in Andalusia--ancient Baetis, as the inscription o the reverse verifies. A two-line legend below the Ohio on our Mapstone 2 back west to the Ohio's Wabash confluence reads something like PLEHERA SMOU, while two letters off the Mississippi/Ohio confluence at present-day Cairo (in Little Egypt) form apparently TSE which if Latin Se, would mean "itself" (Gateway itself?). [Schaffranke transliterates the plus-sign, which in Etruscan is s, as Latin et; I don't know what the Ete would be other than something similar like "indeed it."
Russell Burrows confirms Indian ruins near the cave, whose strategic waterway site had to be prominent as a center of the Gulf-to-Great-Lakes Shawano confederation. Hubbard and Schaffranke thought it possibly Aztalan (a Nahuatl word meaning "amidst water"). Prof. Scherz convincingly locates Azatlan in Wisconsin, but Uto-Aztecan shows curious convergences with Indo-European and Semitic, as well as the "medicine" of the Yuchis, whose miccos bonded the Algonquin confederation, Joe Mahan definitively demonstrated.
WHATEVER SOURCE SCHAFFRANKE in the video was quoting ultimately derives from the medieval Romance of Alexander, which drew on since-lost accounts, hearsay, and imagination and interpolated a propaganda pamphlet entitled The Last Days and Testament of Alexander the Great which survives in a Greek and Latin version. An Illyrian staffman of Alexander named Hokias forged this pamphlet six years after Alexander's death but had been present at the funeral in Babylonia. His description of Alexander's last rites I do not doubt, or his account of further treatment of the mummy in Egypt which he did not witness but undoubtedly know Ptolemy's account, which does not survive but circulated throughout the Hellenistic world; other ancient authors cite it. Our best surviving sources on Alexander-Arrian and Plutarch--writing in Greek in Roman times, end their accounts with Alexander's death--as do most modern historians of Greece, as if the earth stopped rotating on June 10, 323 BC when Alexander died at age 32 following a second drunken binge plus malaria--no poison.
STRABO and DIODORUS (also writing in Greek) preserved details of Alexander's plans to ensconce in Arabia, circumnavigate Africa clockwise, conquer the Carthaginian empire by sea, and build a road across North Africa.
The Siwa ruins bear many reminders of Burrows Cave, mingling Egyptian, Carthaginian, Libyan, and Roman connections--consistently ancient Mediterranean.
The Greek on some of the Burrows Cave stones could be Saite Egyptian-Greed of Naukratis, but may be Jewish of Hellenistic or Roman times. Jews in Alexandria, Ionia, Tarsos, Corinth, Rhodes, and Cyprus, also Rome spoke and wrote Mediterranean Greek koine. Yet Arnold Murray has detected Hebrew of the Bat-Creek Bar-Kokhba-Stone type. Cyrus and Connie Gordon have identified the archaic Hebrew of the Los Lunas Ten Commandments as Samaritan. Hebrew menorahs and shofars recur on the Burrows Cave Stones. Zena Halpern and Don Eckler have been tracing correlations, but it grows doubtful that anyone by April, 1982 would have known of the rare precedents these searchers have found since.
CERTAIN APPRAISERS say the stones look copied--the exact models are elusive. I do not doubt copying, from some models--like memory. If carved local, which seems the case (Scherz claims he has located a source of the unusual lithographic limestone 90 miles southwest of the cave), oceangoing ships would have to be drawn from memory a thousand miles from the ocean. Prof. Carter said "the ships portrayed are clumsy frauds; the work of an ignoramus.
There are ships that look far from clumsy to me, and you would not have to be modern or fraudulent to be an ignoramus. If a refugee crewman drew his conception of a ship for a religious ceremony in Little Egypt in 100 or 300 AD, it would look like a ship on a Burrows Cave stone. Elephants, whales, and lions depicted on other stones could not have been viewable--as artists of animals realistically portrayed in remote recesses of Magdalenian caves could not have been looking at the herds they were painting.
EMINENT ARCHAEOLOGISTS who examined this Burrows Cave Stone at different times instantly reacted in identical words: "It's not native American"; which a stylized lion-face signifying royalty would not be, we've been trying to tell them. The design obviously relates to historic traditions, so it looks tantalizingly familiar, not Egyptian but not distinctively Macedonian; it could pass for Chinese--like ambiguous Central American art, which we recognize reflects Asian, African, and Aegean traditions, yet we do not charge recent copying.
The longest Etruscan inscriptions is called The book of the Mummy because it was written on the linen wrapping of a female mummy robbed from an Etruscan grave in Egypt and acquired in the 19th century by the museum at Zagreb, the Croatian city we watched Bosnian Serbs destroy. The wrappings were torn from a scroll (that unrolled backwards, right-left) prescribing rituals like sacrifices and libations at certain times of year mainly for inducing souls of ancestors to a funeral banquet--not the Egyptian Book of the Dead, but notice the Etruscan-Egyptian connections, including provenance, mummification, and instructions for the soul. We have long been aware of the Etruscan-Carthaginian alliance. The sarcophagus in the Burrows Cave main crypt presents the Egyptianized Etruscan/Roman type which was also Macedonian: a contoured casket within a sarcophagus that represented the decreased reclined on its lid. Romans were landlubbers who learned seamanship from the Etruscans, Carthaginians, and Greeks, and like Egypt and Carthage, employed mainly subject nationalities and war-prisoner slaves in ship building and navigation.
VICTOR KACHUR detected Etruscan letters on Burrows Cave Stones before Schaffranke's independent discovery and further discovery that the letters write in Latin. Since Etruscan culture remained distinctly viable into the 1st century AD and non-Roman ethnics up to the Po did not become Roman citizens until the 1st century BC, the phenomenon of a non-Roman colonist writing Old Latin in Etruscan letters retrograde and Boustrophedon fits the known context.
Among elementary connections, Dalmatia derives from Illyrian for sheep, Brindisi from Illyrian for antlers, Massapi from Illyrian for foal or stallion associated wi h the sea, suggesting the Greek sea-god Poseidon, often represented by his totem, a horse; which must relate to the horse head on Carthaginian gold coins, such as occur in Burrows Cave.
Suffice it to say that Etruscan, Massapian, and Albanian belong to the same Indo-European family as Luvian, Lykian, Lydian, Hittite, Minoan Linear A, Libyan and Polynesian. The bearing on Burrows Cave is precisely the close relationship of Etruscan culture to Roman, Greek, Carthaginian, Anatolian, and Egyptian. We must further consider that the Latin language was still evolving through the 1st century BC--Romans could not write their own history whiloe they were making it in the Punic Wars; Polybius and other Greeks wrote it, and taught the Romans how to write history, plays, and other literature; Julius Caesar, Lucretius, Cicero--that late--were major pioneers in developing Latin complex expressibility.
SALLUST, who served with Caesar in the civil war as praetor and became govenor of Numidia, gives an impression that North Africa had reverted to chaos after the three Punic wars outside the old Carthaginian nucleus renamed in Latin the Roman Province. Augustus built Carthage anew on ruins. Roman Carthage and the former Carthaginian towns along the coast throve as metropolises in Roman imperial times. Septimius Severus hailed from Lepcis Magna in present-day Tunisia and never spoke Latin without a heavy accent. Since the language of a superior culture will prevail in a collision of cultures, Gaul became Latin speaking, but the Greek-speaking eastern half of the Roman Empire remained Greek-speaking; the Mditerranean koine to the Pillars was Greek; Roman maps retained Alexandria as the prime meridian. Former subjects and / or allies of Carthage in Africa remained comparatively barbarous or so reverted. Their basically Libyan lingua-franca became so-called Low Latin [James Wellard, Lost Worlds of Africa (Dutton, 1967), 84]. Many profiles on Burrows Cave Stones reflect Garamantes tribesmen. The Pontiac hairstyle or midridge vertical headdress on the Burrows Cave Stones had prevailed not only in Libya but in Archaic Anatolia and Greece (such a headdress appears on the initial and recurring pictograph on the unique Phaistos Disk, which, however, was imported to Phaistos, probably fro Lykea; there and in Caria such a headdress lasted longest). I suspect a similar custom in districts in central Asia. So even that peculiarity is no more indigenous American than feathered-serpent calumets smoked in East Asia.
But we are not talking of the Etruscan language on certain Burrows Cave Stones, as George Carter misunderstood, but colonial-or-colloquial Low Latin in Etruscan letters, as oldfashionedly written most likely in Andalusia and Mauretania opposite.