Saturday, September 14, 2019

Hebrew Artifacts in North America? – Part II

Continued from the previous post regarding the so-called Hebrew artifacts found in North America, and discussing the menorah.
Left: The 7-candle menorah; Middle: The 9-candle menorah; Right: The “kosher” menorah symbol of Judaism: Note that the candle levels are even on both menorahs, except for the center or shamash (attendant) candle in the middle of some

Menorah: When determining how many candles are on a menorah, the answer is seven or nine. The seven candle menorah is a representation of the seven-branched lamp which was in the original Temple. In this, all candles are level, and lit together. The menorah and its lighted candles can represent several things, including: 1) The flames of God from the burning bush; 2) The seven days of creation; 3) Spreading the light of Judaism throughout the world; 4) Offering light during worship; or 5) A symbol of the Jewish state of Israel.
    In the nine candle menorah, which is properly called a hanukiah, as it is designed specifically to be used at Hanukkah, to light the eight candles for the eight days of the holiday. Eight of the Hanukkah menorah's candles are level with each other, to symbolize the eight days that the oil lasted. The ninth candle, which is either elevated or shorter than the others, is used to light the other eight candles, and referred to as the Shamash. It is associated with Hanukkah, the Jewish celebration of the seven-day battle against the Greek-Syrians in which the Jews reclaimed their Second Temple. At that point, only a single days' worth of oil was found inside the temple to keep the menorah lit. However, during the reclaiming ceremonies, the oil lasted for eight days, at which time new oil could be purchased. This is seen as a miracle, and the reason for the number of candles on the Hanukkah menorah.
    Thus, the symbol on the earthworks in Ohio does not represent a menorah, for it is neither a seven candle menorah, or a properly designed nine candle menorah—an object of such sacred nature to the Hebrews that it most certainly would not have been made inaccurately.
    However, another major problem with the menorah claim—the 9-candle menorah was not adopted until 165 BC, when the Jewish Temple was rededicated, which is found in the two books of the Maccabees as well as in Flavius Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews. The point is, the Nephites had been in the Land of Promise for nearly 450 years by then. During the Nephite time, the menorah had only seven candles.
    In addition, if this overall symbol claimed to have been built on the ground was supposed to be a Hebrew symbol, with an oil lamp, menorah, compass and square, it was not only inaccurate for a menorah, but the so-called lamp is not really shaped like an ancient lamp at all.
If this overall symbol was all Hebrew, with Oil Lamp; 9-candle menorah; and other Hebrew symbols such as a compass and a square, then what are the other lines and angles on it, and why are they there?

Further, there was a lot of discussion and on-site evaluation late in the 19th century, in which modern engineers discounted the difference or uniqueness of this symbol or earthworks. The only truly unusual feature was the nine parallel barrows connected by a crosswise barrow. Their closest analog can be found, in fact, not far away at the other Milford mounds. As one can see from the other earthworks in the ancient image, the Milford earthworks were thought to have very similar parallel barrows connected by a crossbeam. Sadly, this was the same wing Thomas said his agent found to be imaginary, raising the specter of whether the parallel formation at the so-called “Hanukkah” mound was similarly fictional—or misinterpreted topography. Ephraim G. Squier and Edwin H. Davis recorded other parallel mounds in Ohio, in varying numbers, suggesting the “Hanukkah” mound was not unique. Indeed, even Lost Tribe theorists did not suggest a menorah connection in the 1800s.
    While Hanukkah is a popular celebration today, it was (and is) not considered one of Judaism’s most important holidays. It would be roughly like the U.S. colonizing the Moon and setting up a giant earthwork in honor of Valentine’s Day. Obviously, without the actual earthwork one cannot completely and categorically rule out Hellenistic Jews, but no period Jewish artifacts have ever been recovered from the region, nor does the earthwork resemble menorahs in use at the time of its supposed construction (which had seven rounded branches, not rectangular ones).
Left: The object at the top of the image is claimed to be an ancient oil lamp; however, ancient oil lamps were not shaped that way but (Right) were more toward the right image, though the nozzle was usually narrower and longer

In addition to the claimed menorah, the Heartland theorists also claim that the earthwork design included an oil lamp.
Oil lamp. The oil lamps of the Hebrew period were originally stone, then began to be made of clay. They had a reservoir for fuel, a rimmed opening large enough to insert the fuel, a bridged nozzle, a wick hole or mouth, and large enough to be carried about, generally by some type of handle.
    These lamps were designed to hold and burn fuel, typically oil, as a means of producing light. Although oil lamps have taken on a variety of shapes and sizes throughout history, the basic required components are a wick, fuel, a reservoir for fuel, and an air supply to maintain a flame.
    The fuel used ranged from animal fat to bees wax to various plant based oils including olive oil, sesame oil, and grape-seed oil. Olive oil is believed to have been the primary source of fuel used in the Mediterranean. The wicks were any kind of fibrous material, typically linen, papyrus, or other plant fibers.
    To counter this skepticism, the Heartland theorists claim, since all visible evidence of such barrows and diagrams have long since disappeared under plowed fields, there is one undeniable evidence that Hebrew people were in ancient North America, and that it can be found on Google Earth.
In an area in southwest Ohio, 37 miles east of Cincinnati and 80 miles southwest of Columbus, on the outskirts of Fayetteville

According to these theorists, there is an area in Ohio that has a letter of the Hebrew alphabet unmistakable in the ground that satellites have pictured from space. That letter is in an area of the northern arm of Brown County along the East Fork of the Little Miami River. This is an area where Thomas Jefferson was interested in building a fort, and later following the War of 1812 for use as an arsenal location in Fayetteville and captured by the South.
    Another set of earthworks of similar design are found in Milford, 20 miles west of Fayetteville and 17 miles east of Cincinnati, called the Milford Earthworks. An 1823 drawing by Major Roberdeau of the site is found in the National Archives, Military Archives Division. Roberdeau was no amateur, having assisted in laying out the city of Washington in 1791, and in surveying some 900 miles of the U.S.-Canadian border after the War of 1812, and who became the chief of the Bureau of Topographical Engineers
An 1823 map of the ancient fortification on the banks of the Little Miami and its tributaries. The Fort encompasses 60 acres, with the Redoubt enclosing five more acres. Red Circle: Present city of Milford

Near this area, around the Fayetteville and Milford Earth Works, is an impression in a plowed field theorists use to “prove” their point.
(See the next post on “Hebrew Artefacts in North America – Part III,” for the information on the so-called undeniable evidence about Hebrews in North America that can be found on Google Earth)

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