Sunday, September 15, 2019

Hebrew Artifacts in North America – Part III

Continued from the previous post regarding the so-called Hebrew artifacts found in North America, and discussing the Hebrew letter found in the earthworks.
Is it an Earthwork image of a Hebrew letter, or nothing more than roads or natural markings? 

Now the letter they claim this image represents is the letter Shin (šin or Sheen), the twenty-first letter of the Semitic abjads or alef-beis (alphabet), including Phoenician Shin, Hebrew Shin ש, Aramaic Shin, Syriac Shin, and Arabic Shin ش. Its sound value is a voiceless sibilant or the sound sh. Its sound value is a voiceless sibilant. The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek Sigma, and the letter Sha in the Glagolitic and Cyrillic scripts.
    The point is, the letter shown in the image above of the marks in a field in Ohio, do not necessarily even represent and early, middle or even late Hebrew letter. The North American theorists using this letter in such a manner is ill-founded since the differences between Biblical (classic) Hebrew is quite different than Hebrew of the AD period. and current since 1900. In this latter period, Hebrew eventually developed into Mishnaic Hebrew, spoken until the fifth century AD.   
    It should be noted that the Paleo-Hebrew alphabet (Palaeo-Hebrew), was the script used in the historic kingdoms of Israel and Judah by Israelites. It is a variant of the Phoenician alphabet (abjad) of 22 (consonantal) letters. Archeology dates usage of P-H for writing the Hebrew language to the 10th century BC, and by the 5th century, P-H was subsumed by the Imperial Aramaic abjad with little remnant—the Aramaic sharing a common protolanguage with a simpler font.
    The present Jewish “square-script” (Hebrew aleph beit) abjad evolved from the Aramaic. Samaritans use a P-H derivative known as the Samarian alphabet. Usage of P-H is negligible today but it survived in nostalgia on a coin no longer in circulation, and the logo of a town in northern Israel.
    Consequently, the theorists’ claim that this letter was “very sacred,” and in the Hebrew language of the BC period is inaccurate. Not until the modern Hebrew alphabet do we find such a letter.
Left: Early appearance of the letter; Center: Aramaic; Right: Today’s use of this letter in its block form 
Block letters are the most ancient of forms, based closely on (and including) the Ktav Ashurit, the calligraphic letters of the Torah and other sacred books. This is the most common form of printed Hebrew today.
    In addition, Shin is one of seven letters of the alphabet that uses special crowns (tagin) when written in a Sefer Torah on a torah scroll on which these characters are used, and must meet extremely strict standings of production. The scrolls are stored in the holiest spot within a synagogue, the Torah ark. However, this one letter, even with crowns, has no special significance other than its normal meaning, which represents “two front teeth” and means “sharp, press, eat, or two.”
    Normally, this Hebrew Shin is the 21st letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Shin, Hebrew Shin, Aramaic Shin, Syriac Shin, and Arabic Shin. It has changed considerably over time:
Shin has changed considerably over time. Its earliest use was somewhat like a “W” from a drawing of two front teeth. Over time the image changed and eventually looks like (Bottom Right) this today 

Since the image was originally used for the “s” or “sh” sound in Hebrew, there is nothing particular sacred about Shin. Its sound value is a voiceless sibilant (hiss). While the letter initially was used for the letter “S” in Hebrew, it was included to make ten around the Babylonian Aramaic period. In addition, the letter or character meant “something” in Arabic, as in “the unknown in algebraic equations.” 
    In all of this it should become quite clear that the image seen in a field in Ohio was not originally placed there by the hand of man, and certainly not by Hebrews, at least not until after 500 BC and likely not until after the beginning of the Modern Hebrew language period (1880 to present). If it was placed there during the BC period, it would have looked like a wide “W.”
    In addition, though never mentioned by these North American theorists, there are numerous markings in fields around the area and throughout Ohio that resemble specific things, but in each case they are simply where wild plants, trees, streams or roads are located.
These are just four of the many examples that can be shown from the Ohio area where markings appear on the landscape, but are not there as a design by man 

As an example, there is the Seip Mound Earthworks group located 14 miles southwest of Chillicothe and two miles east of Bainbridge on U.S. Route 50 in Ross County, and 36 miles due east of Fayetteville. It is clear that complexes like Seip Earthworks were not the result of a haphazard heaping of earth. The geometric shapes are precise in their symmetry. In fact, the design and dimensions of Seip Earthworks are so similar to four other complexes around the Chillicothe area that they all must have been the result of engineering plans produced by the same group of people. Baum, Frankfort, Works East, Liberty and Seip Earthworks are all comprised of a small circle, a large circle and a square. When early American archeologists Ephraim Squier and Edwin Davis mapped and measured these five earthwork complexes in the 1840’s, each square was the same size: 1,080 feet to a side, 27 acres. This impressive feat suggests that the Hopewell people had a common unit of measure 2,000 years ago. Also, the dimensions of the three shapes indicate that the Hopewell even understood mathematical relationships between circles and squares.
While there are hundreds of mounds built in Ohio, the major ones are along a corridor from Fayetteville to Newark in the south central and southwest portions of the state

The enormous reconstructed Seip mound in the center of the Earthwork’s great circle enclosure is the third largest burial mound the Hopewell are known to have built: 240’ by 160’ by 30‘ high. It covered the floors, fire pits and burials of two very large connected buildings with a small building between them. Among the beautiful artifacts found here by archeologists of the Ohio Historical Society in 1925 is the famous clay Seip Head effigy and an illustrative example of a decorated textile fragment that was preserved on a copper breastplate, both recovered from the Seip Mound, and now on display in the Ohio History Center in Columbus, Ohio. Also, between stacks of copper breast plates, some of the few intact samples of Hopewell cloth were discovered, preserved by the cooper salts that formed over the breastplates. Woven of milkweed fibers, the clothes were dyed to create patterns of circles and curves reminiscent of Hopewell earthworks.
    As large as the central mound is, it is only a small part of an enormous earthwork complex. Only the central mound has been fully restored. The remnants of the rest of the complex can be difficult to appreciate without a guide, but with some effort, clues to its glorious past can still be found there.
    Further away, about 122 miles to the northeast of Fayetteville is Newark, Ohio, where numerous marked fields can be found. In fact, between 1 - 400 A.D., southern Ohio witnessed an extraordinary blossoming of cultural development. Even though they did not live in villages or practice large scale agriculture, people of the Hopewell Culture made amazing advances in the fields of mathematics, engineering, art, trade and astronomy. However, why they built so many enormous ceremonial complexes in this area remains a mystery.
    There is no evidence that people lived within these earthworks. Rather, these huge architectural wonders appear to have been designed for large ritual gatherings. The timing of these special ceremonies was perhaps determined by astronomical cycles. Pilgrimages may have been made to these sacred enclosures by celebrants from far away.
    Thus we see that mounds throughout were basically burial mound and symbolic of ritual activities, not buildings or platforms for buildings, and certainly not defensive positions. In addition, the so-called artifacts of the region were limited to ceramic remains and not significant works of an advanced society. Finally, the so-called earthworks were not built enclosures nor signs of Hebrew alphabet. They were, obviously, the workings of an undeveloped people which inhabited the North American area.

1 comment:

  1. You can tell that the Heartland model so-called scholars are counting on the ignorance members in order to sell their theories. A simple check on the internet will reveal what the Hebrew alphabet looked like anciently when Nephi left Jerusalem. Even at that this letter doesn't look like modern Hebrew shin to me. It is really a stretch even to make that claim.

    This sounds like the so-called tree of life that was found in Mexico many years ago. The stone is called stele 5 if someone whats to look it up. Somebody in the Church made all of these far-out claims as to the interpretation of the tree. They could see Nephi and Lehi preaching to Laman and Lemuel and a number of other BOM themes. Then later real scholars examined the thing and it turned out that they were completely wrong about what it said. It became a great embarrassment to those who did the interpretation.

    Day will come when the same thing will happen to these Heartland folks. In fact, I think it's already happening as people become more aware of their outrageous claims.