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A Civilization Disappeared Deep in the Amambay, Paraguay?

Between 1975 and 1979, a group of Paraguayan military and former military personnel, together with academics from Argentina, ventured deep into the Amambay in search of what, according to the version of a German adventurer, would be the vestiges of a very ancient Viking fortress. This is the story of that unknown series of expeditions and their peculiar leader, the controversial French anthropologist Jacques de Mahieu.
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The Viking saga inspired veritable rivers of ink. From Scandinavia to Byzantium, passing through the North Sea, the Mediterranean, the British Isles, Sicily; southern, central, eastern and western Europe and Kievan Rus, among many other locations, that intrepid people of warriors and merchants took to the sea with such determination that they expanded their influence with the help of their fast longships.
But not everything was blood, fire and conquest; also discovery and colonization. The oldest records speak of names that reached the most remote points of the world known until then and to lands never seen before.

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Jacques de Mahieu, in the Tacuatí excavations
Thanks to the site of L'Anse aux Meadows, on the island of Newfoundland, (Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador), it is known that the Vikings arrived in America at least 500 years before Christopher Columbus and it is speculated that this would be Vinland (the land described in the fascinating sagas of Eric the Red and that of the Greenlanders).
It is impossible to know if these skilled navigators considered – or could – continue further south of the American continent, explore the coasts and look for a safe place to spend the winter, or perhaps settle, interact and mix with the local population.
In this sense, there are academics who venture to work on this last possibility and outline bold theories. One of these was the controversial Jacques de Mahieu, a staunch defender of the Viking presence in pre-Columbian America.

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Alleged runic inscriptions found on Guazú Hill

JACQUES DE MAHIEU
Jacques de Mahieu was born at the end of October 1915 in Marseille, France. It is known that during his youth he was involved with extreme right-wing movements and acted as an informant for the Vichy regime. Additionally, he fought against the Soviets in the service of Nazi Germany in the 33rd Charlemagne Volunteer SS Grenadier Division in the Waffen-SS.
As an –alleged– collaborator with the Nazis during the occupation, De Mahieu knew the risks of remaining in France and fled to Argentina shortly after the defeat of the Axis powers in World War II. The Frenchman took root in South American soil. He gained prestige and made a place for himself in the circles of anthropological studies in Buenos Aires, climbing positions until he reached the great university halls, enjoying an important reputation as a graduate in philosophy and a doctor in political sciences and economic sciences.
Our protagonist wrote at least half a dozen books about the alleged Viking adventures from the frozen wastelands of the north of the continent to the current border between Brazil and Paraguay.
To understand De Mahieu and the reasons that encouraged him to risk his life in the hot Paraguayan jungle and confront the entire conventional community of scientists, one must first understand the belief he professed.
De Mahieu mixed aristocratic and nationalist ideas, and focused his anthropological and sociological studies on the importance of race in history and culture. He was influenced by scientific racism and conceived theories “reinforced” with esotericism by embracing what related to the “Aryan race”, the cornerstone of Nazi mythology.
Likewise, he followed the theory of “Nordicism”, which is related to that of the “Aryan race” because the Nazis considered that the “Nordic race” (Vikings and their relatives) was the most superior branch of the “Aryan race” ( Herrenvolk).
Convinced of the great adventures that only members of the “Aryan race” could undertake, he soaked up the ability of the Vikings to reach, explore and conquer distant lands and looked for any evidence in these parts that would serve to highlight the greatness of the Vikings. “Aryans”.

FRITZ BERGER
Little is known about the German engineer Fritz Berger. In his fifties, obese and addicted to whiskey, Berger toured South America without settling anywhere. He was in Asunción during the Chaco War and provided “very good and loyal services” to the Paraguayan Army in command of one of the workshops where weapons captured from the Bolivian Army were reconditioned. After the war, he undertook the search for oil fields in the state of Paraná, Brazil, without much success.
His exploration took him to the border with Paraguay, where he “made discoveries of another nature” such as being “the largest runic complex in the world,” or what he believed were Viking runes.
Berger spent time with the natives, the oldest inhabitants of the area, and became obsessed with the runes when he was seduced by the stories of unimaginable treasures and vestiges of a disappeared, forgotten people, among versions that he collected from his talks with the aboriginal elders. .
“At that time there reigned in the region a powerful and wise king named Ipir. He was white and had a long blonde beard. With men of his race and with native warriors who were loyal to him, they lived in a large village located on the top of a hill. He had fearsome weapons and great wealth in gold and silver. One day, however, he was attacked by wild tribes and disappeared forever. This is what my father told me, who had heard it from his father,” noted De Mahieu. Berger recruited the then-major Marcial Samaniego, who immediately became interested in the oral traditions.

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Supposed entrance of the mound discovered in one of the hills
Samaniego was the head of the border detachment in those days. As an ethnography enthusiast, he was “very interested” in the supposed marks of Nordic origin that the German described to him. Thus, Berger, in 1941, “obtained from the Army the creation of the Geological and Archaeological Group (AGA), which hired him and where he worked hard and effectively.”
The engineer and Samaniego toured the region and found “inscriptions and drawings” on the rocks “that could not be attributed to the Indians” and other “numerous vestiges of a disappeared civilization.”
“Their sappers (from the Army, under the command of Samaniego) almost completely dismantled a hill on whose top was an imposing wall. No one, however, in Paraguay gave greater importance to the results obtained,” wrote De Mahieu.
The AGA ended up dissolved in 1945 and Fritz Berger, “discouraged and ill,” stayed in Amambay until the civil war of 1947, when he left Paraguay to die the following year in Dourados, Brazil.
According to De Mahieu, Berger did not stop talking about the “treasure of the White King” of Amambay until the end of his days, not without suspecting that “the Jesuits had already found it before.”
For his part, Samaniego used Berger's work to continue exploring, information that he later shared with Jacques de Mahieu.

FIRST EXPEDITION
At the beginning of 1975, De Mahieu had contacted “former Major Samaniego, already then Major General and Minister of National Defense of Paraguay,” who “did not hesitate to join the project.”
Samaniego received the delegation led by the Frenchman in his office and “deigned, in the course of a long audience, to give us indications as precise as they were prudent about the archaeological sites discovered 30 or so years earlier, and insisted on the role played , at that time, by Fritz Berger.”
De Mahieu assured the minister's support with a first collection of data, carried out two years earlier, in 1973, by his collaborators who "found on Guazú Hill a runic set of 61 characters already translated."
Samaniego revealed to De Mahieu the stories he kept from Berger and considered from the first moment that “Ipir was not a Guaraní name,” as he made an effort to link it with Futhark, the Norse language.
De Mahieu explains that the first expedition had as its main objective “to study the area and the accesses” and to understand “the purpose of the next stipulated expedition.” The team entered Cerro Corá led by Lieutenant Colonel Escobar, who already knew in advance the work carried out by the extinct AGA, 30 years before, and by the “almost blind Sergeant López.”
"Thanks to them we were able to locate the wall hill and the Aquidabán-Nigui wall, which was inside the National Park."

SECOND EXPEDITION
The second incursion to Cerro Corá took place between June and July 1976. On this occasion, the team was nourished by the participation of Professor Herman Munk, “runologist at the Institute of Human Sciences”, which De Mahieu directed in Buenos Aires. They were also joined by engineer Hansgeorg Bottcher, from the same university.
The group identified an alleged “wall” on one of the hills, because it had “a natural base,” but its slopes had “diverse characteristics that allow it to be differentiated into three groups.” According to De Mahieu, a geologist “confirmed that a phenomenon of this kind can only be the work of nature if it is a hard rock subjected to the action of glaciers,” which fueled the flame of curiosity.
“No geological movement could have broken the rock with the rigor of a geometer, nor carved sharp edges, nor respected the alignment of the blocks it would have produced,” he concluded.
Once the “wall” was located, De Mahieu marked the area. He was convinced that this formation was part of the ancient fortress of “Ipir, the White King,” about which Fritz Berger spoke so much to Minister Samaniego.
Without more provisions but with the enthusiasm of the first indications, the second expedition was set up with the firm hope of returning and excavating the alleged archaeological site.

THIRD EXPEDITION
For the third expedition, De Mahieu invited Paraguayan professor Vicente Pistilli, mathematician and engineer and director of the Paraguayan Institute of Human Sciences, who was fascinated by shedding some light on the pre-Columbian history of Paraguay.
Together, and with the consent of their companions, they launched the following hypothesis: "The 'wall' was part of a fortified enclosure whose other three sides were built with stakes, a procedure that the Vikings were not unaware of."
The group continued the search throughout the hill in question, finding caverns, walls and galleries full of drawings and marks, which De Mahieu "unequivocally" interpreted as being of "Aryan authorship" due to supposed representations of the Norse god ( Odin) and an amalgamation of mythological characters.
The sappers of the Paraguayan Army sent by Minister Samaniego worked tirelessly, revealing “indications of a mound that contained a true underground palace” in Yvyty Perõ, another of the sites that aroused great curiosity in the mission, since it would be the tomb. of “Ipir, the White King,” as Berger described.
At the end of the season, the team noted “great discoveries” such as “a tunnel” at the base of the “Murallón hill”, the same one that Berger, more than 30 years earlier, had already said he had located and through which De Mahieu kept the sappers “working as long as possible.”

THE "TUPAO CUE" OF TACUATÍ
The expedition left the forest and finally arrived at the town of Tacuatí. There, after a series of moves, De Mahieu and Pistilli obtained authorization to excavate the base of the church, which would have been built on, or with, the stones and parts of a much older temple, of supposed Viking inspiration, to which the locals referred to it as the Tupao Cue.
“The foundations are made of carved stone and, well, the remains of thick wooden pillars, almost petrified, can be seen, some of which we took back to Buenos Aires to study. The blocks, fitted without mortar, are carved with a precision that involves the use of metal tools. Thus, alignments of thick boulders can be seen, one of which bore the sign that corresponds to the runic gebo (g). According to various testimonies, the base would have been larger if it had not been for the work of the locals, who over the years have removed the stones to build bread ovens.”
De Mahieu wrote that these indications would be difficult to refute, since “the Jesuits never settled in Tacuatí” and the remains of the Tupao Cue are not attributable to the natives, “who did not know how to work stone.”
“The wall we unearthed supported walls made of squared logs, in the Viking style, which explains the thick wooden pillars we excavated on the south side. “This is an indication of the Aryan origin of the Tupao Cue,” said De Mahieu.
De Mahieu closed his stay in Paraguay with a last visit to Minister Samaniego, with the corresponding report, and returned to Argentina along with his entire team. In the following years, he dedicated himself to classifying his discoveries, disseminating them through the Institute of Human Sciences of Buenos Aires. Some of the photographs that were taken during those days were included in the book “The Viking King of Paraguay (Hachette publishing house, 1979).
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By Gonzalo Caceres
Source: La Nacion (Asuncion, Paraguay) November 5, 2023

 
Vikings and Payaguas in Paraguay
In the middle of the century XX, I heard by oral tradition, that a woman Payagua died in Asunci6n, the last one representative of her ethnic, characterized to be canoeist, fishers, pirates, hard-workers, handicraftsmen, artists, merchants and prophesiers.
The anthropologists realized ethnographical and ethnological studies of the Payaguas, with the wrong idea that the European arrived to Paraguay recently in the century XVI, coming to the conclusion of the acculturation of the Hispanos about the Payaguas, in the century XVIII.
The knowledge, what I have about the Viking culture, allowed me to resolve these questions, by consulting the best bibliography.
Idiomatical code: The term Yga, applied to the ethnic, was already collected by the chronicler, reason for which it was necessary to study its origin, as its significance in Guaraniis aquatic transport.
I found many terms with the same significance in Nordic and Guarani, as kwnia, woman; but Yga resisted, so it was mentioned Drakar, esnakar, etc. Finally, I was visited by a Swedish traveller, who was interested in the Vikings of Paraguay; this opportunity permitted me to explore the popular Swedish language.
I mentioned to him various vocables of Guarani with the same significance in Swedish. Then I asked him about the aquatic transports and he responded: Drakar, esnakar, etc. I said to him: Tree and he wrote Ek, with the pronunciation Igk; then I said canoe and he wrote Ek-a, with the pronunciation Igk-a. I knew that a'a was water in Swedish, so I said to him: Tree to the water. In conclusion, canoe in Swedish and in Guarani had the same pronunciation.
Ethnics. It will be made a summary of the names and different characters of the Payaguas.
With reference to the name, according to Maria Miranda, the last one Payagua consulted by Max Schmidt, was Evo Evi, in the language of the genus Guaikuru.
With reference to the general name Payagua, it is of the origin Guarani-Vikings: Pa 'i, shaman; Jharl, the lord; gua, the suffix of the genitive. The meaning is: Leader of the shamans.
With reference to the particular names, appear: Aigas, Payaguas and Sarigues.
In the south, from Santa Fe to Corrientes, Ulrich Schmidel found them with the name Ayga: A, cumulative; Yga, canoe. The meaning is the ones with the big canoes of 7 meters of length and 70 cm of width, with the pointed fore and aft. In the centre, from Corrientes to Manduvira, with the name of Payagua.
In the north, from Manduvira to Fuerte Olimpo, with the name of Kadigue, which by the Spanish was changed to Sarigue.

The characters of this ethnic are:
-They were bellicose and pirates.
-They were known as the men of the river.
-They placed the defunct in a canoe and buried him on an island.
-They used the canoes as defense against the Spanish.
-They tricked their enemies, in hiding out between the camalotes (floating plants on the river) of the river.
-They were ceramicists, fabricating pots of burned mud.
Artisanry. They cultivated helpful activities, among them stick out:
-The ceramic, with pots in form of jars and beils of burned mud, with adornments at the borders, with handhold.
-The textile with double fibers, was used by the handcraft men, being origin of the north of Europe.
-The engraving and the engraving with fire of mates (pot of calabash), decorated with stripes of geometrical designs. In their drawings they designed meanders and spirals reaching much harmony on the base of the symmetry.
-It is very interesting to point out that the Payaguas lived in tepees, with temporarily settlements, giving the condition of seminomades. They did not use hammocks to sleep, they used mats (mat of vegetal fibers).​

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Ethnology. The investigators were impressed by the manufacture quality of these pipes. They intended applications from different points of view, always partially, in introducing contradictory elements, which resulted invalid, as we explain:
-The position of the investigators of the pipes is that they have the tendency to see them as gardens of the paradise of the Payaguas (biblical motives).
It is correct to suppose that the carving of the pipes were not products of the indigen art, admitting external influence. But to see biblical motives it is still more difficulty to admit, as cristian lamellas do not exist with this composition.
It is still more improbable to admit influence of the Guaranis or the Spanish over the indomitable Payaguas, as the Payaguas were not acculturated since the century XVI forward, as the chronics attest.
Supposing that the pipes were used by the leaders of the Payaguas under special circumstances, which were courtesies of other groups, it is to admit the lack of knowledge of these ritual customs, of high religious significance.
The proposal of Max Schmidt, to be the figurative homogeneity, a consecuence of the geometrical homogeneity, as the similarity of the meanders and spirals of the pipes of the Payaguas with the pipes of the Kaduveas, is the most consistent of all.
Others confuse the fabulous serpent of the pipes with the viper which fooled Adan and Eve. The stick of Tume was used in pre-Columbine America. The arrow which appears in the back part of Atli, is the runic "t", which significance is: energy, courage and protection in the battle. Atli used it in the fight against Gunner to avenge his sister Brunilda.
Exegesis. We are in the conditions to give a complete explication of the pipes, having avision of the Payaguan culture, thanks to certain cultural indicators, visualizing in more detail the ethnic group which influenced their acculturation, which we mention:
-There exist 10 testomonies of navigators of the river Parana, who were confronted with the Ygas.
-The canoes of the Payaguas had the pointed fore and aft.
-The Payaguas ubicated their dead people in canoes and they buried them on the islands.
-The meanders and spirals of the Payaguas are similar to the ones of the Kaduveos, who could influence in the Kadigues, what the Spanish changed into Sarigues.
-The Payaguas knew the textile with double fiber.
Finally there exist a tendency to considerate the possible influence of the Vikings, who arrived to Paraguay in the century XIII, being famous as Karios and lara settling in the oriental coast of the river Paraguay.
Taking as "hypothesis of the work" the possible influence of the Vikings we analyze the two pipes presentated by Karl von den Steinen, establishing a theory about the influence of the Vikings in the Payaguas, on the base of the artistic study of the pipes.
The carving of the pipes deserve a special topic, as they recreate legendary and mythical motives of the European Pre-Colombine cultures in Paraguay, with a technique which permits to intertlink figures without loosing their individuality, forming similar groups in the engraving at the cart of Oseberg and other sites of Scandinavia.
We will be describing the two pipes studied by the anthropologist von den Steinen, to consider it of high artistic level, remembering that those were used by the leaders on special occasions.
The small pipe. It is clearly a representation of Ragnarog, in the beginning of Ocaso of the gods, the end of the Nordic world
In the carving there are representated two mythical characters: The tree of the world, Iggdrasil, and the serpent of the world, Midgard.
Those two characters are accompanied by four natural characters: adeer, an armadillo and two plants of pindo, smaller than the tree of the world. Moreover, two strips as bands surround the cylinder, the geometrical form of the pipes.
The big pipe. It is a representation of the mythical nordic world before Ragnarog, in which apart of the Nibelunges legend is representated, when Atli, the brother of Brunilda, punished Gunner in the hole of the serpents to death.
The other caverns are the serpent Midgard, the tree Iggdrasil and other figures representating two occurrences of the Nordics: a dwarf Odin, creator of the runes, in the water fountains of the tree; Godi and Tume, fighting the priest Godi by the Nordic myths and the Christian priest in America, Tume, who faced the dwarf Odin, the Yasy Yatere of the Paraguayan siesta. (Snap)
In the upper part of the figure there differ two birds, which remind us to the two ravens of Odin: Hugin y Mugin, the thinking and the memory, which bring them the news of the world.
Note also that Tume has with him the typical stick of the bishops, still in PreColombine America.
A monkey, adeer, an armadillo and a centipede complete the group. Conclusion. The big development of the navigation and the art of the carving of wood and the decoration of mates, ethnographically it is only explicable by the acculturation of the ethnic of the Payagua.
We have detected two acculturations: The first with the Mbya-Guaranfes, when they navegated on the rivers of the north, affluents of the river Paraguay, to get wood of Timb6 for the fabrication of their canoes. The second one with the Vikings, who
formed two real different social classes: the ones of the ..Iharl and the on es of the subjects.
The Jharl, designers of the canoes assembled in advisory ceremonials, smoked in pipes made artistically, the Guaranf tobacco cultivated in red earth (hermatite) and the best COCA of the world, called by the Jesuits the dammed Yerba, which the historian confused with the Yerba Mate, the tea of Paraguay. The prepared subjects for work for continuance and interchange of the products, were ceramicists, weaver, engraver and shamans.
We certificate: The chronicler and ethnographers used selected terms to describe the development of the navigation and the arts of the Payaguas, although they could not identify their authors. But this, should not surprise us, since nowadays exist Scandinavians who do not know the history of the Vikings. Fortunately, I dedicated various years to the study of their culture and can confirm without any doubt something:
The disciples of the artists of Oseberg were in Paraguay.

Bibliography:
1. Schmidt, Max. Separata de la Revista dei Museo Paulista. San Paulo 1949
2.Azara, Descripci6n e Historia dei Paraguay y dei Rio de la Plata. Madrid 1847.
3.Boggiani,Guido. Compendio de Etnografia Paraguaya Moderna. Asunci6n 1900.
4.Guzman, Diaz deo Anales dei Descubrimiento, Poblaci6n y conquista dei Rio Plata. A.N.A. 1612
5.Metraux, Alfred. Etnography of de Chaco Washinton 1946.
6. SChmidel, Ulrich. Wahrharhaftiges. Historien. Noribergae 1602. 7.Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, Alvar. Comentarios. Asunci6n 1903.
8.D'Orbigny, Alcides. Voyages dans I'Amerique meridionale,... 1839.
9.Koch,Theodor: Der Paradiosgarden als Schnitmotiv dei Payagua Indianer. Globus Bol. 83,1903 N° 8.
10.Graty, Alfre M. Du: Republique du Paraguay. Leipsig Grand 1865

By Vicente Pistilli Statunato, Asuncón, Paraguay (February 27, 1933 - December 7, 2013) was a Paraguayan academic who was a professor at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción.

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Petroglyphs of the Amambay and Guairá Hills in Paraguay
Overview:

The petroglyphs of Amambay and Guairá Hills are in the north and center of the Eastern Region of Paraguay, in the south west of the amazon region. Specifically, in the Paraguayan departments of Amambay and Guairá.1 This area is characterized by several hills, forests, some low mountain ranges and valleys through which rivers and streams run.

Source:Macchi Roa, Ana Gabriela - Petroglyphs of the Amambay and Guairá Hills in Paraguay, Brandenburg University of Technology, 2021
 

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Viking Sprat in Paraguay
Abstract:

Research found a sprat in the city of clean, way to western Chaco of Paraguay. Determination of their authenticity and location of the device within the framework of the testimony of Paraguayan history. Sprat is Viking votive character, with inscriptions on the obverse and reverse of it. It is a bronze casting light, with little tin, by the way of it, belongs to the twelfth century, with runic inscriptions on FUTHAR 16 characters expressing religious formulas Nordic.​

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Source: Pistilli Statunato, Vicente - Viking Sprat, Asuncion, November 2010
 
Impressive Archaeological Find in San Ignacio, Misiones, Argentine

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After hearing rumors of a place with some type of ancient engraving in San Ignacio, a self-taught but above all curious resident of the city decided to delve deeper into the subject, he sought information by word of mouth and interviewed neighbors until he found someone who could take him. Once there, he was greatly surprised when he realized that there was much more than he expected to find. Through various investigations carried out with other important engraving sites in Argentina and also visiting archaeological sites in other parts of the world, it was immediately realized that due to the type of iconography, the natural erosion of the figures and the proximity to a watercourse, it should be cultural manifestations of ancient inhabitants of the region, even prior to the arrival of the Guaraní to these parts, despite this and despite the inaccessibility of the place, which can only be reached through water, the surprise turned into concern and urgent need to preserve the place since it found palpable signs of contemporary intrusion and acts of vandalism that forever affect this cultural heritage, so it was firmly proposed to reach the HCD (Deliberative Council) of San Ignacio with a study and presentation to request the immediate preservation of the space that comprise "the petroglyphs."
He then tried to investigate and look for some previous indication of bibliography where the place was at least named, which is how he came to an article from the year 2000 where he said: «In the Argentine Republic, Province of Corrientes, there are engravings on isolated rocks, on the shores of the Uruguay River in different regions -Yapeyú, etc. (Gradín, 1970; 2000; Carbajal, 1968; Jorge Rodríguez personal communication) -, as well as in the Municipality of San Ignacio, Province of Misiones. In this region, Gradín (Gradín & Ortiz, 2000:14.), documented 202 motifs, of which 35% comprise circular designs, many of them with a point in the center and 65% simple rectilinear and generally grouped. In the northeast of Paraguay, in Cerro Guazú, Department of Amambay, outcrops with rock engravings have also been located (Mahieu, 1972; 1975.) Ending there the reference to the archaeological site of San Ignacio. These types of "sites" are registered as rock manifestations or as part of a system that includes different traditions and that contain visual and narrative discourses, which within the cultural world that produced them, contain their own and defined languages.

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In this sense, petroglyphs can be treated as “events”, which through specific codes, acquire visual materiality and allude to the dialectic between men and things (Rocchietti, 2000:123). Within it and in its time, the social field is constituted in various ways: magic, survival, communication, play, language.
The characteristics and density of the testimonies located constitute, without a doubt, one of the most important discoveries in the prehistoric field, not only for Misiones, but for the region.
He continued his research in this way and after several months of searching he came to a piece of work carried out in the northern part of Uruguay, where part of the conclusion said: «The abundant lithic material recovered, in already excavated sites in the region that includes the northern Uruguay, the coast of Argentina and northeast Paraguay includes both instruments clearly related to the making of the engravings, as well as those of a general utilitarian nature, or remains from their production (cutting instruments, carving waste, etc.). The raw material used mainly includes silicified sandstone and, to a lesser extent, chalcedony.
No archaeological excavation was carried out at the petroglyph site of San Ignacio and all references are to visual surveys of the place, so it is impossible to date the discovery, however, the extreme similarity of some of the designs, with those of the “Engraved Plates” of Salto Grande, (Uruguay), added to the geographical proximity of the phenomenon, and where if possible the dating would allow us, in principle and until we have more precise data, relate both testimonies and bring it to a conclusion. antiquity of 4600 B.P.

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Later, in the journey of knowing more about these forms of cultural manifestation of our ancestors, he contacted archaeologists from CONICET with whom he had worked at a pre-Jesuit Guaraní site in Corpus (El Remanso), to organize a visit to the petroglyphs. , which was carried out in subsequent weeks and was again limited to a visual and topographical survey of the place, determining the existence of four plaques with the presence of engravings or petroglyphs, and estimating a total of 6,750 m2 covered by these figures carved in reddish sandstones of the Botucatú Formation (Gonzaga de Campos, 1889).
With all this baggage of information and once at the HCD of San Ignacio with the support and sponsorship of the then President of the HCD and today Mayor Mr. Javier Peralta, a presentation was carried out after which and after the pertinent steps the place like »Municipal Ecological and Archaeological Park».

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Without a doubt, it is a site of EXTREME CULTURAL IMPORTANCE, which deserves and needs special treatment by the Provincial State, since sites with rock art are non-renewable cultural resources, particularly sensitive to deterioration, due to their attractiveness and high exposure. . Besides of potential as a tourist spot, taking into account that the high risk that these properties suffer, both from anthropic and natural factors, requires urgent intervention, fundamentally for the protection of the site, and the design of specific dissemination and socialization policies through a excavation campaign carried out by Archaeologists and specialists in the subject, who from the beginning open their work to the community to fulfill one of the goals of all excavation, dissemination for historical and cultural appropriation, to create multipliers of knowledge and thus protect the pre-historic heritage (in this possible case).

BIBLIOGRAPHY
AUSTRAL, A. 1977. Arqueología de urgencia en el Yacimiento de Bañadero. Departamento de Salto. Uruguay. En: Seminario sobre Medio Ambiente y Represas. OEA. Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias. 2:3-20. Montevideo.
BROCHADO, J.P. & P. SCHMITZ. 1972-1973. Aleros y cuevas con petroglifos e industria lítica de la escarpa del planalto meridional, en Río Grande do Sul. En: Anales de Arqueología y tecnología, 17-18:39-66. Mendoza.
----- 1976. Petroglifos do estilo de pisadas no Rio Grande do Sul. En: Revista de Estudos Ibero-Americanos. 2 (1). Porto Alegre.
CABRERA PÉREZ, L. 2005. Investigaciones arqueológicas en sitios con ‘arte rupestre’ del departamento de Salto, Uruguay. En: XI Congreso Nacional de Arqueología Uruguaya. Salto. Uruguay. (En prensa.)
CASTELLANOS, A. 1974. Uruguay Monumentos Históricos y Arqueológicos. Instituto Panamericano de Geografía e Historia. Publicación 337: 3-20, México.
CARBAJAL, R. 1968. Hallazgo arqueológico en Yapeyú, Corrientes. En: La Prensa. Buenos Aires, 11 de agosto.
CONSENS, M. 1985. Arte rupestre en el Uruguay. En: Estado actual de las Investigaciones arqueológicas en el Uruguay (Parte 1). Centro de Estudios arqueológicos, nº 3:62-69. Montevideo.
----- 1995. Evaluación de un sitio con grabados rupestres H.TA. CRI. Colonia Rubio, Salto . Uruguay. Arqueología en el Uruguay. VIII Congreso Nacional Arqueología Uruguaya. Consens; López & Curbelo (eds), pp. 172-181.. Montevideo.
----- 1998. Nueva aproximación al arte rupestre de la Cuenca del Río de la Plata. En: SIARB - Sociedad de Investigación del Arte Rupestre de Bolivia Boletín nº 12:18-25. La Paz.
FEMENINAS, J. 1985-87. Las piedras grabadas de la región de Salto Grande (Uruguay y Argentina). En: Comunicaciones Antropológicas del Museo de Historia Natural de Montevideo, 1(11):1-34. y 2(12): 1-15. Montevideo.
-----; J. BAEZA & A. FLORINES. 2004. Los petroglifos de Barriga Negra. Grabados al Sur del Río Negro (Uruguay). En: La Arqueología uruguaya ante los desafíos del Nuevo Siglo. X Congreso de Arqueología Uruguaya. (Edición Digital) Montevideo.
FIGUEIRA, J.J. 1956. El petroglifo de la costa del río Cuareim, en el Dpto. de Artigas (Rca. Oriental del Uruguay). En: Proceedings of the Thirty-second International Congress of Americanists. Pp. 382-387. Copenhagen.
----- 1968. El arte rupestre indígena en la costa del Cuareim . Artigas. La tierra. El hombre. Revelación y Destino. Ed. Minas, Montevideo.
----- 1972. Pictografías o Petroglifos en el Territorio Uruguayo. Almanaque del Banco de Seguros del Estado, 57:74-81. Montevideo.
GARCÍA AZCÁRATE, J. 2000. Símbolos, piedras y espacios: una experiencia semiológica. En: PODESTÁ, M.M. & M. de HOYOS (Eds.) 2000. Arte en las Rocas. Arte Rupestre, menhires y piedras de colores en Argentina. Sociedad Argentina de Antropología. Pp.73-81. Buenos Aires.
GUIDON, N. 1989. Misión de Rescate Arqueológico Salto Grande. Ministerio de Educación y Cultura. Montevideo.
GRADIN,C.J. 1970. Pictographs and petroglyphs in Argentina a preliminary report. En: Actes du symposium internacional de l’art prehistorique. Valcamonica Symposium, pp.423-441. Capo di Ponte (Italia).
----- & P.R. ORTIZ. 2000. Hallazgo de los primeros grabados rupestres en la provincia de Misiones. En: PODESTÁ, M.M. & M. de HOYOS (Eds.) 2000. Arte en las Rocas. Arte Rupestre, menhires y piedras de colores en Argentina. Sociedad Argentina de Antropología. Pp. 11-14. Buenos Aires
MAHIEU, J.M. de, 1972. Las inscripciones rúnicas precolombinas del Paraguay. Instituto de Ciencias del Hombre. Buenos Aires.
----- 1975. Las inscripciones rúnicas precolombinas del Paraguay. (Complemento: Cerro Guazu). Instituto de Ciencias del Hombre. Buenos Aires.
MENTZ RIBEIRO, P.A. 1974. Os petroglifos de Cerro Alegre, Santa Cruz do Sul., RS. Brasil. (Nota Prévia). En: Revista do CEPA 1:2-15. Santa Cruz do sul.
----- 1978. A arte rupestre no sul do Brasil. En: Revista do CEPA 7:1-27. Santa Cruz do sul.
----- & J. SOLOVIY FERIS.1984. Sítios com petróglifos na campanha do Sul, Brasil. En: Revista do CEPA 11(13):7-32. Santa Cruz do sul.
MILLER, E. 1974. Pesquisas arqueologicas em abrigos sob-rocha no NE. do Rio Grande do Sul. En: PRONAPA, Museu Paraense E. Goeldi, Publicaçoes Avulsas, 26:11-24.
MINISTERIO DE EDUCACIÓN Y CULTURA. 1987. Misión de Rescate Arqueológico de Salto Grande. Montevideo.
SCOTT, R. 1978. Fundamentos del diseño. Buenos Aires.
ROCCHIETTI, A.M. 2000. Arte Rupestre de la Sierra de Comechingones (Córdoba). Síntesis Regional. En: PODESTÁ, M.M. & M. de HOYOS (Eds.) 2000. Arte en las Rocas. Arte Rupestre, menhires y piedras de colores en Argentina. Sociedad Argentina de Antropología. Pp. 121-128. Buenos Aires.
WAINWRIGHT, I. 1995. Conservación y registro de pinturas rupestres y petroglifos en Canadá. En: M. Strecker & F. Taboada Tellez (ed.) Administración y conservación de sitios de arte rupestre. Pp. 52-81.

Credit: Fabian Conil, News Agency Guacurari, San Ignacio Misiones, November 16, 2020
 
The Phoenician Inscription from Brazil.
Overview:

Nearly a century ago, in 1874, Dr. Ladislau de Souza Mello Neto , the youthful director of the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, published in a preliminary announcement the copy of an inscription in Phoenician supposedly found at a place called Pouso Alto near the Paraíba river in northeastern Brazil . The text recorded (as we might anticipate in a Phoenician inscription from Brazil) the sensational story of Sidonians circling Africa from the biblical port of Eziongeber, and in the case of one ship, being blown off course to land on the distant shore of the new world at least two millennia before the better-known journeys of Columbus and Cabral.
Source: Cross, Frank Moore. “The Phoenician Inscription from Brazil. A Nineteenth-Century Forgery.” Orientalia, vol. 37, no. 4, 1968, pp. 437–60
 

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"The Guayakí,” adds Professor Pistilli, “are linked to an Aryan-type population, whose presence in the highlands, centuries before the Discovery, was proven by no less than three hundred blonde mummies found in Paracas and other places in Peru. We believe that the Incas were Vikings.”

The DNA evidence would be sufficient to verify the early Nordic colonies, surely..?
 
"The Guayakí,” adds Professor Pistilli, “are linked to an Aryan-type population, whose presence in the highlands, centuries before the Discovery, was proven by no less than three hundred blonde mummies found in Paracas and other places in Peru. We believe that the Incas were Vikings.”

The DNA evidence would be sufficient to verify the early Nordic colonies, surely..?
More in-depth studies would probably be needed. The Guayaquies tribe is doubtfully pure and there have certainly been mixtures with other races. In my opinion it is too complex to prove Pistrilli's hypothesis. The same thing has happened to me when trying to find traces of Vikings among the Comechingones of the province of Cordoba, despite having covered a lot of kilometers. We only know from some chroniclers from the time of the Spanish conquest that they had abundant beards and that there were many of them who had green eyes.
 
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The Canaanite Text from Brazil
Overview:

The means for probing the authenticity of this inscription hinge on the fact that many Canaanite and other closely related Semitic texts have been discovered during the ninety-six years that have passed since September 11, 1872, when the Brazil text first appear

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Source: Gordon, Cyrus H. “The Canaanite Text from Brazil.” Orientalia, vol. 37, no. 4, 1968, pp. 425–36.
 

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Canaanites in America: A New Scripture in Stone?
Overview:

Did the biblical world of the Canaanites extend to America? Do mysterious tablets from the Western Hemisphere represent a scripture in stone more important than the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls? The great controversy is with us again, and a review of the evidence explains why experts conclude that every alleged Canaanite-Phoenician inscription in the New World is either misidentified or a fraud.

Source: McKusick, Marshall. “Canaanites in America: A New Scripture in Stone?” The Biblical Archaeologist, vol. 42, no. 3, 1979, pp. 137–40
 

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More in-depth studies would probably be needed. The Guayaquies tribe is doubtfully pure and there have certainly been mixtures with other races. In my opinion it is too complex to prove Pistrilli's hypothesis. The same thing has happened to me when trying to find traces of Vikings among the Comechingones of the province of Cordoba, despite having covered a lot of kilometers. We only know from some chroniclers from the time of the Spanish conquest that they had abundant beards and that there were many of them who had green eyes.
G'day Fabio, I am English by birth with a DNA reading of 31% Irish, 16%Scottish, 39% English, with the remaining 14% being Norway, Faroe Islands and Iceland. We have the 'Dupreytens Contracture in every generation on my Mum's side

It is obvious where my origins lay, so why so hesitant when genetic evidence is, nowadays, so attainable? Lets go ahead and test these remains.

Another point which comes to my mind is that we know that the Vikings were great seafarers, But Peru indicates a journey of the length of the Americas, with another fairly lengthy journey along the western coast of the Americas to Peru.

I may be naive Fabio, but finding Nordic DNA would verify a monumental journey with the rounding of Cape Hope.

Is this testing possible?
 
G'day Fabio, I am English by birth with a DNA reading of 31% Irish, 16%Scottish, 39% English, with the remaining 14% being Norway, Faroe Islands and Iceland. We have the 'Dupreytens Contracture in every generation on my Mum's side

It is obvious where my origins lay, so why so hesitant when genetic evidence is, nowadays, so attainable? Lets go ahead and test these remains.

Another point which comes to my mind is that we know that the Vikings were great seafarers, But Peru indicates a journey of the length of the Americas, with another fairly lengthy journey along the western coast of the Americas to Peru.

I may be naive Fabio, but finding Nordic DNA would verify a monumental journey with the rounding of Cape Hope.

Is this testing possible?
Well, your considerations are applicable to developed countries. You should know that in the countries that make up South America the possibilities of such studies are quite difficult. On the other hand, the members of the races supposedly linked to the Nordics are dispersed, many of them, hidden, for centuries due to the persecution and discrimination to which they have been subjected. I'm 25% Spanish, 50% Italian and 25% native American. The surnames of the natives were often changed when recorded or distorted because the scribes did not understand the native languages.
Regarding the possibility of the arrival of Nordics to South America and their subsequent dispersion in the continental territory, I tell you that there are perfectly navigable rivers, even more so a thousand years ago, such as, for example, the Amazon, Orinoco, River de la Plata and Paraná, the which could have been used to travel the continent on the Drakkars. In fact there is a book by the author Jacques de Mahieu called "Drakkares in the Amazon"

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Complementing the studies in Paraguay and Peru, I have carried out research in the province of Cordoba where the Comechingones natives lived. I have made two trips with a descendant of that ethnic group, trying to discover traces of the supposed link with the Vikings.
The first studies originated in the 40s of the last century and a well-known article is the one represented by the image I include.
1714696909334.png


I was able to discover in the libraries that the Comechingones had the Nordic custom of using saunas that they built in stone in a semi-subterranean way as their houses. I have managed to put together the little existing bibliography on the matter in complete form.
 

Phoenicians in Brazil?

Distinguished linguist examines controversial inscription supposedly written by ancient voyagers to the New World.

Of the recurring, often bizarre attempts to find ancient Semitic inscriptions in the western hemisphere, the most prominent and frequently cited concerns the so-called Paraiba inscription from Brazil.

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The Paraiba inscription is said to be a Phoenician inscription carved in stone and found in northeastern Brazil in 1872.

After raising a minor stir in the 1870’s, the Paraiba inscription was almost forgotten—until another copy of the inscription was publicized in the 1960’s by Professor Cyrus Gordon, then of Brandeis University and now at New York University. Based on this newly found copy, Gordon, in 1968, published an article declaring the inscription to be authentic. In a three-column headline, the New York Times declared “Phoenicia Linked to America.”

The contents of the inscription are remarkable—although a skeptic might suggest that it is precisely what we should expect from a Phoenician inscription found in Brazil!

The text recites the story of ten Phoenician ships manned by Sidonians that sailed from Ezion-Geber, down the Red Sea, around the southern tip of Africa, and then headed north, presumably with the intention of sailing through the strait of Gibraltar, into the Mediterranean Sea and then to Phoenicia on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. Off the coast of Africa, however, one of the ships was separated by a storm and was eventually cast “on this distant shore.” On board were twelve men and three women.


According to Professor Gordon, the Paraiba inscription contains linguistic features which were unattested in Phoenician until after the Paraiba inscription was published. Unless the purported forger could have anticipated these recent discoveries, the inscription must be authentic, Gordon argues.

The Paraiba inscription was first brought to public attention in a preliminary announcement in 1874 by Ladislau Neto. Dr. Neto, who was director of the National Museum in Rio de Janeiro, had been given the inscription by Candido Viana, the head of Brazil’s most prestigious academy, The Brazilian Institute for History and Geography. Viana commissioned Neto to study and publish the inscription. Neto’s preliminary announcement in 1874 was intended to alert the scholarly world to the inscription’s existence.


Neto promptly set about investigating the source of the inscription. Viana had received the inscription in a letter which stated that the original inscription, carved on a stone, had been discovered in 1872 by a plantation slave in Pouso Alto, a village near the Paraiba River in northeastern Brazil. The copy of the inscription contained in the letter was said to have been made by the son of the plantation owner, who was apparently a skillful draftsman. The letter to Viana was signed Antonio Alves da Costa.

Despite tireless efforts, Neto was never able to locate or even to identify Senor da Costa. In short, the trail ends with da Costa. No one has ever seen the original Paraiba inscription, or even its find spot.

When every effort to identify da Costa failed, Neto repudiated the inscription as a hoax and never gave it formal publication.

However, Konstantin Schlottmann published a facsimile of Neto’s copy in 1874, and, although he argued for its authenticity, the inscription was then more or less forgotten. Mark Lidzbarski, the first fully competent epigraphist to deal with the inscription, dismissed it in his Handbook of Northwest Semitic Epigraphy (1898) as an obvious forgery.

The long-discredited hoax was given a new life, however, at a benefit sale for a women’s college. Dr. Jules Piccus of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst was browsing through odd items, and noticed an interesting-looking scrapbook which on examination turned out to have belonged to Wilburforce Eames who, at the end of the last century, was head of the New York Public Library. Piccus bought the scrapbook for a dime or a quarter. He can’t remember which.

When he got the scrapbook home, Piccus discovered in it a letter from Neto to Eames which contained a transcription Neto had made of the Paraiba inscription.

Piccus sent a Xeroxed copy to Gordon in November, 1967. Gordon proceeded to declare the almost-forgotten inscription genuine.

Since that time, it has been a principal crutch of those who argue that the ancient Semites sailed across the ocean and reached the western hemisphere long before Columbus. Indeed, Gordon goes so far as to suggest that “the excesses in human sacrifice in Pre-Columbian America (that went to unbelievable extremes among the Aztecs) may reflect the zeal of converts to Phoenicianism,” who presumably brought the practice of human sacrifice to western shores in the voyage described in the Paraiba inscription.


Our understanding of Phoenician and related Semitic languages has increased enormously in the past 100 years. It would be surprising if a modern scholar in control of these materials were unable to detect a Phoenician forgery of a hundred years ago. In fact, recent scholarship provides abundant evidence that the Paraiba inscription is a forgery.

Naturally much of this evidence is technical and requires an understanding of several specialized disciplines.

But it is possible to give the lay reader an understanding of these scholarly tools and the way they are used to detect a forgery. We can also share with the reader some examples of the kind of evidence which establishes the forgery of the Paraiba inscription.

We have already mentioned the fact that no scholar has ever seen the Paraiba inscription, and its absence has never been satisfactorily explained. Nor has the man who brought the alleged inscription to the scholarly world—Senor da Costa—ever been identified. Another suspicious circumstance is the fact that every letter is clear in Neto’s copy. We must suppose—if the inscription is authentic—that the original is in a perfect state of preservation and that the draftsman who copied it was either knowledgeable in Phoenician or had magical powers. In the real world of Semitic inscriptions this virtually never happens—especially in an inscription of this length. These facts, however, only make us suspicious; they do not prove the case. We shall soon turn to some hard evidence. But first, some background.

The scholar’s aim is to understand an ancient civilization. At the outset, however, he must separate his materials into chronological periods, lest he use material applicable to one period in order to understand another. (See Paul Lapp’s excellent article on “The Importance of Dating,” BAR 03:01.) That is why dating is so important a part of the scholar’s endeavor.

Fortunately, almost all cultural artifacts develop and change over time. This is as true of ancient inscriptions as it is of medieval armor. As scholars learn more and more about a particular kind of cultural artifact, they can arrange the examples in a chronological sequence based on certain changes in tell-tale characteristics, thereby dating the artifacts relatively, or relative to one another. Eventually, the sequence is dated absolutely; that is; to a particular time period rather than solely in relation to other artifacts in the chronological sequence. These sequences are the basis for typologies which are used for dating purposes.

In Near Eastern archaeology, the most important typology is ceramic typology—pottery. With the development of ceramic typologies—first relative typologies and then absolute typologies—archaeologists have been able to date excavation levels on the basis of ever-present and indestructible potsherds. From a so-called diagnostic sherd—a rim, base or handle—a modern archaeologist is often able to reconstruct the entire vessel and, from this, to date it.



Similarly, modern scholars have learned to date ancient Semitic inscriptions. As the ceramicist looks at the nature of the ware, the decoration, the shape, the lip on the rim, or the height of the base, the expert in Semitic inscriptions looks at the shape of the letter (paleography), the spelling of the words (orthography) and the structure of the language (linguistics).

Each of these disciplines is a highly developed specialty with its own typologies capable of dating an ancient inscription. Moreover, each of these disciplines, especially paleography and orthography, was at a very rudimentary stage in the 1870’s when the Paraiba inscription was supposed to have been discovered.

As a result, the forger of the Paraiba inscription—using 19th century scholarship—made terrible blunders in each of these areas, mixing characteristics from different periods in an impossible fashion.

Semitic paleography has been placed on a sound scientific basis only in the last quarter of a century. The shape of the letters (each of the letters develops separately), their stance (the slant of the letters), the kind of pen that was used and the way the pen was held, whether the letters were written above or below an imaginary (or real) line, how thick the strokes are (shading)—each of these tell-tale characteristics change with the passage of time and enable today’s paleographer to date an inscription.

The failure of the Paraiba forger to utilize these characteristics in a consistent manner immediately reveals his fraudulent credentials.

Some letters in the Paraiba inscription (alef) would indicate that the inscription dated from the ninth century B.C., other letters (yod) from the eighth or seventh centuries B.C., still others (he, tsade, and qof) from somewhere between the eighth and sixth centuries B.C., and others (bet, dalet, kaf, mem, samek, taw) from the fourth century or later. The form of the lamed can be found no earlier than the first century B.C.

The Paraiba inscription thus presents us with an impossible mixture of letter forms from various periods, covering a span of time 800 years long.

It is not difficult to detect the source of the forger’s errors.

The basic decipherment of Phoenician was the accomplishment of the great Hebrew grammarian Wilhelm Gesenius (1786–1842). His book on Phoenician inscriptions includes a so-called script chart, that is, a chart giving examples of the forms of Phoenician letters from the inscriptions Gesenius studied. In the nineteenth century, two other scholars, Auguste Celestin Judas and Francois Bourgade, brought Gesenius’ work forward and made script charts of their own, based principally on Gesenius.


Although grounded in the best scholarship of their day, these nineteenth century script charts are useless to a paleographer today. The nineteenth century script charts are based on hand copies of the original inscriptions; accordingly, they are less accurate than modern copies of these same inscriptions. (Modern copies of inscriptions are traced from photographs and even the tracings are corrected on the basis of observed paleographic details in the original.) Scarcely a letter in these nineteenth century script charts would be considered accurate by today’s standards. One common characteristic, apparently repeated by Judas and Bourgade from their use of Gesenius, is that almost all the letters are squatter than they are in the originals.

Another reason these script charts are paleographically useless to the modern scholar is that the charts were not made to disclose diagnostic characteristics. Thus, the examples of each letter were arranged vertically so that it is impossible to observe the height of one letter relative to another. Similarly, no attention was paid to stance or shading. Finally, no attempt was made to arrange the letters in the script charts in any chronological order. Phoenician letters were simply Phoenician letters.

Many of the letters in the Paraiba inscription have paleographic features which cannot be found in any Phoenician inscription; the closest parallels are to the 19th century script charts—where the forger obviously got them.

Frequently, letters in the Paraiba inscription are in the wrong stance. The same error is found in the script charts, whose makers, like the forger of the Paraiba inscription, saw no significance to letter stance. Thus the Paraiba qof leans strongly to the right. There is no parallel to this in Phoenician inscriptions. It is, however, the stance of the qof in the script charts of Gesenius and Judas.

Professor Gordon, in his analysis of the inscription, tells us only that “The script is Sidonian, close to the Eshmunazar inscription (N.B. the shin) of the early fifth century B.C. However, the zayin and yod are more archaic and suggest a sixth-century date.” This is the sum total of his paleographic analysis. In response to my detailed paleographical analogies, Gordon has stated only that different scholars vary in their dating and that I present an excessively precise picture. It is true that judgments among competent scholars may vary somewhat, but nothing like the eight centuries represented in the letters in the Paraiba inscription.

Orthographic features (spelling) of the Paraiba inscription also betray the forger.

For the most part, Semitic alphabets consist solely of consonants. Sometimes, however, certain consonants are used as vowel markers. When so used, these consonants (he, waw, and yod) are called matres lectionis (singular: mater lectionis). This Latin phrase, meaning “mother of reading,” accurately suggests that these usages were the first rudimentary efforts at vowel signs.

Conscious use of matres lectionis appears very late in Phoenician—not until the third century B.C., and then sporadically. But the Paraiba inscription, which Gordon dates to the sixth century B.C., is full of matres lectionis.

How did the forger happen to make this error? The reason is simple. In the nineteenth century, the preponderance of Phoenician inscriptions were from the late Punic period (third century B.C. and later) at which time the use of matres lectionis was common. In addition, when the Paraiba forger wanted to use a word in his “Phoenician” inscription, he went to Hebrew inscriptions. Matres lectionis appear in Hebrew much earlier than in Phoenician—as early as the ninth century B.C. when, for example, –y, –w, and –h are used to mark final long vowels: –i, –u, –a. We find some spelling in the Paraiba inscription that might be characteristic of a sixth century Hebrew inscription but not, as we now know, a sixth century Phoenician inscription.

This is not the only orthographic error by which the forger trapped himself. In general, the orthography of the Paraiba inscription is an impossible potpourri. On one extreme, it is classic Phoenician (eleventh to fourth centuries B.C.); on the other, it is neo-Punic (after 146 B.C.). Mixed in are Hebrew spellings which do not occur before the fourth century B.C.

Thus from the orthographic viewpoint, the Paraiba inscription represents no one period either in Phoenician or in Hebrew. It is impossible to place in the tenth century, the sixth century or in the Roman era. The only explanation of this combination of styles and periods is that it was written in the nineteenth century of our own era.

Finally, today we know more about the Phoenician language itself than we did 100 years ago. We know much the Paraiba forger did not know.

For example, in ancient Semitic languages, there is something called a consecutive or conversive verb form. When a verb is used with the particle, the tense of the verb changes. This verb form disappeared in Phoenicia by the tenth century B.C. The Paraiba forger knows this verb form from the Hebrew, where it persisted much longer. But finding conversive verbs in a sixth-century Phoenician text is like finding a Chaucerian word in a twentieth century newspaper.

These are examples of the myriad ways that the Paraiba forger has unwittingly revealed himself. Perhaps it would be possible to question or explain one or two of these tell-tale signs. It is true that all of the disciplines involved—paleography, orthography, and linguistics—involve delicate judgments. Applying these principles is at times as much an art as a science. But the cumulative effect of the Paraiba forger’s blunders is devastating. Under the cold light of modern scholarship, the Paraiba inscription is a plain fraud.

But what of Gordon’s claim that the Paraiba inscription anticipates advances in our knowledge of Phoenician which were unattested when the Paraiba inscription was first published?

This is simply not true. Everything in the inscription was available to the forger in nineteenth century handbooks or from uninspired guesses based on these easily available sources.



For example, Gordon tells us that the singular mt is used for “man” in the Paraiba inscription and this form was not known until 1933 when a Ugaritic text with mt meaning “man” in Canaanite was first published. Although mt meaning “man” was first found in 1933 in an Ugaritic inscription, mt (“handmaid”, derived from mt, but misunderstood) was well known in Punic. Nineteenth century scholars misunderstood the form and incorrectly derived it from Biblical mty “men,” a frozen plural. The nineteenth century Phoenician handbooks thus naively list the form mt with the meaning “man” in their glossaries of Phoenician words. All the forger had to do to get the “Phoenician” word mt was look in these nineteenth century glossaries. The glossaries were wrong, but the forger is simply reflecting the errors of his era.

Each of Gordon’s examples is explainable in a similar way although the explanation is often even more complex and sometimes requires technical knowledge of the languages involved to understand. But it is clear that the Paraiba does not contain anything which would be unexpected in 1872.

To conclude that the Paraiba inscription is a forgery is easy. The more difficult question is to identify the forger and his motive.

My own guess is that it was done by a scholar who was either ousted from a position or passed over by Viana or Neto—in short, a case of academic enmity. The aim was perhaps to embarrass one or both of them—or to simply send them on a wild goose chase. The forger may have succeeded: It was only after several years of work that Neto repudiated the inscription.

That the forger chose this means to “get even” with his academic enemies was quite expectable in the 1870’s. Indeed, it was the season of monumental forgeries: a period of spectacular discoveries is often followed by a period of imitative forgeries.

The same thing happened following the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. I myself have seen documents in Palaeo-Hebrew and in square Hebrew (properly Jewish) letters, as well as in other esoteric scripts, which were being peddled on the “scroll market” in Jerusalem—all transparent frauds.

The same thing happened in the 1870’s—after the discovery in 1870 of the spectacular Mesha Stele (or Moabite Stone, as it is sometimes called), and in 1871 of the equally spectacular Temple Stele. The Temple Stele is a fragment of the inscription from the gate of the Inner Court of Herod’s Temple, barring entry to Gentiles. As reconstructed the inscription reads: “No Gentile shall enter the fence and barrier around the Holy Place. Whoever is caught (inside) will be responsible for (his own) death.” (A second and adjoining fragment of this inscription was found in 1935.)

The Mesha Stele is a black basalt stele four feet high and two feet wide erected by Mesha, king of Moab to commemorate his successful rebellion against Israel in about 830 B.C. The incident is otherwise recorded only in the Bible itself (2 Kings 3:4ff.).

Spectacular finds like these were followed by equally spectacular forgeries. The most famous of the 1870’s and 1880’s was the so-called Shapira texts—15 strips of parchment about 3 ½ inches by 7 inches which appeared to contain a variant version of parts of Deuteronomy—in a script naturally similar to the ninth century B.C. Mesha Stele. But there were many other forgeries of the period. One of these others was the Paraiba inscription!

Source: Cross, Frank Moore - Phoenicians in Brazil, Biblical Archaeology Review, Vol. V, Nº1, January/February 1979
 
The Authenticity of the Phoenician Text from Parahyba, Brazil
Overview:

Professor Jules Piccus of the University of Massachusetts acquired a scrap-book containing a letter from L,adislau Netto to Wilberforce Eames about the Phoenician inscription from Parahyba, Brazil. Netto made a copy in his own hand and enclosed it with the letter he wrote on January 31, 1874. The envelope has three postmarks: Rio de Janeiro on that date; Liverpool on February 27, 1874; and finally New York on March 12 when it was delivered to Eames. On November 22, 1967, Piccus sent me a xeroxed copy of the scrap-book with a request for my opinion on the authenticity of the text.

Source: Gordon, Cyrus H. “The Authenticity of the Phoenician Text from Parahyba.” Orientalia, vol. 37, no. 1, 1968, pp. 75–80
 

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Possible Viking Traces in Peru

A mysterious tribe of giants, who are said to be blonde, once again made the boom in sensational, often frustrated, archaeological discoveries fashionable in Peru.


A Franco-Peruvian expedition of seven people entered the jungle of the department of Madre de Dios, southeast of Lima, in search of a tribe of giants measuring more than two meters, after finding footprints more than fifty centimeters long.
These giants, who a few years ago "appeared" in the jungles of the northern department of San Martín, kidnapping women near the lost city of Pajaten, seem to have now moved to the jungle of Madre de Dios.
It is also said that the giants of that place are related to the legend of blond men of great stature, who could be descendants of the Vikings who remained anchored in Peru centuries ago.
The existence of the bold navigators of ancient times was promoted by the Frenchman Jacques de Mahieu, in two books, about their presence in America.
The Vikings reached North America, which seems proven, and then they descended to Yucatán and from there they went to South America. The bearded white gods, Queztalcoatl and Viracocha, of Mexico and Peru, would thus descend from the memory of those Vikings.
According to Jacques de Mahieu, the Northmen or Normans also sailed up the Amazon in their ships, the longships, to the Amazon jungle.
Always according to that version and other authors such as Pierre Carnac, the Vikings were kings of the enigmatic civilization of Tiahuanaco, in the Peruvian-Bolivian highlands, and Inca emperors until they were expelled and possibly exterminated.

Source: El Pais (Lima, Peru), August 20, 1979, quoting EFE Agency.
 
Ancient Writing in the Americas
Overview:

After approximately 140 years, public and scholarly opinion are finally beginning to concede the possibility that writing did indeed exist among the ancient Americans. While I have been waiting for this shift to occur among those who don't have the Mormons' axe to grind, I have been collecting every available evidence to support my belief in the existence of such writing. My own findings and the findings of others not only establish the fact that writing did exist in ancient America, but they also indicate that metal plates were frequently used as a medium for this writing and that the writings themselves often denote Old World, specifically Hebrew, origins.

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Source: Cheesman, Paul R. “Ancient Writing in the Americas.” Brigham Young University Studies, vol. 13, no. 1, 1972, pp. 80–90
 

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Rock Art in the Peruaçu River Valley, Brazil
Abstract:

The research on the rock art of the Rio Peruaçu valley (northern Minas Gerais State, Brazil) has revealed the existence of a rich variety of themes and styles on the several decorated rock walls in a monumental karst landscape. First, we established a detailed
framework of the thematic groups and ways of representation, which show eight consecutive chronologicaland stylistic units. Then, we analyzed how each graphic group chose the sites to be engraved depending on the relationship with preceding levels of decoration (natural sites, location in rock shelters, wall types). Our work initially resulted in a statistic framework of consecutive styles and themes, but it later evolved into a more dynamic view, showing at the same time the continuity of certain behaviours and the changes in the prehistoric players’ attitudes, recorded in a graphic universe which includes tens of thousands of images.

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Source: Isnardis, Andrei & Prous, André - Rock Art in the Peruaçu River Valley, Brazil. Papers of XXV Valcamonica Symposium, p. 331-336, 2013
 

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Dating Rock Art Paintings in Serra de Capivara National Park, Brazil
Abstract:

Dating the rock art paintings in Serra da Capivara National Park precisely and reliably, is still not possible, however, different techniques used on samples from the sites have provided numerous results. Multiple dating and sampling techniques have demonstrated how important it is to adapt the process to the circumstances and specific conditions of each site. Dating rock art by a method constructed by a combination of several archaeometric processes is here exemplified by Toca do Serrote da Bastiana.​

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Source: Pessis, Anne-Marie & Guidon, Niede - Pessis, Anne-Marie & Guidon, Niede - Dating Rock Art Paintings in Serra de Capivara National Park, Adoranten 2009, pp.49-59, Adoranten 2009, pp.49-59
 

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New Rock-art Data from the State of Mato Grosso, Brazil
Abstract:

Since the 1980s, a French-Brazilian archaeological mission has studied the economic, social, cultural and symbolic dimensions of the oldest prehistoric settlements found to date in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. The ongoing examination of these habitats, settlements and rock-art sites seeks to better understand the territories and cultures of the precolonial groups who inhabited the southernmost part of Mato Grosso.In the course of these decades, systematic prospections in the region of the Vermelho River uncovered over a hundred sites decorated with both figurative and non-figurative paintings, drawings and carvings that depict images such as animals, humans and signs. This article analyzes the most recent discoveries of rock-art sites identified on the banks of the Vermelho and Gavião rivers. It contextualizes the region and the researches undertaken in its territory, and outlines the previous approaches and the methodology adopted at its rock-art sites. It then describes these rock-art sites and discusses the originality and the symbolic continuity of the marks left by precolonial groups in their landscape.​

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Source: Guedes, C., Robert, E., & Bachelet, C. New Rock-art data from the State of Mato Grosso, Brazil, Quaternary International, Vol.DX, March 20, 2019, pp.133-147
 

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Rock Inscriptions in Brazil
Overview:

In 1876 I visited Aguas Bellas, a small town in the interior of the province of Pernambuco, and about a hundred miles from the coast, for the purpose of examining localities said to contain the remains of extinct mammals. The fossils were found at and in the vicinity of a cattle ranch known as Lagoa da Lagea, eight leagues east of Aguas Bellas. During the time spent at this place I learned of several rocks in the vicinity bearing inscriptions which, it was said, no man could read. I took time to visit the most convenient of these localities and to make careful drawings of the markings, the characteristic ones of which are here represented.

Branner, John C. “Rock Inscriptions in Brazil.” The American Naturalist, vol. 18, no. 12, 1884...jpg

Source: Branner, John C. “Rock Inscriptions in Brazil.” The American Naturalist, vol. 18, no. 12, 1884, pp. 1187–92
 

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Brazilian Rock Inscriptions
Overview:

IT is a great shame that the antiquities of Brazil have so far re- ceived little or no attention, yet the country is one whose eth- nology is extremely interesting, and it is very desirable that the history of its many tribes should be traced out. The neglect of Brazilian antiquities has arisen, no doubt, from the comparative rarity of the relics and the difficulty of exploring the country. Stone implements are found all over the empire, ancient pot- tery occurs in many localities, especially in burial stations, and Kj6kkenmoddings exist on the coast as at Santa Cruz in the Province of Espiritu Santo, on the Bay of Rio de Janeiro, at Santos and elsewhere. But they have attracted very little atten- tion, though they are occasionally mentioned by travellers.

Ch. Fred Hart. “Brazilian Rock Inscriptions.” The American Naturalist, vol. 5, no. 3, 1871, pp...jpg

Note:Both these rock inscriptions and those in the previous article contain many spiral engravings.

Source: Ch. Fred Hart. “Brazilian Rock Inscriptions.” The American Naturalist, vol. 5, no. 3, 1871, pp. 139–47
 

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Stone Inscriptions and Escutcheons, Brazil
Overview:

Bernardo de Azevedo da Silva Ramos announces in Manaos, in a letter to the historian Rocha Pombo in Rio de Janeiro, that he soon to publish the results of his investigations in the field of Brazilian stone inscriptions. In said letter, which was published in the daily press, Ramos calls attention to the fact that he has succeeded in deciphering the inscriptions which appear in vols. i and L of the "Revista do Instituto Historico do Brasil;" i.e., those of the Gavea mountain and of the deserted city in the Hinterland of Bahia.
Ramos would later publish his monumental work in two volumes "Inscripçoes e tradiçoes da America prehistorica especialmente do Brasil" which are very interesting to study.
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Source: Sommer, Frederico. “Stone Inscriptions and Escutcheons.” American Anthropologist, vol. 22, no. 4, 1920, pp. 388–91
 

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Last edited:
Well, your considerations are applicable to developed countries. You should know that in the countries that make up South America the possibilities of such studies are quite difficult. On the other hand, the members of the races supposedly linked to the Nordics are dispersed, many of them, hidden, for centuries due to the persecution and discrimination to which they have been subjected. I'm 25% Spanish, 50% Italian and 25% native American. The surnames of the natives were often changed when recorded or distorted because the scribes did not understand the native languages.
Regarding the possibility of the arrival of Nordics to South America and their subsequent dispersion in the continental territory, I tell you that there are perfectly navigable rivers, even more so a thousand years ago, such as, for example, the Amazon, Orinoco, River de la Plata and Paraná, the which could have been used to travel the continent on the Drakkars. In fact there is a book by the author Jacques de Mahieu called "Drakkares in the Amazon"

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My Focus Fabio, is on the 'Blonde Haired Mummies', to establish whether there are Nordic connections. DNA testing of the mummies remains would not be difficult, unless there is an ethnic tapu. My other focus on the Journey, tells me that Paracas is on the coast, and that the mountain ranges to the east of Paracas reach an altitude of up to 4,800 metres in height.

In my ignorance, I cannot see Vikings choosing this route.
 
The Arara Vermelha Rock Shelter, Roraima, Brazil
Abstract:

Among the known petroglyph sites in the Brazilian Amazon, very few are located in rock shelters, where the preservation of archaeological layers offers greater chances for rock art contextualization and dating. Since 2008, one such case has been investigated, the Arara Vermelha site, in the Roraima State. Though still in its incipient stage, our research has produced radiocarbon dates for the human occupation of the shelter beginning from the Early Holocene.
This chapter focuses on these preliminary results and their implications for future investigations regarding petroglyph dating and contextual understanding amidst Amazonian rock art.​

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Source: Cavallini, Marta Sara & Others - The Arara Vermelha Rock Shelter, Roraima, Brazil, , Rock Art Research in the Digital Era, BAR, 2022, pp.7-23
 

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  • Cavallini, Marta Sara & Others - The Arara Vermelha Rock Shelter, Roraima, Brazil, , Rock Art ...pdf
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My Focus Fabio, is on the 'Blonde Haired Mummies', to establish whether there are Nordic connections. DNA testing of the mummies remains would not be difficult, unless there is an ethnic tapu. My other focus on the Journey, tells me that Paracas is on the coast, and that the mountain ranges to the east of Paracas reach an altitude of up to 4,800 metres in height.

In my ignorance, I cannot see Vikings choosing this route.
I understand your point perfectly. The DNA of Paracas mummies was carried out and I attach those analyzes. Clearly what you maintain as a crossing of the Andes Mountains is not possible at the height of almost its entire route in Peru, which covers about 1500 kilometers. In order to cross the mountain range we would have to move much further north, in Colombia. It is very clear from DNA studies that the Parcas mummies are not of Nordic origin. In any case, the most fervent admirers of the hypothesis of the arrival of Vikings in South America refer to areas east of the Cordillera including parts of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and eventually Argentina. All of them are areas accessible by high-flow rivers to be navigated by the supposed Drakkars.​

Source:Thornton, Jessica E. & Others - Raman Spectroscopy and STR Analysis of the Elongated Skulls from the Paracas Mummies of Peru, Journal of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics Research, Vol.4, Nº4, 2022, pp.1-8
 

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I understand your point perfectly. The DNA of Paracas mummies was carried out and I attach those analyzes. Clearly what you maintain as a crossing of the Andes Mountains is not possible at the height of almost its entire route in Peru, which covers about 1500 kilometers. In order to cross the mountain range we would have to move much further north, in Colombia. It is very clear from DNA studies that the Parcas mummies are not of Nordic origin. In any case, the most fervent admirers of the hypothesis of the arrival of Vikings in South America refer to areas east of the Cordillera including parts of Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and eventually Argentina. All of them are areas accessible by high-flow rivers to be navigated by the supposed Drakkars.​

Source:Thornton, Jessica E. & Others - Raman Spectroscopy and STR Analysis of the Elongated Skulls from the Paracas Mummies of Peru, Journal of Biotechnology & Bioinformatics Research, Vol.4, Nº4, 2022, pp.1-8
Thank you Fabio - the analyses was exactly what I needed to see. Much appreciated.
 
I'd guess there was probably art everywhere, not just caves and rocks. It's just that art elsewhere was on something organic and thus didn't survive.
 
Thank you Fabio - the analyses was exactly what I needed to see. Much appreciated.
My interest in participating in the forum is really to be able to contribute with my years of experience and my files to have a fluid exchange with the participants. I thank you for your questions and the possibility of improving everyone's research.
 
I'd guess there was probably art everywhere, not just caves and rocks. It's just that art elsewhere was on something organic and thus didn't survive.
You are right, the art was made in all types of materials that are degradable or not. In any case, I consider that art was a form of communication prior to the appearance of writing.
 
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