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The Batcreek Stone

  • Broadcast in The Bible
Art Bulla

Art Bulla


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The Batcreek Stone


In the Smithsonian upside down in a glass case for one hundred years, the Bat Creek Inscription is a small stone approximately 4.5 by 1.75 inches which was found in 1889 by the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology. Excavator John W. Emmert was excavating Indian burial mounds in Bat Creek, Tennessee, about 40 miles south of Knoxville.

In one mound was discovered 9 skeletons, eight with their heads pointing north, and one with its head facing south. Under the head of the one facing south was found the Bat Creek Stone and 2 bracelets.

The inscription was originally thought to be Cherokee and was annotated as such. The stone was then archived in the Smithsonian for almost 100 years. However, in the 1960s, some researchers noted that when a photo of the stone was held upside down, it looked like Phoenician and Canaanite scripts. Professor Cyrus H. Gordon of Brandais University was sent a photograph of the stone, and he immediately recognized it to be Hebrew and translated it "Unto Judah".  The letters were similar to those used in the 4th century BC on letter seals and in the 11Q paleo Leviticus in the Dead Sea Scrolls.