Skip to comments.Cherokees Spoke Greek and Came from East Mediterranean
Posted on 07/07/2010 6:22:09 AM PDT by Palter
Possum Creek Stone and Anomalous Cherokee DNA Point to Eastern Mediterranean Origins
In memoriam Gloria Farley
Donald N. Yates
Keynote address for Ancient American History and Archeology Conference, Sandy, Utah, April 2, 2010
SUMMARY Three examples of North American rock art are discussed and placed in the context of ancient Greek and Hebrew civilization. The Red Bird Petroglyphs are compared with Greek and Hebrew coins and the Bat Creek Stone. The Possum Creek Stone discovered by Gloria Farley is identified as a Greek athletes victory pedestal. The Thruston Stone is interpreted as a record of the blending of Greek, Cherokee, Native American, Egyptian and Hebrew civilization. Keetoowah Society traditions, as captured in The Vision of Eloh, are adduced to confirm a general outline of the origins of the Cherokee people in a Ptolemaic Greek trans-Pacific expedition joining pre-arriving Greeks, Jews and Phoenicians in the Ohio Valley around 100 c.e. Recent DNA investigations showing Egyptian, Jewish and Phoenician female lineages and the Y chromosome of Old Testament Priests among the Cherokee are also touched upon. Greek words and customs in the Cherokee are reviewed as time permits. Slide projector requested.
A cave entrance overlooking the Redbird River, a tributary of the South Fork of the Kentucky River in Clay County, Kentucky in the Daniel Boone National Forest, has inscriptions which according to Kenneth B. Tankersley of the University of Cincinnati display a nineteenth-century example of writing in the Cherokee syllabary. A local resident (Burchell) recognizes Greek writing in one inscription (called Christian Monogram #2) but his reading is unsatisfactory for a number of reasons. Evaluation by experts in Greek and Semitic epigraphy identifies two distinct inscriptions, one in Greek and one in Hebrew. They appear to be contemporaneous with the Bat Creek Stone unearthed in the 1889 excavation of a tomb in East Tennessee by Cyrus Thomas of the Smithsonian Institution.
Another record of Greek-speaking people in ancient America is the Possum Creek Stone, discovered by Gloria Farley in Oklahoma in the 1970s. It is discussed by her in Volume 2 of In Plain Sight as proof that the man history knows as Sequoyah did not invent the Cherokee syllabary. The inscription can be read as Greek, HO-NI-KA-SA or o nikasa, i.e. This is the one who takes the prize of victory, a common inscription for the pedestal upon which victors were crowned at athletic games. The use is Homeric, and the spelling Doric.
A third piece of evidence helps fill in the background of the arrival of Greeks and their intermarriage with Asiatic and other Indians in North America. In 1870, an engraved 19 x 15 inch limestone tablet was uncovered in a mound excavation on Rocky Creek near Castalian Springs in Sumner County, Tennessee (see Ancient American, vol. 12, no. 77). Dating to an earlier time than its Mississipian Period context, it commemorates a peace treaty between the Cherokee and Shawnee. The Cherokee chief wears a horse-hair crested helmet and carries the spear and shield of a Greek hoplite. His Shawnee adversary clasps hands in a wedding ceremony with a Cherokee woman who bears wampum belts as a pledge of peace, has her hair in a maidenly bun, wears a Middle Eastern-style plaid kilt, and displays a large star of David. In the Red Record or Walam Olum, we learn that before crossing the Mississippi, somewhere along the south bank of the Missouri, the Algonquians or Lenni Lenape (Delaware Indians), who are later allied with the Cherokee, encounter a foreign tribe they call the Stonys. Cherokee legends about Stone-coat demonstrate that the original Cherokee had metal armor and weapons. DNA studies confirm a mixture of anomalous East Mediterranean mitochondrial lineages such as Egyptian T, Greek U and Phoenician X with standard American Indian haplogroups A, B, C and D in the Cherokee and certain other Eastern Woodlands Indians.
To sum up, the Red Bird Petroglyph is a Greek inscription from the 2nd to 3rd century c.e., not a crude Cherokee scratching of around 1800 as announced recently by the Archeological Institute of America and the New York Times. It occurs above what is, in all likelihood, an inscription in Maccabean-era Hebrew. The Sequoyan syllabary for which these Greek and Hebrew inscriptions were mistaken originated in the Greek world of the Bronze Age along with other syllabaries like Linear A, Linear B and Cypro-Minoan. The Cherokee language, which today is Iroquoian, is the result of a relexification process in the distant past. It contains many relics of words of Greek origin, especially in the area of government, military terminology, mythology, athletics and ritual. Cherokee music also reflects Greek origins. The Cherokee Indians are, quite literally, the Greeks of Native America.
Possum Creek Stone and Anomalous Cherokee DNA Point to East Mediterranean Origins (PPT)
Greek Words and Customs in Cherokee
(hoi en) telei
wanderers (in a hopeless sense)
noxious, devouring beast, whale
hairy, shaggy like a beast
things that befall
Son of Zeus (title of Herakles)
wrap, twist; rope
base arts, perjury, fraud
straight-edge used by athletes
stopping place, way-station
titan of Greek mythology
one not killed
those in authority
spectator in a play
raise a smoke, make sacrifice
migrants, wanderers; earth
mythic great fish
hairy water monster
Cherokee; original people
mythic strong man
twisted hair clan (cf. Hawaiian hilo)
scraper used by ballplayers
war chief title
land where the Elohi tarried
rival of Sutoo Jee (Herakles)
name of a dragon or serpent
divining crystal for health
name of dangerous serpent
Playful Cherokee fairy
ceremonial title; firecracker (smoke) bringer (Santa Claus)
Donald N. Yates is a Georgia native of Choctaw-Cherokee and Sephardic Jewish descent. He earned a Ph.D. in classical studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before teaching at the University of Notre Dame and elsewhere. In 2003, he founded DNA Testing Systems. His latest book, Old Souls in a New World, is about an expedition of Greeks, Jews and Egyptians that inadvertently founded the Cherokee Indian nation in the third century B.C. He lives in Phoenix.
Huh. Now I know I’m right when I say “It’s all Greek to me”.
From Utah with love. More LDS wishful thinking.
I'm guessing there is a Moromon connection behind the scenes pushing this somewhere.
The Book of Mormon says that a group of ancient people came to the America's from the middle east. The fact that zero middle eastern DNA evidence has been found in ancient Americans is a huge hole in Moromon history. All of the DNA evidence shows that ancient Americans came from the far eastern pacific rim.
Lots of stretching and leaps in logic here! I know everyone wishes they were Cherokee, this guy wants us to adopt the Greeks.
Huh. I skipped over that line about Keynote Address. If I’d noticed that I’d have been suspicious as well. We lived in Sandy, UT for 4 years. Good catch...
Of course they were Greek.
On the plus side, when you die you become a god and get your own planet. You just have to hope your planet is in a good neighborhood. Stay away from the south side of the galaxy - bad schools, crime, etc.
Unless you were black before 1978. Then blacks couldn’t be a Mormon and get their own planet. Or a Mormon at all.
But, suddenly, and without warning - ta-dah! A new revelation. It’s OK to be black after all.
Isn’t that special?
A lotta wishful thinking there, and little science.
Seriously, and with no offense to the LDS Freepers, I put my trust in the historians and ethnographers who agree that Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian-language family and are thought to have migrated south in ancient times from the Great Lakes region, where other Iroquoian-speaking peoples were located.
Who - besides a Mormon zealot - would take this seriously?
Opa! (how do you say that in Cherokee?)
So does that make us all caucasians?
Apparently, a handful of anti-Mormon zealots are taking this VERY seriously. :-)
I’m not Mormon so I don’t care. Personally, I think Phoenix was settled by Phoenicians. And they invented phoenics.
I thought that was Victoria’s Secret with an attitude.
And they thought the guy buying the 30-06 to shoot aliens was a nut.
“All of the DNA evidence shows that ancient Americans came from the far eastern pacific rim. “
The powerpoint linked in Post 2 differs with DNA analysis to back it up.
Tsalagi is Creek, it means people who speak a different language. To be accurate you can call us Aniyunwiya.
And they thought the guy buying the 30-06 to shoot aliens was a nut.
I don’t think these translations are even close enough to count or are just a mere coincidence.
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Fell equated a recorded oral traditional origin story, which was in an archaic version of the Zuni language, with a Semitic creation story. Here's the entire text regarding the Shoshone man who conversed with Basques:The Cherokee SyllabaryThere is a small series of books by linguistic anthropologist Barry Fell describing correlations between some of the NDN languages and ancient languages once used in Europe and North Africa. He does not imply that we came from there, but he does strongly indicate there was peace and international commerce between our ancestors and wasicu's ancestors long before Europe experienced its Dark Ages. The controversial Bat Creek Stone is said to have been found in a Cherokee burial mound in Tennessee and on it is the inscription, "Kadosh L'YY" in a paleo-Hebrew script used around 2,000 years ago. It means "Holy unto HaSHEM (Y-H-V-H, G-d)."
Your portal to Native American Tribal Culture
According to Fell, nearly 300 Algonquin words share meanings and have similar pronunciations to their equivalents in Koine', an ancient dialect of Greek many Bible scholars believe the New Testament was originally written in (I personally believe much of it was Aramaic, aka "Chaldee"). He also claims that a sacred Creation story enchanted to him by an elder from one of the SW tribes was understood by a scholar of ancient Phoenician, and that a Shoshone man travelling in the Army recognized words in Basque as being from his own tongue. Alot of today's historians guffaw at Fell's theories, but only because they oppose the common belief that Columbus was our first European visitor. But then that wouldn't explain all the blonde haired, blue eyes fullbloods that could possibly be descended from Leif Eriksen. ;)
This one is tantalizing, because the Basque language is an isolate, unrelated to any other known "Old World" language.America B.C.A fascinating letter I received from a Shoshone Indian who had been traveling in the Basque country of Spain tells of his recognition of Shoshone words over there, including his own name, whose Shoshone meaning proved to match the meaning attached to a similar word by the modern Basques. Unfortunately I mislaid this interesting letter. If the Shoshone scholar who wrote to me should chance to see these words I hope he will forgive me and contact me again. The modern Basque settlers of Idaho may perhaps bring forth a linguist to investigate matters raised in this chapter. [p 173]
by Barry Fell
find it in a nearby library
This is ironic coming from a Jewish Indian..lol
Christian Identity...biggest Jews haters on the planet after Muzzies...also believe Cherokess were different.
The “Real People” they call them.
My wife was glad to hear that...she always wondered why she was special?
The link below takes us to a simple Cherokee/Tsalagi
Actually the slide presentation is all science.
I’ll hop in on your post to make an additional footnote
As a tangential trip, the story is strong on Melungeon connection. My area is experiencing a strong interest in the Melungeon culture. Suppressed for perhaps two hundred years, people are keen to study and understand their heritage.
It started when an academic, Brent Kennedy, became ill and was hospitalized at Emory in Atlanta. There was a diagnostician who correctly diagnosed him with a disease genetically related to obscure Mediterranean cultures. That was news to him. He was raised in Southwest Virginia. Thus began his quest and the annual meetings in Kingsport of hundreds of folks who come to learn about their Melungeon heritage.
Melungeons were called racial tripartiates with one of the groups being Cherokee.
There is much more here than is revealed by a casual glance.
East Tennessee was the capitol of Cherokee land and the remote hollows and ridges were home to most of the Melungeons.
By the way, in the book by the French colonist Laudinarre in 1562, his troops visited East Tennessee on a trade mission from far away Ft Caroline at what is now Mayport, Jacksonville Beach Florida.
Balonoi ... bull-only.
Ok, I am sorry. I could not get past the headline - laughing to hard.....doubled over sides hurting. hahahhaah!
Wow, Mormon much? This is so much wishful thinking and bad history/lingusitics it isn’t even funny.
What is also odd, considering my connections in Classics and with UNC-CH, I have NEVER heard of the guy and classics is a small field. Makes me think he is a fringe guy rather than an accepted academic.
Also notice that he doesn’t mention he is LDS, just lists his credentials making him look like a real scholar.
But THIS is a dead giveaway that he is LDS: His latest book, Old Souls in a New World, is about an expedition of Greeks, Jews and Egyptians that inadvertently founded the Cherokee Indian nation in the third century B.C.
And in my expert opinion (I could list credentials but there is not enough space) the Cherokees were actually muslim.
IE: Koranu** I claim this means they were not talking about braided hair but their holy book, the koran.
Oh Pocahontas sailed here from Aotearoa...
My apologies for what I’m about to say, but this is pure foolishness, and this “scholar” ought to be ashamed of himself. I’m no linguist, but I have a few years of Greek under my belt, and I also right now am studying Iroquoian languages—of which Cherokee is a member.
Their grammars are COMPLETELY different. As in COMPLETELY. Greek is, like the other Indo-European languages, an inflected language with a root stem on which suffixes are then added: anthropos, anthropoi, anthropou, etc. Cherokee, on the other hand, is an agglutinative language, where the root is buried in the middle of the word. I had difficulty learning Mohawk (which is distantly related to Cherokee) precisely because it wasn’t anything like the Latin/Greek/Italian/French grammars I was used to. It’s a completely different paradigm. Take something as simple as the subject/object of a verb. Greek marks the subject of verbs with a suffix—the object takes a separate word entirely. Iroquoian does it with a huge system of prefixes which have not only the subjects but also the objects embedded in them.
Second, I *guarantee* you, with a corpus of 10000 words between two languages—no matter what those languages are—you will find a few dozen words that look similar and have similar meanings. But he barely even did that: “ouktenna = something not killed” vs. “Uktena name of a dangerous dragon or serpent”? Astronomical instrument and Great Hawk? No serious linguist would take such comparisons seriously.
To prove common descent, you need much much more than a few look-alike words. You need regular variation with established sound laws: like N in one language regularly shows up as T in the other language. Moreover, you have to show it in the most basic, elementary words that are least likely to change as time goes on. Like numbers. Pronouns. Sun, moon, mouth, eye, man, woman, water. Show me comparisons with those words, with regular sound laws. Show me a similar grammar, and then we can talk about common descent.
If Cherokee was descended from Greek, we’d see much much more similarity between them. There is actually very very little. English and Sanskrit are way closer to Greek than Cherokee is.
In short, this article is dead wrong.
I live in East TN...
some of my grandchildren are Cherokee...
but they were born in Ohio...
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And their DNA has been linked to Asia.
So this proves what?
I thought Mr. Yates would want to prove there was a link to Hebrew.
His last name is a common one in Utah. I’m just guessing by his ridiculous supposition that he is indeed one.
Figures. Nice find.
We called him Potty-chair.....
Funny thing is they didn’t much like “red savages” either.................