Skip to comments.Romans In Brazil During The Second Third Century?
Posted on 12/10/2003 5:37:14 PM PST by blam
Romans in Brazil During the Second or Third Century?
Ex-marine and underwater explorer/archaeologist/treasure-hunter Robert Marx states rather flatly:
Amongst my most notable discover[ies] was that of a 2nd century BC Roman shipwreck in the Bay of Guanabara, near Rio de Janeiro. This is a discovery that has received little to no examination, much less validation, from the realm of mainstream archaeology, no doubt in part because Marx is not a Ph.D. archaeologist. Scouring the web for more information about this finding, I did find a reference to the discovery in an article from Dr. Elizabeth Lyding Will, an expert on Roman amphoras (clay vessels used to store and ship goods during the Roman era). Dr. Will apparently has a piece of an amphora recovered from Marx's Brazil discovery. Of it, she says:
The highly publicized amphoras Robert Marx found in the ship are in fact similar in shape to jars produced in kilns at Kouass, on the west coast of Morocco. The Rio jars look to be late versions of those jars, perhaps datable to the third century A.D. I have a large piece of one of the Rio jars, but no labs I have consulted have any clay similar in composition. So the edges of the earth for Rome, beyond India and Scotland and eastern Europe, remain shrouded in mystery. Information about this find is practically non existent. Gary Fretz's synopsis of the "whole story" suggests that the find has been suppressed by the Brazilian government:
At the time the amphorae were confirmed to be "Roman", the large Italian faction in Brazil were extremely excited about this news. The Italian ambassador to Brazil notified the Brazilian government that, since the Romans were the first to "discover" Brazil, then all Italian immigrants should be granted immediate citizenship. There are a large number of Italian immigrants in Brazil and the government has created a tedious and costly citizenship application procedure for Italians that does not apply to Portuguese immigrants. The Brazilian government would not give in and the Italians in Brazil staged demonstrations. In response, the Brazilian government ordered all civilians off the recovery project and censored further news about the wreck hoping to diffuse the civil unrest. Finally, I've also seen mention of the following written works, which I've yet to dig up: Marx R.F., 1984 , Romans in Rio? [see Santarelli A. Mondo Sommerso 270 1983:252-3. Oceans, 17.4: 18-21.] The Romans in Rio book (?) is not among the works of Robert Marx as listed at Amazon.
"The First Europeans to Reach the New World"
By Gary Fretz
Q. With all of the new technology available today, we should be able to know precisely when the first European ships reached the New World. What is the latest news? It was a group of Vikings who made landfall around 900 A.D., right?
A. Wrong! It is now confirmed that a Roman ship reached Brazil around the year 19 B.C.! Here is the whole story
Two thousand years ago, the most valuable commodity known to man was salt. This is because most fresh meats and fish were preserved by packing in salt. In fact, salt was so valuable, it was used in place of coinage. This is where the word salary emerged (as well as the expression hes not worth his salt). The Romans had a large salt production facility on Ilha do Sal (Salt Island) in the Cape Verde Islands, which are 350 miles off the coast of West Africa. This location is directly in the path of the hot, dry winds of the Sahara Desert, which can easily blow 60 knots from the east.
It is believed that this Roman merchant vessel was heading for Salt Island to pick up a load of salt and to provision the local army garrison when a fierce Sahara storm started. Roman ships were clumsy by modem standards and would have no choice but to lower their sails and to run with the winds to avoid capsizing. The Sahara winds can blow for many days and the Salt Ship was carried to Guanabara Bay (near Rio de Janeiro) in Brazil.
In the middle of the - Bay is a large submerged rock lying 3 below the surface called Xareu Rock (named after a local fish that congregates here). The ship appears to have been travelling at a high rate of speed when she struck the rock. She broke into two pieces and settled in 75 of water near the base of the rock.
In the late 1970s, a local fisherman using nets around Xareu Rock kept catching some large (3 tall), heavy earthen jars which tore his nets. He mistakenly thought these were macumbajars, which are used in local voodoo ceremonies and then thrown into the sea. So, as the jars were hauled up, he smashed them with a hammer and threw the small pieces back into the water in an attempt to prevent tearing his nets in the future.
If he had only known what treasures he was destroying! In recent years, a scuba diver was spear fishing around Xareu Rock and found eight similar jars that he took home.
He sold six jars to tourists before the Brazilian police arrested him with the two remaining jars for illegally selling ancient artifacts. Archaeologists immediately identified these as Roman amphorae of the 1st century B.C These containers were originally used to carry water, grain, salted fish, meat, olives, olive oil and other foods necessary to feed the ships crew and to provision Roman outposts. One of the worlds foremost authorities on Roman shipwrecks, Robert Marx, found more artifacts and confirmed this as an authentic Roman shipwreck.
The worlds foremost authority on Roman amphorae analyzed the clay in the jars and confirmed that these were manufactured at Kouass which was a Roman seaport, 2000 years ago, on the coast of modem-day Morocco. The Institute of Archaeology of the University of London performed thermo luminescence testing (which is a more accurate dating process than Carbon 14 dating) and the date of the manufacture was determined to be around 19 B.C. Many more amphorae and some marble objects were recovered, as well as a Roman bronze fibula (a clasp device used to fasten a coat or shirt).
So, why haven't we heard more about this fantastic find? One would think this news would make headlines around the world The short answer is politics. At the time the amphorae were confirmed to be "Roman", the large Italian faction in Brazil were extremely excited about this news.
The Italian ambassador to Brazil notified the Brazilian government that, since the Romans were the first to "discover" Brazil, then all Italian immigrants should be granted immediate citizenship. There are a large number of Italian immigrants in Brazil and the government has created a tedious and costly citizenship application procedure for Italians that does not apply to Portuguese immigrants. The Brazilian government would not give in and the Italians in Brazil staged demonstrations. In response, the Brazilian government ordered all civilians off the recovery project and censored further news about the wreck hoping to diffuse the civil unrest. The Brazilian Navy continues to excavate the wreck in secret.
We only know about it because of what Robert Marx learned before he was dismissed and what the University of London has leaked. This shipwreck may help explain some other intriguing Brazilian finds: - Several hundred ancient Roman silver and bronze coins were unearthed near Recife, Brazil. Did these once belong to the castaways of the Salt Ship?
- A tribe of white, mostly blonde haired, blue-eyed "Indians" has been found in a remote region of the Amazon jungle. Could these be the descendants of the shipwrecked sailors of the Xareu wreck? DNA analysis of these Indians will surely bring some interesting facts to light!
You're thinking of the Chachapoyas...There's an article in the FR archives on this subject but, I couldn't find it. I may be misspelling Chachapoyas.(?)
It was Roman chariots that determined the width of that very expressway.
'Did Roman explorers discover America 1,300 years ahead of Christopher Columbus' was the headline on page 25 of the DAILY MAIL for Thursday, 10 February 2000. On the same day THE EXPRESS ran a story on page 28 under the banner `Oldest Latin in America: Bust may prove Romans got there first'.
Both stories sought to highlight claims being made in the new issue of the magazine NEW SCIENTIST concerning the recent realisation that a small ceramic head found in 1933 at a site in the Toluca Valley, 72 kilometres west of Mexico City, is in fact Roman in origin.(1) A dating process known as thermoluminescence, which determines the age of ceramics, has found that the tiny bust is approximately 1800 years old. How it might have reached Mexico is the big mystery. The implication, however, is that the head, which shows a full-bearded individual in typical Latin style, was introduced to the New World prior to the age of Columbus.
This all reminds me of the Italian media crowing (after Buzz Aldrin said "Mama Mia!" up there)"Italian Spoken On Moon!"
Go to the below linked thread and go to post #39,40,41,42 for links and comments about the Chachapoyas.
That too...and also something about the size of the space shuttle.
Don't know. I believe these folks were exiled miners that were employed by King Solomon.
More interesting would be evidence that they were moored or finding more than one or two together.
Thanks, I've read references to this statue a number of times.
This is a statue found in an Olmec (1200BC) site being excavated by archaeologists in Mexico
Yup, those are the Ainu (Kennewick Mans relatives) and the Jomon were before them. I saw a program the other night on the Samurai and the most honored Samurai in history was over six feet tall, he is also the one who began the practice of Harakiri.
There is a thought out there that the original Samurai were the Ainu, taller, bigger, hairy and light skinned. Some even say the Japanese practice of 'white face' is an emulation of these ancient 'royal' Samurai.
I've read three of Marx' books. "Shipwrecks in the Americas" and "The Capture of the Treasure Fleet" were excellent I thought. The one he wrote in the 60s about the Spanish Armada was a real stinker however :}
He must be getting kind of long in the tooth now--ahemmm. I think he was one of the team that worked the Port Royal sunken seaport site years in the 60s.
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I was in a Barnes and Noble bookstore yesterday perusing the science section of their magazine rack. .....I recognized one of the cover pieces as something you had posted on. I thought out loud..."BLAM!!!"
I was immediately surrounded by Mall Security...asking me what I thought I was doing.
I was so in awe...all I could do was point at the rack...(which by that time unfortunately was blocked by a well endowed redhead)
....and shouted..with a slight drool from the lower right side of my lip..."BLAM!!!...BLAM!!!...BLAM!!!"
This was very soon relagated to an abbreviated..... "BLA...BLA...BLA"...due to the multiple stranglehold that three of the more enthusiastic "I really could have passed the policeman's test, but I found Mall Security a more rewarding career ,two way radio packing and, well vested in giving directions to the restroom", personell had on my throat.
After a quick fifteen minute discussion...which took about an hour an a half....they all agreed that I was not a threat to the strucural integrity of the Mall...they went off in search of the redhead.
It was exiting the store that I noticed the Al Franken book prominently displayed in the front on the "Best Seller" Rack..that's when my problems really started..........................................................
Hadn't considered that. They probably 'worked-on' King Solomon's mine workers too, huh?
I'm glad that you appreciate it. I do it because I enjoy the resultant discussions and learning opportunity. My thanks to 'farmfriend' too.
I was at Barnes & Nobles resently and purchased a copy of Whittaker Chamber's book Witness as a Christmas present for my son. (This book is close to the top of my all-time-favorite books.)
If regular trade had been established, there would have been motivation to keep it quiet in order to maintain the monopoly! Thus losing a very few captains or ships would have broken the contact and subsequently all memory thereof.