The Bat Creek Stone

You may have heard of the Bat Creek Stone. It was found in a Smithsonian dig in Tennessee in 1889 by John W. Emmert.

According to the excavator, John W. Emmert, “two copper bracelets, an engraved stone, a small drilled fossil, a copper bead, a bone implement, and some small pieces of polished wood soft and colored green by contact with the copper bracelets” were found under the skull and mandible of the individual designated Burial 1, and the “engraved stone lay partially under the back part of the skull”

(Thomas 1894:393)

Cyrus Thomas believed the language was ancient Cherokee until someone else figured out it was Hebrew. Knowing it was Hebrew, someone found a similar inscription in the Freemason Encyclopedia and then the experts called it a fraud.

There are two images here. The author proclaims it to be a fraud because it is similar to an entry in a Freemason Encyclopedia. Presumably, the first three letters from the Freemason Encyclopia spell the word “Holiness” in Hebrew. The author claims the finder copied it; however, badly.

The word Holiness is given in the image below as taken from Google Translate. In modern Hebrew, it has five letters. The Freemason Encyclopedia version has three of the five letters. The Bat Creek Stone version only has Qof and Shim. Furthermore, the Shim is a little known variant to the letter probably not even known of at the time of the discovery of the stone. Reference the book Punica written by JB Chabot in 1918.

The claim of fraud misses two points.

First Point. The Second letter is a Shim and as previously stated is a match to a little known variant in Phoenician.

Second Point. YHWH from the Freemason Encyclopedia has a final H. Since the Bat Creek Stone is missing the final H, it is a match to the well known Native American Sacred Symbol – YHW (יהו).

From my perspective, the artifact is authentic. Holiness to YHW (Jehovah) is the translation. The script is the ancient Phoenician alphabet. The transliteration chart used was created using the book Punica written by J.B. Chabot around 1910. If John Emmert were to get this right, he was a masterful genius of Phoenician as it existed on the other side of the world. I highly doubt he could have know that version of the Hebrew letter Shim. Nearly impossible is my assessment.

The document I reference which calls the stone a fraud is found here:

For full disclosure, it should be noted that the word Yod Hey Waw Taw (יהות) means Judeans. I am taking the position that the Taw (ת) which is the last letter belongs to the next word which is broken off. We do not have adequate context to know what the next word would be.

I have discussed this write up with a handful of friends. It appears that getting a consensus on this is very difficult as many people want to insist that the artifact is about the Judeans, which may be correct.