Concerning the Roman Coins--what we need to do is simply look at the evidence, this evidence or any evidence, objectively and consider ALL the possibilities. If you close the door on all evidence regardless, you NEVER get beyond the standard paradigm whether that paradigm is accurate or not. Paradigms do change over the years. It hasn't been that long ago that some teacher/archaeologists were telling their students, "If you find something more than 4,000 years old, bury it back." The lead archaeologist in America at the time had stated, "No humans were in North America before 4,000 years ago." That idea has changed; yet, it didn't change till Clovis ripped it away and then Clovis itself stood as a barrier until very recently.
Well, yes, flatboats may have been crashing along rivers and Roman coin collectors were loosing their collections. I'm not sure just how many Roman coin collectors there were back along the frontier, but I'd guess not too many. And the ones there certainly were very careless and very narrow in their time scheme of collecting (has anyone reported a Roman coin find that has coins dated after 300 AD?). It would appear more reasonable to consider that someone, somewhere had contact with Romans (which means the whole Roman Empire and not just Rome) or contact with traders with the Roman Empire and wound up with these hoards of coins through purchase, trade or gift. Perhaps the Native people are the ones who buried or left the coins where they have been found. That's the hypothesis for the Norse coin found in Maine--that it was a trade item or gift from the Greenlanders and worked its way to Maine through trade of the Native Americans.
When Captain Cook sailed up the west coast, a Native American tribe presented him with a silver spoon that had arrived on the east coast with the early colonies. Through trade, I assume, the spoon had worked its way across the continent in less than 200 years.
As the late Fred Rydholm often said, "Let's just put all the evidence on the table--the accepted evidence, the so-called faked evidence, the hoaxes and such, everything, all of it. What's not supposed to be there, will eventually fall off the table."
If every archaeologist on each new dig or study only tried to prove what something was not, rather than what it might be, there would be very little progress made.
On our history...There are things hidden and covered that more than break the heart. If we don't confront and remember the history, we are, indeed, condemned to repeat it. Repeating it surely must be as difficult as remembering.
--- In email@example.com, Ted Sojka <tedsojka@...> wrote:
> (This is a response I wrote to a friend who wrote me about Roman coins
> that we have been discussing this week. A couple of fascinating finds
> in the Ohio River.)
> His archeologist side said, show me where it is written that a Native
> Amerian walked the streets of Rome and it was recorded?) This is not
> proof of pre columbus contact with anybody. Whoever lost the coins in
> those purses may have been a passenger on a flat boat wrecked in the
> rapids. I am an artist not a scientist and I will leave the proving
> of things to others. Even when the facts and evidence are well
> documented, things are forgotten and sometimes on purpose, as they are
> too hurtful to remember.
> Houston County Minnesota
> People want to believe something and the slightest coincidence becomes
> proof. I liken it to UFO believers. I am sure they are there, but
> the proof has not been in the form of solid evidence. Lack of
> evidence does not keep people from their beliefs.
> Seems similar to the religious fundamentalists that I know who believe
> this great driftless area created by the glaciers around us, was
> created in 7 days and is only a few thousand years old. People walked
> with dinosaurs, How else? "My bible tells me so!" Science took a hit
> during the previous administration, given a free pass to promote
> ignorance, in the name of religion. The stem cell research was set
> back a decade from curing diabetes and a host of ailments of the human
> In case one would think the situation at Quantanamo is new, the book I
> have below on line will tell that history repeated itself again. I
> found the book many years ago, a dusty diary in the stacks of the
> college museum while doing research for a thesis. It was written by a
> teen age recruit, a sharp kid who later became a newspaper editor in
> Houston, Minnesota. When he was getting elderly, his mother gives
> him the saved diary she has kept for so long of her brave son's
> recollections, and he finally publishes it. It is the best account of
> the 1862 Dakota war, written by a witness.
> Garrison Kiellor began reading excerpts from the book on the radio and
> now I realize that someone put the book on line, and I am glad the
> information is not lost in a few dusty copies here and there. In this
> anniversary year of Mr.Lincoln, who granted some pardons to a few of
> the natives, also, was forced by political pressure to hang 36 at
> Mankato. Some that he knew were probably innocent.
> I went to find the book at the college library to check some facts
> and it was gone from the stacks. Deleted.
> Hope you have time to read it sometime. My town is close enough that
> when the event happened in 1862, the people from the country swarmed
> into town and took up shelter in the bigger homes and buildings in a
> panic. The Civil war overshadowed this event and caused the delay in
> money and food, promised under a treaty of 1858. Native People were
> starving and the traders refuse to grant any more credit to the
> natives whose children cried from hunger. The trader named Andrew
> Myrick, said if the people were hungry, "Let them eat grass!". He was
> one of the first killed, his mouth stuffed with prairie grass.
> The half breed and native children and their mothers were marched
> from New Ulm town to Fort Snelling. Hundreds of citizens hurled
> rocks and mud at them as they passed by each town on their journey
> that November. The innocent along with some related to the guilty
> suffered the public outrage over the situation, really caused by the
> inattention of their representatives in Washington and corrupt
> practices that were normal in that day among traders and Indian Agents.
> Full text of "Recollections of the Sioux massacre : an authentic
> history of the Yellow Medicine incident, of the fate of Marsh and his
> men, of the siege and battles of Fort Ridgely and of other important
> battles and experiences : together with an historical sketch of the
> Sibley Expedition of 1863"
> The coincidence part for me in this is as follows.
> I returned from the college to the public library with no book in
> hand. I picked up a book off the new book rack and for no good reason
> decided to sit down and read a couple of pages. It was an account of
> the same group of incidents of this piece of forgotten history, but
> this was written by the great-granddaughter of a full blood who was
> married to a Frenchman.
> They lived across the river from the Lower Sioux agency at the time of
> the event. The first page starts with the first moment of the first
> shots fired and the story proceeds ,from the viewpoint of a mother and
> her six year old child who had gone down to Lacroix Creek to fetch
> water for cooking.
> Was I guided to the book or was it merely coincidence?
> The new book is called "The Spirit Car", by Daine Wilson, and is
> about the long walk to the capitol one November in recent times, from
> Mankato, in November cold. A walk to bring this chapter of Minnesota
> history to the mind of today's inhabitants of the state.
> As an aside to this, the bodies of the natives hung in New Ulm were
> gathered up by two doctors for medical research and hauled by wagon in
> ice and straw to their doctor's office, as the bodies were government
> property. They had bought them for research, as the hanged men were
> healthy specimens. They of course became the Mayo Clinic, with their
> research learned from this tragedy.
> I heard this story from an author who was hawking his book about the
> Mayo Brothers at the Houston County Fair, to those interested in local
> history. He had no interest in the first part of the story but a lot
> about the final results. One person's body snatcher is another's
> medical hero.
> Life is too strange at times and I think the three stories need a book
> of their own.
> Ted Sojka