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12548Some archelogical discoveries tying King Solomon's fleet to South America

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  • Edgar A. Ibarra Jr.
    Mar 30, 2005
    • 0 Attachment

      Thought this might interest some of you...sounds intresting and
      current with
      modern archeology and such discoveries...by the way, no relation
      with the
      Archeologist, although Archeology fascinates and interests me.



      Phoenician naval history begins in about the fourteenth century BC,
      they came to be so famous that Solomon asked king Hiram of Tyre to
      send him
      carpenters to build a Red Sea fleet, together with sailors to lead
      this fleet to
      the land of Ophir (Old Testament, Kings I, 9.26).

      The geographical location of Ophir is described in exactly the same
      way as
      the Land of Punt. Both countries lie `far away, to the south-east';
      the ships
      set sail from a port on the Red Sea and the round voyage lasts three
      years in
      both cases. The goods brought from Ophir are more or less the same
      as those the
      Egyptians brought from Punt and their other ports of call: gold,
      precious woods,
      incense, spices, slaves etc. (Avezac – Macaya Marie Armand Pascal
      d': Memoire de
      le pays d'Ophir où les flotes de Salomón aillent chercher l'or, in
      des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres 30, Paris, 1864; Richard Hennig:
      Incognitae, Vol 4, Leiden, Brill, 1950).

      We shall follow the Phoenicians with the help of Paul Gallez (La
      Cola del
      Dragón, p 150 onwards). He says that as Solomon was the pharaoh's
      son-in-law, it
      was only natural that his wife should have obtained sufficient
      information from
      her father to organise an expedition to the Land of Punt or a
      country. In any case, it was the Phoenicians who made up the crews
      of the
      Egyptian fleets and were in charge of the running of the ships,
      before they took
      on the same role in Solomon's fleet. The Phoenicians, even more than
      Egyptian or Hebrew bosses, were perfectly aware of the benefits of
      sailing to
      the Far East and so it was only natural that they would want to
      undertake their
      own trading expeditions.

      It might be asked how their fleets would have had access to the Red
      Sea and
      the Indian Ocean when their country only occupied a tiny stretch of
      Mediterranean coasts. There are several possible answers, says
      Gallez. The
      Phoenicians originated from the Persian Gulf, from where they
      travelled to
      modern-day Lebanon. Their first expeditions could have taken place
      from the
      Persian Gulf, prior to this migration. In the sixth century,
      Phoenicia was
      incorporated into Cyrus's Persia, and the Phoenicians were once
      again able to
      sail from the Persian Gulf in fleets that were officially Persian,
      but in actual
      fact Phoenician. For more than a thousand years, and under several
      flags, the Phoenician fleets sailed across the Mediterranean, the
      Atlantic, the
      Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Their sailors could well have left
      inscriptions in the countries they visited, even when they were
      sailing under
      the orders of a non- Phoenician ruler (Lienhardt Delekat: Phönizier
      Amerika, Bonn 1960).

      What leads us to this Phoenician theory is a series of remains
      thought to
      be Phoenician in several South American countries.

      Dick Edgar Ibarra Grasso has identified two Phoenician ships on the
      slabs of the temple of Sechim, in the Casma Valley, on the coast of
      Peru (La
      Representación de América en mapas romanos de tiempos de Cristo,
      Buenos Aires,
      1970, pages 175-177). These ruins are generally considered to be
      some three
      thousand years old. Other monoliths in the area show a large ocean-
      going craft
      and a sextant (Julio C. Tello: Arqueología del valle de Casma, Lima

      Even more extraordinary are the discoveries made by Bernardo Silva
      This author, president of the Manaus Geographical Institute, spent
      over twenty
      years in the Amazon rainforest, searching for, photographing and
      copying 2,800
      stone inscriptions, identifying the majority of them as Phoenician
      and others as
      Greek (Bernardo de Azevedo da Silva Ramos; Inscriçôes e tradiçôes da
      pre-histórica, especialmente do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, Imprenta

      The oriental scholar Lienhardt Delekat (Phönizier in Amerika, Bonn
      has established that the characters on the Paraíba Stone are of
      Canaanite origin
      (the former town of Paraíba is now called Joao Pessoa and is the
      capital of the
      state of Paría, to the south of the Cape of Sâo Roque in Brazil).
      The stone,
      which broke into four pieces after it was discovered on a
      plantation, totally
      disappeared, but copies of the inscription were made before this
      occurred. It
      was discovered on September 11, 1872 and might well be proof that
      sailors reached Brazil two thousand years before the official
      discovery of

      We owe the most detailed study of the inscription on the Paraiba
      stone to
      Delekat of Bonn University (Paul Gallez: Predescubrimientos de
      América, Bahía
      Blanca, Instituto Patagónico 2001, p 41 onwards). The author
      analyses all the
      grammatical forms in the text, comparing it to Aramaic, ancient
      Hebrew, Sidonian
      and other Canaanite dialects, especially in respect to the form of
      the imperfect

      Delekat comes to the conclusion that the passage is written in
      Tyro-Sidonian, dating from the end of the sixth century BC.
      Lienhardt Delekat's
      translation reads as follows: `We are children of Canaan, from the
      city of
      Sidon. We are a nation of traders. Our ship is beached on this far-
      mountainous coast and we want to make a sacrifice to the gods and
      goddesses. In
      the 19th year of Irma's reign, we set sail from Ezlon Geber across
      the Red Sea,
      with ten ships. We have been sailing now for two years and we have
      sailed all
      around this land, both hot and far from the hands of Baal (i.e.
      cold), and
      twelve men and three women have arrived here, because ten of the
      women have died
      on another coast, because they had sinned. May the gods and
      goddesses be
      favourable to us'.

      The translations given by Netto, Schlottmann and Gordon vary in their
      interpretation of some of the words. The king Hiram referred to
      would have been
      Hiram III, and the nineteenth year of his reign corresponds to 532BC
      Sudhoff: Sorry Columbus. Bergisch Gladbach, Lübbe, 1990). His study
      of the
      passage leads Delekat to an unexpected conclusion; the Phoenician
      sailors would
      have reached Brazil from the Pacific, sailing to the south of the
      Bering Strait
      and to the south of Cape Horn (cold zones) and between the two,
      along the coasts
      of Central America (hot zone).

      Whether they were at the service of the Hebrews the Egyptians or the
      Persians, there is not the least doubt that Phoenician vessels would
      have been
      capable of crossing the Pacific using favourable currents and winds.
      Egyptian ships had a capacity of 6,500 tonnes, like that of Ptolemy
      Philopator (222-205 BC); in fact the Hebrew historian Flavius
      Josephus talks of
      ships capable of carrying six hundred passengers and cargo as well
      as their crew
      (Paul Hermann: Las Aventuras de los primeros descubrimientos,
      Barcelona, Labor,
      1967; Jacques de Mahieu: La agonía del dios-sol, Buenos Aires,
      Hachette, 1977).

      Ibarra Grasso has compared the eastern Mediterranean trading ships
      of the
      third century BC with ships painted on Mochica pottery in northern
      Brazil. These
      ships are virtually identical and are mainly characterised by a
      bridge running
      all the way from prow to stern, laden with jars of wine, oil etc. It
      should be
      pointed out that this type of vessel is still used today in the
      Aegean Sea and
      in Indo-China, but as far as we know, has never been used in Peru.
      It was left
      to a present-day pre-historian to make this discovery in the Mochica
      and find an explanation (Dick Edgar Ibarra Grasso; La Representación
      de América
      en mapas romanos de tiempos de Cristo, Buenos Aires, 1970; Al-
      Masudi; Kitab al
      tanbih wa'l-Israf and Michael Jan de Goeje; Bibliotheca Geographorum
      vol 8, Leiden, Brill).

      The Egyptian and Phoenician Ships that sailed from the Red Sea had to
      follow the traditional route, calling at Malabar, Taprobane (Ceylon)
      and the
      Golden Chersonese (Malayan peninsula) on to Zabai in Borneo and from
      there make
      the best use of the South Pacific currents to reach Cattigara, which
      we will
      situate in Peru to facilitate calculations; the return voyage would
      have been
      made using the equatorial currents to reach Borneo and the rest of
      the journey
      would have been the same as their outward journey. This would have
      meant a
      distance of 21,058 sea miles (39,000 km) on the outward voyage and
      18,358 sea
      miles (34,000 km) on their return one, a distance of 39,416 sea
      miles (73,00 km)
      in all.

      Now, Herodotus (The History, Book IV; G.E. Gerini: Early Geography if
      Indo-China, Journal of the Royal Society, 1897) says that the ships
      of that
      period normally sailed a distance of 70,000 orguias (fathoms) by
      day, and
      another 60,000 by night, in all, 130,000 orguias (fathoms) in a
      day's run, every
      twenty-four hours. He then uses these data to calculate the width of
      the Black
      Sea. Paul Gallez states that he has used the same method to make an
      calculation of how long a voyage to Cattigara would take. The
      130,000 orguias
      are the same as 240 km, which Hennig reduces to 200 km so as to
      leave a margin
      for any eventuality that might have arisen during the crossing.
      Based on these
      figures, the 73,000- kilometre journey would have taken 365 days of
      sailing time (Richard Hennig: Terrae Incognitae I, 4 volumes,
      Leiden, Brill,
      1950; Georges Grosjean and Rudolf Kinauer: Kartenkunst und
      Kartentenik vom
      Altertum bis zum Barock, Bern and Stuttgart, Hallwag, 1970).

      The three years given as the total length of the voyages both to
      Punt and
      Ophir (Kings I, 10 11,22) left two years for ports of call, their
      stay in
      Cattigara and possible loss of time due to storms and repairs. While
      we have not
      taken into account unfavourable winds, neither have we allowed for
      winds nor the great advantage offered by the circular currents
      prevailing in the
      South Pacific. These calculations prove, says Gallez, that a voyage
      to Cattigara
      would have been perfectly feasible in those times.

      Incidentally, there is another interesting fact; we have said above
      the outward and return journeys would total 39,416 sea miles (73,000
      km), and if
      we take a modern map to calculate the distance between Suez and
      Panama, calling
      at Aden, Freemantle and Wellington, we discover that the actual
      distance is
      15,765 miles for the outward leg, that is to say, over 31,000 sea
      miles when we
      include the return journey. The conclusion, says Paul Gallez, is
      the Phoenicians pre-discovered America in the first millennium AD.