Saga America – Barry Fell

Saga America – Barry Fell

Dr. Barry Fell, an Emeritus Professor at Harvard, documents trans-Atlantic Old World incursions into America with much fresh evidence of Libyan, Carthaginian, Celtic, Greek, Roman, and Viking presences on the east coast. But even more extraordinary is his documentation of Pre-Columbian Europeans in the far west. B&W illustrations and photographs.




Almost as soon as America B.C. was published, I began to receive letters — and later on, personal visits — from men and women of Amerindian descent, some of them of dual heritage, some of them full-blooded American Indians. They spoke of how their grandparents had taught the ancient tribal traditions to them as children, of how their ancestors crossed the great ocean that lies to
the east of America, to reach this continent; of how they had been bewildered and confused by the conflict between tribal tradition and what they were obliged to learn in school — namely of an alleged ancestry stretching back across the Bering Strait to Asia. These visitors brought strength and encouragement, wisdom, and, in some cases actual artifacts of the Old World, such as Roman pottery. Their treasured mementos of a past are now becoming intelligible in the light of new investigations. To those Indian Americans, the scions of the sea rovers whose trails we are now following, I send greetings and this expression of gratitude. And to all those who may chance to read this book go the greetings and good wishes of the investigators whose work is described on
these pages.


Forward Introduction

Prologue — Attic Nights

1 — Mr. Jefferson Regrets
2 — Ancient America — Ancient Treasure
3 — The Carthaginians in America

4 — America and the Punic Wars
5 — In Search of Plutarch’s Greeks
6 — Roman Visitors

7 — Arrival of the Iberian Bankers
8 — Refuge America

9 — Christianity Comes to the American Celts
10 — Jefferson’s lost Manuscripts

11 — Arabs Before Islam
12 — The Great Navigations
13 — Going to School in Ancient America
14 — Norse Visitors and Settlers
15 — Pagans Triumphant?
16 — Barbarians at the Gates Epilogue — Sunset at Cyrene

Appendix — The Language of Plutarch’s Greeks Bibliography



Several years ago, I inquired at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology for someone to help me classify fossils I had obtained at Jericho, Jordan, in 1961. I was referred to one of the
world’s leading authorities on echinoderms. Dr. Barry Fell. I arrived at his home for an appointment on a Sunday afternoon, hoping for ten minutes in the schedule of a busy scholar. He saw
the fossils and learned that my primary concern was with an ancient inscription cut into each of them, looking rather like the letter “A.” It was the beginning of an intense, fascinating dialogue
on ancient scripts which lasted through dinner until after midnight.

I left with my head spinning at the amazing work in linguistics which had absorbed Barry’s private hours for many years. I realized that I was privy to a framework of research that would yield major new breakthroughs in our understanding of the past — though neither of us could know precisely what
these would be.

Three years ago, I received a letter from Dr. Linus Brunner, a noted linguist in St. Gallen, Switzerland, who is probably the world’s leading authority on the etymology of the Indo-European
and Semitic languages: “The activity of Barry Fell is marvelous … In matters of decipherment he is a great master. I think, like you, he will go down as one of the great decipherers of all time.”

Recently Barry shared with me a letter dated September 1, 1978 from the world-famous discoverer of A Australopithecus. South African paleontologist Dr. Raymond Dart: “What you and your colleagues are doing in New England is basic. The spectacle of its potential repercussions upon mankind … is fantastic to envisage.”

Barry is truly a remarkable man, talented and knowledgeable in many fields. He has edited several journals, written hundreds of articles, authored and co-authored numerous books. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Society of Arts, the Epigraphic Society, the Royal Society of New Zealand the Explorers’ Club, and the Scientific Exploration and Archaeological Society.

Growing up in New Zealand, Barry studied Greek Latin German, French, and later Danish. He holds Ph.D. and D.Sc. degrees from the University of Edinburgh. He read Gaelic for two years with Mairi nic Asgail. He has acquired a working knowledge of Sanskrit, Egyptian hieroglyphics, Kufic Arabic, and other ancient writing systems of Africa, Asia, and America.

Decipherment is a special form of linguistics and requires statistical talents and ways of thinking which few linguists possess Barry has deciphered a half dozen ancient languages and many scripts —
far more than any other person in history. Coming as it does upon the trail of his extraordinary data published in America B.C., this book contains fundamental and exciting new findings relevant
to the continual rediscovery and re-evaluation of the American past.

Norman Totten

History Department Bentley College Waltham, Massachusetts





As America enters her third century of independence, it has become apparent that an overwhelming thirst for historical information has swept the country. In America B.C., issued at the time of the bicentennial in 1976, I outlined our knowledge of the earliest phases of settlement by colonists from Europe and North Africa during the first millennium before Christ. This book carries the story through the time of Christ and on into the first millennium after Christ. It also takes some cognizance of the corresponding arrivals on the West Coast of ancient colonists who
crossed the Pacific to find a New World.

The men and women who figure in this sequel were Carthaginians, Greeks, Celts, Romans, Iberians,Libyans, and Norsemen; and on the West Coast, Libyans, Greeks, and Arabs, with traders from China and India. Our history books speak much of the Romans of Rome, the Greeks of Greece, and of each of the others named — always in the context of their homeland. But that is not the stuff of which American history was made. Colonists vanish from their homelands, and none remains behind to write their saga. American history is to be sought engraved on American bedrock, written by the hands of scribes who came here. And to find their antecedents we journey not to Rome, nor to Athens, nor to Tyre and Sidon. No, it is to their ports of departure for the New World that we must turn: to the coasts of Portugal, to the Greco-Roman colonies of North Africa, and to the Norsemen’s lairs in the Arctic islands. Those were the places from which men set out to seek the ends of the earth.

In this book I recount, therefore, not only our American researches, but also pilgrimages made to timeworn ruins in the lands I have indicated. To those who still live in these ancient lands of
departure, much that we find in America is still intelligible. If you want to know what an ancient American text is saying, take it to an Old World land where similar texts are still to be seen engraved on bedrock, on headstones, and temple lintels. Ask the local people how they read their ancestors’ writings; the learned among them still

We in America have spent over a century exploring, recording ancient petroglyphs, classifying them into a dozen different categories, with scores of subdivisions, all supposed to be meaningless
markings of religious or magical connotation, and all classified under such names as “Great Basin Curvilinear” and heaven knows what not. The work was well done, the inscriptions accurately
recorded by camera and pen; and for that we can be thankful to the archeologists who thus gave permanency to much that is now threatened by modern land use.

But one thing was overlooked. Apparently no one thought to carry copies of the photographs or casts of the petroglyphs back to the Old World, to see what might be made of them. In this book I tell of how this omission is being rectified, of the interesting dwellers in the fringe areas of the Mediterranean to whom I have shown American inscriptions, and their interpretations. I am thus
doubly in debt, not only to my good American colleagues — now swelled by many others and not only to thoughtful readers who wrote thousands of letters to me after America B.C. was published — but also to new friends across the Atlantic, archeologists and numismatists in Iberia and North Africa, professors in the universities of Portugal and Spain and Libya. Above all, I am
grateful to kind and generous hosts in Tripoli and Benghazi, Arab scholars and Islamic historians, Berbers and many others who, in all likelihood, carry the blood of Hanno and Hannibal in their
veins, proud descendants of the line of Masinisa, and Bedouins of the desert lands. Arab hospitality crosses all boundaries, and to have been their guest was an unforgettable experience.

Now there is a two-way exchange of information. Archeologists from Iberia and from the North African universities are visiting America to see and read our inscriptions. For them, too, it is a
moving experience to perceive the long-lost handiwork of forgotten or half- remembered ancestors. We of the New World now can peer further back in time — and into our own remote history — than ever before.

And what we see along those remote corridors of time are glimpses of adventurous sea rovers from a past that is a common heritage of both the Old and New Worlds.






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