Dear Mr. Collins,

I am enjoying your lost tribes site very much; thank you. I have come across a problem however and would appreciate your thoughts on the matter. You use “the davenport stone” as a basis for the presence of Hebrew/Phoenicians in north America. I searched for this stone online and the results page returned, at the top of the list, which states the davenport stone was proven a fake by the Smithsonian in the late 1800s.

Can you give me any information on the truth or lack there of to that claim?



Dear Davey,

Thanks for your positive comments about the information at my website. You raise an important issue which I think all readers would like to know about. I do indeed use the “Davenport stone” as proof that ancient Israelites (and others) were present in ancient North America. The Smithsonian has a very inaccurate record concerning pre-Columbian artifacts found in ancient American contexts, and I address the Smithsonian’s role in my book, Israel’s Lost Empires (pp. 151 and 166).

The Smithsonian was one of the first institutions to go “politically correct” in the 1800s. I note one source which observed “In the late 1800s the Smithsonian issued a proclamation that Columbus had been the first to discover America, and archaeologists and historians who disagreed with that view were politely asked to resign their positions in the universities.” The Smithsonian must have had much influence over American academia in the 1800s to issue such a Stalinist diktat and get away with it. My personal view is that the Smithsonian’s staff at that time were among the first on this side of the Atlantic to succumb to nonsensical Darwinian theories and they tried (with much success) to impose it on American educational thought. The Smithsonian’s arbitrary diktats against any and all pre-Columbian artifacts that had biblical connections were not based on any scientific evidence. I believe they were evidence of intellectual oppression.

The Smithsonian also once tried to discredit the “bat creek stone” (a pre-Columbian artifact with an ancient Hebrew script) which was found in Tennessee. The Smithsonian’s “analysis” of the bat creek stone was debunked when capable scholars noted that the Smithsonian’s “scholars” had tried to read the script upside down! The eminent (and now deceased) American archaeologist, Dr. Cyrus Gordon, adamantly wrote that the bat creek stone was proof that ancient Hebrew-speakers had been present in North America. On page 187 of his book, Before Columbus, Dr. Gordon wrote some language which criticized the Smithsonian’s errant findings with biting sarcasm. Dr. Gordon concluded his commentary with these comments: “Trying to explain away the Bat Creek evidence as anything other than American contact with Palestine around the second century AD can only amount to obscurantism that no sensible scholar or layman should elect. The Atlantic was crossed long before the Vikings, by different peoples during different centuries.”