Romans were here first?

In a recent issue of the Knights of the Dinner Table gaming magazine I read an article about ideas for seeding real world treasures into your fantasy RPG games. One item mentioned was that of roman artifacts being found in Texas long before they should have been there.

  • Roman coins found in Texas. The most convincing example came from the bottom of an Indian mound at Round Rock. This mound is dated at approximately 800 AD. Skeptics suppose that the coin was dropped on top of the mound in recent times and was carried to the bottom by rodents and tree roots. Hmmm!
  • The remains of a shipwreck. Circa 1886, the wreck of an unusual ship was found in Galveston Bay. Belfiglio says this ship's construction is typically Roman. Nautical experts doubt this. but they will admit that real Roman craft were perfectly capable of sailing to Texas.
  • The remains of an ancient bridge. Also in Galveston Bay, the timbers of an old bridge were found under 15 feet of sediment. A similar divergence of opinion prevails here.
  • Language concordances. Belfiglio has pointed out many similarities between Latin and a dialect of the now-extinct Karankawas tribe. No comment here from the language experts.

(Lee, Victoria; "Professor Explores Theory of Romans' Ancient Voyage," Dallas Morning News, June 13, 1993. Cr. T. Adams via L. Farish.)

If Romans being in Texas were not strange enough how about this?

    In 1976, diver Jose Roberto Texeira salvaged two intact amphorae from the bottom of Guanabara Bay, 15 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro. Six years later, archeologist Robert Marx found thousands of pottery fragments in the same locality, including 200 necks from amphorae.

    Amphorae are tall storage vessels that were used widely throughout ancient Europe. These particular amphorae are of Roman manufacture, circa the second century B.C. Much controversy erupted around the finds because Spain and Portugal both claim to have discovered Brazil around 1500 A.D. Roman artifacts were distinctly unwelcome. More objectively, the thought of an ancient Roman crossing of the Atlantic is not so farfetched. Roman wrecks have been discovered in the Azores; and the shortest way across the Atlantic is from Africa to Brazil -- only 18 days using modern sailing vessels.

(Sheckley, Robert; "Romans in Rio," Omni, 5:43, June 1983.)

What about The legend of Prince Madoc and the White Indians? It is the amazing saga of the Twelfth Century seafarer whose name has become renown in the annals of ancient maritime history. This new book presents the complete untold story of America's first Colony which was founded by Prince Madoc of Wales in 1170 A.D. The information contained in this book could eventually redefine the foundation of American history.

  • An assembly of recorded facts have led to the conclusion that Prince Madoc reached the shores of America during the year of 1170 AD.
  • The physical evidence supports the recurring theory that the Welsh voyager penetrated far into the interior of America where he established a chain of fortifications and stoneworks that still exist today.
  • The existence of a pre-historic race of white people who lived in permanent settlements in America long before the days of Christopher Columbus who are believed to have been the survivors of a colony that spoke Welsh and was established by Prince Madoc in the 12th century.

What about the story of An Ancient North African Treasure-Trove in Southern Illinois?

    After nearly two decades, the controversy may be resolved in the near future, as excavation proceeds at what researchers believe is the prev- iously undisclosed, underground location itself. If and when it is finally opened, the chambers' bizarre contents may prompt more questions than answers. But so many objects have already been removed and exam- ined, that a credible, even convincing interpretation of the site now seems possible. The chief argument against its authenticity may in fact be the most persuasive evidence on its behalf as a repository for indisput- able, abundant, material proof of peoples from the Ancient World in the American Middle West.

Christopher Columbus may be the explorer we celebrate as the man who discovered the "New World" but many questions exist as to who came before him.

What of Leif Ericson? Didn't he leave his mark on North America long before Columbus was born?

Before you go on about the Native Americans and the peoples who were living in the "New World" when Columbus arrived let me point out that this article is designed to make you think (and wonder) about how much earlier than 1492 explorers from Europe and Africa may have 'discovered' the "New World". Obviously the people who were already living there 'discovered' it first.