More on transoceanic contact/Phoenecians to New World

Wade Tarzia (tarzia@UCONNVM.UCONN.EDU)
Wed, 30 Oct 1996 09:43:03 -0500

Hello -- In The Chronicle of Higher Education of this week there is a brief
news item about a geologist at Mount Holyoke College, Mark McMenamin, who
studied Phoenecian coins of 350 to 320 BC and claims some have a
repesentation of land masses (he says in fact they are maps) they have
visited in Europe and potentially also in the Americas. The familar theme
is there of "centuries before Columbus..." Another familiar theme, for
those of you who follow the Face on Mars beliefs -- he used digital
enhancement of the features on the coins to learn about them. My feeling
-- from the photo of one of the coins, a little digital "enhancement" might
be necessary to see a map there. But his claim is relatively modest if he
is indeed among the diffusionists -- he claims they may have made contact
with the New World, and seems to make no claim for sustained contact and
cultural exportation.

Geologists seem to like getting into alternative archaeology (consider the
more famous example -- Virginia Steen-McIntyre).

If anybody knows of a more detailed publication from this man, I would be
interested in hearing about it. One of my academic sidelines is studying
creationism and "alternative" archaeology as a folklore genre. Among my
working materials are newspaper items (especially so), journal articles, as
well as oral collections whenever I can come face to face with informants.

-- wade tarzia

PS-- this article is on p. A18 of the Nov. 1 1996 CHE.