Sea Peoples of the Levant

Sea-Farers from the Levant the first to set foot in the Americas: proto-Sinaitic inscriptions found along the coast of Uruguay

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This article adds a new dimension to the age old conundrum, was Christopher Columbus, or was he not, actually the first to set foot in the Americas? A Movement currently actioning much debate in the United States is seeking to deny that Columbus ever fully reached America and is attempting to esponge Columbus' 'false' claim completely from the historical record.

Using the Google Earth remote sensing satellite, I captured a mass of inscriptions carved into the surface of a 4700 metre long, white crystalline rock formation running along the Southern Atlantic coastline of Uruguay, South America. I then set out to determine if the style of the inscriptive material could reveal who were most likely to have made the petroglyphs and, hopefully, be able to extract some form of time frame.

One of the satellite photographs clearly showing the vast amount of inscriptive material discovered by Archaeoastronomer, William James Veall, on the South Atlantic coastline of Uruguay, South America.

Figure 1: One of the satellite photographs clearly showing the vast amount of inscriptive material discovered by Archaeoastronomer, William James Veall, on the South Atlantic coastline of Uruguay, South America. (Copyright William J Veall 2014)

Visual examination of the multiplicity of symbols depicted in the satellite photographs suggested a rock engraving technique very similar to proto-Sinaitic whereby a series of 'pecked' holes are conjoined by a thin trace to create each separate character. Current Epigraphers suggest that Proto-Sinaitic was 'invented' around 1850 BC to replace the unwieldy ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic -hieratic 'combo' system of writing.

Proto-Sinaitic led to the development of the Phoenician alphabet and its variants, many characters from which are clearly visible within the Uruguayan petroglyphs. Based upon this hypothesis, the characters would be dated from 1850 BC to 1100 BC. After this date (1100 BC) came the fully developed, 22 character, Phoenician 'international' writing system subsequently used by all West Semitic languages. I observed that many of the 'new international' characters do not appear among the petroglyphs suggesting movement away from this particular coastline 'port of call' some time after 1100 BC.

Alternatively, there may have been a pseudo-Sinaitic/ Phoenician form of 'writing' overlapping the newer Phoenician alphabet and thus the hypothesised 'very earliest first visitation' date of 1850 BC could be adjusted even as far down the line as 1500BC. Whatever time frame Epigraphers eventually agree upon, it will still be well over 3000 years ago, long before the birth of Christopher Columbus in AD 1451.

A second satellite photograph clearly showing another set of petroglyphs discovered along the Uruguay coastline.

Figure 2: A second satellite photograph clearly showing another set of petroglyphs discovered along the Uruguay coastline. (Copyright William J Veall 2014)

Proto-Sinaitic has, allegedly, been found in Brazil at Itacoatiara, near Manaus, and at Curraes Velhos, Rio Grande do Norte State.  A tablet with very similar proto-Sinaitic characters was found at the Deir-Alla excavations in Jordan, thus reinforcing and supporting a Trans-Oceanic Mediterranean - South American connection. (Mattievich,E. "Journey to the Mythological Inferno". Rogem Press, Denver. 2010. Chap IV, Page 93).

In the centre of Fig. 1 photograph is an inscription 'printed' in heavier black symbols; these hieratic characters, (pre- 1850 BC) are direct descendants of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs and which became precursors of the proto-Sinaitic writing system.

The hieratic inscription engraved into an outcrop of the Uruguayan rock formation.

Figure 3: The hieratic inscription engraved into an outcrop of the Uruguayan rock formation. (Copyright WJV 2014)

I believe the character 'spread' tells us that Trans-Oceanic visitations almost certainly occurred between the Levant and Uruguay across an active time-line of some 800 years, well over 3000 years ago - which also effectively rules out Christopher Columbus ( AD 1451- 1506) being the first to 'discover' the Americas.

I have informed the Uruguayan Ministry of Education and Culture about this ground-breaking 'discovery'. The Ministry subsequently replied that they had no knowledge of such sites and most probably the location was incorrect. A sketch map with the satellite co-ordinates has been sent to the Ministry confirming the Uruguyan location is correct. A reply is still awaited.

However, of greater urgency, the satellite imagery also confirms a rapid deterioration of the coastline archaeological sites due to residential intrusion and heavy tourist erosion.
As a consequence, much of Uruguay's vital littoral pre-history may have been lost. And more to come, if some form of protection and preservation is not put in place.

To deny the chance of making any form of transliteration - be it only a name, a place, a date - is to wipe out the opportunity of discovering whom really was, perhaps, the very first to set foot in the Americas and secure their place firmly in history books.

In this respect, I would like to contact any Epigraphers experienced in West Semitic alphabets and whom may wish to comment on this unique 'discovery' and, if possible, be able to offer a preliminary transliteration of some of the inscriptive material.


The claim who 'set first' foot in the Americas can't be taken by one single 'discovery'. First of all, there has been an indigenous population living in the Americas. Then, trade, nomadic migration and seafaring has been going on for a very long time. The ancient history of the Americas is way more complex than hunting for the 'first discoverers'.

William James Veall's picture

Monika Zephier. Thank you for your comments which I completely agree with, however, with respect, no where in my article have I referred to the Peoples of Levant spawning the indigenous populace of Uruguay, nor any other part of South America, for that matter.

The article is relative to a pre-Columbian Trans-Oceanic visitation, hypothesised to have originated from the Levant region, in view of the strong similarity of the inscriptive material to the Semitic alphabets.

If, and when a transliteration becomes available - giving names, places, dates etc - then as GEOB states, the results could be 'mind- blowing'.

The books by Steven M. Collins and others he refers to have a great deal of research and insight into migrations over the globe by those of the 'Levant,' specifically, northern Israelites, especially before and during the times of Kings David and Solomon. These discoveries aren't popular with those who hold to the distortion that Biblical history is myth. But it is evident that ancient Israel and Phoenicians circumnavigated the globe.

Back in the 1970s, I read all of Professor Barry Fell’s books.  If 10% of what he wrote is true (and I know about several of his claims from other sources), than Europeans had been coming to America for many centuries before Columbus.  But the thing Columbus did was PUBLICIZE the existence of a new land across The Ocean (the Atlantic was the only ocean the Europeans knew of).  And knowledge of Columbus’s discoveries was never lost, while the many small expeditions by Phoenicians and Celts and Vikings (and Chinese) never caused a continuing connection.


"First of all, there has been an indigenous population living in the Americas." Humans are no more indigenous to the Western Hemisphere than are the Duck-billed Platypus. The first human being who set foot in the Americas came from the Eastern Hemisphere. Where in the Eastern Hemisphere is still to be determined. As another stated, Columbus was the first well documented landing, even if he never quite made it to the North American continent. That doesn't take away from his and Isabella's accomplishment.

"...the very first to set foot in the Americas" - It seems advisable to use some form of "the oldest known"...

So much more to come when we locate some pre-Younger-Dryas sea level estuary sites.

How long before someone utilizing deep water ground penetrating radar finds large dressed stone blocks on the order of the Sphinx Temple & Malta?

I'm betting sooner than later.

William James Veall's picture

Feasting.with.P. Thank you for your comment. When I prepared the article for publication, I did not think for one moment readers would relate the context directly to the indigenous population of the Americas.

The date of 1850 B.C. and the hypothesis built around the Semitic languages and alphabets should have provided the reader with some clues  that I was referring to a Trans-Oceanic contact with Uruguay. I apologise to all, if I did not make this too clear.

If you troll the internet you will find many references to discoveries made using remote sensing satellite and deep water penetrating techniques. So it has arrived already. Enjoy.



That's an awful long way to go to hammer some holes in the ground. Can we see the photographs without augmentation in order to compare? What is the scale? What are the coordinates so we could look at it ourselves on google earth? What do any of the letters mean, if you can so clearly pick them out? Are they from some known text or a new statement? Do you have any hypotheses as to which known seagoing craft could manage this journey? Do we have evidence of a landed colonial community? Is there any evidence of trade or extraction of material back in the Levant? How can you repudiate the suggestion that you've found some dots on google earth and joined them up conveniently? To answer this, just tell us what you told that govt department, because without that level of detail in your hypothesis, I wouldn't be expecting a reply any time soon.

William James Veall's picture

GEOB.  Agreed, if this were the case, The Levant is a long way to come  to 'peck'  a few hundred holes  in the rocks - just for fun, However, I will try and answer ALL your questions as briefly as possible. 

Firstly, I am an archaeoastronomer. I discovered the inscriptive material in question whilst researching a previously unknown astro-glyph along the same coastline using the remote sensing satellite technique.

The satellite photographs clearly show 'pecked' holes and linking 'trace' lines thus identifying individual characters which I CAREFULLY overprinted for purposes of identification and publication.

As a guide and taking depth of field into account, the characters appear to average from 4 x 6 metres and up to 8 x 8 metres, (Google Earth ruler). 

Of course, I was aware that I would be accused of conveniently joining up the 'dots' to make words or phrases; the proof is in the they say!!

I am not an Epigrapher so have no knowledge to make a transliteratiion of the inscriptive material. As you say, a word or phrase would be 'mind blowing'. We must await the hand of the Epigrapher.

The discovery of a number of  wrecks have led to the hypothesis that certain types of Seagoing craft built in ancient times  were quite capable of long sea journeys.

'The trade and extraction of material back in the Levant' is well covered as a subject  on the internet. Likewise, you would have to study the pre-Columbian historical background of Uruguay to ascertain evidence of any (other) landed colonial community.

Without the permission of the Govt. Department in question, it would be most improper of me to reveal the content of any communications, at this stage.

Finally, as this is a project in motion, we reserve the right to withhold any original satellite pictures, together with any coordinate information relative to the location of the site and its inscriptive material.   We must also abide within the very strict "Fair Use" clause laid down by Google Inc. 

Thank you GEOB for your  critique. Please look out for the follow up in a near future Ancient Origins article.










Uruguay is a small country, relatively flat to the point that it's highest altitude is a little over 500 meters. There are no extensive outcrops of rocks along it's entire coastline just dunes. Anyone can check this out in a very short period of time. The coast is all of 660 km in length. In aerial photos such as those on Google the dunes appear entirely similar to the photos in your article, except they are not covered in the pits that you describe, rather they are covered in small bushes etc.. In fact more often than not, they are covered in off-road vehicle tracks. There are no remote, inaccessible, sections of coastline to hide a "4700 metre long, white crystalline rock formation running along the Southern Atlantic coastline of Uruguay". No, just 600 or so km of white, crystalline SAND, generally not known for retaining written words for very long at all.

I do agree with David in regards to the geography of Uruguay.
Trust me, I really want to believe on this discovery but I would feel much better about it if some one bothers to go to the site, check it out and take pictures - on site.
I have contacts in Uruguay - the visit of a serious, professional person to the site can be arranged.
Thank you,
Paul B

William James Veall's picture

Thank you Paul B for you interest. Please will you send your private E-mail address to me via Ancient Origins (Editor April Holloway) who will then pass it on. I will be happy to discuss a possible mutual co-operation.  Thank you.

Sincerely, William James Veall.

 the Editor, April Holloway

This evidence, though compelling, is not enough for such a radical change to be made in the current gospel understanding of the population of the Americas. It took decades for archaeologists to acknowledge that the Clovis people were not the first or only inhabitants of the Americas.

Personally I believe that the Solutrean people made it to the Americas approx 17,000 years ago and they are the first real inhabitants of the Americas long before 1800 BC as this article puts forward.

William James Veall's picture

Thank you for your post. Please refer to the replies I have already posted to Monika Z and Feasting.with.P.

Secondly, I am an Archaeoastronomer,not an epigraher.  I made the inscriptive material discovery whilst investigating a hitherto unknown astronomically aligned 'Nasca Lines' style geoglyph along the same stretch of coastline.

How interesting if the inscriptions and geoglyph are contemporaneous ? 

rbflooringinstall's picture

I'm pretty sure its safe to say that Columbus didn't discover anything but a group of people to exploit.

Peace and Love,


William James Veall's picture

Ricky. Agreed, a right con perpetuated over the centuries. Apparently, C.C. was not even Spanish but was more affiliated with my country, Catalonia. - a political  arguement now used by both sides in the war of words between the two countries, in Catalonia's battle for Independence.

Peace and Love in return.

It's only compelling if someone can discern a word or phrase. Fig 3, would be a good start. Otherwise it's just wishful dot to dots. Hieratic was in straight lines as well, like most writings. Why so wiggly? No one would travel that far just to put random letters on the ground in such a haphazard fashion. For fun? It would be directly relatable to text from back home. No words or phrases- no real case, I'm afraid. A word/ phrase clearly in Egyptian/ Nubian/ some Semitic language from the alleged time scale would be potentially mind blowing on the other hand. 

"Sea-Farers from the Levant the first to set foot in the Americas" - that is a really misleading and arrogant title, considering we don't really know who was the FIRST to set foot in the Americas, and who knows what we may still discover in the future. At least add a question mark at the end. "Sea-Farers from the Levant the first to set foot in the Americas?"

No reason whatsoever why others didn't find America before Columbus, that story is obviously a
European 'see how smart we are' story - others would have arrived there over the many thousands of years - if they made it to places like Easter Island I am quite sure they arrived in the Americas, even accidentally ! So these carvings should be investigated. I'm sure that Uruguay has the usual problems with professional stubbornness - after all we can't have others getting in the way of their personal 'expertise' - they have vested interests in maintaining that ! Try telling any 'expert' they are wrong and you always get the SAME reaction ! New knowledge & controversial ideas always run into trouble !

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