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.


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