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Main: Featured image: Oak Island, Nova Scotia, Inset: The Roman sword found in water just off the mysterious Oak Island, Nova Scotia.

Roman Sword discovered off Oak Island radically suggests Ancient Mariners visited New World 1,000 years before Columbus

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Researchers investigating the mysterious Oak Island, located on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Canada, have made a startling announcement regarding the discovery of a Roman ceremonial sword and what is believed to be a Roman shipwreck, radically suggesting that ancient mariners visited North America more than a thousand years before Columbus.

Evidence of the finding, which was exclusively revealed to Johnston Press and published in The Boston Standard , was uncovered by researchers involved in The History Channel’s series Curse of Oak Island , which details the efforts of two brothers from Michigan as they attempt to solve the mystery of the Oak Island treasure and discover historical artifacts believed to be concealed on the island.

J. Hutton Pulitzer, lead researcher and historic investigator, along with academics from the Ancient Artifact Preservation Society, have compiled a paper on the finding, which is scheduled to be published in full in early 2016.

The Mystery of Oak Island

Oak island is home to one of the biggest treasure hunts in history , which began in in 1795, when 18-year old Daniel McGinnis saw lights coming from the island. Out of curiosity, he went searching for the lights and discovered a clearing on the southeastern end of the island. Within the clearing was a circular depression, and nearby a tackle block hung from a tree. McGinnis and several friends returned to the area and began excavating the depression. A few feet beneath the surface, they discovered a layer of flagstone, and the pit walls had markings from a pick. Approximately every ten feet (3 m) they dug, they found a layer of logs. After excavating to thirty feet beneath the surface, McGinnis and his friends abandoned the excavation without ever finding anything of significance.

Digs and Buildings, Oak Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, August 1931.

Digs and Buildings, Oak Island, Nova Scotia, Canada, August 1931. ( Wikimedia Commons )

Reports of the boys’ efforts were published in several printed works. Eight years later, the Onslow Company sailed to the area to try to recover the supposed treasure, that was assumed to lie hidden at the base of the pit. Based on the written accounts of the boys, the Onslow Company attempted an excavation of what was now referred to as the “Money Pit.”  However, they were eventually forced to abandon their efforts due to flooding.

Numerous searches of the pit continued over the next two centuries, but they have been continually plagued with difficulties including collapses and flooding within the pit. The entire island has been searched for treasure, and is continued today by Marty and Rick Lagina, as chronicled on Curse of Oak Island .

Startling Discovery – A Roman Sword

While most treasure hunters have ended up empty handed, a recent revelation points to an incredible, and possibly history-changing, finding.  A shipwreck, believed to be Roman, was found off Oak Island, and within the wreck a well-preserved Roman ceremonial sword was retrieved. 

The Roman sword found just off Oak Island.

The Roman sword found just off Oak Island. Photo courtesy of investigatinghistory.org and National Treasure Society

Pulitzer told the Boston Standard that the sword was hauled onto a fishing boat decades ago, but was kept secret because the finder and his son feared they would be punished due to strict laws in Nova Scotia regarding retrieving treasures from shipwrecks. 

However, relatives of the finder, who is now deceased, recently came forward to reveal the precious sword to researchers. 

Pulitzer carried out tests on the sword, using an XRF analyser, which revealed that the sword contained the same metallic properties, with traces of arsenic and lead, that match other Roman artifacts.

“The shipwreck is still there and has not been worked,” said Pulitzer [via The Boston Standard]. “We have scanned it, we know exactly where it lays, but it will be a touchy thing for the Nova Scotia government to allow an archaeological team to survey it. We know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is Roman.”

A close-up of the sword found off Oak Island.

A close-up of the sword found off Oak Island. Photo courtesy of investigatinghistory.org and National Treasure Society

Evidence to Support Roman Presence

In an attempt to dismiss skeptics, who may suggest the artifact had simply fallen off the side of a boat in more recent times, Pultizer and his team have dug up numerous other pieces of evidence to support the theory that the Romans made it to the New World more than 1,000 years before Christopher Columbus. These include:

  • Petroglyphs carved on cave walls and boulders in Nova Scotia by the indigenous Mi’kmaq people, which depict what Pulitzer’s team believe to be Roman soldiers marching with their swords, and Roman ships.
  • The Mi’kmaq people carry a rare DNA marker, which can be traced to the eastern Mediterranean region. 
  • Fifty words in the Mi’kmaq language that are nautical terms used by mariners from Roman times.
  • An invasive species of plant (Berberis Vulgaris) growing on Oak Island and in Halifax, which was once used by Romans to season their food and prevent scurvy on their voyages.
  • A Roman legionnaire’s whistle found on Oak Island in 1901
  • A metal ‘boss’ from the center of a Roman shield found in Nova Scotia in the mid-1800s
  • Gold Roman Carthage coins found on the mainland near Oak Island
  • Two carved stones on Oak Island that Pulitzer says displays a language from the ancient Levant.

Roman shield 'boss' like the one found in Nova Scotia, representative image only

Roman shield 'boss' like the one found in Nova Scotia, representative image only (public domain)

“When you put all these things together and you look at the anomalies, it’s not a coincidence,” Pultizer told the Boston Standard. “The plants, the DNA, the artifacts, the language, the ancient drawings - you have something that deserves to be taken seriously.”

Professor Carl Johannessen, formerly of the University of Oregon, who is also involved in the research, says the findings challenge the orthodoxy of 1492 as the date when the New World was ‘discovered’.

While it has long been suggested that other ancient civilizations reached the New World before Columbus, including the Vikings, Chinese, and Greeks, this is the first set of compelling findings to suggest Roman mariners made it North America over a millennium ago.

Pultizer says it is time to rewrite the history books.

Featured image: Main: Featured image: Oak Island, Nova Scotia. Credit: Farhad Vladia / Panoramio . Inset: The Roman sword found in water just off the mysterious Oak Island, Nova Scotia. Credit: investigatinghistory.org and National Treasure Society

By: April Holloway

Comments

If the wreck exists and is excavated then perhaps the traditional Columbus history will finally be augmented with new facts and discoveries. Certainly anyone who wanted to know has known for many years that others came before, long before Columbus who never set foot in North America anyway. Great show guys and gals keep it coming!!

Did someone carry out unlicensed XRF inspection or did someone perform the work for you? http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/sites/www.nrcan.gc.ca/files/mineralsmetals/pdf/mm...
What was the rest of the metallic composition?

To be fair it is a bronze sword, which is why it is green, the copper oxidizes and turns green. I still don't believe the tall tale though.

Did you not read the article? Shields have been found on the island and region. Also, its stated this is believed to be a a CEREMONIAL sword and not ones used for combat. you went on such a long winded explanation about why this is not sufficient for combat and its stated in the article is was not used for that purpose. It was also tested for verification which it passed. People will call anything a hoax when it threatens their world views.

Although I'm convinced this is a hoax, I do have to say that bronze lasts in salt water quite a long time. Bronze is a very corrosion resistant material, as it accumulates a microscopically thin layer of oxidation and eventually copper carbonate which protects the rest of the metal, unlike iron or steel which must me oiled to prevent rust.

That being said, bronze was replaced by iron 1000 years before the supposed age of this "site", and Romans used steel swords and iron for most other things - bronze was not a military material for the Romans. Additionally, this bronze "sword" is too short for a gladius or a typical bronze leaf-blade but 10-20 cm, so it's more of a dagger. A crappy dagger that's not even sharp. I suspect it's even tip-cast not hilt cast because it has such a fancy hilt (which would have to have been carved into stone in that shape first). Tip-cast swords are weaker and it's an early bronze age technique (3000 years ago!!!) - it allowed for fancy handles (not THAT fancy, though, as it still had to be functional when you swung it at someone's head or the likes) which were then covered in wood.

It's entirely flat, not even sharp (bronze can actually hold a decent edge if unused for hundreds of years - but this one wasn't even sharpened to begin with), and poorly made on the blade. For "ceremonial" it's pretty poor quality.

Also, bronze does hold up pretty well, but rarely *that* well. Most bronze blades are found in fragments.

So, to sum it all up, this makes no sense. Why would Romans come all this way? Why would they send legionnaires (without shields if you believe the dubious pictograph) all the way across prior to any good established contact, conquer nothing, and leave a sword as old to them as they are to us? They simply wouldn't.

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