New Historian: December 26, 2015
A team of historians have claimed that an island off the coast of Canada has artifacts dating back to a time when the Roman Empire still ruled Europe and the Mediterranean.
According to Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, lead historian on the research project, a treasure trove of Roman-era artifacts, including a head sculpture, a fragment of a shield, a handful of golden coins from ancient Carthage, a legionnaire’s whistle, and a Roman sword, was found in the wreck of a ship off the coastline of Oak Island, which itself sits off the southern shores of Nova Scotia, a 57-hectare privately-owned island in Lunenberg County.
The historian spoke to The Express newspaper, claiming that his new find constitutes “the single most important discovery” when it comes to the Western Hemisphere’s archaeological record, adding that it could result in history books being re-written completely.
North America was indeed visited much earlier than most people consider it to have been, as it has been established with relative certainty that Norse settlers led by Eric the Red inhabited a colony in what is known as Greenland today for several hundred years prior to Christopher Columbus’ 1492 voyage on behalf of the Spanish crown. However, the idea that the Romans – whose mariners were not known for vessels that strayed far from the sight of shore – would have been able to make a transatlantic voyage has left many archaeologists questioning the validity of this new find.
Despite this, Pulitzer has remained steadfast in his support of his ancient Roman mariner hypothesis. He insists the origin of the sword found in the wreck is “100 per cent confirmed” to be Roman. His determination was reached after using an XRF analyzer during his forensic investigation of the weapon. The device uses X-ray fluorescence to identify the thickness and the composition of the metal being studied. Pulitzer said that the composition of the sword is consistent with it being made from ore that matches the chemical makeup of similar weapons created in the Roman era.
In addition to the artifacts that Pulitzer insists are legitimate Roman-era items, he and his research team also report the discovery of burial mounds just offshore the island – mounds that the team says have been dated to the second century CE. According to the University of Wisconsin’s Professor James Scherz, the mounds discovered by Pulitzer are not consistent with Native American burial mounds but are instead similar to those found in both Ancient Europe and the Levant. Adding that he agreed with Pulitzer’s surmise that the mounds were not indigenous to Nova Scotia or other regions of North America, he opined that they could have been dug anytime between 1500 BCE to 180 CE based on known ocean level data for the time period.
Detractors from Pulitzer’s claims say that the ancient Roman artifacts may indeed be legitimate, but they could have easily been lost by a more modern collector.