In 1976, Professor Barry Fell summarized the evidence that Columbus was not the first to cross the Atlantic, rather, settlers and traders from Egypt, Libya, Carthage, Iberia and Ireland all left tangible remains on American soil.
Of course, to some extent such evidence is regarded generally as ‘forbidden archaeology’ as it does not sit comfortably with the picture of ancient man as primitive. I suggest the urge to dismiss the archeological evidence, and particularly inscriptions such as that from Bat Creek, Tennessee, stems from this reluctance to disturb the ‘status quo’.
David H. Kelley, Professor Emeritus of Archaeology, University of Calgary*, interestingly acknowledged fellow epigrapher Dr. Barry Fell’s breakthrough work: “I have no personal doubts that some of the inscriptions which have been reported are genuine Celtic ogham. Despite my occasional harsh criticism of Fell’s treatment of individual inscriptions, it should be recognized that without Fell’s work there would be no ogham problem to perplex us. We need to ask not only what Fell has done wrong in his epigraphy, but also where we have gone wrong as archaeologists in not recognizing such an extensive European presence in the New World.”
Two other useful books on related topics are Before Columbus: Links Between the Old World and Ancient America (1971) by Cyrus H Gordon, and The God-Kings and the Titans; The New World Ascendancy in Ancient Times (1973) by James R Bailey. A more recent summary is Paul Devereux’ Mysterious Ancient America (2002).
* Kelley, D. H, Review of Archaeology, 1990 Vol. 11, No. 1, ‘Proto-Tifinagh and Proto-Ogham in the Americas (Review of Fell; Fell and Farley, Fell and Reinert, Johannessen, et al.; McGlone and Leonard, Totten)