The lost tablet between the Arab shores and the Brazilian coasts The lost tablet between the Arab shores and the Brazilian coasts

The lost tablet between the Arab shores and the Brazilian coasts

The lost tablet between the Arab shores and the Brazilian coasts

The Vikings in Scandinavia, the Berbers in North Africa, and the Polynesians in the Pacific Islands dispute Christopher Columbus's claim to have discovered America, but a number of scholars assert that the Phoenicians preceded everyone else.

The Phoenicians, who built a flourishing BC civilization that originated in Sidon in present-day Lebanon, then moved to Carthage in Tunisia and later extended to Spain, are described as the best sailors of antiquity.  

For centuries, Phoenician merchant ships sailed the Mediterranean, reaching the coasts of Britain, the Baltic Sea, and landing on islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Some scholars believe that the Phoenicians were the first to reach the coasts of America, long before Columbus arrived there in 1492.

The story of the appearance and disappearance of the Brazilian plate:

In the fall of 1872, the president of the Brazilian Historical and Geographical Society, Marquis de Sapocahy, received a letter from a farmer from the Brazilian province of Paraíba, named Joaquim Alves da Costa. In his letter, the man reported that while workers on his farm were preparing stones for construction, they found a stone slab broken into four pieces with incomprehensible writing on it.

The farmer's learned son carefully copied what was written on the tablet onto a piece of paper which he attached to the letter. The farmer wanted this great master to reveal who had carved this unknown writing.

De Sapocahy was unable to deal with this mysterious language, and he delegated the task to a young historian named Ladislao Neto. He, too, was not a specialist in ancient languages, but he was obliged by the orders he received to undertake the task.

He searched for a solution to the mystery of the unknown text in vain. Meanwhile, Ladislaus tried to find the farmer who wrote the letter and the original owner of the tablet, but he failed completely. According to the address of the letter, his location was called "Paoso Alto". This name was given to many places in Brazil, but neither the tablet nor its finder were found.  

Emperor Pedro II of Brazil became interested in the subject after receiving a memorandum from Professor de Sabucaha. The emperor decided to enlist the help of the French philosopher and expert on ancient religions, Ernest Joseph Renan.

Renan flatly refused to decipher the text, and sent a reply in the summer of 1873, in which he stated that the writing was merely a clever forgery or a silly joke.

Most specialists and experts at the time considered the story to be a worthless forgery. On the other hand, others believed in the authenticity of the Paraíba Tablet. Among them was the German orientalist Constantin Schlottmann, who wrote after studying the text in 1874: "If this text is a forgery, the author must have been an excellent expert in the Phoenician language and had a great scribal talent, since the individual features of the inscription are not only Phoenician, but also undoubtedly Sidonian. It is difficult to assume that such an expert in the dialects of the Phoenician language could live in Brazil, and there are probably not many of them in Europe."

All attempts to decipher the mysterious text failed, due to the lack of specialists in ancient languages. The ancient tablet, which held the great secret as some believed at the time, was forgotten for nearly a hundred years. Then the press picked it up and circulated the story of the lost tablet with more details and exciting additions.

Over time, newspapers reported finding more evidence of ancient navigators visiting the coasts of the Americas. By the end of the 19th century, information was circulating about the discovery of beads said to be Phoenician in what is now Lancaster County, South Carolina.

Information was also published in 1949 about a teacher finding a stone in Pennsylvania inscribed with Phoenician characters, and a similar tablet was found in Ohio in 1956. Stones with Phoenician inscriptions have also been found in Virginia on the Roanoke River, as well as weapons and other artifacts in more than one area of ​​the United States.

The writing engraved on the Brazilian tablet was deciphered by an American orientalist named Cyrus Gordon in 1960.

The translation of the ancient Phoenician text reads: "We are the sons of the tribe of Canaan from Sidon, the city of our king. We, merchant sailors, were swept by the waters of the sea to this distant shore of a mountainous country. We went to sea, sacrificing our youth and praising the gods, in the ninth year of the reign of our king Hiram. We sailed with our ten ships from the port of Izungibar on the Red Sea. For two whole years we sailed to the southern edge of the land of Ham (Africa), but a strong storm from the hand of the god Baal wrecked the ships, and we lost our companions. Thus we arrived here on this shore, 12 men and 3 women." The expert points out that the name mentioned for King Hiram made it possible to date the inscription to between 553 and 533 BC.

This translation, the entire story of the tablet and other evidence were considered fraudulent and misleading and were believed by few. Experts confirmed that the inscription on the Brazilian stone is fake and dates back to the 19th century. Others, however, confirm that the tablet is authentic and that proof of the Phoenicians’ discovery of America is very likely.


  1. There are conflicting views on the authenticity of evidence like the Paraíba Tablet.

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