Join us this Saturday, November 19th, 12:30pm, at East Hill Cemetery for a very special event!
|John W Emmert was a Cherokee Indian, a Confederate War Veteran, a researcher with the Smithsonian Museum, and a former Constable of Bristol, Tennessee. Emmert is buried in East Hill Cemetery, and this Saturday a monument honoring him will be dedicated there. The stone will be placed between the Confederate and Slave cemeteries, and the History Channel will be present to tape the ceremony and tell the story of the man who found the controversial "Bat Creek Stone". |What John Emmert discovered in 1889 in a burial mound located at the confluence of the Little Tennessee River and Bat Creek (a few miles north of modern Vonore) is still highly debated. The Smithsonian Institution initially cataloged the Bat Creek Stone inscription as a Cherokee inscription. The stone received scant attention until the 1960's when ethnologist Joseph Mahan, puzzled by Thomas' conclusion that the inscription was Cherokee, sent a photograph of the inscription to Cyrus H. Gordon- a professor of Mediterranean Studies at Brandeis University and a well-known proponent of Pre-Columbian transatlantic contact theories. Gordon subsequently published a series of articles in the early 1970s arguing that the inscription is actually a version of Paleo-Hebrew text used in the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD and thus provided evidence of Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact. Other archaeologists have rejected Gordon's assertion, arguing instead that the inscription is a fraud typical of late-19th century archaeological hoaxes.
The debate continues today.