The Newark “Holy Stones”: Science, Politics, and Religion in 19th Century Ohio
The “Holy Stones” are a series of carved and polished stones bearing Hebrew inscriptions, said to have been found in the ancient mounds near Newark, Ohio in the 1860s. They were seized upon by those who believed “savage” Indians could not have built Ohio’s mounds, but have been considered frauds since the late 1800s. However, some enthusiasts have recently claimed they might be authentic. What are the “Holy Stones?” Are they evidence of pre-Columbian visitations by ancient Hebrews? If they are clever frauds, what were the perpetrators’ motives?