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The Newark “Holy Stones”: Science, Politics, and Religion in 19th Century Ohio

January 26, 2023 @ 7:00 pm 8:00 pm

 The Auglaize County Historical Society will present The Newark “Holy Stones”: Science, Politics, and Religion in 19th Century Ohio with Bradley Lepper as a Facebook Live event on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. The program is free and open to the public, and is made possible by the Ohio Humanities Council’s Speakers Bureau.

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 are authentic ancient artifacts. 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?

Lepper is the senior archaeologist for the Ohio History Connection’s World Heritage Program. In addition, he has occasionally been a visiting professor of Sociology and Anthropology at Denison University. His primary areas of interest include North America’s Ice Age peoples, Ohio’s magnificent mounds and earthworks, and the history of Archaeology.

To access the event, simply go to the Auglaize County Historical Society Facebook page (also accessible via a little before 7 p.m. on Jan. 26. When the program is about to begin, a red box with the word “Live” will pop up, and the program will appear as the most current post on the page. Viewers should adjust their volume (on the screen), if needed.

Auglaize County Historical Society


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541 West Rich Street, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Office: 614.461.7802