MS 2014-03 Robert C. Mainfort, Jr. and Mary L. Kwas papers on the Bat Creek stone

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.MS2014-03
Creators:
Mainfort, Robert C., 1948-
Kwas, Mary L.
Dates:
1987-2005
Languages:
English
English
Physical Description:
33 Items
0.33 linear feet (1 box
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection contains Robert C. Mainfort, Jr. and Mary L. Kwas' research files for their article "The Bat Creek Stone Revisited: A Fraud Exposed." The files include a copy of their article, correspondence, notes from archival and bibliographic research, and reference sources.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Bat Creek stone is a small inscribed rock that was reportedly excavated from an undisturbed burial mound at Bat Creek in Loudon County, Tennessee, by John W. Emmert, a Smithsonian field assistant for the Bureau of American Ethnology Mound Survey. Cyrus Thomas, director of the Mound Survey, claimed the marks resembled Cherokee syllabary in his publication, "Report on the Mound Explorations of the Bureau of Ethnology" (1894). In 1970, Cyrus Gordon, a Semitic languages scholar, identified the marks as Paleo-Hebrew. The tablet has since been cited (most notably by J. Huston McCulloch) as evidence of Precolumbian contacts between the Old World and New World. Robert C. Mainfort, Jr. and Mary L. Kwas refuted this claim in their 2004 article in American Antiquity 69(4), "The Bat Creek Stone Revisited: A Fraud Exposed." According to Mainfort and Kwas, evidence suggests that the inscription is a forgery, likely perpetrated by John W. Emmert.

Local Numbers
Local Numbers
NAA MS 2014-03

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access.
Citation
Manuscript 2014-03, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
Contact the repository for terms of use.

Other Archival Materials
Other Archival Materials
The Bat Creek stone (Accession A134902-0) and a cast (Accession A134902A-0) are held by the Department of Anthropology Collections, National Museum of Natural History. The records of the Mound Survey, MS 2400, are at the National Anthropological Archives.

Custodial History
Custodial History
These files were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Mary L. Kwas and Robert C. Mainfort in 2014.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Hoaxes Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America -- Transatlantic influences Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tennessee -- Antiquities Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Research Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Emmert, John W., 1842-1917 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland 20746
naa@si.edu
http://www.anthropology.si.edu/naa/