<bron186.htm>     [Bronze Age Text]


          (CLICK to Enlarge)                                     (CLICK to Enlarge)


        Left:  Bone artifact, 75 X 27 mm, decorated by fine grooves and inscribed in letters of the Iberian script, excavated by mr. & Mrs. Oliver with the Snapp's Bridge skeletons in the course of the dig conducted by the Archeological Society of Tennessee.  WPG-2, Snapp's Bridge Irish-Iberian Site, Washington Co., TN.  The artifact was thought to be a small comb.  The Iberian letters measure from 7-10 mm in height and are perfectly formed.  Letters of the same script occur in Basque inscriptions in Spain and in the Susquehanna Valley (Fell 1982).  Matching letters, when found engraved on rocks, have been thought to be "marks made by plowshares." Agíre, The Basque lexicographer, has confirmed Basque readings. 


        Right:  The letters conform to Greek early style of the 8th to 5th centuries BC, and are to be read in boustrophedon.  Rectified to modern order we have:  C-L C-R-T  (Clo criata = "Imprint-stamp for pottery").  Thus, the artifact is a potter's tool for imprinting the surface relief on wet unfired pottery.  The existence of such stamps was inferred from the neat, uniform aspect of the surface patterns on the "Early Woodland" pottery found in graves.