Scott, Just a few words of encouragement to keep up the work. I live outside Louisville, Ky and have always been fascinated with our own local legend of Welsh Prince Madoc, Sadly I recently ran across a statement that the state of Indiana has declared that any pre-columbian discoveries were not to be presented as such, Such a prohibition is ludicrous in the extreme, and sounds like the last shriek on the retreat against people like yourself who are attempting to uncover the truth, Stay the course,
The most prominent online source is from 2009, when David Pratt wrote an article advocating trans-Atlantic diffusionism. He showed some pictures of Roman coins found in Indiana, which archaeologists believe are coins lost from Victorian-era collections—something that my own mishap nearly losing my own Roman coins to a careless clean-up renders quite plausible. Anyway, Pratt writes the following, which is almost certainly the warrant for my blog poster’s claim: “The coins were removed from public display in the Ohio Museum, because the museum belongs to the state of Indiana, whose archaeological policy is that there is no documented evidence of pre-Columbian contacts.”
This is not exactly the same thing, and a conclusion from facts isn’t really a “policy.”
Tracing back Pratt’s source from his footnote, we find that he derived the information from J. Huston McCulloch’s 2001 article on the coins, “A Few Coin Finds.” Here’s where it gets fun.
In the early version of McCulloch’s article cited by Pratt, McCulloch described secondhand information from Troy McCormick, the former director of a different museum, the Falls of the Ohio Museum, where the coins had been on display:
For several years, the Falls of the Ohio Museum had an exhibit about the find that displayed several casts of both sides of the two originals, so as to reflect the approximate number of coins originally in the hoard. The two original coins, depicted above, are in storage and were not on public display. McCormick has informed me that the exhibit has recently been removed from public display, because the Museum belongs to the state of Indiana, and the exhibit conflicted with the state’s archaeological policy that there is no documented evidence of pre-Columbian contacts.
But take a look at the current version of McCulloch’s article, updated in February 2012, which presents a revised set of facts:
For several years, the Falls of the Ohio Museum had an exhibit about the find that displayed several casts of both sides of the two originals, so as to reflect the approximate number of coins originally in the hoard. The two original coins, depicted above, are in storage and were not on public display. I have recently (2/12) been informed that the replicas are still on display, despite an earlier report to the contrary, in the Interpretive Center as part of the Myths and Legends exhibit, and will remain there at least into 2014.
I assume from the link McCulloch provided that the museum in question is at the Falls of the Ohio State Park, run by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. There is no evidence of any policy forbidding discussion of pre-Columbian contact, only the common sense fact that good science indicates no such contact took place in Indiana. I have an inquiry in to the park, and if I hear back I’ll update this with the information.