In your haste to try and discredit me, you are getting careless. If you had listened carefully you would have heard me say the weathering of the Brandenburg Stone COULD pre-date Columbus. In the next sentence, I said because the provenance of the artifact was unknown, and therefore the weathering environment it was exposed to is unknown, we can not say how old the inscription is. You obviously thought you heard something different, but I invite you suffer through the episode one more time to check the facts.
Wolter: This is the first time I’ve ever looked at this stone. These are limestones, probably oolitic limestone. If you look very closely, you’ll see what looks like little sand grains. They’re actually sand of limestone, and they’re called oolites. When I look down into the grooves, I can see some of those ooids, so that’s an indication of weathering. Based on everything I’ve seen, we’re not lookin’ at a hoax here. Does anybody know what this inscription says? [Discussion of the content of the “Welsh” message.] This could actually call into question the whole legitimacy of the United States!
[commercial break followed by recapitulation of previous segment]
Wolter (V.O.): I examined this clue and saw evidence of weathering that takes (emphasis) a long time. But now, I need to see where it came from, a place called Paradise Bottom.
[Wolter travels to Paradise Bottom to match the type of rock, not its weathering pattern, and the segment shows him examining rocks. He interviews a man at the quarry who asserts that the Welsh arrived in the sixth century CE, and that the stone may be from this period.]
Wolter (on phone): I’ve had a chance to look at the Brandenburg Stone, and it’s very interesting. It does show some evidence of weathering.
Wolter (V.O.): My analysis of the stone’s weathering suggests it could have been carved before 1492, but there is no way to get a more precise date because it was taken out of its original environment, and its provenance isn’t clear.
This is why we do not do science by television. It requires more than a single sentence to convey the full range of possibility and all the qualifications needed in presenting a conclusion.
As we know, the stone was actually carved much, much later. It is written in Coelbren y Beirdd, a hoax Welsh alphabet created in Wales in 1791 by Edward Williams (Iolo Morganwg), but not widely popularized outside of scholarly circles in Wales until years later when his son Taliesin began publishing his father’s works in 1826. The alphabet was widely published in the 1830s and 1840s, and whoever forged the Brandenburg Stone (it was not actually either Williams, who were never in Kentucky) almost certainly used such publications, possibly Taliesin Williams’s widely-read book about the alphabet, in forging the stone. The younger Williams’s popular book was published to scholarly acclaim in 1840 (having won a prestigious prize two years before) and the alphabet was exposed as a hoax in 1893 (though suspicions had been raised earlier, until Taliesin successfully combated them), which makes it much more likely that the stone was actually carved between 1840 and 1912, though a date as early as 1792 cannot be excluded. In the United States, libraries had dozens of different volumes on Coelbren y Beirdd, including the Iolo Manuscripts (1848), Bardaas (1862 and 1874), etc., but I am not able to find evidence that the alphabet itself would have been widely available in rural America prior to Taliesin’s book, though it is possible that some of Edward’s specialist publications imported from Britain were available in some places. After 1862, the largest collection of the Williams forgeries was in print and the alphabet was at the height of its popularity. Thus, the latter nineteenth or early twentieth century seems the best candidate for the time of forgery. America Unearthed is a bit deceptive on this point in an attempt to make the stone seem as old as possible.
Given this, even if we accept everything Wolter now claims as true, he still can’t tell the difference between a stone that was carved a scant century ago and one that is 200, 500, or 1500 years old.