One of the old standards of alternative archaeology is the claim that Old World peoples colonized the New World in remote antiquity. In the nineteenth century proof of such claims became a much prized commodity, for it supported actions by North American governments, including that of then-British Canada to deprive Native Americans of their traditional lands, since the Natives were therefore not "native" but mere usurpers who had taken over Old World (read: white) settlements.
Below is an article I discovered in the October 1832 number of Britain's Gentleman's Magazine reporting on the alleged proof that the Phoenicians had colonized Mexico. Note that the article asks us to take on faith that the word of titled European nobility puts his claims of conveniently vanished evidence above suspicion.
AMERICA KNOWN TO THE PHOENICIANS.
During the numerous excavations of late carried on in North America, several discoveries have been made that indicate truces of a very remote civilization. In the barrows there opened have been found, together with human skeletons, earthen vessels, and utensils composed of alloyed metal, indicating the past existence of an art at present unknown to the nations of that continent. This fact, connected with others produced by Robertson, and confirmed by Bullock in his "Museum of Mexican Antiquities," is sufficient to prove that America, though called the New World, is quite as old as our portion of it; nor is it at all improbable that we are the youngsters of the race of Adam; for, with the exception of the Pyramids of Egypt, and the vases lately discovered in Italy twenty feet below the present surface of the soil, we have nothing in Europe to show, as proofs of antiquities, equal to the fact recorded by Mr. Ferrall, who states that at the Bull Shoals of the White River, in Missouri, several feet below the surface of the river, reliquiae; were found, which indicated that the spot had formerly been the seat of metallurgical operations, where the alloy had appeared to be lead united with silver; arrow-heads also cut out of flint, and fragments of earthenware that had undergone the operation of fire, were found there.
If we are to rely on the statements of Baron Humboldt, and other scientific men, who have been investigating the antiquities of Mexico, the continent of America was not unknown to the Phoenicians. Count Roehenstart, the Russian traveller, has given the following curious statement. "I went to Mexico, where I resided several months, and, guided by the learned observations of M. le Baron Humboldt, I gained the knowledge that America had been colonised by the Phoenicians. I know that many persons will urge the impossibility of crossing the Atlantic without compass, and in vessels such as the Carthaginians built, but to those objections I give this short answer: — I procured sepulchral monuments of these people, which proved beyond a doubt the fact I assert. The precious fragments I had collected were embarked for Europe. Off Jamaica we were chased and boarded by a picaroon; when my rich collection of natural history, my manuscripts, my vessel, and all that I possessed, fell into the hands of the pirates. I had, moreover, the pain of seeing the burying-stones, the precious remains of antiquity with which I expected to astonish the learned, thrown into the sea."
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