Los Angeles Times, December 14, 1925
Discovery Near Tucson, Ariz., Stirs Archeologists. Cross, Crescent, Hebraic Sign on Castings Dug Up. Experts Differ as to Period, But Lend Credence.
After investigation by a number of scientists, first announcement was made here today of the excavation near Tucson of cast-lead swords, crosses and other objects bearing Latin and Hebrew inscriptions, which, taken at their face value, are held to mean that Roman Jews crossed the Atlantic in the dark ages, penetrated to Arizona and founded a kingdom which lasted from 760 A.D. to 900 A.D.
Opinions of scientists vary as to the authenticity of the objects. Neil Merton Judd, curator of American archeology of the United States National Museum, said he believed that no hoax or fraud was involved, but he thought the date later than that of the Spanish conquest of 1540 A.D.
Dr. Byron Cummings, professor of archeology of the University of Arizona, vouched for the reliability of the discoverers of the objects, which, he said, “show Jewish and Christian influence and bear dates of 760 to 900 A.D.”
The combination of Christian cross, Moslem crescent, Hebraic seven-branched candlestick and Free Masonry emblems has imposed a heavy tax on the credulity of investigators, but their appearance of having been covered and embedded in stone by natural processes has puzzled skilled archeologists. Some have arrived at the opinion that, whatever their origin, the objects lay in the earth where they were found for centuries.
Some scholars have been slow to admit the objects’ authenticity because of the frequency of archeological frauds. The danger of indorsing another “Cardiff giant” or a monument of the “Bill Stumps his mark” type has generally caused investigators to be cautious, but it is asserted that those who have examined the site have come to the conclusion that the things were not planted as a hoax but have been there for a considerable period of time. They were found in September 1924, fifteen months ago—a longer period than any motion-picture press agent, as a rule, would allow for the incubation of a publicity dodge.
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