On December 19, 2009, I posted a critical review on this site of the book In Plain Sight: Old World Records in Ancient America , by Gloria Farley, 1994, ISAC Press, Columbus, Georgia. This had originally been written for the Pleistocene Coalition News (PCN), Volume 1, Issue 2, November-December 2009, (http://pleistocenecoalition.com/index.htm). I was asked to write the review by the editor of PCN in order to stimulate a discussion on the subject of Old World to New World diffusion in rock art. In other words were some or many of the inscriptions on our rocks created by members of expeditions from the Old World? Their most recent issue (Volume 2, Number 1) contains some responses to my review, one of which I present below:
OCEAN TRANSPORT GOING BACK FOR MILLENIA
By Virginia Steen-McIntyre
I recommended Gloria Farley's book In Plain Sight in Issue 1 of this Newsletter, along with the 2009 book World Trade and Biological Exchanges before 1492 (Sorenson and Johannessen) because they complement one another.
How can one find evidence of New World plants and parasites in Old World archaeological sites unless there had been some form of ocean transport going on for millennia? (Example: Tobacco leaves in the body cavity of Pharaoh Rameses II's mummy, as mentioned in the preface to Farley's book.)
Peter, you are not happy with the mishmash of scripts and languages that sometimes appear on the same rock face. I see a semiliterate, polyglot crew of homesick sailors and explorers leaving their marks on a sheltered rock face in an unknown, hostile land, especially prayers to their various deities for protection and safe trip home.
Yes Virginia, there really was pre-Columbian contact. There is considerable evidence of that, above and beyond L’anse aux Meadows. I have never discounted the idea of some pre-Columbian contact between the Old World and the New World. I also do not discount the evidence of transport of organisms between them. What I discount is that the crews of ships, exploratory or trading, reached southeastern Colorado and western Oklahoma to leave inscriptions carved into the rocks. To me this question between us comes down to one of belief. I just cannot believe in that scenario and apparently you do. I honor your belief and I thank you for your reasonable response to mine.