The Bat Creek Stone is a controversial
artifact that was discovered during a mound
excavation in the 1800s near the mouth of Bat
Creek in Loudon County, Tennessee. The stone is
smaller than the size of an average cell phone. One
side of the stone has a polished appearance and
eight symbols are engraved into the center of the
Cyrus Thomas published in the Ethnology
Report that the inscription on the stone contained
Cherokee symbols. However, he later realized an
error in his logic. In his book, Cherokees in Pre-
Columbian Times, he stated that the symbols could
not possibly be Cherokee because the mound
where the stone was found was older than the
Cherokee alphabet. Due to his misinterpretation of
the symbols, many speculate the stone is a fraud.
The stone did not hit the spotlight until the
1970s when Professor Cyrus Gordon suggested
the inscription was most likely a form of Paleo-
Hebrew, an ancestor script to the current Box
Religious groups, such as the Latter-Day
Saints, used the stone as proof that members of a
lost tribe of Israel were the ancestors of the Native
Americans. Even with the positive response of the
stone by the Latter-Day Saints, others still did not
believe it was authentic, including the
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About the Author
While attending Hiwassee he met his now wife Rachel. Rachel is the great-great-grand daughter of Major Luther Meade Blackman. Mandel also met Professor Lowell Kirk when they performed in a play together at Hiwassee. Professor Kirk was the first to make the connection between the Bat Creek Stone and Major Blackman.
Mandel now lives in Soddy Daisy Tennessee, but frequently visits Major Blackman’s home which belongs to his in-laws. The home sits just miles away from where the stone was unearthed.
While writing is simply a hobby for him, he hopes that this book will be a first of many books. He plans on each book to focus on parts of the Tennessee history. Though, for now he is simply just happy to be able to share his knowledge on the Bat Creek Stone.