Atlantic Crossing in 4000 BC

Margo's Magical Letter Page

Margaret Magnus

I quote here exceprts from two books: JOSEPH CAMPBELL, THE MASKS OF GOD PART I, PRIMITIVE MYTHOLOGY and SALVATORE M. TRENTO, "FIELD GUIDE TO MYSTERIOUS PLACES OF EASTERN NORTH AMERICA". They both refer to a peoples known to live at about 4000 BC, both of whom buried their dead in a crouched or fetal position and covered with red ochre, except that according to Campbell, they lived immediately northwest of the nuclear matrix of the Fertile Crescent, and according to Trento, they lived in Massachusetts, USA. I think they crossed the Atlantic. Is this generally known by archaeologists and historians? If so, why do neither Campbell nor Trento mention it, and why do they tell my kids at school that no one crossed the Atlantic before the Vikings? I've been to the site that Trento mentions... it's owned by the phone company and could be dug up at any moment... shouldn't somebody do something about that?

p. 428-429

"For already in the fourth millennium BC, radiations from the Tigris-Euphrates were crossing the Caucasus to the Northern Shores of the Black Sea and the radiations from the Aegean had begun to penetrate the Balkans. Indeed a secondary mythogenetic zone of prodigious import for the future is to be seen developing now, immediately northwest of the nuclear matrix of the Fertile Crescent. Here a vigorous population of mesolithic hunters were receiving ideas and new techniques from the great centers of the south much in the way of our Apache Indians in part 3. And retaining all their savagery while finding their powers of attack and plunder increased, they soon became a source of really terrible danger to the farming villages and merchant cities of the primary zone. Their style was pastoral, not sedentary, stressing stock breeding, not agriculture; and even though they had not yet mastered the warrior's mount, the horse, they were adequately mobile with their oxen carts and could readily surprise and overwhelm a sleeping town. They could also drive and scatter their less advanced paleolithic cousins to the wastelands of the arctic north. And they could move eastward as well, toward China. We may think of the arc above the Black Sea as their matrix - Bulgaria, Rumania and the Ukraine - the lands of the lower Danube, Dniester, Dnieper and Don. But the reach of their influence has been traced from the arctic to the tropics., and from Ireland to the South China Sea.

Richly furnished royal burial mounds (known variously as kurgans, barrows, or tumuli); smaller graves containing skeletons in the crouch position liberally sprinkled with red ochre;ceremonially buried bulls; a type of pottery bearing chord-marked and incised zigzag, triangular, and stippled decorations; another type incised with loops and spirals; copper tools and beads, spiral earrings, and hammer-headed pins of bone and copper mark the passage of these folk as they pass from their homeland in the Caucasus area, westward along the northern shore of the Black Sea and then, on the one hand, southward into Rumania, Bulgaria and the Balkans, and, on the other, northward to the Baltic, southern Scandinavia, northern France, and the British Isles."

p. 438.

"From the middle of the second millennium onward, am epoch-making new development: the entry into India of the Vedic Aryans (remote cousins of the Homeric Greeks, who were penetrating the Balkans at the same time, both perhaps being direct descendents of the people of the kurgans and ocher graves discussed in the description of the northwestward diffusion). With the coming of these Aryans, the higher civilization of the Indus cities was destroyed, and a new age initiated, in which the male gods of a nomadic herding people for a time triumphed - and seemed to have triumphed forever - over the goddess of the soil-rooted city states.

p 108-115

Morrill's Point, Salisbury, Massachussets

Site Synopsis

North of the town of Newburyport, ... is an earten burial mound hat is 6-8 feet high and 200 feet in diameter. Excavations there show... a mysterious, seagoing people buried their dead in this locale...


The land that the mound is on is technically owned by the New England Power Company, although it is difficult, if not impossible to ascertain this, as the land is not posted, nor is there a description of ownership posted. I had to track down this fact through the tax records!


Lonf known as an "Indian" hill, this site was first actively investigated by the Early Sites Research Society in the late 1970's. Several seasons of excavations produced dramatic evidence of long term use by generations of ancient Indians. The first few layers of the mound showed clear evidence of a feasting site... As the digging continued along the southern tier of the mound, the teams found several burials with skeletons that were almost perfectly preserved. Some were in flexed, fetal position, having been arranged with great care, while other skeletons were found in ancient piles of shells... The age of these skeletons provided a perspective on both long term use and tradition. The earliest set of remains dated back over 6000 years... Perhaps the most intriguing material found with these early burials was red ochre - sometimes called 'red paint'. Red ochre is found in many burials along the eastern coast of America. Why it was sometimes buried with the dead is unknown, although it probably had religious significance. A few years ago, I collected samples of red ochre from burials in New York State to Nova Scotia (including the mound site in Salisbury). The ages of these sites range from 2000 to over 6000 years old. I wanted to determine the exact composition of the reddish powdery material... Working with Dr. Lawrence Nelson, then a senior scientsit at International Nickel Laboratory at Sterling Forest, NY, I ran the materials through a mass spectrometer to determine the composition of the substance... we found that twenty specific elements made up red ochre. In other words, red ochre was manufactured based on a specific chemical formula!"

(Trento then tells of evidence of very refined copper processing in other burial sites) "All of this indicates a remarkable degree of tehcnical sophistication among the people who built this mound in MA.

Total Magnetic Field/Inclination Angle

Magentometer measurements around, across and on the mound revealed no significant anomalies. Perhaps the spot was chosen for its close proximity to the tical flats and the clams.

Further Investigations

A few hundred yards from the mound, the team found a male skeleton that was over 7000 years old.... The body was layed out in flexed position with the head pointing toward the east... Another nearby site to examine is Plum Island... For years people have been fining ancient Roman coins along the Southern tip. I've even gotten reports of the occasional gold coin!"