Copy Link
Add to Bookmark

Phoenician inscriptions in Brazil

Phoenician inscriptions in Brazil
Pin it

According to the orthodox historical vision, there were no contacts between the Middle Eastern world and the Americas before the arrival of the Genoese navigator Christopher Columbus in 1492.

However, there is much evidence that the Middle Eastern world and also the Celtic-megalithic world had sporadic contacts with South America, starting from the time of the Sumerians.

The Sumerian pre-contact theory is supported both by elements of linguistic similarity of the ancient Sumerian language with the Aymara language still spoken today in Bolivia, and by two very particular finds that were found near Lake Titicaca. I am referring to the Fuente Magna and the Pokotia Monolith which bear Sumerian inscriptions, which were deciphered by the epigrapher Clyde Winters.

The theory of occasional discovery is supported by the fact that ancient peoples, in this case the Sumerians, were good navigators and may have circumnavigated Africa in the same direction as the hands of the clock, i.e. starting from the Red Sea and initially heading towards the Cape of Good Hope. Once they arrived at the Cape Verde islands, however, the contrary winds, i.e. the trade winds, would have pushed them towards Brazil and thus they would have initially arrived in the Amazon.

According to this theory, the second population of navigators who occasionally reached Brazil were the Phoenicians, who however left much more archaeological evidence and linguistic phonemes in local languages ​​on the South American continent, such as Tupi Guaraní.

One of the first supporters of the theory of the ancient presence of the Phoenicians in Brazil was the Austrian history professor Ludwig Schwennhagen (20th century), who in his book "Ancient History of Brazil", cited the studies of Umfred IV of Toron (12th century), which in turn had described the voyages of King Hiram of Tire (993 BC), and King Solomon of Judea (960 BC), to the estuary of the Amazon River.

According to Schwennhagen, the Tupi Guaraní language would have the same origin as Middle Eastern languages ​​and, in particular, would show many similarities with the Sumerian language.

As regards the archaeological and documentary evidence, which would prove the arrival and ancient presence of Phoenicians in Brazil, we must first of all mention the question of the Paraiba Stone, which was found in 1872 near Pouso Alto (Paraiba).

The stone broke into four pieces and was never found, but the copy of the inscriptions that according to the discoverers were carved into it was sent to the Viscount of Sapuachay who was the president of the historical institute of Rio de Janeiro. Initially the transcription was declared a forgery, however later, in 1960, the epigrapher Cyrus Gordon stated that the Phoenician text which reproduced the Paraiba Stone could not be a forgery, because it reported grammatical concepts of the Phoenician language which were still unknown in the 1872, when knowledge of the ancient Middle Eastern language in the world was still very limited.

Here is the translation of the Piedra of Paraiba:

We are Canaeans of Sidon from the city of the merchant king. We came to this distant island, a mountainous land. We sacrificed a young man to the heavenly Gods and Goddesses, in the nineteenth year of our king Hiram, and embarked at Ezion-geber in the Red Sea. We traveled with ten ships for two years around Africa, then we were separated from it by the hand of Baal and already we are not with our companions. So we arrived here, twelve men and three women, on the iron island, on a new beach that I, the admiring one, controls. But surely the Gods and Goddesses will favor us.

According to Cyrus Gordon, the king Hiram mentioned would be Hiram III, who would date the inscription to 531 BC. Furthermore, when we refer to the "hand of Baal", we would be indicating the God of storms and this would support the thesis of the trade winds which from the Cape Verde Islands they constantly blow towards Brazil.

Phoenician inscriptions in Brazil
Pin it

There are other documentary sources on the possible arrival of Phoenician ships in Brazil. For example, the sources of Herodotus who in his Histories mentions a Phoenician expedition contracted by the Egyptian pharaoh Necao II (610 BC - 595 BC), which left the Red Sea and reached the Strait of Gibraltar three years later.

Furthermore, we must mention the Carthaginian expedition of 425 BC commanded by Hanno, who was supposed to found colonies in the Gulf of Guinea, during which potentially even the Carthaginians (descendants of the Phoenicians) could have reached Brazil. From the point of view of archaeological evidence, the Pedra di Gavea and the Pedra do Ingá
must be mentioned. The first, located near Barra da Tijuca in the State of Rio de Janeiro, contains petroglyphs that were partially deciphered by the scholar Bernardo de Azevedo da Silva Ramos. (Inscrições e Tradições da América Pré-Histórica, 1932).

According to this interpretation the inscription could be transliterated in this way:


Which translated would mean:

Here Badezir, king of Tyre, eldest son of Jetbaal.

The inscription would therefore date back to approximately 840 BC, as Jetbaal reigned until 847 BC.

Even if according to some Orthodox historians the inscription of the Pedra of Gavea is indicated as a forgery, one wonders how it was possible, in the beginning of the 19th century, when the petroglyph of the Gavea Stone was made known publicly, reproduce a Phoenician inscription given that the knowledge of this language was very limited in the world (same situation as the Paraiba Stone).

The other archaeological evidence of the possible ancient presence of the Phoenicians (or perhaps the Hittites as supported by the Italian-Brazilian Gabriele D'Annunzio Baraldi) in Brazil is the mysterious and complex Petroglyph of Ingá, which I had the opportunity to study in one of my recent trip to Brazil.

Analyzing the Pedra do Ingá, one can notice many signs that according to Baraldi were made using molds when the entire monolith was a huge piece of molten lava, following the eruption of an ancient volcano.

For example, we notice a sign very similar to the Phoenician qoph, that is, a circle with a vertical line in the center, which corresponds to the Latin q.

The latest evidence, this time documentary, on the possible presence of Middle Eastern peoples (perhaps Carthaginians) in the interior of Brazil is the famous Document 512, which I recently translated in full from ancient Portuguese.

As can be seen, the possibility that the Phoenicians arrived in Brazil in ancient times is supported by various documentary, archaeological and linguistic evidence. It remains to be verified whether they really settled in South America and whether they were able to exploit some mines of precious metals, which were used by the Templars in the following centuries, as claimed by some researchers of the southern cone.

← previous
next →


guest's profile picture

Around the 12th century BC the Phoenicians crossed the Strait of Gibraltar, founding the cities of Gades (Cadiz) and Utica. In addition to the Iberian peninsula, however, they pushed southwards onto the African Atlantic shore; there were certainly Phoenician maps on the sea routes, perhaps secreted to hinder their competitors! In this context we find the undertaking of the Carthaginian Himilco who appears to have completed a four-month expedition along the European Atlantic coasts culminating with the landing on the coasts of Brittany and the British Isles (around 570 BC).

19 Jun 2024
lostcivilizations's profile picture
Lost Civilizations (@lostcivilizations)

Thank you so much for letting me know 😃 It seems that America was known long before 1492. Columbus simply made the discovery official by making it known to the whole world.

22 Jun 2024
sending ...
New to Neperos ? Sign Up for free
download Neperos App from Google Play
install Neperos as PWA

Let's discover also

Recent Articles

Recent Comments

Neperos cookies
This website uses cookies to store your preferences and improve the service. Cookies authorization will allow me and / or my partners to process personal data such as browsing behaviour.

By pressing OK you agree to the Terms of Service and acknowledge the Privacy Policy

By pressing REJECT you will be able to continue to use Neperos (like read articles or write comments) but some important cookies will not be set. This may affect certain features and functions of the platform.