I first came across this incredibly interesting discovery while reading about the Comalcalco stone associated with the second known reference
supposedly to 2012 that has been announced by the National Institute of Anthropology and History recently,you can find that thread
hereMexico Acknowledges 2nd Mayan Reference to 2012
So while researching the Comalcalco stone I stumbled upon something that surprised and caught my attention immediately,that was the archeological
finding of thousands of bricks that were engraved with inscriptions & languages that were not native to Meso-America at the time and do not belong
there as history & other archeological findings in the region would have us believe!
So started my research to dig deeper and what follows is what I've been able to gather & decipher so far ,I will start from the beginning,so as to
give some background information on the discovery-
Comalcalco Temple one
Top of Temple one
Comalcalco is a Mayan site surrounded by a rain forest in the Mexican state of Tabasco,It is the only Meso-American city constructed of fired
. (I will get to exactly what "fired bricks" are and where the process originated a little later) These ruins contain 372 mounds covering
40 sq. kilometers;so far only four of the 372 mounds have been completely excavated and they have revealed an acropolis,seven temples,two palaces,two
structures and 20-30 tombs.
Found within these mounds were thousands of fired bricks that held inscriptions depicting animals,people,plants,houses,temples,ships,letters and
sacred symbols but surprisingly many had Mediterranean elements with two even showing elephants!
In the early 1960's a preliminary site survey it was revealed two bricks with inscriptions on them.Afterwards between the years 1975-1978 Mexican
archeologist Pancio Salazar,at the time working for the national institute of anthropology & history of Mexico (I.N.A.H) continued more excavations
discovering forty six hundred inscribed bricks that were later examined.
Most of the inscriptions were recognizable as Mayan hieroglyphs.but a few turned out to be completely different,causing excitement and speculation.It
was not until 1980 after Salazars death that the collection of bricks were photographed & cataloged by archeologist & epigrapher Neil Steede.
Steede showed the photos to professor Barry Fell then leader & founder of 'the epigraphic society'.
Fell went onto publish a series of papers on the subject of the bricks for ESOP (The epigraphic society occasional papers) 'the Comalcalco
bricks:part 1,the Roman phase' (published in Vol. 19)
Fell drew attention to what he called "Mason's Marks"out of the forty six hundred bricks examined,fifteen hundred were marked in this way.
What was so interesting about these marks was their striking similarity to Roman mason's marks found on similar bricks in Britain among other
places.The Romans used these marks to keep a tally of individual productivity and slaves.
Each of their quarry slaves were required to produce close to two hundred bricks a day,by marking the bricks each slave made with his personal
symbol,the slave could prove he was working at full speed.
Also it is believed that The Roman bricks are often stamped with the mark of the legion that supervised their production.
The Romans made use of fired bricks, and the Roman legions, which operated mobile kilns, introduced bricks to many parts of the
empire. Roman bricks are often stamped with the mark of the legion that supervised their production. The use of bricks in southern and western
Germany, for example, can be traced back to traditions already described by the Roman architect Vitruvius.
Here are some examples of the engravings that were found on the bricks-
Mason marks seen on Comalcalco’s bricks (left) strongly resemble those used by Roman masons (right).
Christian motifs common in ancient Europe (top) are similar to motifs at Comalcalco (bottom).
[ Fig. 5/16.5.17 ]
Masons' marks from Roman sites (left) and Comalcalco (right) (Fell,Barry 1990)
Additional links concerning 'Mason marks'-
The diagram compares some of the marks found at Comalcalco (on the right) with those found at Roman sites (on the left). The similarities are truly
Additional links concerning 'Mason marks'-
Some researchers have also claimed that the dimensions of the bricks (more like flat tiles than conventional bricks) and some of the
architectural details are more Roman than Mayan. Any Roman connection to the Americas would pre-date Columbus by a thousand years.
Proponents of early contacts from across the Atlantic claim that the Indian Satavahana Dynasty, dating from about 200 BC to 200 AD, had developed
extensive trade connections with Rome, and that Brahmi script soon reached Comalcalco.
The technology to make kiln-fired bricks appears to be similar in parts of South East Asia and Comalcalco. As further support, they cite the urn
burials found at Comalcalco, which they claim were virtually contemporary with similar burials in India.
Archaeologists working to restore the site discovered that many of the bricks had inscriptions on them. These inscriptions had been invisible,
hidden from view, while the bricks had been set in mortar. Dislodged bricks, and those removed for resetting as part of the restoration process, often
bore mysterious symbols or inscriptions. In some cases, the brick makers' fingerprints were still clearly visible.
Neil Steede, an archaeologist working on the site, studied almost 5,000 bricks, and photographed the inscriptions he found on about 1,500 of them.
Most of the symbols or inscriptions have been interpreted as masons' signs. The really curious thing is that these marks turn out to be virtually
identical to the masons' marks used by the Romans, half a world away.
Steede was led to the astonishing conclusion that, "The illustrated bricks of Comalcalco are pieces to a grand puzzle, whose completed, final image
may reveal a Roman Christian presence in the Americas a thousand years before the arrival of Columbus." 1
Mediterranean looking ceramic heads found at Comalcalco-