In 1877 the respected leader of the Nez Perce tribe surrendered to the U. S. Government. At his surrender, Chief Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain (known by his Christian name Joseph), presented General Nelson Appleton Miles with a pendant, a 1 inch square clay tablet with writings unrecognizable to General Miles. The writing, which was translated by Dr. Robert D. Biggs, Assyyriology Professor at the University of Chicago, turned out to be a sales receipt dating back to 2042 B.C. in Assyria. It read:
Chief Joseph said the tablet had been passed down in his family for many generations. How would his family come into possession of a nearly 4,000-year-old tablet? According to the Chief, they inherited it from their white ancestors.
Other tablets with an Assyrian connection have been found throughout North America. A tablet similar in size and appearance to The Chief Joseph tablet was found in 1963 in northwestern Georgia near the Chatahoochee River. Like the Chief Joseph tablet, this one was a receipt for the sale of sheep and goats that were to be used in a ceremonial sacrifice. From other information contained on the tablet, it appears to have been created in 2040 B.C. One difference is the Georgia tablet was made of lead.
When Chief Joseph surrendered to General Miles, he had the tablet in his medicine bag. That bag was itself an interesting connection to Ancient Assyria.
In an April, 2001 article published in Assyria Times, Benjamin Daniali points out a connection between an Assyrian symbol known as the Ashur Star and the design on Chief Joseph’s medicine bag.
In this photo of an ancient relief sculpture we can see the Assyrian god Ashur upon his throne. In front of him is a disc with the symbol known as the Assyrian Star or the Ashur Star. It is a four-pointed star with a circle in the center. Radiating out from between the four points of the star are rays of light.
In 1971 Assyria adopted a new flag depicting the Assyrian Star.
In photos of Chief Joseph we can see this same design on his medicine bag.
How could the Nez Perce and other tribes in North America have 4,000-year-old Assyrian artifacts handed down for generations? Why would Chief Thunder Rolling Down the Mountain have a Star of Ashur beaded on his medicine bag?
Sometime near the beginning of the Assyrian Empire — which ran from 2,500 B.C. to 605 B.C. — a tower was built in Assyria (modern day Iraq) to reach heaven. As a result, languages were confounded and families were scattered.
Mahonri Moriancumer, the brother of Jared, pleaded with the Lord to not confound his language and that of his closest friends. They left Assyria and traveled “across many waters” to a promised land. They became a mighty nation in the place they called Moriancumer. Could the Chief Joseph tablet have come with them across the waters? Could the Jaredites have preserved their language and Assyrian culture in North America?
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Assyrian flag image by: Assyrian612, wikimedia