|Proclamation Tablet Report
The Proclamation Tablet
A Final Report By Neil Steede, David Brown, & Joseph Mangum
April 1, 2005
A bilingual inscribed stone is now apparently fully deciphered. The inscription
implies that it gives direction to where more ancient writing awaits to be found.
Due to the nature of the finding, inscription, and decipherment, this final report
is somewhat tentative.
During the 2004 expedition to the site which the above authors believe to be
Cumorah, was found a tablet subsequently named the “Proclamation Tablet.”
The tablet was uncovered by Kevin Brown at the base of the 700 foot cliff face
where we believe the cave to be located.
The tablet was approximately 5 inches below the surface of the soil.
It was surrounded by smaller chinked stones that formed a semi-circle from the
cliff face around the stone and returning to the cliff face.
This practice seems to be very common among American Indians, in North
America particularly. It is always associated with sacred items or the marking of
important spiritual events. The inscription on the tablet was face-up. Initial
observations made it clear that the stone had been intentionally inscribed by
Most archaeologists would consider this stone to NOT be an artifact of human
production. This is because of the lack of expertise in epigraphy and particularly
stone inscribing. Throughout this paper we will be referring to several experts
who, by their request, will remain unnamed. This is due to the nature of our
beliefs concerning the tablet and its relation to Cumorah. Therefor, we will
include and convey their viewpoints and analysis in hope of providing a full
understanding. With that, we shall begin with a description of the stone and the
inscription upon it.
The stone itself is shale. The interesting part of this is that the mountain upon
which it is found is limestone. While the stone is composed of limestone shale,
it is a far more recent natural make-up than the mountain itself. We suppose
that particles of limestone were washed down from the mountain and deposited
in a shale formation by the river. This particular stone is composed of the same
material that is found in abundance at this river located about three to four miles
from the cliff face where the inscribed stone was found. Therefor, we suppose
that the stone in question was harvested at the river, carried up to the cliff base
for this specific reason of being used as inscription material. From the inscriber’
s perspective, this makes perfect sense because the shale from the river provides
a smoother, softer, more uniform thickness and texture material upon which to
make an intentional inscription.
This stone has been presented to four geologists for their examination and they
have all concurred with our findings of the stone composition, its method of
formation, and the location of its origin as opposed to where it was found.
A detailed examination of the profile of the grooves inscribed upon the stone
gives us clues as to the stylus type. The ratio of width to depth of the groove
profile demonstrates that the stylus has to be of a substance that can be thin
enough to create such a mark, yet strong enough to drag through the material in
question. Because the ratio is about five to one (depth to width) it is skeptical
that the stylus would be made of stone. Generally speaking it is very difficult to
grind a stone with this ratio and have a completely smooth edge as implied by
the grooves. What we mean by the above is that, a stone used as stylus would
leave a much wider drag groove than a metallic one. Because stone was
generally shaped by napping that leave ripples on the cutting edge the groove
walls would show a consistent imperfection through the entire inscription line.
Therefore, our first conclusion is that the stylus is metallic because the only drag
lines are the imperfections from the writing surface (i.e. grains of sand), which
also implies that there had to be a tensile strength which as far as we know can
only be found in metal.
There is some disagreement among professionals about the shape of the metal
stylus used on this stone. Some claim rocker knives while others claim knife
blades. We have a tendency to support the second because of the initial and
final points of each mark line. The depth of the inscribed markings appear to be
uniform from end to end indicating a consistent pressure applied from a single
point as opposed to a rocker blade utensil that would tend to make lighter and
inconsistent grooves toward the ends of the inscribed lines.
There are four classes of inscribed marks upon the stone. Three of these classes
fall within the category of meaningful text. The fourth type of incision is
classified as a product of the execution of the inscription. We will describe the
latter first. All four types were made by slicing the soft surface of the stone with
a metal blade. Since the surface was pliable, as the metal blade was drug through
the surface, shale residue would collect on the blade. The residue on the blade is
cleaned off of the blade by wiping it on the edge of the stone. This produced the
fourth set of markings found on the top left edge of the stone.
The three remaining incision markings can be classified by their depth. One
class is a very light drag of the blade creating an average depth of mark of 1/64th
of an inch. All markings of this depth can be found in the formation of three
parallelograms. Each parallelogram has an average of four parallel strokes per
side that almost gives the appearance of being “combed” with a multi-tipped
instrument. But, minute examination reveal that each stroke is made
individually. None of the parallelograms are exact duplicates of each other. All
of this gives a very strong case for this to NOT be a natural production. That is to
say that no one consulted can imagine any type of natural occurrence that would
create this formation. We believe the repetitive markings along these
parallelograms indicate to the reader a sense of intent for an imperative
message. We will develop this concept further when we discuss the content of
The second group of incised lines (illustrated as # 2) are much less numerous
and are twice as deep as the first set discussed, making the second set a depth of
1/32nd of an inch. The third set (illustrated as # 1) fall into the same category as
the second set although they are twice as deep yet again, making the third set of
markings at a depth of 1/16th of an inch. Both the second and third sets have
similar characteristics in that we see them running both vertically and
horizontally on the face of the stone. They fall into three groups of lines, each of
which is basically within one of the three parallelograms. Most of the horizontal
lines are intersected with vertical lines. Because we know that this tablet has
been purposefully harvested, placed in a sacred manner and inscribed by human
hand for the purpose of an important communication, we believe that it must be
a meaningful script. The configuration can only of the Ogam family of scripts.
Maybe, specifically, Married Ogam (Steede).
At this point we wish to make clear to the reader that Ogam is an alphabet, not a
language. Therefor, just because we can identify the letter does not mean that
we can read the text. For example, if the letters we read are P-A-N, one does not
know if this means “frying pan” in English, or “bread” in Spanish. Both English
and Spanish use the same alphabet (Latin) but each language has its own
unique characteristics that do not necessarily carry from one language to the
next in spite of the common use of letters. However, since many of these
characteristics are identifiable from language family to language family, we can
see some characteristics here that help identify the language family used on this
stone. Both of the epigraphers consulted agree that the characteristics here
seem to be of a Semitic language. It is extremely important for the reader to
understand that this is simply an indication. Unfortunately, the message is so
short with so little language syntax that it is only an educated guess that this is
from the Semitic language family. In the interest of clarity, we wish to be
perfectly clear that only at our insistence would the epigraphers translate in
Hebrew. Both epigraphers claim that the inscription could be from any of the
Semitic languages. We insisted on Hebrew based upon our faith only.
A point of interest, from the physical slant of the inscription, the stone’s
orientation and location, as well as, the stone’s inclination, it is believed by our
epigraphers that the carving of the stone was executed in place (in situ).
All of the above would mean that the executor would have been kneeling and
inscribing with his left hand. While none of this has a particular bearing on the
content of the inscription, we thought it to be of interest to our readers about the
human aspects of the one inscribing the message on the stone.
The first message that “jumps out” to the reader is the formation of the three
parallelograms. These three parallelograms are only known of in one ancient
script and that is Ancient Chinese ideogram.
Whereas, this ideogram may be read as “mouth,” “speak,” ”talk,” or “proclaim.”
We choose proclaim because of the multiple repetition as well as the Ogam
inscription being found within the ideogram, alluding to a proclamation rather
than speech. For the above reason the tablet bears the name “Proclamation
Tablet.” In the same breath, we must make clear that though our epigraphers
could see the parallelograms, and though our epigraphers agreed that the
parallelograms would translate in Ancient Chinese ideogram as we did, they
declined to believe that this is actually intended Ancient Chinese. Their
reasoning is that in their experience Ancient Hebrew and Ancient Chinese
ideogram are separated by a wide span of time, thus there is no precedent for the
two languages appearing simultaneously. So, to explain the existence of the
parallelograms on the stone one epigrapher claimed it was a previous inscription
that the author had tried to erase, and the second epigrapher had no explanation
as to the existence. However, we the authors do feel that Ancient Chinese
would be on Ether’s twenty-four golden plates and that Moroni, having
translated them, could have assimilated an understanding of some of the
ideograms and included it on the stone. On the other hand it could have been
Investigating the markings on the stone we deciphered a series of stem lines and
strokes from which we developed the following illustration:
On this illustration we labeled the stem lines from top to bottom as thus:
Then, we number the strokes as illustrated in this layout:
Using an Ogam alphabet we then transliterated the superscript, subscript, and
transcript markings into Latin letters. The transliteration is represented in the
Having made the supposition that the Married Ogam in translation number 2 is
using Hebrew as its base language as opposed to any other Semitic language,
then we can obtain a tentative reading. We note that there are four groups of
H G (M-M?)
And we make it clear to our reader that Hebrew reads from right to left.
The first two groups are on one line. They would read B-M-B, B-M-B. Which
would render “inside of—inside of,” or “in the—in the,” possibly implying a
“covered place” or “a cave.” The first epigrapher claims that this repetition would
be meaningless. The second epigrapher claims that a reading might possibly be
“inside the covered place,” or “inside the cave,” thus utilizing all the variances of
the B-M-B grouping.
The H by itself in the lower left quadrant could be translated to mean “the,” thus
reading from left to right (against the Hebrew rule) the second line would read
“the (unknown).” Apparently, this word does not exist in Ancient Hebrew
according to both epigraphers. Therefor, we make the assumption that this word
may be a borrowed word. For example, it could be a word borrowed from
Ancient Chinese from Ether’s plates or Mayan. Our assumption would include
that Moroni would be Mayan. The artifacts from the area certainly demonstrate
the fact that Maya were in the area in very high numbers.
It has been the opinion of several that there is some numerology involved in the
inscription of this tablet. Though support for this theory has waxed and waned,
we believe there may be something to this theory. Because there are twenty-
four strokes in the inscription and because the strokes are laid out in a square,
we suggest that twenty-four is a significant number. Basing the counts on stem
lines, determinative lines, and letter strokes, we can find variances of multiples
that equal twenty-four.
The number twenty-four, while seemingly significant to the writer is somewhat
obscure to the reader. We have four stem lines, two determinative lines, plus
eighteen stroke junctions. The question now is why does the writer feel it
necessary to convey the number twenty-four? Was he one of the twenty-four
survivors on the eve of the final battle with the Lamanites, or perhaps referring
to the twenty-four golden plates of Ether? Whatever the meaning we believe we
will eventually solve this riddle and we are thankful for having been a part of this
Review of Context
Stone: Approximately sixteen (16) inches long, fourteen (14) inches tall, and
about one (1) inch thick. It appears to be limestone shale with no apparent
marking indicating an effort to shape the stone. However, there are several grid-
like scratches beneath the engravings that appear to be an effort to clean the
stone in preparation for engraving.
Script: Married Ogam
Location: At the base of a large mountain face and above a valley where a large
Situ: The stone was found about five (5) inches below the surface. Small stones
circled the inscribed stone and the small stones were chinked.
Time Period: Seems to be between 0 and 400 AD with possible linguistic roots in
Hebrew of 500 BC.