cross of Lorraine



Dee Finney's blog

start date July 20, 2011

today's date January 5, 2014

page 624


NOTE FROM DEE:  I watched a documentary done by Scott Wolter on television about some artifacts made of lead near Tucson, AZ. The local lead mine was very close to where the artifacts were found.  These were all crosses of various sizes. One of them was dated 800 AD, which was questioned, and proven accurate.  The other thing was on one of the artifacts, there was a clear Cross of Lorraine which was used by the Knights Templar.  All of the text carved into these lead crosses was in Latin.  The crosses were found buried in calichi - a limestone mixed with other stones in the desert, and it took hundreds of years to form, so apparently the crosses were made in 800 AD and then buried in the stone for some reason - but nobody knows who made them.  That is the big puzzle with this find of the artifacts. One of these artifacts had a drawing of what looked like a dinosaur with a forked tongue, which could have represented a 'dragon, but it is assumed it represented a lizard which is common to the area and to the natives who lived there. The people who found the artifacts in 1924 or long dead, and they are in the hands of the grandchildren, and they had been told it was a big hoax.  Scott Wolter is saying, "This is no hoax."  But who made the crosses near Tucson, AZ?

The Cross of Lorraine (French: Croix de Lorraine) was originally a heraldic cross. The two-barred cross consists of a vertical line crossed by two shorter horizontal bars. In most renditions, the horizontal bars are "graded" with the upper bar being the shorter, though variations with the bars of equal length are also seen. The Lorraine name has come to signify several cross variations, including the patriarchal crosswith its bars near the top

The Cross of Lorraine consists of one vertical and two evenly spaced horizontal bars. It is a heraldic cross, used by the Dukes of Lorraine. René d’Anjou (also Duke of Lorraine 1431-1453) "was a major transmitter of the Hermetic tradition in Italy and had the cross of Lorraine as his personal sigil". This cross is related to the Crusader's cross, and the six globes of the Medici family.

The Lorraine cross was carried to the Crusades by the original Knights Templar, granted to them for their use by the Patriarch of Jerusalem.

In the Catholic Church, an equal-armed Lorraine Cross denotes the office of archbishop.

In France, the Cross of Lorraine is the symbol of the Free French Forces of World War II, the liberation of France from Nazi Germany, andGaullism and includes several variations of a two barred cross. The bars are supposed to be equally spaced as can be seen on most images relating to the Free French Forces, though variations are common.

The Cross of Lorraine is part of the heraldic arms of Lorraine in eastern France. Between 1871 and 1918 (and again between 1940 and 1944), the northern third of Lorraine was annexed to Germany, along with Alsace. During that period the Cross served as a rallying point for French ambitions to recover its lost provinces. This historical significance lent it considerable weight as a symbol of French patriotism. During the War, Capitaine de corvette Thierry d'Argenlieu suggested the Cross of Lorraine as the symbol of the Free French Forces led by Charles de Gaulle as an answer to the Nazi swastika.

The Cross was displayed on the flags of Free French warships, and the fuselages of Free French aircraft. The medal of the Order of Liberation bears the Cross of Lorraine.

De Gaulle himself is memorialised by a 43 metres (141 ft) high Cross of Lorraine in his home village of Colombey-les-Deux-Églises. The Cross of Lorraine was later adopted by Gaullist political groups such as the Rally for the Republic.


New World

French Jesuit missionaries and settlers to the New World carried the Cross of Lorraine c. 1750-1810. The symbol was said to have helped the missionaries to convert the native peoples they encountered, because the two armed cross resembled existing local imagery.

European heraldry

The flag and the coat of arms of Slovakia both include the double cross. It was introduced to the territory of today's Slovakia by Constantine and Methodius, who brought Christianity to Slavic empire of Great Moravia in the 9th century. In Slovakia, the double cross as a symbol of Lorraine is considered to have arisen when the Great Moravian kingSvätopluk I "passed" it to Zwentibold of Lorraine, the godchild of Svätopluk and son of the emperor Arnulf of Carinthia.

The coat of arms of Hungary depicts a double cross, which is often attributed to Byzantine influence as King Béla III of Hungary was raised in the Byzantine Empire in the 12th century, and it was during his rule when the double cross became a symbol of Hungary.


A golden double cross with equal bars, known as the Cross of Jagiellons, was used by Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland Jogaila since his conversion to Christianity in 1386, as a personal insignia and was introduced in the Coat of Arms of Lithuania. Initially, the lower bar of the cross was longer than the upper, since it originates from the Hungarian type of the double cross. It later became the symbol of Jagiellon dynasty and is one of the national symbols of Lithuania, featured in the Order of the Cross of Vytis and the badge of the Lithuanian Air Force.


The double barred cross was one of the national symbols in Belarus, both as the Jagiellon Cross and as the Cross of St. Euphrosyne of Polatki, an important religious artifact.  The symbol isi supposed to have Byzantine roots and is used by the Balarusian Greek Catholic Church as asymbol uniting Eastern-Byzantine and Western-Latin church traditions.  The Belarusian Cross can be found on the traditional coat of arms of Belarus, the Pahonia.










The cross is used as an emblem by the American Lung Association and related organizations through the world, and as such is familiar from their Christmas Seals program. Its use was suggested in 1902 by Paris physician Gilbert Sersiron as a symbol for the "crusade" against tuberculosis.

For its defense of France in World War I, the American 79th Infantry Division was nicknamed the "Cross of Lorraine" Division; its insignia is the cross. The German 79th Infantry Division of World War II used the cross of Lorraine as its insignia because its first attack was in the Lorraine region.

In the television series Magnum, P.I., Thomas Magnum and his Vietnam War comrades were all shown to wear rings that bore the cross of Lorraine.

Ironically, the cross is also used as the symbol of the fascist Norsefire party in the film version of the graphic novel V for Vendetta.

The cross of Lorraine was previously used in the SABRE, Apollo, and Worldspan global distribution systems (GDS) as a delimiter in various input formats, however, the latest version of the Graphical User Interface for each system uses a different symbol: Apollo displays it as a plus sign, Worldspan as a number sign, and Sabre as a yen symbol.

The "Cross of Lorraine" symbol appears in Unicode as U+2628  cross of lorraine (HTML: ☨). It is not to be confused with U+2021  double dagger (HTML: ‡‡).

The Cross of Lorraine was noted as a symbol of the Free French in the film Casablanca. A ring bearing the Cross was worn by Norwegian underground agent Berger and shown to one of the movies heroes (Victor Laszlo) as proof of loyalty.

It has also been used as a symbol for the city Roeselare (black cross) and Ypres (red cross) in Belgium.

282 (East Ham) Squadron, Air Training Corps have the "Cross of Lorraine" on their unit crest in honour of their previous Squadron President, Odette Hallowes who worked for an independent French section of the Special Operations Executive during World War II.

See also


  1. Jump up^ Christopher McIntosh: Gardens of the Gods: Myth, Magic and Meaning in Horticulture. London: I.B. Tauris 2005, p. 130.
  2. Jump up^ Nwaocha Ogechukwu: The Secret Behind the Cross and Crucifix. Eloquent Books 2009, p. 23.
  3. Jump up^ Souheil Sami Bayoud: The Coin of the Temple. Bloomington: AuthorHouse 2006, p. 76.
  4. Jump up^ "Symbolism", Cross of Lorraine, CA: BCY.
  5. Jump up^ Charlotte Gray 'The Museum Called Canada: 25 Rooms of Wonder' Random House, 2004
  6. Jump up^ "The Cross of Lorraine – a symbol of the anti-TB "crusade"". TB Alert. Retrieved 2006-11-18.
  7. Jump up^ "History of the Double-Barred Cross". Alberta Lung Association. Archived from the original on 2008-01-13. Retrieved 2006-11-18.

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Cross of Lorraine.




Tucson artifacts

The Tucson artifacts, sometimes called the Tucson Lead Crosses, Tucson Crosses, Silverbell Road artifacts or Silverbell artifacts were a controversial archaeological find made in 1924 by Charles E. Manier and his family while out on a Sunday drive to Picture Rocks, Arizona, 7 miles (11 km) north of Tucson. It comprised thirty-one lead objects consisting of crosses, swords, and religious/ceremonial paraphernalia, most of which contained Hebrew or Latin engraved inscriptions, pictures of temples, leaders' portraits, angels, and even what appears to be a diplodocus dinosaur. The name "Calalus" was given to the "terra incognita" (unknown land) based on one of the inscriptions written in Latin. These date to 790 to 900 AD according to the Roman numerals on the artifacts themselves (including the A.D.), but the site contains no other artifacts, no pottery sherds, no broken glass, no human or animal remains, and no sign of hearths or housing.

However, the lead mine is within feet of where the crosses were found buried in six feet of desert rock called calichi which takes hundreds of years to occur.

On September 13, 1924 Charles Manier and his father stopped to examine some old lime kilns while driving northwest of Tucson on Silverbell Road. Manier saw an object protruding about 2 inches (5.1 cm) from the soil. He dug it out, revealing that the object was a 20 inches (51 cm)-long lead cross which weighed 64 pounds (29 kg). Additional objects were extracted from the caliche, a layer of soil in which the soil particles have been cemented together by lime, between 1924 and 1930. Caliche often takes a long period of time to form, but it can be made and placed around an article in a short period of time, according to a report written by James Quinlan, a retired Tucson geologist who had worked for the U.S. Geological Survey. Quinlan also concluded that it would be easy to bury articles in the soft, silt material and associated caliche in the lime kiln where the artifacts were found at the margin of prior trenches. The Tucson artifacts were believed, by their discoverer and main supporters, to be of a Roman Judeo-Christian colony existing in what is now known as Arizona between 790 - 900 AD. No other find has been formally established as placing any Roman colony in the area, nor anywhere else in North America.

In November 1924, Manier brought his friend Thomas Bent to the site, was quickly convinced of the authenticity of the discovery, and upon finding the land was not owned, immediately set up residence on the land in order to homestead the property. Bent felt there was money to be made in further excavating the site.

Latin inscriptions

The first object removed from the caliche by Manier was a crudely cast metal cross that weighed 62 pounds (28 kg); after cleaning it was revealed to be two separate crosses riveted together. After his find, Manier took the cross to Professor Frank H. Fowler, Head of the Department of Classical Languages at the University of Arizona, at Tucson, who determined the language on the artifacts was Latin. He also translated one line as reading, "Calalus, the unknown land", from which the supposed Latin colony garnered its name.

The Latin inscriptions on the alleged artifacts supposedly record the conflicts of the leaders of Calalus against a barbarian enemy known as the "Toltezus" (Toltecs). However, in an article in the Arizona Daily Star on March 17, 1926, Fowler is quoted as stating that most of the inscriptions were identical to standard literary quotations from classical authors such as Cicero and Virgil that could be found in several widely available Latin grammars such as Harkness's Latin Grammar, 1881 and later editions and Allen and Greenough's Latin Grammar, 1903.[2] Author Don Burgess found that many of the inscriptions could be found word for word in the 1892 edition of Harkness's Latin Grammar.

Views on authenticity

Manier took the first artifact to the Arizona State Museum to be studied by archaeologist Karl Ruppert. Ruppert was impressed with the artifact, and went with Manier to the site the next day where he found a 7 pounds (3.2 kg) caliche plaque with some inscriptions including an 800 AD date. A total of thirty-one artifacts were found. Other contemporary scholars including George C. Valliant, a Harvard University archaeologist who visited the University of Arizona in 1928 and Dr. Bashford Dean, curator of arms and armor of theMetropolitan Museum of Art in New York City thought the artifacts were fakes, Neil Merton Judd, curator of the National Museum at the Smithsonian Institution happened to be in Tucson at the time of the discovery of the artifacts and, after examining them, also thought they were fakes, proposing that they may have been created by "some mentally incompetent individual with a flair for old Latin and the wars of antiquity


Thomas Bent is credited with much of the known information pertaining to the site, about which he wrote a manuscript that was about 350 pages and titled "The Tucson Artifacts". There are a few problems with manuscript however; firstly, the manuscript was written forty years after the major events took place; secondly, the work's final summary appears as hardly objective, but is essentially a point-by-point defense of validity of the finds, and lastly, the work is unpublished, making it hard to view outside of the Arizona State Museum. Both Manier and Bent were supporters of the Tucson artifacts as a genuine archaeological find.

Lara Coleman Ostrander, a Tucson immigrant and high school history teacher studied the historical background of the research, and translated the alleged history of Calalus from the writings on the artifacts. Geologist Clifton J. Sarle worked with Ostrander to present the Tucson Artifacts to the press and the academic profession.

Tucson University administrator and director of the Arizona State Museum Dean Byron Cummings led archaeologists at the university to location where the artifacts were found. He brought ten of the artifacts to the American Association for the Advancement of Science and showing them at museums and universities on the east coast. Astronomer Andrew E. Douglass, known for his work in dendrochronology also considered the artifacts to be authentic.

In 1975, Wake Forest University professor Cyclone Covey re-examined the controversy in his book titled Calalus: A Roman Jewish Colony in America from the Time of Charlemagne Through Alfred the Great. Covey was in direct contact with Thomas Bent by 1970, and planned to carry out excavations at the site in 1972, but was not allowed, due to legal complications preventing Wake Forest University from leading a dig at the site. Covey's book proposes that the objects are artifacts from a Jewish settlement, founded by people who came from Rome and settled outside of present day Tucson around 800 AD.


Professor Frank Fowler originally translated the Latin inscriptions on the first artifacts and found that the inscriptions were from well known classical authors such as Cicero, Virgiland Horace. He researched local Latin texts available in Tucson at the time and found the inscriptions on the lead artifacts to be identical to the texts available.

Dean Cumming's student and excavator, Emil Haury, closely examined scratches on the surface of the artifacts as they were removed from the ground and concluded that they were planted, based partly on a cavity in the ground which was longer than a lead bar removed from it. After Cummings became president of the university, his views changed in an unclear manner, possibly due to Haury's skepticism, or the increasing sentiment that the artifacts were nothing more than a hoax and as university president had to take a different stand on the matter. George M. B. Hawley staunchly opposed Bent's views about the artifacts. Hawley even accused Ostrander and Sarle as perpetrators of the hoax.

Possible creator

A local news article identified Timotéo Odohui as the possible creator of the artifacts. Odohui was a young Mexican boy who lived near the site and was a sculptor. The article mentions his possible connection to the site and his ability to craft lead artifacts. Bent wrote that a craftsman in the area had recalled the boy, his love for sculpture of soft metals and his collection of books on foreign languages, and told the excavators this.

Author Don Burgess says he originally thought that Odohui was the likely creator of the artifacts but now believes that Hawley was correct in citing Marnier and Ostrander, though not Bent, as the likely perpetrators.


NOTE FROM DEE:  Isn't it also possible that the Mexican boy would want to take credit for the crosses just so he could get famous?

See also


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i Williams, Stephen (1991) Fantastic Archaeology: A Walk on the Wild Side of North American Prehistory, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j Burgess, Don. (Spring 2009) "Romans in Tucson? The Story of an Archaeological Hoax." Journal of the Southwest 51. 1. Retrieved February 23, 2013.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
  3. Jump up^ Feder, Kenneth L. (2010). Encyclopedia of Dubious Archaeology: From Atlantis to the Walam Olum. Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood. pp. 257–258. Retrieved 2011-11-01.
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b Thompson, Raymond H. (2004). "Glimpses of the Young Emil Haury". Journal of the Southwest 46 (1).
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b c Erickson, Jim (September 1, 1996). "Silverbell Road artifacts puzzle new generation". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  6. Jump up^ Burgess notes that Marshall Payn asked Quinlan to prepare his report for his article: Payn, Marshall. (1996) "The Tucson Artifacts: Case Closed." New England Antiquities Research Association Journal 30(3-4): 79-80.
  7. Jump up^ Gilstrap, Peter. (3/21/1996) 'A Reputation in Ruins' Phoenix New Times. Retrieved February 23, 2013.
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b Stevens, Kristina (1990) "A Cold Trail," Zocalo Magazine, Tucson.
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Beherec, Marc A. 2008. "H. P. Lovecraft and the Archaeology of 'Roman' Arizona." Lovecraft Annual 2: 192-202.


On September 13th, 1924 Charles E. Manier was out for a Sunday drive with his wife Bessie, daughter Ethel, and father J.E. Manier. As they tooled along Silverbell Road north of Tucson (coincidentally, not far from where we live) they espied an old limekiln in the hillside. Curious, they stopped to investigate. Lead CrossesWhile snooping around Charles noticed a metal object sticking out of the hillside. Charles and his father set upon the caliche (a soil layer of calcium carbonate, similar to concrete, that occurs naturally here) and were rewarded with a lead cross, 18 inches long and weighing 64 pounds.

The Maniers took the cross home, cleaned it up, and found a Latin inscription that was shortly thereafter translated by Frank Fowler, a University of Arizona professor, as “Calalus, the unknown land.” While at the University the cross was handled by multiple professors in several departments.

Speculation about the object’s origin ran wild. Could there have been a Roman presence in southern Arizona? Was this evidence of a lost tribe of Israel? Could this be the great find that finally put sleepy Tucson on the world map? We may laugh at those ideas now, but keep in mind this was the era of astonishing discoveries; the richly fabulous tomb of Tutankhamen was uncovered just two years earlier.

Though the academics were clearly fascinated by the cross no one subjected it to a rigorous scientific examination. This lackadaisical handling is part of the reason the origin of theTucson Artifacts (or Silverbell Artifacts as they are also known) remains a controversy.

Intoxicated by the attention his cross received at the University the giddy Manier showed it to Karl Rupert, an archaeologist at the Arizona State Museum here in Tucson. Rupert too was keenly interested, for he convinced Manier to take him to the discovery location the very next day. While at the site Rupert and Manier unearthed a large caliche plaque covered with Latin inscriptions, which included the date 800 A.D. To say they were excited is an understatement.

Inscribed Caliche Plaque

A week later the Arizona Daily Star ran an article about the artifacts as evidence of a possible Roman site in southern Arizona. This attracted the attention of experts and historians from across the country who weighed in with strongly worded, diametrically opposed opinions. Some crowed things like, “It’s an authentic discovery of major importance that will rewrite our history books.” While others decried it as a poorly executed hoax by a perpetrator of diminished mental faculties. Bear in mind that many of those pronouncements were made from afar by men who never examined the artifacts or visited the site.

In November Manier and his friend Thomas Bent formed a partnership to continue exploration of the site and promote the find. By February 1925 Bent had moved into a shack near the site in an effort to homestead the unowned land. He and Manier were certain the discovery would soon prove profitable. As they dug deeper the site continued to yield items: several more lead crosses and a couple of lead swords, all of them covered with inscriptions. During the excavation Bent took detailed notes about the work, the artifacts, and the folks involved.

Manier and Bent enlisted the help of Lara Coleman Ostrander, a local art teacher who had also studied history. It was her job to sketch each item, transcribe the inscriptions, and translate the phrases. She is the person credited with stitching together the story of Calalus, a Roman settlement, from the various items. In 1925 Ostrander and geologist Clifton J. Sarle co-wrote an assessment of the Manier and Bent site. They were convinced that the Tucson Artifacts were evidence of a Judeo-Christian settlement. The story made headlines in the New York Times.

Then the wheels started to come off their grandiose claim. Professor Frank Fowler (yep, the very man who translated the first cross for Manier) said in a 1926 Arizona Daily Star article that the inscriptions were taken straight out of Latin grammar books. After visiting the site and examining several artifacts, Emil Haury (who was studying at the UA on his way to becoming a world-renowned archaeologist) proclaimed it to be a hoax. Another geologist, James Quinlan, retired from the U.S. Geological Survey, countered Sarle’s claims of ancient emplacement by proving that caliche could easily be man-made and placed around new objects. Even Manier’s partner, Thomas Bent, did damage when he shared information given to him by a local; that Timoteo Odohui, who lived nearby, was a sculptor with a love of languages who was known to work with lead.

Two Lead Swords

The doubts mounted until most early believers recanted. Manier continued to dig up artifacts for several years—the last one was removed in 1930—but there was no longer any interest. Despite the ridicule heaped upon Manier, his family, and close associates, they remained convinced of the authenticity of the site and the 32 artifacts. As time went on the story of the Tucson Artifacts faded from the spotlight.

As a teenager I stumbled across the tale in a book of Arizona oddities and I thought it sounded pretty far-fetched. Romans in Tucson? Yeah, right. Or in the parlance of the day, as if. So imagine my surprise when I heard that the Tucson Artifacts are once again back in the media.

“The Desert Cross” is the name of a recent episode of a new series called America Unearthed (which airs on the H2 network, a History Channel product) that re-examined the Tucson Artifacts. For the filming, the crew came to Tucson to examine the artifacts in the Arizona History Museum archive, visit the dig site, and spend time with Mr. Bent’s grandson. I recently watched the program in which Scott Wolter, the show’s host, concluded that the geology couldn’t have been faked.

In other words, he doesn’t believe the Tucson Artifacts were part of an elaborate hoax. He says the evidence proves they are real. So here we go again. Roughly 90 years later mystery still swirls around the Tucson Artifacts. Want to see for yourself? The artifacts are on display at the Arizona History Museum in Tucson for the next month or so. The museum also houses archived documents relating to the discovery if you’re really interested.

Photos: View our Tucson Artifacts photographs.



Tucson Lead Artifacts

Just returned from Tucson Arizona, where I examined the Tucson lead artifacts with geologist Scott Wolter and historian Michael Carr. These artifacts were discovered in the 1920s buried about 5 feet below the desert surface in a layer of caliche (a cementing together of the desert soil and minerals) outside Tucson. There are 31 artifacts, mostly crosses, swords and spears. The artifacts appear to be ceremonial and are engraved with both Latin and Hebrew writing, along with both Christian and Jewish religious symbols. The dates on the artifacts (using Roman Numerals) range from the 8th to 10th centuries A.D. Those who support the authenticity of the artifacts theorize that they are the work of a group of Christianized Jews from southern France who somehow found their way to what is now Arizona. Based on Wolter’s microscopic examination of the buildup of mineral deposits on the artifacts, the artifacts appear to be ancient. If so, these artifacts could be among the most important finds in American archeological history. Ironically, the site where the artifacts were found is adjacent to what is now Christopher Columbus Park—perhaps it is time to rename this park?

Here is a picture of a pair of ceremonial crosses:

And here is some Hebrew writing on one of them:
Here is some Latin writing on one of the crosses:

A number of the artifacts contain Latin wrtiting (there is also Hebrew) which essentially recounts the history of a group of Roman Jews who relocated to the Gaul region of France and in approximately 775 AD journeyed to a land they called ‘Calalus’ (presumably the American southwest). As was the case with many Jews of this period, apparently they had begun to become Christianized but also maintained many of their Jewish traditions. The writings recrount how they fought many wars with the local people, whom they called the Toltecs, eventually defeating them and ruling for more than 100 years. Finally, in 880 AD, their leader named Israel III freed the Toltecs. When Israel III died, war again broke out, this time catastrophically for the Europeans who were defeated and presumably killed and/or enslaved. The last record, telling of this final battle, is dated 895 AD.

This is a rough translation and others may interpret passages differently, but it will give you the gist of things.





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