By, John J White, III
Originally Published in The Midwestern Epigraphic Society Newsletter Volume 25
Ivan Van Sertima and Barry Fell made major impacts on the ancient history establishment in 1976 when they published their famous books. The MES joined forces with Barry Fell in 1983 and soon acquired the eastern Kentucky Ogham sites as a primary interest. The question of looking into the findings of Ivan Van Sertima, Thor Heyerdahl, George Carter, Clyde Keeler, or many others could not be given a large share of the precious energy available. With the passing of Victor Moseley before the Kentucky work was finished, the MES was responsive only to new opportunities that were easily acquired. These were Joe Mahan (ISAC), Cyclone Covey, Ethel Stewart, Zena Halpern, and Russell Burrows (Burrows Cave) plus some notable locals like Hu McCulloch, Bill Conner, Victor Kachur, and Ken Zimmerman.
Mahan, Covey, and Stewart had interest in Asia (Native American origins) Fell was the expert on Polynesia and North Africa and there was little American interest in sub-Saharan Africa, except for Van Sertima and his impressive underlying Journal of African Civilizations. Fell gave some attention to Van Sertima, but as fortune would have it, there appeared more dividends to be reaped but responding to South African experts, such as Raymond Dart and Credo Mutwa. The reports of African faces on Burrows Cave artifacts (allegedly Carthaginian sailors) was the first MES contribution to African history. The current author has made additional small efforts in recent years.