EPIGRAPHY, THE STUDY OF ANCIENT INSCRIPTIONS
Epigraphy is the study of ancient inscriptions, usually found on hard surfaces such as stone. NEARA members use epigraphy to study contacts between Americans and other people before the late 15th century.
Some archaeologists say that the case for early voyages to America rests almost entirely on epigraphic evidence (e.g., Lepper 1995), but inscriptions account for only a small part of the evidence. The annotated bibliography Pre-Columbian Contact with the Americas Across the Oceans by Sorenson and Raish (1996), the best key to the literature on Pre-Columbian contact, has more than 5000 entries but only about a hundred that concern epigraphy. With so much evidence of other kinds, the presence of a few Old World inscriptions is to be expected.
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EPIGRAPHY, Is This a Legitimate Subject for Study?
by James L. Guthrie, NEARA Journal Vol. 35 No. 1, Summer, 2001