The Bat Creek Stone

The Bat Creek inscription (also called the Bat Creek stone or Bat Creek tablet) is an inscribed stone collected as part of a Native American burial mound excavation in Loudon County, Tennessee, in 1889 by the Smithsonian Bureau of Ethnology's Mound Survey, directed by entomologist Cyrus Thomas. Thomas inaccurately identified the characters on the stone as "beyond question letters of the Cherokee alphabet," a writing system for the Cherokee language invented by Sequoyah in the early 19th century. The stone became the subject of contention in 1970 when Semitist Cyrus H. Gordon proposed that the letters of inscription are Paleo-Hebrew of the 1st or 2nd century AD. Since the Native Americans are from the tribe of Gad (1 of the 12 tribes of Israel) this would make sense why the letters "YHW" (YaHuW) in Paleo Hebrew would have been used by the Cherokee.

The Paleo Hebrew inscription to English is DWHYL or "for YaHuWDeM"


According to Cyrus, the five letters to the left of the comma-shaped word divider read, from right to left, LYHWD. He noted that the broken letter on the far left is consistent with mem, in which case this word would instead read LYHWD[M].