(photo from University of Haifa via Ashernet)
This pre-Columbian cultural artifact at the University of Haifa is one of the mysterious art objects from Puerto Rico that were alleged to have been made by members of the Ten Lost Tribes. “This is definitely one of the strangest and most fascinating stories I’ve ever been involved in,” stated the university’s Dr. Iris Groman-Yaroslavsky. “To date, we have not found any similar carved stone art objects from this region of the Americas and, therefore, many researchers assumed that they must be fake. However, the microscopic tests we performed show beyond any doubt that the stones were carved around 600 years ago.”
The story of these art objects, known as the “Library of Agüeybaná,” goes back to the 19th century, when a Puerto Rican monk by the name of José María Nazario presented a collection of some 800 carved stone statuettes, some of which had a clearly human form while others appeared to be artistic or ritual items. No similar statuettes or art objects have ever been found from this region, and it was he who claimed the Lost Tribes connection. In 2001, a research student named Reniel Rodríguez Ramos saw the stones during a study trip and was enchanted. He completed his doctorate in pre-Columbian cultures and returned to investigate the stones. Eventually, he came to Groman-Yaroslavsky’s lab, which specializes in microscopic examinations.