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Personally, I love Egypt and Ancient Egyptian history. This ancient civilization has fascinated me since the first time I read about them in books. When I came across an article that suggested that in Australia, there are around five thousand Egyptian hieroglyphs I decided to search for more information.
According to research, these hieroglyphs were first sighted in the 1900’s and there are about 250 stone carvings that have been part of the local folklore of the area for over a century, so it’s not something that has been discovered recently. Media coverage of the discovery has been minimal, which is when you think about it a good thing, preserving this incredible ancient site that can rewrite history books, that is if the discovery was authentic and not a hoax.
These alleged hieroglyphs called Kariong Hieroglyphs due to the fact they are located in the Brisbane Water National Park, Kariong or Gosford Glyphs due to the nearby community of Gosford are located in the New South Wales in Australia.
According to local residents that have had the opportunity to see and study these hieroglyphs, they seem to be extremely ancient, written in the archaic style of the early dynasties, a style that has been studied very little and is untranslatable by most Egyptologists who have learned to read Middle Egyptian upward. According to the information provided to us, there is only a handful of people on Earth who can actually read and translate this early writing system, making them seem even more valuable to history. But there is another side to this story. According to several archeologists and researchers, the Gosford Glyphs at Kariong are modern day forgeries that have nothing to do with ancient Egypt. According to the researchers that support the hoax theory, studies undertaken by the NPWS and Macquarie University in 1983 found that the carvings were only a bad amateur attempt at creating some Egyptian engravings, to make things even more mysterious according to the research there were even attempts at making underground chambers during the mid 90’s and there is even evidence documented by the NPWS who found stockpiled materials on site.
An archaeologist named Ray Johnson ( we couldn’t find much or anything about him) had supposedly translated the ancient texts for the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo and was successful in documenting and translating the two facing walls of Egyptian characters – which proved they are from the Third Dynasty. The translation tells the story of a tragic saga of ancient Egyptian explorers that shipwrecked in a strange and hostile land, the death of their royal leader, “Lord Djes-eb”. A group of three framed clusters of glyphs record the name of “Ra-Jedef” as reigning King of the Upper and Lower Nile, son of “Khufu” who is son of the King “Sneferu“.
According to the researchers that support this theory these archaic styles contain an early form of hieroglyphics and are authentic, correlating with archaic Phoenician and Sumerian writing, and according to several other websites, researchers from universities that have looked at these symbols may have perceived them as forgeries not knowing their true value.
Professor Nageeb Kanawiati of the Department of Egyptology had the opportunity to examine the photographs taken by the NPWS in 1983. He states that while some of the work did have Egyptian symbols, the hieroglyphs made no sense at all, as they were merely a collection of Egyptian words and symbols done by amateurs. In 2012 Associate Professor Boyo Ockinga from the Macquarie University’s school of ancient history remarked ” I saw them a few years ago ; there aren’t any connected texts that make any sense at all ” ” People just don’t want to believe they are fake; they want this connection with ancient Egypt to be true, but, unfortunately, it’s not ” Australian Egyptologist Dr. Gregory P Gilbert looked at images of the Kariong Hieroglyphs in 1998. Dr. Gilbert stated: “I recognize these photographs as being from an Australian rock depiction which supposedly has evidence of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs. I believe that the inscription is a modern forgery, and not a good one at that. As far as a translation is concerned , the inscription has several features which were copied from several ” modern ” publications of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs , however the greater part of the inscription cannot be translated as it is nothing more than a collection hieroglyphs that do not form words or phrases”.
Where this story looses perhaps most of its credibility is when Alan Dash, an ex Gosford Council survey found the site around 1975, when he noticed someone emerging from a hole in the cliff. At that moment, Alan was in the area measuring for a water easement. He decided to enter inside the cliff edge and emerged into the cleft and numerous freshly cut Egyptian like symbols on the rock. He visited the same area again half a year later when he noticed newly carved symbols on the walls. You can see the images taken by jack Green in 1983 here.
From these accounts, we note a very skeptical approach towards the Kariong Hieroglyphs. Acknowledged researchers have come to the conclusion that these glyphs are a modern day forgery of ancient glyphs, but most of them make no sense at all. There is little if not evidence at all that supports the story that Ancient Egyptian sailors set out on a journey and ended up in Australia. Even though I’d love for this story to be authentic, I feel very skeptical and disappointed knowing that some individuals will go long distances to prove these glyphs are authentic work of Ancient Egyptians. And as Vladimir Lenin would say, “A lie told often enough becomes the truth”. Until actual evidence is brought forward, supporting the theory that these glyphs are real there is little we can say about them. Most of us would probably want these to be real but I believe that it will take more research and more interest to come to a conclusion if these glyphs are real, or just a modern day forgery.
Ranger Laurie Pasco summarized the research of the Kariong Hieroglyphs in a letter dated May 17th, 2011, that the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service is officially on record as stating that the Gosford glyphs are a hoax:
Here are some images of the Hieroglyphs:
Image Credit: Crystal Links / http://karionghieroglyphs.blogspot.com.au/