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Secrets of Ancient America

Archaeoastronomy and the Legacy of the Phoenicians, Celts, and Other Forgotten Explorers

Published by Bear & Company
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

The real history of the New World and the visitors, from both East and West, who traveled to the Americas long before 1492

• Provides more than 300 photographs and drawings, including Celtic runes in New England, Gaelic inscriptions in Colorado, and Asian symbols in the West

• Reinterprets many archaeological finds, such as the Ohio Serpent Mound

• Reveals Celtic, Hebrew, Roman, early Christian, Templar, Egyptian, Chinese, and Japanese influences in North American artifacts and ruins

As the myth of Columbus “discovering” America falls from the pedestal of established history, we are given the opportunity to discover the real story of the New World and the visitors, from both East and West, who traveled there long before 1492.

Sharing his more than 25 years of research and travel to sites throughout North America, Carl Lehrburger employs epigraphy, archaeology, and archaeoastronomy to reveal extensive evidence for pre-Columbian explorers in ancient America. He provides more than 300 photographs and drawings of sites, relics, and rock art, including Celtic and Norse runes in New England, Phoenician and Hebrew inscriptions in the Midwest, and ancient Shiva linga and Egyptian hieroglyphs in the West. He uncovers the real story of Columbus and his motives for coming to the Americas. He reinterprets many well-known archaeological and astronomical finds, such as the Ohio Serpent Mound, America’s Stonehenge in New Hampshire, and the Crespi Collection in Ecuador. He reveals Celtic, Hebrew, Roman, early Christian, Templar, Egyptian, Chinese, and Japanese influences in famous stones and ruins, reconstructing the record of what really happened on the American continents prior to Columbus. He also looks at Hindu influences in Mesoamerica and sacred sexuality encoded in archaeological sites.

Expanding upon the work of well-known diffusionists such as Barry Fell and Gunnar Thompson, the author documents the travels and settlements of trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific explorers, miners, and settlers who made it to the Americas and left their marks for us to discover. Interpreting their sacred symbols, he shows how their teachings, prayers, and cosmologies reveal the cosmic order and sacred landscape of the Americas.


Chapter 9
More Celtic America


Local ranchers knew of the Sun Temple petroglyphs for many years before McGlone and Leonard arrived in 1984. It is located on a large ranch property that was situated on the high plains in eastern Colorado amid numerous five-story-tall, wind-sculpted “hoodoos” standing as sandstone sentries above a wide and shallow canyon. In addition to what was instantly recognized as an ancient Celtic alphabet, the modern explorers also found the engraved profile of a human head, featureless except for an upturned, button nose. Some forty feet away, an isolated, east-facing 14-inch (35.5 centimeter) diameter circle was found inscribed at the back of the amphitheater-like cove. It was then that McGlone and Leonard decided to name the place the Sun Temple.

Most of the Sun Temple’s alphabetic grooves appear on the ceiling of a small, shallow cave approximately seven feet above the amphitheater floor, which is elevated well above the canyon floor. Protected somewhat by the ceiling’s overthrust is a panel tilted skyward on the lower lip of the wedge-like cave that has a bold but short inscription with several crisscross carvings.

Nearby, about twenty feet higher up is a clue that nearly escaped the attention of McGlone and Leonard because splotchy black patina on the cliff face had camouflaged the grooves. What initially appeared to be a crudely etched tree trunk with branches on the cliff face was later understood to be the Sun Temple’s key Ogham inscription, underscoring an ancient scribe’s intent to memorialize a date- and site-specific sunrise alignment--that is, when to stand and where.

The Tree Ogham, along with some grooves to the left, was written in Gaelic and was translated by McGlone and Leonard to mean THE RING ALONG WITH THE SHOULDER BY MEANS OF SUN AND HILL. Because of the site’s orientation, they supposed the Sun Temple might have an alignment at dawn on the Summer solstice but a number of sunrise vigils on June 21 yielded no obvious solar alignments and nothing involving the conspicuously inscribed ring.

In this type of solar alignment, the sun is observed from a fixed target or at sunrise in the case of the circular pecked “RING” mentioned in the inscription. By looking at the “SUN and HILL” from the pecked RING on the cross-quarter day the specific event is seen. The word HILL clearly refers to the topology on the opposite side of the canyon, which is called a mesa from the Spanish meaning “table” in today’s terminology. However, one of this site’s most remarkable features is a massive rock overhang that juts out from the northern cliff wall. The overhang is parallel to and just above the horizon from the northern cliff wall, as viewed from the front of the approximate 1-foot diameter inscribed pecked circle or RING.

On subsequent investigations, the researchers discovered that when one’s head is positioned in the pecked ring only on Lughnasa and Beltane, its Springtime cross-quarter mirror, the rising solar disc is perfectly framed within the gap formed by the shelf, the cliff face, and the distant hill. Thus, the jutting overhang must be the SHELF mentioned in the Tree Ogham inscription.


Much of the Sun Temple’s association with Lughnasa evolved from the translation of the Gaelic Ogham. In addition to the Tree Ogham message there is another Ogham inscription on the roof of the wedge cave. A small circle dominates the ceiling within which appear the bold Ogham consonant, S-L, representing the word “SOL” (sun) and announcing in Gaelic (and other ancient scripts) that this place is a solar observatory. Strokes on the other side of the SOL inscription are thought to read, in Ogham: AT LUGHNASA THE SUMMER SUN RESTORES THE GATHERING FOR SPORTS.

Close by the SOL inscription is another inscription translated by McGlone and Leonard as “SEASON FOR REAPING,” which coincides with the harvest festival of Lughnasa. The inscription includes a large pointed arrow or triangle aligned toward the rising sun in August. The triangular glyph could represent a cornucopia opening that is filled by the rays of the sun.

Adding to the astronomical references, Phil Leonard has translated the bold Gaelic Ogham on the lower lip of the cave to read NOBLE TWINS, an Old World synonym for the Gemini constellation.

Rollin Gillespie also was involved in unraveling the mystery of the Sun Temple. A mathematician and rocket engineer during the heady days of NASA’s Apollo missions, Rollin is credited with developing the navigational calculus that plotted the trajectories needed to reliably transport men to the moon and safely return them to Earth. Rollin had visited many of the Purgatoire River sites with Ted, Bill and others and at the Sun Temple, he postulated that the pattern of the marks resembled the Gemini constellation, with the slightly elongated two lead stars representing Castor and Pollux.

The age of the Sun Temple has been unclear. However, two dating methods have been utilized. Professor Ron Dorn of Arizona State University used an experimental Cation ratio technique involving chemical analyses of the patina embedded in the grooves of the Noble Twins and Tree Ogham inscription that resulted in a dating of 900-1000 BCE, +/- 250 years.

The second dating method involved astronomy as suggested by Rollin Gillespie. He showed that the marks in the inscription that are about one inch long represent Castor and Pollux in the Gemini constellation, whereas the three-inch plus marks are most likely planets. Gillespie, helped by Phil Leonard and associates at Evans & Sutherland in Salt Lake City, the leading manufacturer of digital planetariums in the world, identified an extremely rare triple planetary alignment in Gemini that occurred in the pre-dawn skies of August 471 CE. This alignment involved Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn and would have been seen from the site. Since it coincided with the season of Lughnasa it would undoubtedly have been worthy of memorializing in rock by posterity-conscious traveling Celts.

About The Author

Carl Lehrburger has studied archaeological and sacred sites in North America, with a focus on ancient Old World peoples in America before Columbus, for more than 25 years. He has published articles in Ancient American magazine. An avid traveler and explorer, he lives in Colorado.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Bear & Company (January 2, 2015)
  • Length: 480 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781591437758

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Raves and Reviews

“Carl Lehrburger’s comprehensive documentation of the dizzying number of ancient petroglyphs, artifacts, and sites in the Americas is stunning. This work proves beyond any doubt that many cultures from around the world came to the Americas and permanently left evidence of their extensive knowledge in the rocks and people who inhabited this land.”

– Scott Wolter, forensic geologist, author, and host of the popular TV series America Unearthed

“This is a fascinating exploration of the deep history of human migrations around the planet. Drawing from evidence systematically and irrationally dismissed by many of the professional archaeologists, Lehrburger shares his path of discovery, his pioneering field research, and his heartfelt observations about the peopling of the Americas. Clearly, there is a truer story here that has been right under our noses all along.”

– John Major Jenkins, author of Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 and director of the Center for 2012 Studies

“Threatening to topple the ‘archaeopriests’ who still think Columbus discovered America, Lehrburger strikes at the heart of the matter with his New History. An intimate and brilliantly illustrated journey back to the time of ancient sky-watchers . . . a game-changing work.”

– Susan B. Martinez, Ph.D., author of The Mysterious Origins of Hybrid Man

“Impressive insights into the spirituality of ancient stargazers abound in Carl Lehrburger’s compelling, personally guided tour of archaeological sites from Stonehenge to Newport and from Serpent Mound, Ohio, to the Hindu campsites in the Mojave Desert. Fascinating research by an inquiring mind will inspire those who are curious about the new dimensions of archaeoastronomy and spirituality. Wherever a shaft of sunlight from the winter solstice has shined upon the ancient petroglyphs left by ancient Celtic seafarers in Ireland or along the eastern seaboard, you can bet Carl Lehrburger has been there to record it on camera. His easy-to-read compendium of sacred sites and archaeoastronomy is a spectacular, exciting guide for our own journey.”

– Gunnar Thompson, Ph.D., archaeologist, anthropologist, and author of American Discovery: Our Multicu

The Secrets of Ancient America, by Carl Lehrburger eloquently argues that it is time for a new history of America to be written. Drawing on first-person accounts of his numerous visits to little known pre-Columbian sites across America, as well as a detailed overview of previous suppressed work in this field, this lavishly illustrated and compelling book makes a convincing case that Columbus was the last to discover America and that it is high time for the true history of pre-Columbian contact in America to be taught in our schools.”

– Richard Dewhurst, author of Ancient Giants Who Ruled America

“Sharing more than 25 years of research, Lehrburger employs epigraphy, archaeology, and archaeoastronomy to reveal extensive evidence for pre-Columbian explorers in ancient America. He provides more than 300 photographs and drawings of sites, relics, and rock art, and uncovers the real story of Columbus and his motives for coming to the Americas.”

– Watkins’ Mind Body Spirit, Issue 44, December 2015

“I found Secrets of Ancient America incredibly difficult to put down and Lehrburger’s analysis of the India/Mexico connection was mind blowing. Lehrburger’s Secrets of Ancient America is a tome spanning over 400 pages. Over 300 images have been included and the author went to great lengths to notate each of the images to better explain the petroglyphs that are typically time worn and challenging to decipher without the influence of natural lighting. The detailed explanation of the archaeoastronomical connection found at the majority of the ancient sites is thought provoking and eye opening. It is quite clear that the Americas were frequented by Old World inhabitants for thousands of years prior to the voyages of Columbus.”

–, Andrew Tuzson, February 2016

“Carl Lehrburger exposes and slays the dragons of the “archeopriesthood”—their still persistent “flat-earth” science, historical conspiracies and cover-ups—to redefine our role in nature and history as inclusive participants, rather than conquering exploiters; as harvesters of the collective rather than selfish greed- and power-driven ends—hallmarks of our new history. ”

– Whole Life Times, June 2015

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