ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mysterious Wall at Chatata, TN

Updated on April 3, 2012

Over a century ago Bradley County, Tennessee became the focus of international attention with the discovery of an ancient, 700 feet long, mysterious buried wall, bearing strange hieroglyphic inscriptions. The Cleveland Herald first reported the find made by Isaac Hooper at Hooper Mill in the area of Chatata in 1891.

Hooper Mill was located about 7 miles SW of Charleston and 13 miles from the railroad in Cleveland, TN. The Herald also reported some of the stones were being exhibited and what was thought to be some ancient language were cut on them by a long lost race. New facts about the wall are still coming to light today.

Hooper accidentally stumbled across the find by noticing what seemed to be stone markers projecting from the ground every 25-30 feet. One stone seemed to be inscribed with strange symbols. Locals in the area apparently knew of them but showed little interest until Hooper explained they might be ancient writings.

The Smithsonian Institution became interested in the find and began excavations. What they found was a 3-ply sandstone wall-like structure cemented together by a reddish mortar. By splitting the sandstone sheets diagonal rows of markings became visible.

Experts first determined both wall and inscriptions were manmade. However, later geological studies suggested there may be a more natural explanation for the wall, mortar and inscriptions, such as burrowing mollusks. Many believe it is a more rational explanation since the “inscriptions” were almost completely covered by what was presumed to be mortar. If the markings were made by man they hardly would have covered their messages in such a manner.

Also, the inscriptions are irregular and it’s a tossup as to whether they have a natural origin or are manmade. There are two questions to consider in making an interpretation:

· Why were there regularly placed stones on the surface over the wall?

· Early reports also indicated there were pictures of animals, the swastika and other symbols. What happened to them?

The Smithsonian Institute displayed a segment of the wall for several years until questions concerning its authenticity arose. That was to be expected since there are conflicting stories concerning the find and excitement over the wall had died down.

One account says Isaac Hooper’s son, J.L. Hooper, came across the wall in 1920 while hauling stones from his 80 acre farm at Chatata. Apparently his father never mentioned it to him or it didn’t happen. But anyway, again the second discovery of the wall created little interest because most believed the etchings to be little more than old Indian inscriptions. That is, until noted visiting New York professor, A. L. Rawson, decided to investigate.

After studying the wall Rawson decided to have the inscriptions deciphered. He had a panel of cipher experts view the hieroglyphics. They declared them to be old Hebrew religious inscriptions. Rawson determined the wall had been buried over 4,000 years.

Pottery and stone images were also found nearby which Rawson announced were old Hebrew. To substantiate his claim he cited the story of the two "Lost Tribes of Israel." Rawson believed the Israelites tribes came to America by way of the Bering Strait.

According to Rawson the inscriptions were the Mosaic Law, making reference to the 7th, 9th and 11th chapters of Deuteronomy, the 8th chapter of Joshua and the 3rd chapter of Judges. These revelations created world-wide interest within scientific and historical circles. Researchers from around the globe descended upon the Hooper Farm.

However many locals still didn’t buy the story. Some said they knew the story but there was no wall, just stones.

The other account tells about a former county historian who was said to have located the son of J.H. Hooper and questioned him about the wall. Hooper said he had heard of the wall, but knew nothing about it. Many others, having recollection of the discovery, dismiss the story as not being factual. One reason being the history book, Heritage of Bradley County Tennessee, 1836-1998 makes no mention of it. A 1970 newspaper report says all that remains on the Hooper farm is just a big hole.

Was the mysterious wall fact or fiction?


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)