Cedris Laboni Pure Oil From Phoenician Ship Museum (2/16/2023)

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We love the stories of Jesus. Every good story has a place and a setting. Luke understood that as his Gospel began with the very important telling of Jesus’ coming into the world. Luke introduces us to Mary by writing that the “angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth”. To this day, we often refer to Christ as “Jesus of Narareth”.

We know that Jesus learned from Joseph how to work wood. Any connection to Jesus is a good connection for believing Christians. We believe in Christ and we want to know more about his life. We want to learn more about Galillee. We want to learn more about how the Cedar of Lebanon connects to the Upper Galilee.


Our friend, Ghassen Nouira from Carthage, Tunisia, is the world’s leading expert on the production of royal purple dye using the ancient methods of his people.

We have near the west bank of the Upper Mississippi River the largest collection of Cedar of Lebanon logs in America.

Ghassen brought to our attention a recent study that American scholars have just finished – “Phoenician Cedar Oil from Amphoriskoi at Tel Kedesh.” We quote from the study:

“Archaeologists and historians have routinely attributed “branded” goods to particular regions and cultural groups, often without rigorous analysis. Phoenician cedar oil is perhaps one of the best known examples from antiquity. Hellenistic Tel Kedesh in the Upper Galilee region of the Levant is particularly relevant for these discussions by virtue of its strategic role as a border settlement in Phoenicia during one of the most dynamic periods in ancient history.”

We now have about 50,000 lbs of logs that came from the largest Cedar of Lebanon that ever grew in our country and that was at the Tyler Arboretum near the birthplace of our country. We have moved the logs to Iowa and they will now become part of the restoration of the world’s oldest ship replica that has crossed the Atlantic Ocean. We love the fact that these logs will connect our 600 BC Phoenician Ship Replica from the Old World to the New Word.

We estimate that we will have about 10,000 lbs of sawdust, chips and bark from the precious cedar logs. We have already a distiller to recover the oils from the sawdust and chips that went to the floor of the mill when the woodworkers sawed the logs.

Yesterday we began to experiement with the cedar sawdust to determine how we can get the famous oils that were so highly prized by the Egyptian priests in their preparations of bodies of the Pharoahs for burial. The pleasant fragrance came from the sawdust confirming that our logs are rich in those oils that were so important to the history of the Upper Galille during the time of Jesus.

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The true Cedar of Lebanon is known as Cedrus libani. The Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) is a protected tree and there is no essential oil available anywhere except Lebanon in a little apothecary shop and soon from the Phoenician Ship Museum in Montrose, Iowa. Today from the sawdust that came from the milling of the Tyler Aroboretum Cedar of Lebanon we have distilled the first 100 ml of Cedrus libani oil. These supplies are very limited, and it are extremely expensive. We welcome serious inquiries. The pure cedar oil comes from the chips and dust that are associated with the construction of the world’s oldest ship replica that has crossed the Atlantic.

The smell is sweet, fresh, piney cedar, camphorus, slight menthol but creamy full-bodied essential oil. It is like smelling an ancient forest in the bottle. A very distinct smell.

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Excavating Tel Kedesh

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Excavating Tel Kedesh

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Excavating Tel Kedesh

We are pleased to note that many American scholars in cooperation with the Hebrew University Expedition To Qedesh In The Galilee were involved with the field work and reports from this site. We intend to reach out to these Americans to learn more about how the ancient people of Upper Galilee produced and branded the oils that they extracted from the Cedars of Lebanon.

We want to take advise from these researchers so that we can bring to the world Phoenician Cedar Oil that comes from trees that grew large at the birthplace of America.


Archaeologists and historians have routinely attributed “branded” goods to particular regions and cultural groups, often without rigorous analysis. Phoenician cedar oil is perhaps one of the best-known examples from antiquity. Hellenistic Tel Kedesh in the Upper Galilee region of the Levant is particularly relevant for these discussions by virtue of its strategic role as a border settlement in Phoenicia during one of the most dynamic periods in ancient history. As a concise contribution to these discussions, we present here an interdisciplinary analysis of amphoriskoi found with ca. 2,000 impressed sealings from the archive complex of the Persian-Hellenistic Administrative Building. While the building was constructed under the Achaemenids and occupied in both the Ptolemaic and Seleucid eras, the archive was in use only under the Seleucids in the first half of the of the 2nd century b.c.e. Blending organic residue analysis with archaeological and textual data has allowed us to identify with certainty one of the value-added goods most closely attached to ancient Phoenicia, true cedar oil from Cedrus libani. This discovery not only empirically verifies this well-known association for the first time, but also provides a rich context in which to test our assumptions about culturally-branded goods, the role they played in participant societies, and the mechanisms and systems in place that facilitated their production, use, and export.


Cedar of Lebanon at Birthplace of America, Tyler Arboretum.


The Flag of Lebanon

Large Phoenicia

Phoenicia – World’s Oldest Ship Replica Crossing the Atlantic Ocean.

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Cedars of Lebanon at the Phoenicia Ship Museum in Montrose, Iowa.

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Offloading Cedar of Lebanon Logs at Phoenician Ship Museum, January 30, 2023.


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HRG History — by Jay Mackley

The Heartland Research Group is a grassroots, boots-on-the-ground organization that believes that the historical narrative of the Book of Mormon took place in the Heartland of North America. The HRG is active in archaeological research and in the acquisition, restoration and display of ancient American artifacts. The HRG is currently preparing an ancient ship replica called the "Phoenicia" for display. The ships construction design is patterned after a shipwreck dating to 600 BC. The Phoenicia ship made modern voyages, first around Africa and then also from the Middle East to Florida in 2019 – proving that voyages around Africa or from Sidon to North America were feasible anciently.

Heartland Research Inc is a 501c3 private operating foundation for archaeological research and to complete preparations for the Phoenicia display. Current plans are for a museum large enough to house the Phoenicia ship and many other ancient artifacts and exhibits from North America. The location of the museum is planned to be in Zarahemla which is Lee County Iowa, near the Mississippi river and east of Nauvoo, Illinois.

Our activities are too many to list, but some recent major expeditions are listed below. Many of these expeditions are open-ended and we expect to continue research in these and other similar activities as time, resources, and volunteers become available. We have dozens of volunteers and hundreds of donors, large and small, but we need many more. Check out the websites listed below for details of Heartland Research Group projects. Our current project is is our biggest yet: to refurbish the Phoenicia ship for display.

Go to the Donation Page

We invite you to support our efforts so we can complete these worthy goals!
If you have skills or knowledge to contribute to our research and discovery projects, please contact us directly to volunteer.

  • What: Sonar scanning of Mississippi between Nauvoo and Keokuk. The purpose of the expedition was to discover a crossing route that ancient people could have taken.
  • Who: Heartland Research Inc volunteers.
  • Where: Between Keokuk and Nauvoo, Iowa.
  • How: Private donations of money, time and equipment.

  • What: Magnetic scanning of 221 acres of farmland near Montrose, Iowa. The purpose of the expedition was the discovery of fire-pits and other evidence of ancient occupation.
  • Who: Members of the Heartland Research Inc, local farmers, volunteers, plus technicians from German company SYNSYS. Signs of habitation were found with magnetometery scanning and then C14 dating.
  • Where: Near Montrose Iowa and between Montrose and Fort Madison Iowa.
  • How: Large and small donations of money, time and equipment.

  • What: A one week seminar in Fort Madison, Iowa with 25+ participants. Included visits to the Putnam museum in Davenport, Iowa. There were twelve presentations on the ancient history and written languages of the upper Mississippi.
  • Who: Members of Heartland Research Inc plus presenters and interested attendees.
  • Where: Fort Madison, Iowa.
  • How: Private donations for space, time and lodging.

  • What: Ground penetrating electrical resistivity scanning for building foundations using electrical resistivity equipment from LandVisor.
  • Who: Members of Heartland Research Inc and volunteers.
  • Where: Zarahemla in Lee County, Iowa.
  • How: Private donations and ground support.

  • What: Metal analysis for alloy content. Ancient arrow and spearhead found in Wisconsin stream of cast bronze.
  • Who: Heartland Research Group
  • Where: Sample found in Wisconsin stream by scuba diver.
  • How: Private donations for lab analysis.

  • What: High resolution LiDAR scanning by supporter Air Data Solutions of 34,000 acres in Lee County, Iowa and also part of Illinois. The focus was to create high quality digital maps showing the terrain of the land, especially in the foothill areas where large earthworks are found. Discovery of 5-10 miles of ancient earthworks from LiDAR using QGIS and ArcGIS visualization software.
  • Who: Members of Heartland Research Inc plus AirData Solutions Inc.
  • Where: Lee County, Iowa and also part of Illinois, covering the much of Nauvoo.
  • How: Private donations for services, data processing, and analysis.

  • What: Commence process of restoring the world's oldest ship replica from 600BC, which has circumnavigated Africa and crossed the Atlantic ocean from the Middle East to America.
  • Who: Members of Heartland Research Inc plus volunteers.
  • Where: Lee County, Iowa between Montrose and Fort Madison.
  • How: Private donations for materials, space, and equipment plus donations in labor.

Mission Statement

The Heartland Research Group researches archaeological evidence of the ancient civilizations of America.
Heartland Research Group activities include:

  • Field Research
    Uses archeological techniques and scanning technologies to reveal the remains of ancient civilizations.
  • Ancient Artifacts
    Encourages and facilitate study of ancient North American artifacts, including tablets, tools, weapons, metal works, and other items.
  • Geography
    Research and develop maps, using scanning technologies and other means, to identify the locations and activities of ancient civilizations.
  • Linguistics
    Analyze and translate ancient writings found in North America, especially those relating to other civilizations world wide.
  • Preservation and Display
    Collect, restore, preserve, catalog and exhibit ancient artifacts and replicas, and make them readily available to researchers and viewable to the public.
  • Archaeology, Geology, and History
    Study and research into all aspects archaeology, geology, and history that shed light on ancient North American peoples and cultures.
  • Promotion and Support
    Raise awareness of our activities. Work directly with and support individuals and groups in activities that share our same goals.
The Heartland Research Group welcomes researchers and interested parties of all backgrounds to share their analysis and findings of ancient American heartland civilizations.

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