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Heartland Research met for two hours in the Ambassador’s Officer the leaders of the Lebanese Embassy. The reception was warm and friendly.

We started the meeting by mentioning that Lebanon is a small country with a large history. The inventions of the Phoenicians continue to influence so much of the world today. The Phoenician writing system is so important when we communicate with each other. The Phoenicians gave us the best ships from the ancient world. Their ships crossed the oceans and allowed for people in different parts of the world to interact with each. Indeed, so much history from such a small country.

Heartland told the Lebanese diplomats that we brought two things to the meeting. We have the world’s oldest ship replica that crossed the Atlantic. Without the Phoenicians the replica ship would never have been built. We also bring to the table America’s largest Cedar of Lebanon tree that started growing before the Civil War at the birthplace of America. In the meeting Heartland suggested that there is plenty of room for many people to come together. We asked the Lebanese to bring their ancient history and Heartland will bring the ship and the tree. We are sure that by joining forces we will increase our understanding of how the Old World connected to the New World 2,000 years before Columbus.

The Ambassador said that there are 5.6 million citizens in his country and more than 300,000 Lebanese immigrants in America. He is sure that tens of thousands of these people will want to know what we are doing in Iowa. We talked about Captain Philip Beale and how he spent ten days with the Phoenician Ship in the major ports of Lebanon. More than a million viewers saw reports of Captain Beale’s visits on television. We expect a news report from Iowa on Lebanese television will get another million views. We invited the Ambassador to come to Iowa to see for himself the restoration of the ship and our collection of cedar logs. He accepted our invitation and said that he would schedule a day in July when he would come with other leaders of his country.

We are happy to report that Heartland Research now has friends in high places in Lebanon who are willing to support what we are doing in America. We told our new friends that with their expert knowledge of their country’s history we will better understand how the Phoenicians influenced America 2,600 years ago.

In 600 BC, the Phoenicians ruled the seas. Philip Beale and his international crew demonstrated the strength of the ship’s design by sailing around Africa and across the Atlantic. The ship and the logs will rewrite the history of ancient America. Our team is truly excited to be a part of this great endeavor and we are so happy to let the Lebanese see and feel how the Old World connected to the New World 2,000 years before Columbus.

We talked about Lebanon Cedar essential oil and its purifying properties. The Egyptians used it to preserve the dead, including embalming their pharaohs, and Buddhist ceremonies use it to purify the air. It was used to cast out demons during the Middle Ages. Come and experience this perfume that reaches all the way back to the First Temple of Jerusalem and to the ancient cedar oil factory in Upper Galilee that was close to where Jesus and His family lived.

We told our friends that when they come to the Phoenician Ship Museum on the west bank of the Upper Mississippi River in Iowa they will smell for yourself what they already knew when they read about the Cedars of Lebanon in their bibles.

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Excavating Tel Kedesh

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Excavating Tel Kedesh

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Excavating Tel Kedesh


The Flag of Lebanon

Large Phoenicia

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

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The second and last load of Lebanon Cedar logs arrived in Iowa today.

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Lebanese Flag Flying Today at the Embassy.

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Heartland Research Presents Cut Cedar of Lebanon to Head of Mission, Waël Hachem, Chargé d’Affaires a.i.

Cedar of Lebanon Slab 4A

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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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