Over the years, the long-standing assumption that Christopher Columbus discovered North America has persisted in our history books, despite archaeological evidence that other European explorers landed here well before him, and even set up settlements, as was the case with Norse settlers. While some evidence of an Ancient Roman presence here has been found, a new artifact has been uncovered, of which may solidify that concept.

The artifact, a bronze sword cast in a Romanesque style, appears to be authentic, according to historical investigator J. Hutton Pulitzer, having identical metallic properties to known Roman-era weapons. The artifact was found by a man who was dredging for scallops off of Oak Island in Nova Scotia, Canada — itself being the site of a famous, centuries-long treasure hunt. The unidentified man found the sword in his net and kept it, eventually passing down through his family, until it was given to his granddaughter’s husband. After seeing The Curse of Oak Island television show, he contacted Pulitzer, of whom conducted the research on the sword. Pulitzer plans to release a white paper on his findings early next year.

Investigations into this topic also revealed a number of other oddities that point to a local involvement of Ancient Romans: Local Mi’kmaq natives carry rare genetic markers that are otherwise only found in the Eastern Mediterranean; there are local Mi’kmaq petroglyphs that are interpreted as depicting Roman legionaries; A local species of shrub, Berberis Vulgaris, was used by ancient mariners to stave off malnutrition, but is otherwise native to southern Europe.

“There are also 50 words in the Mi’kmaq language which are ancient nautical sailing terms used by ancient mariners from Roman times – but they were not a seafaring culture," Pulitzer expands.

Pulitzer reports that he has scanned the site of the shipwreck itself, and plans to investigate the wreck, pending government approval. He hopes that his findings will set history straight, after centuries of the mainstream maintaining the status quo: “When you put all these things together and you look at the anomalies, it’s not a coincidence,” he says. “The plants, the DNA, the artifacts, the language, the ancient drawings – you have something that deserves to be taken seriously."