An unusual sculpture which resembles the Lady of Elche, found in Patagonia. A link to Phoenicians?
See Index on all my posts on Phoenicians in America.
Bernardo Graiver includes the following image in his book,  under the caption: " American version of the Lady of Elche (Comodoro Rivadavia Archaeological Museum)", a photograph of a sculpture that was supposedly found at that Museum and, according to some online sources, is now lost. The sculpture is shown below:
The Phoenician connection
The original "Lady of Elche" which inspired Graiver in naming the Patagonian sculpture, (see image below) is a beautiful stone bust, dated to the fifth century BC. It was found in Spain (where it is known as "La Dama de Elche") in 1897, close to Valencia. It blends the art of several Iberian cultures with other Mediterranean ones such as the Greeks, the Phoenicians and the Tartesian.
Note that it is not Phoenician, but Iberian, and has the influence of several Mediterranean Cultures.
John Moffitt  suggested that it is a modern forgery, whoever a study of its pigments clearly prove that it is genuine . 
Based on this statue and its similarities to the Iberian one, Graiver,  puts forward the theory that the Patagonian coast "was visited by the Phoenicians, who were searching for tin to make bronze with copper", and he says that the statue was discovered by Dr. Antonio Garcés, who founded the Comodoro Rivadavia Museum, though, he does not say where or when or under what circumstances.
He probably assumes that it was left behind in Patagonia by some Phoenician expedition. Which, I guess he identifies as the ancient mariners because of the Phoenician engravings found on other stones in Patagonia.
Though the navigators could also have come from Carthage or even from Gades or Tarsis in southern Spain. (More on this in future posts). I prefer to say Mediterranean instead of Phoenician.
A link with Phoenician via Carthage
It is interesting to notice the similarity between the Lady of Elche, and the woman depicted in the following photograph,  she is a young Berber woman, of Tunisia, circa 1900. The interesting part is the symbol on her forehead.
It is a symbol which we already mentioned in our first post on this subject, because it appears on several of these Tehuelche carved stones. It is a symbol that originated in North Africa.
This anthropomorphic symbol is actually a letter, known as "YAZ", which sounds like our letter "Z". It is shown below:
It belongs to the Tifinagh alphabet, which is "Lybico-berber". It has been used by Berber speaking people that live in North Africa, and also by the now extinct inhabitants of the Canary Islands, between 300 B.C. and 300 AD.
There is only one dated inscription, and it has been dated to 139 BC. The use of these symbols disappeared when the Arabs, spreading the Islam, invaded Northern Africa after 632 AD.
However, the Tuareg women still use them until now, as tattoos!, just like you can see in the photograph.
The Phoenician link to this symbol
The name, Tifinagh, is plural of tafineq which means “letter”, and is a berberization of the latin word for punica , which actually in Latin means “Phoenician”:
Punic "pertaining to Carthage," 1530s, from L. Punicus, earlier Poenicus "Carthaginian," originally "Phoenician" (adj.), Carthage having been founded as a Phoenician colony, from Poenus (n.), from Gk. Phoinix "Phoenician" […]. 
The Romans waged three wars against Carthage between 264 and 146 B.C., and they successively got them out of Sicily, Sardinia and Spain. Then they destroyed Carthage's homeland in Tuinisia.
This Phoenician origin is supported by other scholarly sources: “the script was presumably borrowed from the Phoenicians, though of the actual characters employed only some five out of twenty-three are obviously derived from the Phoenician alphabet”. 
The question now, is how did these evidently Mediterranean symbols reach Patagonia.
 Graiver, Bernardo (1980), Argentina Bíblica y biblónica: histora de la humanidad en la Argentina. Editorial Albatros. fig.86, pp. 123
 Op. Cit. pp. 115 and 216.
 M. P. Luxán, J. L. Prada and F. Dorrego, (2006).Dama de Elche: Pigments, surface coating and stone of the sculpture. Materials and Structures. Volume 38, Number 3, 419-424, 18.01.2006.
 Online: Wikipedia.
 John Francis Moffitt, (1995). Art forgery: the case of the Lady of Elche. University Press of Florida.
 George L. Campbell, Handbook of scripts and alphabets. pp. 14
 Clark Desmond, Fage, J.; Oliver, Roland; Gray, Richard; Flint, John; Sanderson, A.; Crowder, Michael. The Cambridge History of Africa. Vol 2. pp. 185
 Online Etymology Dictionary
Patagonian Monsters - Cryptozoology, Myths & legends in Patagonia2011 International Year of Forests Copyright 2009-2011 by Austin Whittall ©