Who Really Engraved Dighton Rock?

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Who Really Engraved Dighton Rock?

Post Number:#1  Postby Iconic » Thu Mar 08, 2012 10:58 pm

The tide receded in the Taunton River exposing a sandstone rock that has been speculated about for centuries.

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It was possibly a glacial remnant of the Ice Age that was deposited off the Berkley, Massachusetts coast over 10, 000 years ago. In 1680, the curiosity of Reverend John Danforth caused him to draw out markings found on the large rock for further study. This remarkable sketch, now at the British Museum, has helped verify the authenticity of petroglyphs incised on the rock. Ten years after Danforth, Reverend Cotton Mather wrote a book titled, "The Wonderful Works of God Commemorated." In it he describes a curious rock, partially submerged, in a New England river bed He also mentions the dimensions and strange, deeply engraved characters that look like ideas of others who were presently unknown. His details describe Dighton Rock.

When it was brought up to the surface and out of the water, the six sided rock measured approximately 5 feet high, 10 feet wide, and 11 feet long. Its weight is about 40 tons. His sketches were not quite accurate. The inscriptions were on the side facing the ocean and, apparently, only a few feet of the top was exposed for a few hours before the sea level would rise and hide the rock. He preserved on paper only what he could see. Once it was taken from the water, complete carvings could be seen, but this would not happen until 1963.

Scholars and historians throughout the years have given their own interpretations from Biblical to babblings, but the intense work the lines and drawings would require plus the location in the water, make the latter less applicable. In 1916, Professor Edmund B. Delabarre resided nearby. With much study, open interpretation from others including Native Americans, and finally frustration, he was about to call it a farce until 1918 when he spotted something he hadn't detected before. A date of 1511 with the name Miguel Corte Real, as leader of the Indians, and a Portuguese shield all came to light. He dove back into research and began to believe some of the Indians' stories combined with earlier researchers.

Vikings, Phoenicians, American Indians, Portuguese, and even Chinese have all arguably been given credit as the creators of the engravings. Some are quite preposterous as claims, but others hold some real merit. Dr. Manuel L. Da Silva, formerly of Portugal before becoming an American citizen, also a noted doctor and historian, has done many years of research along with his wife, and spoken about Dighton Rock with expertise. His observation that Portuguese people were in the area before Columbus came to the new world is due to past generations of eastern coast families in Canada and the United States having Portuguese names. This includes Native American tribal names. He has also done comparative research in writing characteristics.

Danforth's early copies have helped determine the original surface before vandals had defaced portions of Dighton Rock. To prevent anyone from further damaging it, a glass case and walled museum was erected around it. A large plot of land where it now rests was designated Dighton Rock State Park once it was moved and enclosed in 1963. In 1980 it garnered a position on the National Register of Historic Places.

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Re: Who Really Engraved Dighton Rock?

Post Number:#2  Postby Tanelorn » Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:40 pm

Awesome story, thank you for sharing. I never knew this rock existed and I learned something new today.


Take care,

Daniel
Nestradetu@Hotmail.com
"Pack it in, pack it out. Keep our wilderness pristine."
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Re: Who Really Engraved Dighton Rock?

Post Number:#3  Postby Jquest82 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:49 pm

The Dighton Rock is a very interesting enigma. There are a few other local rocks towards the east coast of Massachusetts that I believe are connected. They’re all labeled the same with a large question mark. If anyone is interested in a discussion on this matter send me a message. I am currently doing research on these forgotten enigmas.
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Re: Who Really Engraved Dighton Rock?

Post Number:#4  Postby Scipio » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:41 pm

We're all interested. But lets have some public discussion here where everyone can contribute and observe. Unless you don't want to make your research public (which is of course, understandable). I'd certainly like to hear what research has been done and what conclusions have been drawn thus far.

I notice in the picture there are comparisons to Norse (which could and maybe should be Norkse), Phoenician and American Indian. Without seeing the entire display and studying it, I can't say much but would assert that a generalization such as "American Indian" is as ambiguous as saying European. There have existed many societies and civilizations on the American Continent over the centuries. The sample shown may be from one of those but certainly does not, nor cannot represent an all encompassing example of ancient American Culture. Dan Lowe could shed some light on this should he wish to join the fray. Those who knew, have long since joined the Frey ... or, he's joined them.

Personally, having studied much concerning the Norske ancestors and Viking exploits, and having personally visited and pondered numerous ancient Viking inscriptions, I'd be fascinated with an in-depth study of any and all Norske parallels. If someone would fund the research, I'd be thrilled to head to Norway for a few years or so to head the investigation. First stop: Sarpsborg, but far from the last. I'll need a couple Mil to do it right.

We might also consider that lumping all inscriptions from a specific local into one category, such as Norske, Phoenician, American Indian or other is folly. One civilization never (necessarily) conceived nor practiced an overarching inscription process or language with common symbols and similar styles. Viking inscriptions, for instance (or Spanish, Myan or Aztec in North America) vary widely, even when inscribed on the same panel. George Washington used an iron gall quill pen and I use a word processor but Historians a thousand years from now would (or should) consider us from the same civilization (he, as it sprang to life and I, as it sank into carnage and oblivion). But, would they? Again, I use a word processor to record my rants while gang-bangers a few miles away leave their communiques in Rustoleum on cinder-block. Future Historians would never consider us contemporaries and would likely carbon-date the spray paint to ancient mongolia ... but they, like so many today ... would be wrong.

Not meaning to be cynical or negative but, I've spent a lot of time in Southern Utah (which is made primarily of Sandstone). I find it hard to believe inscriptions made in a sandstone boulder relentlessly exposed to falling and rising tides and the inevitable erosion thereof coupled with the extremes of many a Massachusetts winter, could survive many decades, much less a thousand of them.

I'd love to hear what you've got on this.
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Re: Who Really Engraved Dighton Rock?

Post Number:#5  Postby Scipio » Sun Oct 22, 2017 9:42 pm

Also, I used to ski at Brighton, near many a rock. I wonder if there's a connection?
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