Dighton Rock Has Continued To Mystify (Since 1680)!
The Dighton Rock is perhaps the most mysterious rock in the world… if there’s a category for such a thing.
The rock itself is a 40-tonne boulder which explorers originally found in the riverbed of the Taunton River in Berkley, Massachusetts. This was formerly part of the town of Dighton, hence the name Dighton Rock.
Dighton Rock is significant because of its petroglyphs, which are made up primarily of lines, schematic drawings of people, geometric shapes, and writing which remains unidentified. The mystery of these rock art inscriptions remains the speculation of scientists and researchers all across the country.
The rock’s carvings are of ancient origin, that much we know. However, the origin of the writing is uncertain. Because of this, there’s much controversy around who created the rock, and why.
When & How Was Dighton Rock Discovered?
An English colonist named Rev. John Danforth made the first record of the Dighton Rock in 1680. His drawing of the petroglyphs was preserved in the British Museum. However, his interpretations conflict with not only the reports made by others, but also the current drawings on the rock.
In 1963, they removed the rock from the riverbed in Dighton for preservation reasons. The water was starting to wear away at the carvings, and officials wanted to preserve it for generations. They installed it in a museum nearby, in the Dighton Rock State Park. Since then, in 1971, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
What Do The Dighton Rock Petroglyphs Tell Us?
It’s really hard to say what the Dighton Rock petroglyphs tell us, because there are so many interpretations of its messages. The boulder itself is a slanted, six-sided block measuring approx. 5 feet high, 9.5 feet wide, and 11 feet long.
The rock is made of of grey-brown crystalline sandstone. There are so many different theories about what the petroglyphs communicate… however researchers haven’t approved any theories as of this time.
Theories About The Rock Abound
During the 19th century, many historians and public figured mentioned the rock. Hypotheses about the origin of the inscriptions include:
- Ancient Phoenicians, which historians proposed in 1783.
- Norse which was proposed in 1837 and then later rejected by well-established archaeologists.
- Portuguese, proposed in 1912, which link to an explorer named Miguel Corte-Real. However, many specialists have debunked this theory
- Indigenous peoples of North America, potentially the most viable hypothesis. Many of these peoples inscribed on rocks as a preservation of history and meaning.
None of these theories, however, have any backing. All of that to say, the origin and meaning of the inscriptions is still a mystery.
How To See Dighton Rock In Person
You can visit Dighton Rock State Park for yourself. Not only is it a beautiful landscape, but the rock has its very own museum. They showcase it behind glass for preservation, and you can check it out and see if you can make any interpretations yourself.
All of the origin stories of this rock are beyond fascinating. Aliens? Explorers? Indigenous peoples? What are your thoughts?