Another historical mystery waiting to be deciphered with many theories. A forty-ton rock with petroglyphs carved on it.
Secrets of the Dighton Rock
At the end of the last ice age, some 10,000-13,000 years ago, a forty-ton rock was left on the riverbank of the Taunton River in Massachusettes. This massive boulder measured five feet high, 9.5 feet wide, and Is eleven feet long. And carved on this boulder were petroglyphs that have stymied archaeologists and anthropologists for centuries. Other similar rocks have been found in Cape Cod, Middlesboro, Freetown, and Lakeville, but none with the significance of Dighton Rock.
Another interesting fact nearby is the phenomenon called the Bridgeport Triangle. Is it possible there could be some connection?
First, let's talk about Dighton Rock. Over the years, there have been many theories about who did the carvings and what does it say. The Puzzle is still going on today, and NO ONE has yet been able to say with certainty who made the carvings and WHAT it says. Historians, scholars, and archaeologists can't seem to agree on their findings. It remains one of the greatest mysteries of Massachusettes. Some thoughts include the carvings were made by Native Indians, the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, the Vikings, the Portuguese, the Chinese, the Japanese, and even aliens.
It all started in 1680 when the Reverend John Danforth discovered the rock and carvings. He made a drawing of the rock and sent it to the British Museum where it remains today. In 1689, Cotton Mather published his thoughts in his book The Wonderful Works of God.
A Few Theories on the Carvings on the Dighton Rock
Here are a few of the theories:
1787 Ezra Stiles, then president of Yale College, believed the Phoenicians made the carvings.
1781 George Washington, our Founding Father, after his visit, believed they were made by Native Indians and stated he had seen similar rocks in Virginia.
1807 Samuel Harris, a Harvard scholar, deciphered three ancient Hebrew words, written in Phoenician, "king," "priest," and "idol."
1837 Charles Christian Rafn wrote forty pages on his theory and believed the inscription read "Thorfinn, Norseman" in his book Antiquities Americannae .
1912 Edmund B. Delabarre believed the Portuguese left their message carved by Miguel Corte Real and transcribed it as follows "I, Miguel Corterea, 1511, in this place, by the will of God, became chief of the Indians."
2002 Gavin Menzies, wrote in his book 1421: The Chinese Discovered America. Not all scholars are convinced about his theory.
In 1963 during the construction of a cofferdam, state officials removed the rock for preservation. They installed it at the nearby Dighton Rock State Park, Berkley, Massachusetts 508-822-7537 and offer fishing, canoes, cross-country skiing, hiking, mountain biking with restrooms, picnic area, and museum. In 1971, the Dighton Rock was placed on the National Historic Places.
We may never learn the secrets of Deighton Rock, but it would be great to 'unlock' the authors of the rock and what they were 'saying.'
The Bridgewater Triangle
In 1970, cryptozoologist Loren Coleman was the first to describe facts about the triangle. He has written over forty books about his discoveries in his field. The triangle covers Rehoboth, Abington, Freetown, Bridgewater, Raynham, Brockton, Norton, and Taunton. It has been traced back to the 1760s. In fact, it was the very first "documented UFO" report in the world. Others were reported in 1908, 1968, and 1970s. Locals believe that after the colonists settled in the 17th and 18th centuries because they treated the Native Indians so poorly and battles were fought, the Indians lost their "wampum Belt." Therefore, their ghosts are causing unrest. Paranormal activity has been constantly reported, ghosts, and UFOs are also reported within the triangle.
fran rooks (author) from Toledo, Ohio on November 12, 2020:
Rosina, thanks for reading. I too hope the mystery will be solved. Thanks for your visit.
Rosina S Khan on November 12, 2020:
Dighton Rock seems very fascinating. And whether it has a connection with the Bridgewater Triangle makes it all the more exciting. Hopefully, someday someone will unfurl the mystery successfully. A good article, Fran.