Researchers conclude this stone-slab engraved with mystery symbols cannot be deciphered

The enigmatic stone slab is covered in countless symbols which no one has managed to decipher. The Petroglyphs—eerily reminiscent of similar etchings found in Europe and the Americas—carry an ancient message believed to date as far back as the 3rd century BC.

Image Credit: Leonardo García Sanjuán and Marta Díaz-Guardamino / Antiquity 2017

Strange symbols engraved on an ancestral stone stele found in 2002 in Montoro (Córdoba, Spain) still baffle experts, who believe that the engravings could be Iberia’s oldest undiscovered monumental writing.

According to reports, the stone slab dates from the Iron Age and its symbols seem to form part of a concoction where various cultures can be identified: Spanish, Greek, Iberian, Canaanite, and Arabic.

“Writing includes numerous elements of a North Eastern Palaeo-Hispanic script, Graec, -Iberian script, Proto-Sinaitic and Proto-Canaanite inscriptions, epigraphic South Arabian and Phoenician scripts,” wrote experts in the study.

In those remote times, all these cultures mentioned above had some degree of activity in the Iberian Peninsula.

The ancient stone slab stands at 1.5 meters high. Image Credit: Leonardo García Sanjuán and Marta Díaz-Guardamino / Antiquity 2017

The ancient stone slab measures 1.5 meters high by 85 cm wide. Its engravings date back to the 9th and 3rd century BC, according to research published in Antiquity.

Speaking about the ancient stone stele—discovered in 2002—Leonardo Garcia Sanjuán, a member of the University of Seville and one of the authors of the study, explains that “the stela is made of local stone with engravings which can be traced back to various origins, the inscriptions seem not to have been used to form an understandable text.”

Or perhaps experts have still no idea what the texts mean?

The thing is, similar symbols—not identical but similar—have been found both in Scotland and the American southwest.

Detail of the curious markings on the Cochno Stone. Image Credit: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

In Scotland, if we take a look at the Cochno stone we will notice that there are quite a few symbols etched on the “Stela of Montoro” that seem to be depicted on the Cochno stone—an ancient stone slab which dates back 5,000 years.

Then, if we move onto the American Southwest we will find near Chaco Canyon countless strange shapes, circles, and lines, etched in stone by our ancestor’s thousands of years ago.

Ancient petroglyphs from the Jornada Mogollon People. Image Credit: Wayne Snuggs

Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but maybe it’s not.

Anyhow, the “Stela of Montoro” was found on a farm in southern Spain in 2002, and remained abandoned on the side of a field until 2004, when two rangers spotted the curious stone slab and its inscriptions. Later, the slab was transported to the Montoro Archaeological Museum where it remained for eight years.

In 2012, the stone slab was analyzed by Dr. Garcia Sanjuan from the University Of Seville who concluded that the etchings adorning its surface might have originated from a mixture of languages and different cultures.

However, its meaning is still a profound mystery-

“It’s rare to find something like this–the inscriptions on this stela cannot be read. There isn’t a single script that makes sense of them. They seem to be an assorted collection of graphemes taken from different scripts and put together on this stone,” Dr. Sanjuán told IBTimes UK.


(H/T IBTimes UK)

Source: Antiquity

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