Who wrote this code in the heart of the Rio Abajo desert, and in what language is it written? Since the stone’s discovery in the 1930s, three different translations appeared.
They are chiseled in long, precise lines and seem to be grouped together in clusters resembling words.
Every so often, a dot approximating a period appears after one of the clusters.
The stone itself is about four and a half feet tall, its back end embedded into the mountain in the desert that is near the town.
The characters etched into its surface are white, deeply engraved, and strangely geometric.
She clears her schedule at the opportunity to take me to see the Mystery Stone.
When I ask her who she thinks wrote the inscription, she smiles and says, “It’s a mystery.” She tells me that former mayor Louis Huning’s father, Jack Huning, remembers the stone as a child. And he says that he was shown it by an Indian sheep herder, who had seen it when was a kid, so that’s back to the 1880s.” She shrugs and smiles, and says again, “It’s a good mystery.” Shetter seems proud of the stone for keeping its secrets.
There is even a debate in the Talmud as to whether the Torah that was originally given to the Israelites was written in Paleo-Hebrew or Assyrian, today’s Hebrew orthography.
The alphabet continued to be used by Samaritans and was known by Irish theologian and scholar Henry Dodwell as early as 1691, who wrote in his that “[the Samaritans] still preserve [the Pentateuch] in the Old Hebrew character.” But it was Pfeiffer’s translation of the mysterious inscription on the stone that created the greatest interest among scholars and others: “I am Yahweh, the God who brought thee out of the land of Egypt out of the house of bondage.
For example, when the Franciscans came in the 16th century to convert the Isleta Indians who now live on the reservation just north of Los Lunas, it turned out that they had already been converted—they are said to have asked the friars for sacraments. Sister Maria de Jesus de Agreda, the legend held, a Franciscan nun who lived in Spain and had never traveled but who had appeared to them in a collective vision over 500 times and preached to them in their own language.