🔎 UNIDENTIFIED Stone fragment with what appears to be Latin letters

drsyker

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Oct 21, 2023
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I found this piece of stone on a rocky beach on the Oregon coast. As you can see, it has a small portion of what appear to be concentric rings with markings between the rings which give the appearance of being letters. Something with the shape of the letter “N” appears at least 5 times. Other markings seem to just be simple vertical lines.

I initially assumed it was a piece of petrified tree. This would explain the concentric rings which have a somewhat irregular shape. I would assume anyone carving rings into a stone would have made them smoother. However, the more I study the “N” shapes, the less confident I am about the petrified tree hypothesis.

First, these ”N” shapes are precise and identical; each one has two vertical lines with a 45 degree diagonal line running from exactly the top of the left line to precisely the bottom of the right line. There is no variation in this shape and each of the instances seems to be exactly the same size. I did some research and found that 45 degree angles are commonly formed naturally in a lot of materials due to the way stress and shear affect those materials. However, the fact that these diagonals always run exactly the same direction and begin only at the top of one vertical line and terminate at the bottom of the second vertical line makes the idea that this is a natural occurrence seem somewhat unlikely.

Second, as you can see from pictures of the side and back, there is absolutely no sign of the rings or “letters” extending through the piece. They are only on one side of the surface. I can imagine that natural cracks forming the ”N” shapes might not extend through the piece, but if the slightly curved lines between the “lines” of markings are growth rings, I would expect them to extend through the piece.

Don’t have a ruler with me, but the piece is approximately 3” x 2” at its longest/widest.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I have no idea, but will say that it is an eye catcher. I love a good mystery.
Welcome to the T Net forums.
 

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Arcims Razor dictates the most likely scenario is the truth - so the rock COULD have been made by the Romans who somehow found themselves in North America (perhaps a hurricane blew a Roman ship off course). Or the rock was made by nature and the lines intersected by chance to make the letter N.
 

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Yes. Occam’s razor deals in generalities. It doesn’t always point to the correct answer. For instance, I’m in Iowa, I hear hoof beats. It is more likely a horse than a zebra. But a zebra could have escaped from a game farm… The more common answer is generally the best choice.
I do, however, agree with you that the rock is most probably quite natural. 👍🏼
 

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