Ancient Inscriptions in Montana

Originally published in Ancient American Magazine – Issue #54.

An unusual site is located just West of Writing on Stone Provencal Park, in Alberta. There, the Milk River starts at the eastern edge of Glacier National Park, in Montana, then flows north across the Canadian border, traveling parallel to the border before it returns to the U.S., joining the Missouri River in Eastern Montana.

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The attractive location in question stands 65 feet above the Milk River, pre-eminently displayed like a fantastic lighthouse.  Below and to the left of the Dolmen-like feature is what appears to be an ancient inscription in Ogham, a system made up of notches for five vowels and lines for fifteen consonants. These were long ago etched into stone or the walls of rock-cut tombs to memorialize the dead and/or visitors.

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Although the earliest surviving examples of Ogham date only to 4th Century Ireland, connections with runic and Etruscan alphabets bespeak its antiquity, with ultimate roots as an elemental script appear in the Middle to Late Bronze Age. Ogham’s identity as an import is evidenced in its signs for h and z, letters that do not appear in Gaelic.  Ogham’s use was widespread from the British Isles to Lusitania, Iberia and North Africa, with occasional specimens found in North America, particularly New England. Montana’s Ogham inscription, if genuinely man made and not the result of fortuitous natural forces, has so far failed to yield a translation.

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