The Los Lunas Stone New Mexico

The Los Lunas Stone New Mexico

THE LOS LUNAS INSCRIPTION IS AN ABRIDGED VERSION OF THE DECALOGUE OR TEN COMMANDMENTS, carved into the flat face of a large boulder resting on the side of Hidden Mountain, near Los Lunas, New Mexico, about 35 miles south of Albuquerque. The language is Hebrew, and the script is the Old Hebrew alphabet, with a few Greek letters mixed in. See Cline (1982), Deal (1992), Stonebreaker (1982), and/or Underwood (1982) for transcriptions and translation, and Deal (1992) for discussion and photographs of the setting.

George Moorehouse (1985), a professional geologist, indicates that the boulder is of the same basalt as the cap of the mesa. He estimates its weight at 80 to 100 tons, and says it has moved about 2/3 of the distance from the mesa top to the valley floor since it broke off. The inscription is tilted about 40 degrees clockwise from horizontal, indicating that the stone has settled or even moved from its position at the time it was inscribed. (The above photograph was taken with a tilted camera.)

At present the inscription is badly scrubbed and chalked up. However, Professor Frank Hibben of Albuquerque reportedly saw the inscription in 1933, when it was covered with lichens and patination. By one report, it was seen as early as 1871 (Fell 1985, p. 34). Moorehouse compares the surviving weathering on the inscription to that on a modern graffito on the top of the mountain dating itself to 1930.