Information icon.svg Results for the 2023 RationalWiki Moderator Election have now been posted. Thank you for participating in this election, and congratulations to the winners!

Los Lunas Decalogue Stone

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Los Lunas Decalogue Stone
Fiction over fact
Icon ancient aliens.svg
How it didn't happen

The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone (also known as Commandment Rock) is a large inscribed rock located at Hidden Mountain, near Los Lunas in New Mexico. The flattened front of the boulder is inscribed with what is thought to be an abridged version of the Decalogue — the Ten Commandments — although others have offered very different translations.[1] The language of the inscription has been interpreted by some as a form of Paleo-Hebrew, leading to claims that the stone, in combination with other artifacts found in North America, represents strong evidence of pre-Columbian Semitic contact with the Americas.[2]

Too heavy to move, the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone remains in situ and may be visited by anyone who gets a permit from New Mexico State Lands Department and make up their own mind. The first line of the inscription has now been destroyed by vandalism.

Discovery and authenticity[edit]

The stone was discovered by Frank C. Hibben in 1933. He concluded that it was at least 100 years old. He much later claimed to have been shown the site by a guide who had seen it as early as 1880. Others have concluded from the text that the inscription must be much older.[3] As with other alleged evidence for pre-Columbian Semitic presence in North America, such as the Bat Creek inscription, the Tucson artifacts and the Newark Holy Stones, the Los Lunas Stone is marked by the absence of any associated archaeology that would establish its authenticity or date the inscription.

While some experts in archaeology and linguistics are convinced that the Stone is authentic, others argue that there is good reason to declare it a hoax.[4] One reason is the credibility of Frank Hibben himself, who was suspected by some of having planted artifacts (unconnected to Los Lunas) in support of his own theories. This allegation has never been proven. Hibben maintained his innocence until his death in 2002, and spoke as late as 1996 of his belief that the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone was genuine. His description is the only evidence that the rock, in 1933, was covered with lichen and the patination that would be expected of an old, weathered inscription. He did not document his findings. The boulder has since been so thoroughly cleaned that no dating conclusions can be drawn from the present condition of the stone. However, it has been noted that the inscription is remarkably crisp and fresh.

The inscription's atypical use of punctuation, along with grammatical and stylistic inconsistencies, suggest a modern hoax. Even before 1880, and certainly before 1933 when Hibben first described the stone, enough had been learned about Paleo-Hebrew to account for a contemporary forgery.

An "out-of-place artifact"[edit]

In woo circles, the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone is an out-of-place artifact, and therefore "proof" of pre-Columbian trans-Atlantic voyages dated to the time of King Solomon.[5] It's been cited by Mormon apologists as proof of the veracity of the Book of Mormon's account of ancient America[6] — and, conversely, by anti-Mormons who claim that it's a hoax created to bolster the credibility of Mormon doctrine.[7] Similarly, the Stone is offered as evidence in support of British Israelism,[8] while others suggest that it is a fraud motivated by that movement. There's also mystic woo,[9] that's pretty hard to follow without, presumably, buying the associated book. The Stone may also be corroboration of the global influence of Atlantis.[10] An extensive extensive search the Los Lunas Stone has not found a claim of aliensdidit, but it's probably only a matter of time.

In reality, without any archaeological context, associated finds, or firm linguistic evidence to conclusively date the inscription, and without any surviving patination and lichen coverage, the mere fact of the Stone's existence can't prove much of anything about anything.

The Stone appears to have spawned an urban legend of its own. It is based on an inscription in the bedrock saying "Eva and Hobe 3-13-30". Eva and Hobe are reputed to have been anthropology majors at the University of New Mexico who created the Los Lunas inscription and got found out. They were allegedly told that if they ever did anything like it again then their careers in the field were over. Enquiries at UNM have been unable to pin this down as anything more than an oral tradition.[11]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. Tablet; "The Mystery Stone"; Pg.1; Batya Ungar-Sargon, 27 Feb 2013
  2. Hope of Israel Ministries; "Who Really Discovered America?"; John D. Keyser; Retrieved 23 Feb 2014
  3. Tablet; "The Mystery Stone"; Pg.3; Batya Ungar-Sargon, 27 Feb 2013
  4. PaleoBabble; "Los Lunas Lunacy"; Mike Heiser, 13 Mar 2013
  5. "Hidden Mountain Decalogue Tablet"; Steven M. Collins; Retrieved 23 Feb 2014
  6. Ancient Lost Treasures; "Translation of the Los Lunas Decalogue Stone" forum discussion; retrieved 23 Feb 2014
  7. A Mormon battalion is known to have passed nearby in the 1840s. Kevin Henson, in an article to be published in 2018, refutes the Battalion's possible involvement based upon distances involved and conditions.
  8. Scriptures for Yisrael; Retrieved 23 Feb 2014
  9. Academy For Future Science; "The Many Dimensions and Meanings of the Los Lunas Stone"; J. J. Hurtak, 2004
  10. Terraforming Terra; "Los Lunas Decalogue Stone"; 3 Feb 2010
  11. Tablet; "The Mystery Stone"; Pg.3; Batya Ungar-Sargon, 27 Feb 2013