ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – It only takes a glance to see that there’s ancient history carved into the volcanic rocks at Petroglyph National Monument.
They are pictograms believed to have been left behind by Pueblo people, but an article just released by “The Daily Mail,” challenges that.
John Ruskamp, a researcher from Illinois, claims that many of these symbols are evidence that Chinese explorers were in New Mexico long ago, when trade was taking place between East Asia and the New World. He says they resemble Chinese script that hasn’t been used for thousands of years.
Diane Souder, a researcher with the National Park Service says these kinds of theories pop up all the time.
“We had a woman last year who came from Alberta and said we have the exact same image,” Souder said. “We see [these theories] annually. The monument is 25 years old.”
She says it’s not uncommon for a hike through New Mexico to inspire people with an idea and look for the evidence to support it.
“The mystery of the unknown actually draws people to this place, because they could wonder in the own lives what this particular petroglyph means,” Souder said.
The consensus from the National Park Service and tribal pueblos is that these markings were left behind by both early Spanish settlers and Native Americans, although the exact meaning of many of the petroglyphs is up for debate.
Hiker Kathleen Scopetti agrees that the idea the markings could have come from another source is interesting.
“I’m willing to believe any and all theories, she said “I am a big ‘Ancient Aliens’ fan.”