Sunday, October 29, 2017

Did Juan Ponce de Leon Carve the Overton Stone?

While researching early explorers to North America I stumbled upon something that jogged my memory.  On a trip to Nova Scotia this past August, Janet and I examined an amazing carving on the extreme western coastline called the Overton Stone (See blog post dated September 3, 2017).  The primary carvings are of a Christian style cross within a circle together with what appears to be a feather with two crossed leaves of tobacco and a crescent moon or the crescent of the planet Venus when viewed from earth.  But that is not the full extent of the carvings on the bedrock outcropping.  Just above ground level, roughly four feet to the lower right of the main group of carvings, is another interesting cluster of carvings.

A second cluster of carvings is found roughly four feet to the lower right of the main group (red boxed area) of carvings Janet Wolter is pointing to.

The second cluster includes two carvings with loops and curved lines at the top and the apparent numbers '06' and '07' below. 

A closer view of the carvings on top show what appears to be an "S" lying sideways to the right and a pair of "fish" symbols carved as a single continuous line on the left.

The second cluster of carvings includes two symbols with curved lines above what appears to be the numbers '06' and '07' close to the ground.  What caught my attention was the strange symbol with twin loops carved with a single continuous line.  While surfing the web looking for Hooked X symbols in the signatures of famous explorers, one in particular jumped out.  Juan Ponce de Leon (1474-1521) was a Spanish explorer known to have visited the shores of what is now known as Florida while searching for the "Fountain of Youth." 

While there is no known record of the famous explorer ever sailing as far north as Nova Scotia, but that doesn't mean he could not have.  The symbol circled in the image of Juan Ponce de Leon's signature below is the reason I bring up the possibility.  The "de" in de Leon's signature is strikingly familiar to the double looped carving on the Overton Stone.  The only meaningful difference between the two symbols is the bottom end of the carved line on the far right bends to the left instead of the right.     

The "de" in the signature of Juan Ponce de Leon (circled in red) looks strikingly similar to the double looped carving on the Overton Stone.

The most likely timeline for what could have been a secret voyage to Nova Scotia are between 1493, when he traveled to the Caribbean as a crew member on Columbus' second voyage, and 1503.  The second would have been sometime after 1513.  While many of his expeditions are well documented with no mention of his traveling as far north as Nova Scotia, there are significant gaps in the records that could have made such a trip possible.  The other problem with Juan Ponce de Leon, who was known to have been very violent to the natives in the Caribbean, and the Overton Stone, is the carvings suggest some kind of agreement or strategic alliance with the local indigenous people.  This would be at odds with his known behavior.  However, if he had been in Nova Scotia with a small contingent so far from home, his attitude toward the natives may have been different.  

Regardless, the striking similarity of the two symbols and a possible connection to the famous Spanish explorer begs the question to be asked.  What do you think?       

The Spanish Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon is credited with the discovery of what is now known as Florida during his search for the "Fountain of Youth."