Ancient Stone with markings found in Allegany State Park

Ancient Rock Found

A large ancient stone, believed to have been a memorial monument to an ancient resident of what would have been, way long before America was discovered. This person's name would have been King Zari, who lived perhaps several hundred years BEFORE Christ. Celtic Iberian inscriptions on the stone had been deciphered by internationally known epigrapher and anthropologist Barry Fell, a retired Harvard University professor. He deciphered it to read on this stone as "THIS STONE WAS ENGRAVED FOR ZARI THE KING WHO PERISHED AND WAS INTERRED HERE". Professor Fell also said that the inscription was severely frost damaged, and most letters were reduced to fragmentary strokes, although several letters of Iberic alphabet could still be distinguished.This ancient stone was found during the summer of 1976, near the entrance of the "A Loop" of the Red House Tent and Trailer Area. The Park had this large rock placed, with other large rocks along the grass and the dirt gravel road, leading into A Loop, to prevent people from parking on the grass ( the present day tent & trailer playground is located in this grassy area, near the entrance control booth). This ancient stone was discovered by 5 year old Debbie Howard and her grandmother, as their family, who were regular campers at Allegany ,were camping in the Park at the time., with Debbie's parents- Dr. David & Dr. Irmagard Howard, who were both Professors at Houghton College. The parents notified Irmagard's father, Dr. Clyde Keeler, a researcher in ancient history, from Georgia. Dr. Keeler made a special trip to the Park, soon after the Howard's notified him. He then notified the well respected Professor Fell. It was not known whether King Zari lived here in this area at the time of his death, or if he was passing through. Park officials said it was not known where the large rock had originally been found, in the Park. They were not sure if it was transported to the Red House area, from areas deep within the Park or more realistically, it might have been found not far from where it was discovered. Because many of the larger heavy rocks are often not transported any great distance. After this stone was discovered and because of its historic significant value, it was placed in the Parks Mason Shop, which was located near the creek, in the Red House Maintenance Service Road area for safe keeping. In a very odd and strange turn of events, the Mason Shop caught fire and the building was destroyed. The historic ancient rock, they said was destroyed in the fire, and no one seems to know what ever happened to the rock. Some people have said it disintegrated. Some have said it was bulldozed into the nearby creek. Some have said that it was buried after the fire. No one seems to know for sure what happened, thus marking one of the greatest mysteries of all time in Allegany State Park.- Bob Schmid from the Allegany State Park Historical Society

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