In The Place of Stone: Dighton Rock and the Erasure of America’s Indigenous Past (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), Douglas Hunter examines the...

In The Place of Stone: Dighton Rock and the Erasure of America’s Indigenous Past (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), Douglas Hunter examines the history of meanings, affinities, and petroglyph studies of Dighton Rock. First noticed by colonists in 1680, by the nineteenth century Massachusetts’ Dighton Rock was one of the most famous and contested artifacts of American antiquity. This forty-two ton boulder covered in petroglyphs has been the subject of endless speculation denying its Native American origins. Interpretations have included Vikings, Phoenicians, Egyptians, Lost Tribes of Israel, visitors from Atlantis, ancient Freemasons, and (today) the lost Portuguese explorer, Miguel Corte-Real. Hunter dissects almost four centuries of Dighton Rock’s misinterpretations to reveal its larger role in the colonization and the conceptualization of Native Americans. This sprawling study brings a fresh perspective to scientific racism, the rise of American archaeology and anthropology, the intellectual weaponry of colonialism, and the construction of migration theories for the peopling of the Americas. By disenfranchising Native Americans from their own past in interpretations of Dighton Rock and related archaeological puzzles such as the Mound Builders, colonizers have sought to answer to their own advantage two fundamental questions: to whom does America belong, and who belongs in America?


Ryan Tripp is an adjunct instructor for several community colleges and online university extensions. In 2014, he matriculated from the University of California, Davis, with a Ph.D. in History. His Ph.D. double minor included World History and Native American Studies, with an emphasis in Linguistic Anthropology and Indigenous Archeology.

 

 

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