The Jennings Petroglyph, or stone carving, is a large rock slab of fine-grained sandstone containing more than 30 pecked images. The rock includes stone carvings of various discernable and unidentifiable human-like figures as well as mammal-like and insect like figures. The depressions were carved and rubbed into the stone by means of a hammerstone and later chalked to make more visible.
The Jennings Petroglyph is believed to be the first and oldest petroglyph to be found in the state of New Jersey. It was discovered in 1965 on the Delaware River a few miles from Sussex County, NJ on the property of Mr. Rudyard Jennings who later donated the artifact to Seton Hall University where it is now housed for public display.
There is no specified date or way of identifying the period these carvings were made. However, scholars believe that the Jennings Petroglyphs were carved around 500 to 5000 years ago. It is also known to have been made by aboriginal Indians who settled along the Delaware River. Many glyphs like the Jennings Petroglyph are believed to have served as sacred places for the native Indians. These carvings represented religious, mythological, or supernatural symbols, and “may have been places where medicine men, community, or spiritual leaders went to meditate or receive guidance to lead or heal their people.” Additionally they may have served as teaching rocks or reminders to young people as a way to learn about their culture and the world around them.
The markings on the stone do suggest forms of naturalistic designs including humans, animals, birds and their tracks. Some of the readily identifiable images found on the Jennings Petroglyph include 14 man-like figures that vary in shape and form such as having extended arms, downward-extended arms and tails. Additional glyphs include a dragonfly-like creature, mammals, a bird track and a possible face.
[ 1 ]. Carr, Kurt, and Paul Nevin....
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