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  Earl Henry Sinclair

The Westford Knight

In the 1880s, the people of Westford, Massachusetts, knew of a strange carving on a rock beside a quiet road.

Back then, they believed it to be a "primitive" Indian carving and, thinking no more of it, left it alone. But in 1954, the carving was "re-discovered" by an amateur archaeologist.

Upon further examination, it was declared that the six-foot high figure punched into the rock seemed to represent a medieval knight. The effigy was in full armour, wearing helmet, mail and surcoat.

The existence of this incised figure - if it is genuine - would appear to corroborate a statement in the Zeno Narrative that explains that a cousin of Zichmni's died while on the continent. If the Westford Knight is indeed a 14th century carving, it is typical of an effigy used to mark the grave of a fallen knight.

Supporters claim the carving shows the warrior's right hand resting on his sword - a pommelled sword of the period that was shown to be broken indicating that the knight had died in the field.

The identity of this fallen knight has been claimed to be Sir James Gunn, a fact that supporters claim is indisputably proven because the effigy clearly bears the arms of the Clan Gunn on his shield.

Glacial scratches?

But the claims that the Westford Knight is undeniably genuine are by no means shared by all.

According to David K. Schafer, curatorial assistant for Archaeology at Harvard's Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, the supposed carving of a 14th century knight is nothing more than a "T" shaped engraving (which may even have been created by two young boys in the late 1800s) surrounded by glacial scratches and weathering marks.

Mr Schafer's final, and if correct, convincing, piece of evidence appears to lay to rest the idea that the carving is medieval. He claimed that at the time the “figure” was supposed to have been carved – i.e. the 14th century - the flat bedrock, on which the figure appears, was within a forest and under three feet of soil. We know that some of this soil was removed in the late 1950s to expose more of the "carving".

To read more of Mr Schafer's report, click here.

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