Lost City of Gold
A Preservation Fellow at the Center for Desert Archaeology in Tucson, Arizona, our contributor has long pondered an inscription on a rock wall in South Mountain Park just outside of Phoenix, Arizona.
The inscription, which was discovered in the 1920s, reads: “Fr Marcos de Niza corona todo el nuebo Mexico a su costa 1539.” Roughly translated it means, “Fray Marcos de Niza crowned all of New Mexico at his expense, 1539.”
If this date is accurate, then de Niza was the first European in the Phoenix area.
Is the inscription authentic?
The city of Phoenix has built an imposing cage of iron bars around the inscription for protection. History Detectives hired a welder to remove some bars from the cage for a few minutes to allow access for Dr. Ronald Dorn, a professor at ASU, to take rock samples. Dr. Dorn’s forensic tests will give us the definitive answer.
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