Arizona cartouche petroglyphs.

New Evidence Ancient Chinese Explorers Landed in America Excites Experts

(Read the article on one page)

By Tara MacIsaac Epoch Times  

John A. Ruskamp Jr., Ed.D., reports that he has identified an outstanding, history-changing treasure hidden in plain sight. High above a walking path in Albuquerque’s Petroglyph National Monument, Ruskamp spotted petroglyphs that struck him as unusual. After consulting with experts on Native American rock writing and ancient Chinese scripts to corroborate his analysis, he has concluded that the readable message preserved by these petroglyphs was likely inscribed by a group of Chinese explorers thousands of years ago.

On the fringe of archaeology have long been claims that the Chinese reached North America long before Europeans. With some renowned experts taking interest in Ruskamp’s discovery, those claims may be working their way from the fringe to the core.

It doesn’t mean our history textbooks will change tomorrow. Anything short of discovering an undisturbed early Asiatic relic or village in the Americas may fail to convince those archaeologists who have dogmatically rejected evidence of an ancient Chinese presence in the New World, said Ruskamp.

But, the disparate and widespread symbols he has found show many indications of authenticity. They have the potential to inspire a more serious investigation into early trans-Pacific interaction. To date, Ruskamp has identified over 82 petroglyphs matching unique ancient Chinese scripts not only at multiple sites in Albuquerque, New Mexico, but also nearby in Arizona, as well as in Utah, Nevada, California, Oklahoma, and Ontario. Collectively, he believes that most of these artifacts were created by an early Chinese exploratory expedition, although some appear to be reproductions made by Native people for their own purposes.

One of Ruskamp’s staunchest supporters has been David N. Keightley, Ph.D., a MacArthur Foundation Genius Award recipient who is considered by many to be the leading analyst in America of early Chinese oracle-bone writings. Keightley has helped Ruskamp decipher the scripts he has identified. One ancient message, preserved by three Arizona cartouche petroglyphs, translates as: “Set apart (for) 10 years together; declaring (to) return, (the) journey completed, (to the) house of the Sun; (the) journey completed together.” At the end of this text is an unidentified character that may be the author’s signature.

Cartouche 1, which reads “Set apart (for) 10 years together.”

Cartouche 1, which reads “Set apart (for) 10 years together.”(Courtesy of John Ruskamp)

Cartouche 2, which reads, “Declaring (to) return, (the) journey completed, (to the) house of the Sun.”

Cartouche 2, which reads, “Declaring (to) return, (the) journey completed, (to the) house of the Sun.” (Courtesy of John Ruskamp)  

Cartouche 3, which reads, “(The) journey completed together.”

Cartouche 3, which reads, “(The) journey completed together.” (Courtesy of John Ruskamp)

The Arizona glyph site on what has always been, and still is, very private ranch property located miles from any public access or road.

The Arizona glyph site on what has always been, and still is, very private ranch property located miles from any public access or road. (Courtesy of John Ruskamp)

The oracle-bone style of writing employed for creating a number of these ancient petroglyph scripts disappeared by royal decree from mankind’s memory around 1046 B.C., following the fall of the Shang Dynasty. It remained an unknown and totally forgotten form of writing until it was rediscovered in A.D. 1899 at Anyang, China. Ruskamp thus concluded that the mixed styles of Chinese scripts found in these Arizona petroglyphs indicates that they were made during a transitional period of writing in China, not long after 1046 B.C.

Ruskamp gives the following translation for the Albuquerque petroglyphs:  “Gēng (a date; the seventh Chinese Heavenly Stem); Jié (to kneel down in reverence); Da (great—referring to a superior); Quăn (dog—the sacrificial animal); Xiàn (offering worship to  deceased ancestors); and Dà Jiă (the name of the third king of the Shang dynasty).”

Albuquerque petroglyphs

Albuquerque petroglyphs (Courtesy of John Ruskamp)

The Albuquerque petroglyphs use both Seal era and Bronze era Chinese scripts, suggesting they were also written during a transitional period in Chinese calligraphy, likely between 1046 B.C. and 475 B.C. The use of the title “Da” before the name “Jiă,” suggests a date close to the end of the Shang Dynasty in 1046 B.C., as this appellation emerged during that time period and was replaced shortly thereafter. 

A comparison of scripts over time.

A comparison of scripts over time. (Courtesy of John Ruskamp)

Michael F. Medrano, Ph.D., chief of the Division of Resource Management for Petroglyph National Monument, studied the petroglyphs at that location upon Ruskamp’s request. He said that, based on his more than 25 years of experience with local Native cultures, “These images do not readily appear to be associated with local tribal entities,” and “based on repatination appear to have antiquity to them.”


Noted from this article is the lack of the use of the word 'discovered'.

Far too often the word 'discovered' is used to describe those who came to North America - they discovered nothing - they simply found, or stumbled upon this land already long occupied by many nations.

Being native American, the distinction and wording of this article is deeply appreciated.

As for the content - yes, oral tradition tells us the Chinese were here long before the Spaniards. Old news for some, new for others, i suppose.

My mothers great grandfather was chief and medicine man - he had blue eyes, as did his mother. We live in the middle of Canada and the Norwegians were the first to find us. They settled and made babies and lived long lives with our people.

Then the pedophiles and criminals from france, england and spain (aka The Vatican) showed up - you all know the rest.

I guess your ancestors from Asia who displaced the peoples who had earlier lived in the Americas were nothing but a pack of " pedophiles and criminals." There is nothing inherently noble about "native Americans" compared to other peoples who came later. Get over yourself.

HappyBird, point proven methinks..

Let me help you out here, friend. "Discover" means exactly what you said ("Stumble upon" or "find"). Check it out:

The author of the article didn't use it probably as a stylistic choice. Or maybe it just slipped his mind.

reference the last comment by the native American individual - I am Canadian and I am white and I am of English decent - your comment about us being pedophiles is uncalled for - especially as we are supporting people like yourself with our taxes. By the way, since you hate English so much, why are you communicating in that language, and since you wish to maintain your purity, why are you using our technology. You, sir, are just another BS artist living in a dream world and with a massive chip on your shoulder.

This theory of the post prehistoric landing of non-Americans upon both continents (hope that's acceptable to the first poster), seems to have more legs than the Levantine theory at the moment; that one has become muddier rather than clearer with a second instalment. A follow up for this one, detailing the reception the papers receive would be greatly appreciated. 

These Chinese were not explorers, they were immigrants that became the different tribes of American Indians. They came across through Alaska and migrated throughout North America, and are now what we call American Indians.

You might consider reading Gavin Menzies' book "1421", or have a look at his website "". Mr. Menzies was (I suppose still is!) a navigator, and used his knowledge to track Chinese voyages prior to the European "discovery" voyages. Interesting reading indeed, and he makes a very good case for the European explorers(?) using Chinese maps to guide their travels.

You might consider reading Gavin Menzies' book "1421", or have a look at his website "". Mr. Menzies was (I suppose still is!) a navigator, and used his knowledge to track Chinese voyages prior to the European "discovery" voyages. Interesting reading indeed, and he makes a very good case for the European explorers(?) using Chinese maps to guide their travels.

Could've arrived there by trade. Native Americans originated in East Asia and migrations across the Bering Strait never actually ended. They even continue today. Did the Chinese reach the Americas? Absolutely no. Did the East Asians reach the Americas? Absolutely yes. We know that.

The discussion about possible very early Chinese exploration in the Americas is not convincing. The location of these glyphs far distant from the Pacific Ocean would lead one to believe that other glyphs much closer to, let's say, modern southern California or western Mexico, should have long since been found. None have! Yes, a so-called "anchor" supposedly from a Chinese ship was found off Santa Barbara, but even if true it would be far more recent than the New Mexico petroglyphs.

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

Skull in Actun Tunichil Muknal.
Actun Tunichil Muknal (ATM) Natural Monument, or the “Cave of the Crystal Sepulchre,” in Belize is where archaeologists have uncovered evidence of human sacrifice rituals dating back to 3rd century AD. According to the Belize Audubon Society, the ancient Maya people believed that caves were home to gods who controlled agriculture and rain.

Myths & Legends

Ancient Race of White Giants Described in Native Legends From Many Tribes
Several Native American tribes have passed down legends of a race of white giants who were wiped out. We’ll take a look at a few such legends, including those among the Choctaw and the Comanches of the United States down to the Manta of Peru.

Ancient Places

On a chilly winter day in 1929, Halil Edhem, the Director of Turkey's National Museum, was hunched over his solitary task of classifying documents. He pulled towards him a map drawn on Roe deer skin. As Halil opened the chart to its full dimensions (two feet by three feet wide or 60 X 90 cm) he was surprised by how much of the New World was depicted on a map which dated from 1513.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article