|Storied Judaculla Rock gets overdue recognition|
Judaculla Rock, a prehistoric gem of the Cherokee and the most heavily inscribed petroglyph in the East, is putting Jackson County on the map.
Jackson County and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians learned late last month that the rock has been accepted onto the National Register of Historic Places for its unique surface etchings and ancient inscriptions. The soapstone boulder is believed to be part of a mythical Cherokee landscape and one of several such markers across the Nantahala Mountain range.
There's 80,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, from the Mount Vernon Estate to sections of Route 66. However, Judaculla Rock is much older and far more mysterious than most on the list - and in many ways, its designation carries more importance.
"It's a victory for tribal peoples and it's a victory for America," Russ Townsend, tribal historic preservation officer, said about the rock's recent designation.
(Smoky Mountain News, 4/10/13)