What is a Masonís Mark?
Most broadly, a masonís mark refers to a symbol left on stonework by a mason. There is some debate surrounding the exact purpose of mason marks. Some believe them to have had practical purposes such as representing the identity of a mason to ensure appropriate payment. Others believe that a masons mark could provide information about the origins and location of a stone. Still others suggest that the markings were used to determine the position or rotation of a stone.
History of the Masons Mark
Modern Freemasons claim to be an outgrowth of the masons of the Middle Ages who built cathedrals, abbeys, and monasteries for the church, and left their marks. However, the masons mark has been found on structures dating as far back as 25,000 BCE. The earliest examples of masons mark are attributed to Middle Minoan Crete, and are believed to be religious or mystical signs.
Significance of the Masons Mark
Similarities between various masons marks have been found in different parts of the world. The masonís mark itself has been found on the pyramids of Egypt, on the ruined buildings of Herculaneum, Pompeii, Greece, Rome and on ancient cathedrals.
One such mark frequently used was the Vesica Piscis, or the fish symbol that was eventually adopted by Christians, and which is believed to stem from pagan symbolism.
Some marks resemble Roman letters, while others seem representative of astronomical signs. Other signs are clear representations of the principles of geometry, while others appear to represent the initials of a personís name.
Masons marks found on Jerusalem stone containing Phoenician markings have been used to determine the accuracy of accounts in biblical writings regarding Solomonís Temple.
Many of the inscriptions found on buildings in antiquity are believed to have mythological, historical, and symbolic significance, as a brief record of an important event.