The stone itself is a 300-pound chunk of granite, upon which two lines of carvings were made. According to the Archaeological Institute of America, the stone probably started as a doorstep of a Native American meetinghouse around 1680, then passed through several owners, landing at the Aptucxet Trading Post in Bourne about 1930. The stone has been displayed at the historical center since 2003.
Barry Fell claimed in his 1977 book America B.C.: Ancient Settlers in the New World that the markings are in an Iberian script and language which he translates to "A proclamation of annexation. By this Hanno takes possession".
In 2004, Larry J. Zimmerman explained his own theory about the Bourne Stone in Collaboration In Archaeological Practice: Engaging Descendant Communities. He invited Norse runic expert Michael Barnes to examine the stone. Barnes stated that the markings were definitely not runic. Zimmerman and Patricia Emerson, Minnesota archaeologist, suggested that the markings looked like Native American petroglyphs.
- "AIA Event Listings - The Bourne Stone - Bourne Historical Society". www.archaeological.org. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
- "Bourne Stone continues to baffle the experts". capecodtimes.com. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
- Goudsward, David (2006-07-05). Ancient Stone Sites of New England and the Debate Over Early European Exploration. McFarland. ISBN 9780786424627.
- Yankee, Wicked (2012-10-31). "Wicked Yankee: The Bourne Stone - Bourne, Ma". Wicked Yankee. Retrieved 2015-12-16.
- Larry J. Zimmerman (2007). "Unusual or extreme beliefs about the past". In Chip Colwell-Chanthaphonh. Collaboration in archaeological practice: engaging descendant communities. Altamira Press. p. 70. ISBN 978-0-7591-1054-0.