Three thousand years ago native American Indians took shelter in a group of rocks, located at the end of Dale Road. The Rock House, as it is known today, is made up of granite-gneiss rock and is unique because it contains three American Indian petroglyphs. A petroglyph is a carving etched or carved into rock. The three petroglyphs: One on the North side and two on the South side of the shelter were made by pecking the rock with a stone tool. The petroglyphs grooves average ¼ inch in width and vary from 1.52 to 1.41 millimeters (mm) in depth. The largest petroglyph, about 10.5 by 2 inches, is a stick figure of a four-legged animal. The animal has an open mouth and two pecked depressions representing eyes. Based on the style of the animals snout and its upright tail it is believed to be a member of the cat family.

Edward J. Lenik, an Archeologist, was the first to discover the petroglyphs in 1973. However; the actual date of when the site was occupied by Native American Indians is not known. Archeologist and paleo-geologist have studied the site and all conclude that the site is authentic based on the patination and the carving of the petroglyphs.



Ted M. Payne  “Site Report for Parsippany Petroglyph Site Number One” Passaic River Basin Archeological Survey, July 13, 1979

Dr. James Swauger, Assistant Director of Carnegie Institue in Pittsburg Pa. Surveyed the site and concluded the carving were “aboriginal”.

Eward F. Limmer Jr. “A Possible Interpretation of the Petroglyphs Rock Shelter Site” , Parsippany Troy Hills Historical Sites Preservation Committee.

Dr. George Theocratoff (paleo-geologist) Rutgers University. Concluded: September 14, 1973. Letter to Herbert C. Kraft, Seton Hall University concluded that the Rock House petroglyph is authentic and of Indian origin. The workmanship is crude indicating the use of stone tools, not metal, to peck the design. The patination of the site would have taken several hundred years.


Dale Road
Township of Parsippany Troy-Hills