D OUOSVAVV M

D OUOSVAVV M, originally uploaded by richardr.
This photo on Flickr puzzled me. I had never heard of the Shepherd’s monument, or about the fact that it had unbroken code on it. So I googled it and got the following information from BBC News

An inscription etched on a marble tablet at a stately home could be a hidden message from an 18th Century Christian sect, code-breakers say. …
The code has baffled great minds for years and had been rumoured to point to the location of the Holy Grail.
Experts now think the code is a message from a sect called the Priory of Sion.
The encoded ornament is located in the grounds of the ancestral home of the Earls of Lichfield.

Templar History states

This monument, based on the famous painting Shepherds of Arcadia by Nicholas Poussin, features an inscription at its base that has riddled people since its construction in 1748.
What is interesting is that the monument depicts a mirror image of Possin’s painting. The reason for which has never been understood, but if the code breakers are successful, we may just understand not only the reversed image, but the meaning behind the letters, “D.O.U.O.S.V.A.V.V.M.” found beneath the carving.
The National Codes Centre at Bletchley Park have been brought in to attempt to do what nobody has been able to do in 256 years. Bletchley Park were instrumental in cracking the enigma code during the Second World War, which enabled the Allies to launch the D-Day Invasion 60 years ago.

A real story, more mysterious than a lot of murder mystery novels…

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