The tablet, which resembled an early version of the Bajoran symbol, was over 30,000 years old at the time of its discovery, like the ruins in which it was found. The stone was inscribed with archaic Bajoran ideograms, many of which weren't immediately translatable; however at least two symbols were: Welcome Emissary.
When the stone was discovered, Captain Benjamin Sisko had it transported to Deep Space 9 so that he and his science officer, Jadzia Dax, could decipher the inscriptions. Although they made some progress in this respect, Kai Winn and first minister Shakaar Edon both ordered Captain Sisko to return the tablet to Bajor. Frustrated with this and the fact that progress on deciphering the stone's inscriptions was going so slow, Sisko picked up the stone in anger and smashed it against the wall. In doing so, he released both a trapped Prophet and Pah-wraith and initiated a religious battle between the Prophets and Pah-wraiths. (DS9: "The Reckoning")
Parts of the inscriptions translate as follows:
- Welcome Emissary.
- The time of reckoning is at hand! The Prophets will weep. Their sorrow will consume the gateway to the temple.
- During the reckoning, the Bajoran people will suffer horribly/eat fruit. (The ideograms for suffering and eat fruit were apparently indistinguishable.)