I found these photos of "Indian Cave," as it is locally known, just the other day. I must've taken the photos of this particular "Mysterious Chamber" sometime before the summer of 1997 when several severe thunder storms dramatically changed the river beds of the tributaries to the main river.
I would have eventually put this up because I found the pictures, but was prompted to do it today because I read http://rockpiles.blogspot.com/2010/09/well-written-article-on-stone-chambers.html this morning.
If you ask me, the real mystery is why Native Americans are always the last people mentioned.
And if you venture a little Google search on the Middletown Archaeological Research Center, you find they support the old Mormon Lost tribes of Isreal Theory:
"Archaeologist Salvatore M. Trento (Director of the Middletown Archaeological Research Center in New York) summarizes the finds and history culminating in the Book of Mormon’s literary setting:
The Book of Mormon tells the tale of ancient settlers who came from Jerusalem to America. Around 600 B.C., the prophet Lehi led a tribe of Israelites to the New World, where they established an advanced civilization. There were a series of wars and cultural upheavals over the next several generations. In 421 A.D., the Nephites, descendents of the original settlers, were wiped out by the Lamanites, a dark-skinned people who supposedly were ancestors of the American Indians. This is an astonishing tale that fits in very well with the general outlook in the early 1800s on the American wilderness. As American settlers pushed west into New York State and into the Ohio River Valley, they actually did see evidence of an ancient civilization – although not one from Jerusalem. These people saw giant earthworks, massive burial mounds, and stone forts sitting above streams and rivers. These structures, now believed to have been constructed by an early American Indian people collectively called the Mound Builders, were thought to be definitive evidence of an ancient white race. The general theory of the time was that the Indians had killed off this sophisticated white race. The Book of Mormon describes this myth in great detail. The point here is that most of the mounds were constructed by American Indians and not by immigrants from Jerusalem – but early settlers and antiquarians didn’t know that. Two things spoke of ancient contact: the similarity of the mounds to those in prehistoric Europe, and the “fact” that the contemporary Indians knew nothing about the earthworks (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archaeology_and_the_Book_of_Mormon)."A more diligent reporter might have been prompted to actually ask an Indian person - or at least read another wiki entry about the Nipmuc People:
"Coming from the southwest, Paleo Indians settled New England over 10,000 years ago, hunting the animals that inhabited the subarctic environment. Archeological records prove their presence dating back some 15,000-20,000 years ago. During the Archaic Period (8000 BCE–1000 BCE) the climate slowly warmed, bringing new plants and animals as well as changes in human culture and lifestyle.
During this period, the Nipmuc's ancestors were producing stone bowls, making bark, woven and wooden containers, and developed a written language, which remained in use until the historical period. Pesuponcks (ceremonial stone sweat lodges) were used for purification rituals and many of these ancient chambers can still be found near the sites of Nipmuc villages.
During the Woodland Period (1000 BCE–1000 CE) and later, trade and with other peoples brought the "three sisters" (maize, beans, and squash), encouraging an agricultural based society. In time, Nipmuc territory was at the hub of the "Great Path" to all parts of the northeast (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nipmuc).
Remnant of clay mortared "stone wall" at Indian Cave
I once wrote, "I’ll suggest that a very likely use of some Stone Chambers some of the time might be as sweat lodges. It seems to be the simplest explanation of one aspect of the mystery of Stone Chambers."
There's another possible stone sweat lodge I occaionally visit: