Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bing and all ("America’s Stonehenge" NH)

(Formerly Mystery Hill, NH)
Plug the fanciful name into Google Earth and see what you get:
Lines of sight cut into the present day wounded forest.
(And please note I'm fooling with the various views you can get but messing with the buttons indicated by the red arrows:)
Look at all those nice rows of stones. Check out the various views:
In fact, someone has made a scale model:
    The scale model makes me wonder what it looked like, back before all the owners started messing around with it, re-building what was there way back before 1620 and especially before 1492, way back to the Late Archaic Period when Indigenous People were "hunting and gathering" - or actively shaping and maintaining a Cultural Landscape by using fire, depending on what source you might be reading. 
      So I’m looking for a close up of those stone rows, but everybody is more concerned about Phoenicians and Celts, sacrificial stones and moonshine...
     The Hiking Meditators have this one, but I'm looking for some untouched segments:

      Durned if I don’t find a few here:

    "The Folklore of Alternative Archaeology" (presented to the Archaeological Society of Connecticut, October 13, 2012) by Dr. Wade Tarzia, Associate Professor, Naugatuck Valley Community College
     I found them among the arguments against the “folklore” alternatives (excepting of course the “Yankee Farmer Folklore” that New England’s Stone Wall Myths are based on) that ignored completely the possibility that Indigenous People might have built anything larger than a hearth out of stone. I had to dig into some other website and excavate some documents to find out why.
   I’ll save you the trouble and slap these quotes up:
The Aboriginal School -- A small but growing group of people rejects the diffusionist theories and favors the idea that Native Americans built Mystery Hill (MH – the former name of the tourist attraction). There certainly is some precedent for such behavior, since Indian sites in the south west include some that are astronomically aligned (Cornell: 1981:168).  The school must assume that the site was constructed after 1200 BC, when cultivated plants are introduced into New England (Dincauze: 1974:53) -- that is, when at least partial sedentism and the rise of tribal life (thus increased opportunity for corporate architectural projects) may begin to occur..."
  {Corporate? Does he mean cooperative? As in “The cooperative effort to build the stone fish weir or the clam garden?" or "The cooperative effort to build the stone hunting drive?" Maybe…}
     "Band Society (pre-1000 A.D. Indians in New England): Bands of hunter-gatherer consist of small groups of 10 to 25 individuals who usually stay no longer than a week at any base camp before local depletion of edible wild plants and animals forces them to move to new territories -- they grow little or no food and are not able to remain sedentary for the long periods required for architectural pursuits. In addition, the low population density of band society generates lower levels of social stress relative to more complex societies, with the result that hunter-gatherers need fewer, less complex rituals of stress reduction. That is, ritual architecture may not have been requirements for such people.”
      In addition, the low population density of band society generates lower levels of social stress relative to more complex societies, with the result that hunter-gatherers need fewer, less complex rituals of stress reduction.  That is, ritual architecture may not have been requirements for such people. 
                The high degree of nomadism inherent in hunter gatherer life would not allow them to remain in any one location long enough for extended architectural endeavors.  And if we acknowledge the recent work of archaeologists like Renfrew (1984, 1984b), which suggests that megalithic monuments functioned to support land-holding groups, then we must reject a hunter gatherer basis for MH once again -- for hunter gatherers are little concerned with land rights or ownership.
                If we are to believe the oldest held date for MH, then Indians would not have built the site.  Once Indian populations grew large enough for them to require sedentism and agriculture -- and evolve into a tribal social-system -- the date is around 1000 AD.  If AmerIndians built MH, it must have origins after this date; yet, this goes against the popularly acknowledged dates of the site..." From:

   Well, I'm just going to back up to that first photo of Dr. Wade's. I don't know where it is on that scale model of the site that reminds me so much of the rows of stones I see around me, not too far from Naugatuck Valley Community College - or in what was once known as the Old Deer Park that borders the College property. I think I see some suggestion of a possible petroform (or geoglyph) that is distinguished by a triangular shape that makes me think of a snake (and I'll overlay a couple Serpentine details):
What might a "real archaeologist" say about this?
What might an "open minded real archaeologist" say about this?
Take a look here: 
Follow the links found here: 
I think I illustrate a few good examples of what might interest a "real archaeologist" of some possible places to conduct a test or two in order to test a theory that not every one of the quarter million miles of stone fences or walls are what we've been taught they are:

      And I don't mean to leave out Mary and James Gage! They have actually been there, unlike myself, and have written quite a bit about the place. There's many a photograph here: and much more about their research and theories into Stone Structures here:
      They even dug up this old map - wouldn't it be interesting to look at the "gateways" that appear to have some boulders incorporated into them?


  1. Corporate can mean: "United or combined into one body; collective: made a corporate effort to finish the job." Or so is the belief of

    1. Yes. In anthropology and archaeology, the term 'corporate labor' means any cooperative undertaking by a social group, from a small-scale tribe to larger scale political units.

  2. The original natural features would have made the place important, and sadly too much is disturbed to know exactly what those were. But we can certainly make educated guesses based on other sites and the ethnography. I'll bet it was a site similar to Queen's Fort in Rhode Island, or Gungywamp, or Burnt Hill. These are the regional hilltop sacred places where nations would gather yearly from miles around. They often included processional walls, talus caves, standing stones, offering niches, and stone-built sweat-houses. The area was likely teeming with quarrying activity both utilitarian and ceremonial. Stones were likely split in half to release or access spirits. Splits were propped to offer safe passage from the underworld, or filled to stop such passage. Feats of strength were conducted, including rolling boulders uphill and propping glacial erratics to show the strength of their men. These were dancing places where celebrations happened through the night, and the rising of the sun was celebrated.

    "And as in former ages Apollo had his temple at Delphos, and Diana at Ephesus; so have I heard them call upon some as if they had their residence in some certain places, or because they appeared in those forms in the same. In the Powah's speech he promiseth to sacrifice many skins of beasts, kettles, hatchets, beads, knives, and other the best things they have to the fiend, if he will come to help the party diseased; but whether they perform it I know not." (Winslow [1624]2001:59)

    WINSLOW, Edward. [1624] 2001. Good News From New England. In Jack Dempsey, ed. Good News From New England and Other Writings on the Killings at Weymouth Colony. Scituate, MA: Digital Scanning, Inc.

  3. Some of the terminal-wall features you show above seem to be the way stone wall builders ended their work to provide a pass -- the heavier cross-wall boulders probably strengthen the terminus against collapse. You often see these in NE stone walls. Your use of my photos from my essay seem a little credulous, but fair enough -- you get to promote your own hypotheses. I find something to admire in active engagement with interesting topics, even if I disagree with the conclusions. Carry on!