One probable diagnostic indicator of Indigenous Ceremonial Stonework, in both rows of stones and smaller piles of stones, is the placement of certain stones so that the chosen stone appears to resemble the head of an animal or human, creating a zoomorphic or anthropomorphic effigy. My first experience in observing a zoomorphic stone happened back in 1997 when I came across a stone I thought at first glance was an animal skull on a flat topped boulder. Closer observation led me to believe that the stone was an effigy of a bear, the associated stone the base for a fire starter, both possibly used with some sort of shell containing a tobacco mixture.
Longer Video of this Bear Stone Rocking: http://wakinguponturtleisland.blogspot.com/2009/04/bear-stone-rocking.html
While each of these probable effigy stones is unique, the shape of the stone is almost always suggestive of an animal or human – sometimes more or less triangular, sometimes more or less round or oval. Sometimes, but not all the time, other facial features can be observed, perhaps eyes, perhaps a mouth, perhaps a natural "found" stone, perhaps a humanly enhanced stone. The placement of the stone in a "wall" or a "mound" in a position to emphasize the resemblance to the animal or human-like being is probably very intentional and is more likely related to Indigenous Culture than to European methods of stone stacking, especially if the effigy can be found in Native Amarican Iconography in other artwork media. Sometimes, but not all the time, especially when the effigy is suspected to be a turtle, more stones can be found to represent (become) a shell and even legs:
Cover Photo for "Turtles" Album at Flickr:
Back at the end of Winter 2015-16, I stopped to take some photos of a row of stones near Madison CT. You can find the related post here:
Looking again at other photos not included in the post, almost two years later,
I found a few good examples of these sorts of effigy stones, some of which stood out that day, but also some that I failed to recognise that day.
Just one single segment shows several possible intentional effigies, placed so that the stone recalls an image of some sort of faces, eyes upward and a mouth below:
White stones, colorful stones, unusual stones are all indicators of intent as well:
This eye and mouth may have been Humanly enhanced:
Change of perspective and this seems to be a turtle:
Perhaps a huan face that I missed, composed of more than one stone:
A collection of "Faces in Stone:"