Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths?

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Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths?

Postby rako » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:16 pm

New England has numerous megalithic underground structures and above-ground ones, monoliths/menhirs that are standing, and dolmens - boulders stacked on standing rocks. Sometimes Amerindian relics have been found dated thousands of years ago, like charcoal from fires. Have mainstream scholars done reliable studies of the major sites to determine their age? One of the issues is that simply having a fire at a site does not necessarily mean that the rest of the site (like the chamber) was made by the Amerindians thousands of years ago, unless of course the charcoal is in a big pile at the bottom of the pit, right?

We should be able to rule out bronze age European settlers.
They should have left bronze shields or other such tools to remind us of them, not just the stones. I heard that hammer dated thousands of years ago have been found, but that doesn't mean that they weren't Amerindian, right?

One theory is the Solutrean hypothesis or versions of it, by which Europeans arrived in the paleolithic era and could have been the builders.
This theory seems quite unlikely, the main reason being the difficulty in crossing the North Atlantic in large enough numbers to help alot with populating New England and eastern Canada (100-500 people?), even if they mixed with natives. Even the amerliorative factors don't seem to overcome this. Those factors are:
  • There was an ice sheet connecting NW Europe to Eastern Canada. maybe they could walk on the ice or camp on it while sailing in primitive boats, canoes or rafts.
  • They could fish for food. (But they wouldn't be able to hunt normal land mammals, except things like seals)
  • Inuits got to Greenland and in some accounts to NW Europe before Columbus
  • Vikings got to Eastern Canada and settled there a bit with 120+ people
  • Modern reenactors succeeded in crossing in primitive boats in small numbers.
  • The continents and shorelines were a bit closer and bigger then due to the ice age (eg. Ireland was connected to England)
  • There were cases where animals like monkeys crossed the Atlantic. I know this is very weird. Scholars' most common explanation is "rafting" with floating swampland (Monkey Ancestors Rafted Across the Sea to North America, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/04/ ... th-america)
Image

Image

Image

Image

And the logistical issue is just the biggest barrier in my mind. There are others, like whether Northeast Amerindian X, R1, R1B, and C DNA is both precolumbian and directly related to the same haplogroups by those names in Western Europe. And if not, then we are forced to think about whether the European settlers in ancient times only mixed with the Indians without leaving much trace.

The next set of questions is: Regardless of whether the Amerindians or pre-columbian European settlers built the megaliths, can we date their construction reliably? Can't we look at things like carbon dating, soil overgrowth, weathering of rock incisions, as well as any skeletons or artefacts at the sites? Haven't mainstream scientists tried to, using all these tools

Let's consider where some of these supposed megalithic sites have been identified.

The Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut (No. 38 1973. pp. 77-89) recorded how:
Between 1952-54, Frank Glynn excavated two stone heaps at Pilot’s Point on coast of Connecticut. Heap I, an oval shaped stone mound, measured 12 feet by 21 feet with a maximum elevation of 2 feet. Heap II, another oval shaped stone mound, measured 9 feet in diameter with maximum elevation over two feet. It was built against a large glacial boulder. A small shell heap abutted the heap. ...
Artifacts recovered included “stemmed and barbed projectile points, a stemmed knife, a scraper and a chisel, suggestive of the Archaic-Woodland overlapping periods.” In addition, rim shards, a mortar and pestle, and hoes and spades described as “Adena-like” were recovered. Glynn noted that “The immediate sealing-off of fires either by covering them with stone or rolling a large stone into them was evident.” Heap II was a mix of burnt stone and shell and had strong evidence that the glacial boulder was used as a reflector oven for cooking clams. Artifacts recovered included “Quartz cores, flakes and chips …broken choppers and scrapers …”
http://www.stonestructures.org/html/sou ... #Subject-1

If this account is true, it suggests that Amerindians were digging mounds and making boulder heaps themselves, even in the copper age, if not earlier.

Wikipedia says:
Indigenous Americans have been using native metals from ancient times, with recent finds of gold artifacts in the Andean region dated to 2155–1936 BCE.[1] and North American copper finds dated to approximately 5000 BCE.[2] The metal would have been found in nature without need for smelting techniques and shaped into the desired form using heat and cold hammering techniques without chemically altering it by alloying it. To date "no one has found evidence that points to the use of melting, smelting and casting in prehistoric eastern North America."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallurg ... an_America

James Mavor & Byron Dix write in the book "Manitou: The Sacred Landscape of New England’s Native Civilization: (Rochester, VT: Inner traditions Inc., 1989, pp 66, 82) about how they
investigate a group of 110 stone mounds in Freetown, Massachusetts during the early 1980’s. ... A single stone mound was selected for archaeological excavation. The excavation recovered charcoal from two features and was c-14 dated 875 +/- 160 years B.P. and 875 +/- 150 years B.P. In additional, the excavation found 120 pieces of red ochre, and possible stone tools (hammerstones, scrapers, and anvils). “We [Mavor & Dix] conclude from the excavation that the mound, and by implication many others, was built by pre-historic Native Americans for ceremonial use, and was certainly not the result of English colonial field clearing.”

http://www.stonestructures.org/html/sou ... #Subject-1

This is more proof of Amerindian mound building in New England.

Dennis E. Howe writes in “The Beaver Meadow Brook Site: Prehistory on the West Bank at Sewall’s Falls, Concord, New Hampshire”:
“Feature 5 This feature, located in excavation units N0E0 and N1E0, consisted of stacked cobbles and stones … and has been identified as a cairn. The total weight of the stones and cobbles was 124.5 lbs (274.5 kg). It extended from a depth of 48 cm to 83 cm. It is likely that it was associated with the cremated human remains, Feature 9, and Feature 4. No other features like this were found on either bank of the river in the Sewall’s Falls area.”

The Stone structures website commented about this:
Feature 5 at the site was classified as a cairn and associated with feature 9 a cremation burial. Feature 9 had “A Radiocarbon date of 5155 +/- 190 years B.P. (GX-14009) was obtained from charcoal excavated from immediately below the feature.” (pp. 61)

http://www.stonestructures.org/html/sou ... #Subject-1

Paul Angel names a subterranean chamber in Vermont called "Calendar II" in Vermont as one of the megalithic structures:
At the center of this cosmic place is a beautifully preserved underground chamber called Calendar II because it is oriented to the midwinter sunrise. If you sit inside the chamber and look out the entranceway on the morning of the winter solstice, December 21, the sun will rise in the center of the entrance. Analysis by archeoastronomer Byron Dix shows that the chamber was also used in lunar observations and eclipse prediction. This is only one of many such sites found all over New England. This chamber, like most other such chambers, is located over an underground water spring ....
The overhead lintel stones weigh approximately three tons each.
Image
http://planetvermont.com/pvq/v9n1/megaliths.html


John Hugh writes about megaliths that " they exist in, ... in the north eastern states of America. New England and New York State have thousands of recorded megalithic and lithic sites (Mega = big, Lithic = stone)". He doubts that they are root cellars because "there are no air vents, the floor is often bedrock, they are built upon magnetic anomalies, and the huge megaliths that often make up the lintels are of no apparent use to 'root cellars'", adding:
...It is generally accepted by researchers that these sites were built by the Native American populations of the area a few hundred years ago, but carbon dating, archaeoastronomical alignments, scientific earth energy tests and oral histories have pushed the dates much further back than originally thought.
http://megalithomania-america.blogspot.com/2012/09/an-exploration-of-incredible-ancient.html

He talks about his visit to a set of underground chambers called Calendar I in VT, saying:
The telluric lines... bounced off the larger stones inside the chamber in a zigzag fashion and out of the chamber forming a spiral at the entrance. Telluric currents are currents that run across the surface of the earth and are attached to the magnetic field. They fluctuate in strength throughout the day, and when harnessed, the energy can be used to alter consciousness and even affect the fertility of seeds and grains if placed correctly. Several sites in New England were tested by John Burke and Kaj Halberg whilst researching for their book 'Seed of Knowledge, Stone of Plenty' (Council Oak Books, 2005). They used sophisticated Magnetometers and Electric Volt Readers
Then he talks about another chamber called the "Eagle Chamber".

This idea of Telluric lines sounds strange to me, but they are claiming to pick it up with electronic equipment.

He then talks about other places:
Calendar II is a nearby megalithic chamber that has much larger stones making up the interior lintels. This is the biggest chamber in Vermont, measuring ten feet by twenty feet. ....There are seven massive lintel stones that span this width and the entrance is aligned to the Winter Solstice sunrise. According to Mavor and Dix, it can also be used as an eclipse predictor and for lunar observation.

Thanks to its new name, 'America's Stonehenge', (formerly 'Mystery Hill') has become the most famous megalithic structure in New England. It is a vast astronomical complex based in North Salem, New Hampshire, with standing stones, a sacrificial table, stone chambers and astronomical alignments.
[The site manager] told us that carbon dating of the site over the years put the time frame from 2000BC to 200AD. Unknown megalithic builders constructed a 12-acre astronomical stone calendar ... In 1975 the "true north stone" was determined to have lined up with the then Pole Star Thuban, dating to around 1750 BC (3). It is believed that at that time period, a very large body of water, which was fed by the Merrimack River, shored near the Mystery Hill area. ... The style is again very similar to European megalithic sites. A notable feature is the "T" shaped "oracle" chamber that has an unusual speaking tube that comes out below the 'sacrificial table', a 4.5 ton block of granite that is said to have been used for sacrifice!

http://megalithomania-america.blogspot. ... cient.html

A dating method of lining up stars seems quite unreliable. If you don't know how old the site is or what stars the rocks lined up to (if any), how can you date it and call it astronomical by saying that a rock on the site lines up with a star's location at a certain year?

Let me add that calling the central frame-cut slab a "sacrifice stone" also seems less likely to me because it looks like a common lye stone used by 18th c. Anglo colonists.

Joseph A. Citro and Diane E. Foulds write in Curious New England: The Unconventional Traveler's Guide about beehive shaped undergound chambers in New England, claiming that "carbon-dating suggest[s] they were there" in the BC period.
"Native Americans are as baffled by them as we are. .... Why isn't the state attempting to solve the puzzle?"
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby E.P. Grondine » Wed Oct 26, 2016 3:51 pm

Hi rako -

The problem is you get a lot of speculation combined with a few facts, along with a lot of racism and religious nuttiness.
Welcome to archaeology.

Nevertheless, I'll try to handle some of your questions to the best of my abilities.

rako wrote:New England has numerous megalithic underground structures and above-ground ones, monoliths/menhirs that are standing, and dolmens - boulders stacked on standing rocks. Sometimes Amerindian relics have been found dated thousands of years ago, like charcoal from fires. Have mainstream scholars done reliable studies of the major sites to determine their age? [b]


No - its like people of large stature, it is not a path to professional respectability, because of all of the fringe looniness.
You will be telling some people things that they don't want to hear,
one side or the other, and you will take a lot of abuse from them.
That is why no one applies for the job.
Oh, and by the way, the pay is very limited.
The only "job" that compares is trying to recover recent impact events,
or doing native history.

rako wrote:We should be able to rule out bronze age European settlers. They should have left bronze shields or other such tools to remind us of them, not just the stones. I heard that hammer dated thousands of years ago have been found, but that doesn't mean that they weren't Amerindian, right?


Amazingly, no, you can not automatically exclude Bronze Age visitors to the area. Europe was undergoing deforestation, and large trees used to build dugouts were a necessity for many European coastel peoples. It is the same thing that brought the Royal Navy to the area in more recent times.

rako wrote:[b]]One theory is the Solutrean hypothesis or versions of it, by which Europeans arrived in the paleolithic era and could have been the builders.


The most likely source for the "Solutrean" artifacts was from the area that is now Morocco in North west Africa,
Look up the Pedra Furada site in South America.

At the time of the Solutrean, sea levels were 300 feet lower than today. Thus the area were those artifacts were found was then the Chesapeake River instead of today's Chesapeake Bay.

rako wrote:This theory seems quite unlikely, the main reason being the difficulty in crossing the North Atlantic in large enough numbers to help a lot with populating New England and eastern Canada (100-500 people?), even if they mixed with natives. Even the amerliorative factors don't seem to overcome this. Those factors are:
  • There was an ice sheet connecting NW Europe to Eastern Canada. maybe they could walk on the ice or camp on it while sailing in primitive boats, canoes or rafts.
  • They could fish for food. (But they wouldn't be able to hunt normal land mammals, except things like seals)
  • Inuits got to Greenland and in some accounts to NW Europe before Columbus
  • Vikings got to Eastern Canada and settled there a bit with 120+ people
  • Modern reenactors succeeded in crossing in primitive boats in small numbers.
  • The continents and shorelines were a bit closer and bigger then due to the ice age (eg. Ireland was connected to England)
  • There were cases where animals like monkeys crossed the Atlantic. I know this is very weird. Scholars' most common explanation is "rafting" with floating swampland (Monkey Ancestors Rafted Across the Sea to North America, http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/04/ ... th-america)
Image

Image

Image

Image

And the logistical issue is just the biggest barrier in my mind. There are others, like whether Northeast Amerindian X, R1, R1B, and C DNA is both precolumbian and directly related to the same haplogroups by those names in Western Europe. And if not, then we are forced to think about whether the European settlers in ancient times only mixed with the Indians without leaving much trace.


C DNA [Iroquoian associated in North America] is Eurasian. apparently crossing via Berringia about 45,000 BCE.
R1 and R1B I can not speak about - they are new to me.
X is your Red Paint people, chart above. The date for their arrival is often given as 8,350 BCE,
Their signature technologies are finely serated edges, polished stone tools, and an extensive maritime took kit.

Now very finely polished long stone points for seal killing have been found at Canadian Maritime archaic sites, but I do not know of any dates for them.

rako wrote:The next set of questions is: Regardless of whether the Amerindians or pre-columbian European settlers built the megaliths, can we date their construction reliably? Can't we look at things like carbon dating, soil overgrowth, weathering of rock incisions, as well as any skeletons or artefacts at the sites? Haven't mainstream scientists tried to, using all these tools


Why yet more questions - Oh joy. :roll: :|

rako wrote:Let's consider where some of these supposed megalithic sites have been identified.

The Bulletin of the Archaeological Society of Connecticut (No. 38 1973. pp. 77-89) recorded how:
Between 1952-54, Frank Glynn excavated two stone heaps at Pilot’s Point on coast of Connecticut. Heap I, an oval shaped stone mound, measured 12 feet by 21 feet with a maximum elevation of 2 feet. Heap II, another oval shaped stone mound, measured 9 feet in diameter with maximum elevation over two feet. It was built against a large glacial boulder. A small shell heap abutted the heap. ...
Artifacts recovered included “stemmed and barbed projectile points, a stemmed knife, a scraper and a chisel, suggestive of the Archaic-Woodland overlapping periods.” In addition, rim shards, a mortar and pestle, and hoes and spades described as “Adena-like” were recovered. Glynn noted that “The immediate sealing-off of fires either by covering them with stone or rolling a large stone into them was evident.” Heap II was a mix of burnt stone and shell and had strong evidence that the glacial boulder was used as a reflector oven for cooking clams. Artifacts recovered included “Quartz cores, flakes and chips …broken choppers and scrapers …”
http://www.stonestructures.org/html/sou ... #Subject-1

If this account is true, it suggests that Amerindians were digging mounds and making boulder heaps themselves, even in the copper age, if not earlier.


Why is it so strange to you that "Amerindians were digging mounds and making boulder heaps themselves, even in the copper age, if not earlier?"

The "rim shards" are very important, too bad the excavators did not identify or describe them further.
Nor did the excavators identify any flint (chert) sources for their tools.
(Ramah Bay chert is an important diagnostic in this area.)
But then we have so much bad archaeology done.

rako wrote:Wikipedia says:
"Indigenous Americans have been using native metals from ancient times, with recent finds of gold artifacts in the Andean region dated to 2155–1936 BCE.[1] and North American copper finds dated to approximately 5000 BCE.[2] The metal would have been found in nature without need for smelting techniques and shaped into the desired form using heat and cold hammering techniques without chemically altering it by alloying it. To date "no one has found evidence that points to the use of melting, smelting and casting in prehistoric eastern North America."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallurg ... an_America


So now we skip from possible stone structures to metal use, for some unstated reason. :twisted:
You are eliding together South American and North American metal use - My advice, and I don't know if you'll take it, is don't do it.
You can see Canadian Red Ochre Culture artifacts being duplicated in copper at the museum in Green Bay, WI.
Do not confuse Old Copper Culture and its dates for earlier Siouxian tools in copper and their dates, either .

South American and P'erhepechuan metallurgy is entirely different, and only nuts put them all together.
And I do mean nuts.
And there are a lot of them.

rako wrote:James Mavor & Byron Dix write in the book "Manitou: The Sacred Landscape of New England’s Native Civilization: (Rochester, VT: Inner traditions Inc., 1989, pp 66, 82) about how they " investigate a group of 110 stone mounds in Freetown, Massachusetts during the early 1980’s. ... A single stone mound was selected for archaeological excavation. The excavation recovered charcoal from two features and was c-14 dated 875 +/- 160 years B.P. and 875 +/- 150 years B.P. In additional, the excavation found 120 pieces of red ochre, and possible stone tools (hammerstones, scrapers, and anvils). “We [Mavor & Dix] conclude from the excavation that the mound, and by implication many others, was built by pre-historic Native Americans for ceremonial use, and was certainly not the result of English colonial field clearing.”
http://www.stonestructures.org/html/sou ... #Subject-1

This is more proof of Amerindian mound building in New England.


Now you're back to stone structures again. :roll: :|

And why should that be strange?
And it is not "mound building", and it is not even "stone mound building', as it is not even that:
the structures were not simply "mounds", as they were built for a purpose.
Many different peoples have used stones in construction - you have to not go beyond the facts.

rako wrote:Dennis E. Howe writes in “The Beaver Meadow Brook Site: Prehistory on the West Bank at Sewall’s Falls, Concord, New Hampshire”:
“Feature 5 This feature, located in excavation units N0E0 and N1E0, consisted of stacked cobbles and stones … and has been identified as a cairn. The total weight of the stones and cobbles was 124.5 lbs (274.5 kg). It extended from a depth of 48 cm to 83 cm. It is likely that it was associated with the cremated human remains, Feature 9, and Feature 4. No other features like this were found on either bank of the river in the Sewall’s Falls area.”

The Stone structures website commented about this:
"Feature 5 at the site was classified as a cairn and associated with feature 9 a cremation burial. Feature 9 had “A Radiocarbon date of 5155 +/- 190 years B.P. (GX-14009) was obtained from charcoal excavated from immediately below the feature.” (pp. 61)
http://www.stonestructures.org/html/sou ... #Subject-1


Here at least the structure was clearly identified as a cairn.
Now what other associated material culture features were identified with it?

rako wrote:Paul Angel names a subterranean chamber in Vermont called "Calendar II" in Vermont as one of the megalithic structures:
"At the center of this cosmic place is a beautifully preserved underground chamber called Calendar II because it is oriented to the midwinter sunrise. If you sit inside the chamber and look out the entrance way on the morning of the winter solstice, December 21, the sun will rise in the center of the entrance. Analysis by archeoastronomer Byron Dix shows that the chamber was also used in lunar observations and eclipse prediction. This is only one of many such sites found all over New England. This chamber, like most other such chambers, is located over an underground water spring ....
The overhead lintel stones weigh approximately three tons each.
Image
http://planetvermont.com/pvq/v9n1/megaliths.htm


Three tons is quite a lot of weight for a colonial utilitarian stone structure.
There re a lot of "archaeo-astronomical" claims made.
Very few are reliable, as they often do not take into account the differences in the ancient sky from the modern sky.
Often times they will use European constellations as well.

rako wrote:John Hugh writes about megaliths that " they exist in, ... in the north eastern states of America. New England and New York State have thousands of recorded megalithic and lithic sites (Mega = big, Lithic = stone)". He doubts that they are root cellars because "there are no air vents, the floor is often bedrock, they are built upon magnetic anomalies, and the huge megaliths that often make up the lintels are of no apparent use to 'root cellars'", adding:
...It is generally accepted by researchers that these sites were built by the Native American populations of the area a few hundred years ago, but carbon dating, archaeoastronomical alignments, scientific earth energy tests and oral histories have pushed the dates much further back than originally thought.

http://megalithomania-america.blogspot. ... cient.html

He talks about his visit to a set of underground chambers called Calendar I in VT, saying:
"The telluric lines... bounced off the larger stones inside the chamber in a zigzag fashion and out of the chamber forming a spiral at the entrance. Telluric currents are currents that run across the surface of the earth and are attached to the magnetic field. They fluctuate in strength throughout the day, and when harnessed, the energy can be used to alter consciousness and even affect the fertility of seeds and grains if placed correctly. Several sites in New England were tested by John Burke and Kaj Halberg whilst researching for their book 'Seed of Knowledge, Stone of Plenty' (Council Oak Books, 2005). They used sophisticated Magnetometers and Electric Volt Readers Then he talks about another chamber called the "Eagle Chamber".

This idea of Telluric lines sounds strange to me, but they are claiming to pick it up with electronic equipment.


It is strange. It is part of theosophist cult archaeology "physics". For which see:
http://www.danieljglenn.com/the_podcast ... rt%201.pdf

rako wrote:He [John Hugh] then talks about other places:
"Calendar II is a nearby megalithic chamber that has much larger stones making up the interior lintels. This is the biggest chamber in Vermont, measuring ten feet by twenty feet. ....There are seven massive lintel stones that span this width and the entrance is aligned to the Winter Solstice sunrise. According to Mavor and Dix, it can also be used as an eclipse predictor and for lunar observation.

Thanks to its new name, 'America's Stonehenge', (formerly 'Mystery Hill') has become the most famous megalithic structure in New England. It is a vast astronomical complex based in North Salem, New Hampshire, with standing stones, a sacrificial table, stone chambers and astronomical alignments.
[The site manager] told us that carbon dating of the site over the years put the time frame from 2000BC to 200AD. Unknown megalithic builders constructed a 12-acre astronomical stone calendar ... In 1975 the "true north stone" was determined to have lined up with the then Pole Star Thuban, dating to around 1750 BC (3). It is believed that at that time period, a very large body of water, which was fed by the Merrimack River, shored near the Mystery Hill area. ... The style is again very similar to European megalithic sites. A notable feature is the "T" shaped "oracle" chamber that has an unusual speaking tube that comes out below the 'sacrificial table', a 4.5 ton block of granite that is said to have been used for sacrifice!
http://megalithomania-america.blogspot. ... cient.html

A dating method of lining up stars seems quite unreliable. If you don't know how old the site is or what stars the rocks lined up to (if any), how can you date it and call it astronomical by saying that a rock on the site lines up with a star's location at a certain year?


It is very likely entirely unreliable.

rako wrote:Let me add that calling the central frame-cut slab a "sacrifice stone" also seems less likely to me because it looks like a common lye stone used by 18th c. Anglo colonists.


Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
The use of large stones in and and of themselves means nothing.
For one example of proper usage, see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D4OK8Vcj7E
where the contexts are very well defined.

rako wrote:Joseph A. Citro and Diane E. Foulds write in Curious New England: The Unconventional Traveler's Guide about beehive shaped undergound chambers in New England, claiming that "carbon-dating suggest[s] they were there" in the BC period.
"Native Americans are as baffled by them as we are. .... Why isn't the state attempting to solve the puzzle?"


Well, first off you need to remember the mortality rate among the NE peoples after contact, and the deaths among their history keepers.
Second, you have to remember that colonial records are seldom searched for any remains of the native historical traditions -
they are generally considered as little more than trash by modern archaeologists working in North America.

Clearly, some states are now making use of these sites for tourism, just as Roswell uses UFOs. :twisted:
Usually people believe what they want to believe until reality intrudes.
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby Tiompan » Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:01 pm

[quote="E.P. Grondine"]

There re a lot of "archaeo-astronomical" claims made.
Very few are reliable, as they often do not take into account the differences in the ancient sky from the modern sky.
Often times they will use European constellations as well.

[quote]
Any one who does not take into consideration the sky as it appeared in the period associated with a putative astronomical alignment is not an archaeoastronomer .
That said , the alignment referred to was a solar one i.e. Winter solstice sunrise . The change in degrees from the present to ,say 4,000 years ago is less than degree ,
which is also less than the likely accuracy of any "alignment" associated with the monumnet in question .
Simply , the impact of precession over a period of 4,000 years ,whilst important when related to stars , constellations etc is comparatively minimal when considering the sun and moon ,
and well within the range of expected error /accuracy for an alignment assocciated with type of monument .
Not that it matters , as they are almost certainly not 4,000 years old .
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby rako » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:09 pm

Hello E.P. Grondine!

I like the thoroughness of your answers.

E.P. Grondine wrote:The only "job" that compares is trying to recover recent impact events,
or doing native history.

Well, doesn't this count as native history? I mean, some of these are probably Native American sites. I know that here in Pennsylvania there are colleges where the archaeology or anthropology department takes students out to farmhouses in areas where Indians used to live and they do digs, finding a mix of the two cultures.

Amazingly, no, you can not automatically exclude Bronze Age visitors to the area. Europe was undergoing deforestation, and large trees used to build dugouts were a necessity for many European coastel peoples. It is the same thing that brought the Royal Navy to the area in more recent times.

I don't know... New England seems too far away to be a reliable regular source of large trees for Bronze Age shipbuilding.

It's not the same as using the moon as a regular source of aluminum or other precious metals.... But you get the idea.

The most likely source for the "Solutrean" artifacts was from the area that is now Morocco in North west Africa,

OK, the theory goes that Solutrean Age artifacts in Europe in 20,000 BC match Clovis and pre-Clovis tools in the Americas in 15,000-10,000 BC, or something like that. And then the counterargument goes that the artifacts actually don't match and are separated in time and place by vast distances. Under the latter theory, there is not much need to worry about a source of solutrean artefacts in Morocco, England, or otherwise in Europe/Africa.


Look up the Pedra Furada site in South America.

South America is quite a far distance from New England. It's hard to use that as a way to match up artefacts found in Northern US or Canadian sites.

I read the entry for Pedra Furada in WIkipedia. What exactly do you want me to pay attention to?



C DNA [Iroquoian associated in North America] is Eurasian. apparently crossing via Berringia about 45,000 BCE.
R1 and R1B I can not speak about - they are new to me.

How could we tell the Iroquois crossed in 45000 BC and not, say, 16000 BC? I heard that Beringia was land in 30000-10000 BC.

Here is a map of the world's R1 population:
Image
R1 in the Americas predates the 15th-19th c. Europeans who were of R1b and R1A extraction.

Now very finely polished long stone points for seal killing have been found at Canadian Maritime archaic sites, but I do not know of any dates for them.

I only found information like this:
Image
Middle Maritime Culture Hunters Returning to a Summer Camp
This reconstruction, set on the Labrador coast at 2,000 B.C., shows the hunters unloading seal, now-extinct great auks, and gull eggs from their skin-covered ocean going watercraft. In the background is the communal dwelling while on the beach other skin canoes are secured against the wind and elevated on stone cairns to keep their skin coverings out of reach of hungry dogs.

...
n both the Maritime provinces and adjacent Maine coastal submergence and erosion between 8,000 and 3,000 B.C. has undoubtedly been the single greatest limiting factor. Paradoxically, there is relatively abundant information on Middle Maritime culture mortuary practices from this region. The boneless 'Red Paint' cemeteries of Maine attracted much attention and speculation at the turn of the century (Moorehead 1922; Willoughby 1935). Despite regional cultural variability the evidence from technology, cosmology, subsistence, and settlement patterns suggest the existence of a number of independent societies who shared a more or less common culture distinct from that of their neighbours...

Middle Maritime culture ceased to exist as a traceable entity on the north side of the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Island of Newfoundland shortly after 2,000 B.C. An exceptional series of events took place at this time that likely account for the disappearance. Along the northern Labrador coast the closing of the Altithermal climatic episode between 2,000 and 1,500 B.C. and the onset of cooler weather may have had a deleterious affect upon the northernmost Middle Maritime culture colonists.

http://www.historymuseum.ca/cmc/exhibit ... l14e.shtml

It did not answer your question directly.

You ask:

Why is it so strange to you that "Amerindians were digging mounds and making boulder heaps themselves, even in the copper age, if not earlier?"

I think it's unusual for Amerindians to be making major mounds and giant boulder heaps before, say, 500 BC, at least north of the US southwest. I know that later on came the giant mound builders of the Mississippi and Ohio river systems, but those are still far from New England and I think typically did not involve dolmens.

By Dolmens, I mean things like this:
Image
NY State

Image
N.H.

Image
Gungywamp, Conn.

Image
Nova Scotia

They appear surprising finds to me. In Europe they would look more in place.






rako wrote:Wikipedia says:
"Indigenous Americans have been using native metals from ancient times, with recent finds of gold artifacts in the Andean region dated to 2155–1936 BCE.[1] and North American copper finds dated to approximately 5000 BCE.[2] The metal would have been found in nature without need for smelting techniques and shaped into the desired form using heat and cold hammering techniques without chemically altering it by alloying it. To date "no one has found evidence that points to the use of melting, smelting and casting in prehistoric eastern North America."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metallurg ... an_America


So now we skip from possible stone structures to metal use, for some unstated reason. :twisted:

I brought up the Wikipedia quote in order to show how far back the copper age goes in North America because the last essay I quoted discussed copper tools.
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby rako » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:21 pm

Dear E.P. Grondine!

You wrote:
Do not confuse Old Copper Culture and its dates for earlier Siouxian tools in copper and their dates, either .


Wikipedia says about Old Copper Culture:
    Old Copper Complex is a term used for ancient Native North American societies known to have been heavily involved in the utilization of copper for weaponry and tools. The evidence of smelting or alloying that has been found is subject to some dispute and a common assumption by archaeologists is that objects were cold-worked into shape. Artifacts from some of these sites have been dated from 4000 to 1000 BCE, making them some of the oldest Chalcolithic sites in the entire world.[19] Furthermore, some archaeologists find artifactual and structural evidence of casting by Hopewellian and Mississippian peoples to be demonstrated in the archaeological record.
    ...
    Copper is known to have been traded from the Great Lakes region to other parts of North America. However, there were also other sources of copper, including in the Appalachian Mountains near the Etowah Site in Alabama.[6] The Mississippian copper plates were made by a process of annealing the copper.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Copper_Complex


And it is not "mound building", and it is not even "stone mound building', as it is not even that:
the structures were not simply "mounds", as they were built for a purpose.

I am confused. In your second sentence you seem to say they were building mounds, but in the first you said they weren't.
What better term do you prefer - "mound piling"?


rako wrote:Dennis E. Howe writes in “The Beaver Meadow Brook Site: Prehistory on the West Bank at Sewall’s Falls, Concord, New Hampshire”:
“Feature 5 This feature, located in excavation units N0E0 and N1E0, consisted of stacked cobbles and stones … and has been identified as a cairn. The total weight of the stones and cobbles was 124.5 lbs (274.5 kg). It extended from a depth of 48 cm to 83 cm. It is likely that it was associated with the cremated human remains, Feature 9, and Feature 4. No other features like this were found on either bank of the river in the Sewall’s Falls area.”

The Stone structures website commented about this:
"Feature 5 at the site was classified as a cairn and associated with feature 9 a cremation burial. Feature 9 had “A Radiocarbon date of 5155 +/- 190 years B.P. (GX-14009) was obtained from charcoal excavated from immediately below the feature.” (pp. 61)
http://www.stonestructures.org/html/sou ... #Subject-1

Now what other associated material culture features were identified with it?

It says "No other features like this were found on either bank of the river in the Sewall’s Falls area.”
So doesn't that mean there were no other associated cultures identified with the site? What are you getting at, may I ask?

Three tons is quite a lot of weight for a colonial utilitarian stone structure.
There re a lot of "archaeo-astronomical" claims made.
Very few are reliable, as they often do not take into account the differences in the ancient sky from the modern sky.
Often times they will use European constellations as well.

You are making good points then. Do you have any educated guesses about possibilities for the site if as you say "Three tons is quite a lot of weight for a colonial utilitarian stone structure."

This idea of Telluric lines sounds strange to me, but they are claiming to pick it up with electronic equipment.


It is strange. It is part of theosophist cult archaeology "physics". For which see:
http://www.danieljglenn.com/the_podcast ... rt%201.pdf

This Princeton University paper talks about Telluric lines like they are real:
http://exoplanets.astro.psu.edu/worksho ... lluric.pdf
And the amateur(?) archaeologists I cited claim to pick them up with electronics. So it seems real, right?
I downloaded the document you pointed me to, and I the person sounds like a nutcase, but the essay didn't mention the "telluric lines".

Help me out here, it still feels like bunk science.


The use of large stones in and and of themselves means nothing.
For one example of proper usage, see:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-D4OK8Vcj7E
where the contexts are very well defined.

Is there a certain part of the video you want to draw my attention to?
Europeans I think in the end of the 16th c. were often quite short. A normal-tall human would look big to them.

Well, first off you need to remember the mortality rate among the NE peoples after contact, and the deaths among their history keepers.
Second, you have to remember that colonial records are seldom searched for any remains of the native historical traditions -
they are generally considered as little more than trash by modern archaeologists working in North America.

OK, well if you want to go study past generations, one good way to do it is actually to check their trash. That way you can see what they were using on a normal basis.

Peace.
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby rako » Thu Oct 27, 2016 5:24 pm

Tiompan wrote:
Any one who does not take into consideration the sky as it appeared in the period associated with a putative astronomical alignment is not an archaeoastronomer .
That said , the alignment referred to was a solar one i.e. Winter solstice sunrise . The change in degrees from the present to ,say 4,000 years ago is less than degree ,
which is also less than the likely accuracy of any "alignment" associated with the monumnet in question .
Simply , the impact of precession over a period of 4,000 years ,whilst important when related to stars , constellations etc is comparatively minimal when considering the sun and moon ,
and well within the range of expected error /accuracy for an alignment assocciated with type of monument .

Great point.
Not that it matters , as they are almost certainly not 4,000 years old .
[/quote][/quote]

How do we know that?
What about the carbon dating, along with the fact that already in 4000-2000 BC they were smelting "Old Copper Complex" tools in the Great Lakes region?
It seems that maybe the people were at the location and could have been physically capable of doing this kind of megalithic work as with the other New England mounds and boulder heaps excavated from that time (cited above), don't you think?
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby Tiompan » Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:28 am

rako wrote:
Tiompan wrote:
Any one who does not take into consideration the sky as it appeared in the period associated with a putative astronomical alignment is not an archaeoastronomer .
That said , the alignment referred to was a solar one i.e. Winter solstice sunrise . The change in degrees from the present to ,say 4,000 years ago is less than degree ,
which is also less than the likely accuracy of any "alignment" associated with the monumnet in question .
Simply , the impact of precession over a period of 4,000 years ,whilst important when related to stars , constellations etc is comparatively minimal when considering the sun and moon ,
and well within the range of expected error /accuracy for an alignment assocciated with type of monument .

Great point.
Not that it matters , as they are almost certainly not 4,000 years old .
[/quote]

How do we know that?
What about the carbon dating, along with the fact that already in 4000-2000 BC they were smelting "Old Copper Complex" tools in the Great Lakes region?
It seems that maybe the people were at the location and could have been physically capable of doing this kind of megalithic work as with the other New England mounds and boulder heaps excavated from that time (cited above), don't you think?[/quote]

Your Giovanna Peebles link is a good place to start .

Copper is not much use in building megalithic monuments . Many of the major megalithic monuments were built before the Bronze Age .
People have been building similar structures for millennia , there is no reason that pre Colombian peoples couldn’t have done so but see above .

BTW your pics of rocks that look like dolmens are probably erratics ,I don’t think any geologist would argue against that and similarly most archaeologists .
The holed stone (where is that ?) and stone row (Gungywump?) are entirely different .
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby rako » Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:15 am

Tiompan wrote:The holed stone (where is that ?) and stone row (Gungywump?) are entirely different .

Dear Tiompan.
The Stone Row is indeed in Gungywamp, Connecticut.

The Gungywamp site is quite interesting for me. One webpage explains:

Image
The archaeological excavations and document research indicate that the Gungywamp complex contains paleo and woodland Native American artifacts (stone implements and pottery shards) and colonial and Early American structures and artifacts As early as the mid-sixteen hundreds the strange array of stone walls and structures might have excited the interest of Colonial settlers. In a letter dated 30 November, 1654, John Pynchon wrote to his mentor, John Winthrop in New Haven. Following is a portion of that letter:
30 November 1654

“Honored Sir;

Understanding you are now at Newhaven, & supposing there will be opportunity from Hartford for Conveyance thither, I make bold to scribble a few lines to you . . . Sir I heare a report of a stonewall and strong fort * in it, made all of Stone, which is newly discovered at or neere Pequet, (presently known as the Gungywamp Range), I should be glad to know the truth of it fro your selfe, here being many strange reports about it.

John Pynchon”

This letter was written nearly a year after the last American Indian fort had been discovered in the area. Those forts were composed of wooden stockade walls, not of stone. Today, we continue to be intrigued by the rambling stone walls, unusual stone chambers, inscriptions on rocks, standing stones, and peculiar stone bridges.

http://dpnc.org/gungywamp-structures/

1654 would have been the very beginning of the colonial period in Connecticut. If colonists found the structures already at that early date, it makes the site quite interesting.

This is why I would like to see if mainstream archaeologists have investigated the main megalithic sites (eg. Goshen Chamber, Upton Chamber, Stonehenge USA, Gungywamp)

The holed stone you asked about is in Lancaster, New Hampshire
http://www.geomancy.org/index.php/sacre ... c-features
Unfortunately, I couldn't find out more about it.
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby Tiompan » Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:42 am

Thanks Rako ,
It is odd that there is no info on that “holey stone” . I searched too and found nothing . If they have got the correct state then it doesn’t look good for anything much older than a few decades , surely if that stone was known about it would have been mentioned , regardless of when it was erected

The Dutch had settled the area 40 years before the Pynchon letter was written and it may not even refer to the any of the sites “, 'at or neare Pequot' could have been referring to anywhere east of the Thames River, and from the sound; north to Lantern Hill and Long Pond. This area would represent where the Pequot settlement was, in the early 1600's (McBride, 1990). “

The more I look at these sites the more they look like relatively recent i.e. a few hundred years at most . And those wishing them to be much older seem to be grasping at at anything that will convince , geomancy , astronomy etc . whilst ignoring the more likely mundane explanations .
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby rako » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:29 am

Tiompan wrote:Thanks Rako ,
It is odd that there is no info on that “holey stone” . I searched too and found nothing . If they have got the correct state then it doesn’t look good for anything much older than a few decades , surely if that stone was known about it would have been mentioned , regardless of when it was erected

I don't know why. It could just be a stone in a field that no one else bothered to post the same exact photo of so it isn't coming up in a search. We really can't tell anything about it. Anyway, my main wish for the scholars would be for them to research the main sites.

You wrote:

The Dutch had settled the area 40 years before the Pynchon letter was written and it may not even refer to the any of the sites “, 'at or neare Pequot' could have been referring to anywhere east of the Thames River, and from the sound; north to Lantern Hill and Long Pond. This area would represent where the Pequot settlement was, in the early 1600's (McBride, 1990). “

The more I look at these sites the more they look like relatively recent i.e. a few hundred years at most . And those wishing them to be much older seem to be grasping at at anything that will convince , geomancy , astronomy etc . whilst ignoring the more likely mundane explanations .


OK, let's say that it's a Dutch settlement. Well, that's quite interesting. Some people really are interested in the different first (not very popularly known) European settlements of states, like the Swedes in Pennsylvania, the Spanish in South Carolina and Virginia, the Russians in California and Hawaii, the Vikings in Newfoundland, etc.' This goes back to how I'd like to see mainstream tests and research.

Anyway, Pequot looks well east of Hartford, where the Dutch settled:
Image

The first European settlers in the Connecticut area were the Dutch. In 1614, Adriaen Block explored the lands along the Connecticut River. Settlement did not occur until 1633, when a small fort was erected at the site of Hartford, then called New Hope.
The Dutch concentrated their main settlement efforts on Manhattan Island and never made a serious effort to colonize Connecticut.

http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h543.html
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby rako » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:40 am

Tiompan wrote: The more I look at these sites the more they look like relatively recent i.e. a few hundred years at most . And those wishing them to be much older seem to be grasping at at anything that will convince , geomancy , astronomy etc . whilst ignoring the more likely mundane explanations .

This is from Gungywamp:
Image
Even Amerindian megaliths can be interesting, along with artefact sites like Meadowcroft PA from the paleolithic.

More from Gungywamp:
http://davidkleff.typepad.com/.a/6a0115 ... a86970b-pi
Close up Picture of the stones (above)

Others:
Image

Image

This is cool in Gungywamp even if it is naturally and randomly positioned:
Image
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby Tiompan » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:45 am

The English were in the area before the letter .
“Allying themselves with the Mohegan and Narragansett, the colonists attacked a Pequot village on the Mystic River (near present-day New London) in May 1637. Encircling their foes under the cover of night, the colonists set the Indian dwellings ablaze, then shot the natives as they fled from their homes. “
http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h580.html
But if the letter is not even referring to the the sites at Gungywamp ,then that is even more problematic . “, 'at or neare Pequot' could have been referring to anywhere east of the Thames River, and from the sound; north to Lantern Hill and Long Pond. This area would represent where the Pequot settlement was, in the early 1600's (McBride, 1990). “
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby rako » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:52 am

If the site near Pequot was English made in the period 1635 or later when the English came, it seems the English should have known the settlement in 1654 as one of their own. The letter about what its author considered to be a strange stone fort in the region is just one of several clues about the site whose status in that time (1654) has not been established yet other to say that it likely had an Indian presence.

Gungywamp /ˈɡʌndʒiwɒmp/ is an archaeological site in Groton, Connecticut, United States, consisting of artifacts dating from 2000-770 BC, a stone circle, and the remains of both Native American and colonial structures.

Besides containing beehive chambers and petroglyphs, the Gungywamp site has a double circle of stones near its center, just north of two stone chambers.
... there is a row of low standing stones, lined up in a north-south facing, one of which features an etched image of a bird with outstretched wings. ...Native American artifacts include arrowheads, stone flakes and pottery fragments.

[As to the underground chambers] possibilities include construction by slaves in colonial times, or by Native Americans such as the Pequot or Mohegan tribes.[1] It has been suggested that the site could be one of the ceremonial stone landscapes described by USET, United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc., in their resolution on sacred ceremonial stone landscapes.

North Complex
This area lacks stone chambers but it contains some interesting structures. One is a low earthen berm with a rectangular shape. When James Whittall, Jr. excavated the berm, he found stumps of posts on three sides indicating a Native American lodge built of saplings. Associated with the lodge were two hearths. Nearby is an elongated cairn in the shape of a boat (narrow at the tips and wide in the middle). On top of this cairn were three short standing stones. In the same general area there is a group of nineteen cairns built on the ground. More cairns were built on top of boulders scattered about the area. There were also three standing stones in the area.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gungywamp

Because of its collection of Amerindian relics, Colonial artefacts and megaliths, it sounds like the kind of site worth having peer reviewed research and full analyses by teams of scholars.
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby Tiompan » Fri Oct 28, 2016 11:59 am

Yes , no doubt about the erratic .

The line of stones with a meander / stone "row" has not been dated and looks like it could have been erected any time in the past few centuries . Lots of drawings of the "petroglyph " and the one pic I could find is not convincing , and again even if it was it could have been done any time .

The "cairns" are not what I would describe as cairns , much more like clearance .
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby Tiompan » Fri Oct 28, 2016 12:25 pm

[quote="rako"]If the site near Pequot was English made in the period 1635 or later when the English came, it seems the English should have known the settlement in 1654 as one of their own. The letter about what its author considered to be a strange stone fort in the region is just one of several clues about the site whose status in that time (1654) has not been established yet other to say that it likely had an Indian presence.[quote]

But we don't know that Pynchon is referring to the same site . As McBride points out ", 'at or neare Pequot' could have been referring to anywhere east of the Thames River, and from the sound; north to Lantern Hill and Long Pond. ".
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