Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The stone circles of Massachusetts

In the 1970s, the publication of Barry Fell's America BC introduced me to the an idea that was then completely out of fashion in mainstream archaeology: That other Europeans besides the Norsemen might have crossed the Atlantic before Columbus. Critics referred to this as "cult archaeology".

That sentiment has eased, but not much. Still, some amateur archaeologists and epigraphers (people who study stone inscriptions) soldier on, collecting data.

Fell, an oceanographer who became interested in ancient sailing voyages, suggested that many enigmatic stone structures in New England were built by Pagan Celts (and/or the Norse settlers in "Vineland").

I honestly have no idea, but this site and its links will give you lots information, photos, and hypotheses.

Unfortunately, without the kind of artifacts that ended up substantiating the Norse sagas, these hypotheses remain untested. As one disparaging archaeologist told me about another site suggested to be pre-Columbean European, "We won't dig what can't be dug."

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Blogger Steve Bodio said...

'm pretty skeptical about New England Vikings and Celts, never mind the more woo- woo aspects.

But: re one of your links in the recent post: if you scroll down to 2002, you will find that he was looking for stone underground chambers near Rattlesnake gutter, near Leverett Mass.

He's a bit off. Go a couple of miles over the ridge to the east into a valley that drains south, and I'll show you one. It is virtually impossible to find without a guide or even give directions to, under the roots of a big tree near the convergence of two dirt roads-- well, one is only a track. Invisible from ten feet away except for one direction.

I showed it to Libby 10+ years ago.

Creepy country, dark and dour, even now with academics moving up from the Connecticut Valley. I lived on the ridgetop in a freezing 1700's era farmhouse, and hunted the valleys, deep woods full of fishers and bears and "coyotes", for years. Colonial relicts everywhere, and not a few houses dating back to the 1600's, with tiny windowpanes.

Think King Phillip's War. Think Lovecraft's inbred yokels. Think The Dunwich Horror and The Color Out Of Space. This is where.

My completely un- backed theory is that some at least are relics of the Indian wars. This one has a stone lintel you could just about rest a rifle on, and a very small door.

But that doesn't exactly work either because after you get that shot off...

I don't know-- we poked around it for years. Hard- packed dirt floor, in a beehive- like stone underground structure with I think a consciously hidden entrance--?

10:11 AM  

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