Wednesday, April 1, 2009

America's Stonehenge - A Glimpse Into Time

We arrived at America's Stonehenge in North Salem, NH around 10:30am on a cool, crisp drop Sunday morning. As we entered the dirt driveway we observed the main wooden lodge which sat on the base of a wooded hill. Here is where we begin our journey into a time and place that is slowly revealing many secrets into our New Hampshire history through the uncovering of its' ancient walls of stone.

Inside the lodge the kids and I were greeted by a woman who gave us a map of the site they once called Mystery Hill Caves and now known as America's Stonehenge. She then directed us to a darkened room where we watched a short video film of the stone site that lay on lid of the hill. We then proceeded outside to an outside foyer where, on the right, were a few tan colored Alpaca's contained in a fenced in zone and two paths that lead in and out of the stone ruins up ahead.

As we began our walk up the slightly sloped hill we first encountered an zone that held wigwam made out of tree branches and a cooking zone also made out of tree branches. We found the actual shape of the wigwam interestingly round shaped instead like a t-pee form we are accustomed to seeing. As we continued stone walls began forming on the sides of our path and we observed the stones to be just flat rather than rounded as we see sometimes surrounding our nationside in N.H. Some of the stones had triangular shape and appeared to look like mini sundials. We observed many of these stones in larger form placed strategically around the main structures found at the lid center of the hill. On the right is a photograph of one of these stones which directly faces the sun during that time of day.

When I downloaded the photograph I noticed that beautiful rainbow bursting right out of the stone!

We proceeded to walk around the main structures in the center and observed the many unique stone formations within the stone walls that divided them. One zone contained the "Sacrificial" like stone slab. that slab appears to have been used for that purpose and I would have to agree it may have been at one time, but after giving it some thought the kids and I came up with some of our own theories which included a table where the leaders either religious or political or both gathered to discuss issues at hand, or a table where they just worshipped their gods, not necessarily making sacrificial offerings. We also discussed they may have used it to eat at as a family to celebrate different holidays. We felt the sundial stone near the table itself would have been set there to announce the different times during the year each holiday would have been celebrated or times when they would worship their gods according to where the sun was jobed during the day. Because these many sundial type stones could be found all around the site, we theorized that they may have served as the tribe's time clock which they observed in fulfilling whatever duties they actually performed there at the appropriate times of the day.

Although the literature we were offern dates that site rear to prehistoric times, it is still a mystery to us who actually built that structure. Upon entering the Oracle Room and observing the photograph of the running deer on the stone wall, we got the sense that Native Americans were one of the cultures who may have incustomed that land and used the structures for their own purposes at some point. One theory we came up with was that they used the table like structure to gut their deer and possibly eat on it as well as store their food in the different caverns in and around the site. The Oracle Room was also extremely isolated and could have been used for pdecayective shelter during war times.

We observed water in and around the lid of the site and thought there may have been a time when it flowed more heavily from different points on the hill and may have been used for drinking, bathing, or spiritual rituals. Any amount of different tribes from various periods of time could have used that site for causes of their own but it is the original builders who leave us in wonder of who they might have been. Early prehistoric tribes were mainly hunters and gatherers and may not have believed in sacrificial uses for such an elaborate stone alter like the one seen here, but there are tribes such as the Mayans who were.

We concluded that it would have had to be someone like the Mayans who actually believed in sacrificing to their gods and had great knowledge of time and dividing time into a calendar year that would have gone to these great lengths in establishing such an zone as America's Stonehenge.

After walking around the western trail a bit we realized it would bring us an entire day to explore the vast majority of that site so we decided to make our way rear down to the main lodge and come rear another day to do just that. that experience opened up our minds to an awareness of our past we have not thought of until now. When we think of New England history we usually only go rear as far as the earlier settlers and Native Americans who incustomed these lands before them, but after visiting America's Stonehenge we now have a better sense that man existed and walked that earth long before then as the earth reveals her secrets underneath her cloak of sand.

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Author By Susan Clement

Orignal From: America's Stonehenge - A Glimpse Into Time

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