kemo1

Mystery Hill

America's Stonehenge...

About 40 miles north of the city of Boston, and about 25 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean, is what appears to be the greatest, and perhaps oldest, megalithic enigma of North America. Mystery Hill, also known as "America's Stonehenge", is a site that has puzzled archaeologists for almost a century. 


Running across the 30 acres of hillside are a series of low walls, cave-like primitive buildings, and tunnels that are spread about with, according to one archaeologist, "gigantic confusion and childish disorder, deep cunning and rude naively." 


While the hill is compared to the English Stonehenge circle, it is, at first glance, physically quite different.
Stonehenge is located on a plain, not a hill, and is arranged neatly as a series of concentric circles, horseshoes and squares. Mystery Hill seems a jumble in comparison. The stones involved in Stonehenge are larger, up to 45 tons. The stones at Mystery Hill are smaller (the largest is about 11 tons) and the construction less intricate. 

Both sites do have some common points, though. Firstly, they served as observatories. Each has been found to have astronomical alignments including summer solstice. Secondly, we know almost nothing about the builders of either location. 

While we don't know the type of ceremonies that may have gone on at Stonehenge, we do know something about the apparent activity on the hill. One of the main features of the site is an enormous flat stone, like a great table, resting above the ground on four legs. Around the edge of the table runs a groove that leads to a spout. This great slab has been named the "Sacrificial Stone" (left) and certainly may have served such a function. The gutter probably allowed the blood of the sacrifice to drain off the top. 

Underneath the Sacrificial Stone is a shaft eight feet long leading to an underground chamber. It seems reasonable that this allowed a priest concealed in the chamber to speak as the voice of an oracle. To a crowd gathered around the altar the sound would appear to float up from the Sacrificial Stone like the voice of some disembodied spirit. 

How old is the site? Pottery fragments have been tested and found to go back as far as 1000 BC. Charcoal from one fire pit, measured by radiocarbon dating, was found to be 4000 years old. 

Who built it? “Unknown.” The Native Americans living in the northeast before Europeans arrived didn't build in stone. The colonial farmers didn't arrive in the valley until 1730 and we know from the locked stone that construction must have been started before 1769. The 39 years in between seem a short time to build such a set of structures and the Sacrificial Stone/Oracle doesn't seem to fit with the colonist religious beliefs.


The truth is that Humans will never know who built this site. They’ll never know what, or whom, was sacrificed on its hard, cold, great, stone altar.

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)

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