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Stone Circle

Updated on June 7, 2013

Stone circles are ancient monuments. They are not always circular and often form an ellipse, or a setting of 4 stones laid on an arc of a circle. The number of stones can vary between 4 and 60 purposely erected standing stones, and often contain burial pits or chambers.

Stone Circle Near Chimmney Rock N.C. U.S.A.

Near Chimmney Rock in North Carolina I was able to visit a stone circle here in the United States that is reported to be several hundred years old. I did not have a camera with me when I was there but the circle there is made up of 36 good sized stones and it is supposed to be rather ancient. It was written about in the mid 1700's so we know it is much older than that. The native americans who were in the area at that time said fierce yellow haired men came from the north and erected the circle of stones many years before and this was the story being told in 1730. It sounds as if Vikings or something of that type may have visited western North Carolina much before 1730. Near by the stone circle are several graves covered with stones.

Mystery Hill - America's Stonehenge

Mystery Hill - America's Stonehenge
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.

In addition to the oracle chamber and the Sacrificial Stone the site has a number of other artificial caves and passages. At least one was constructed with a drain to keep them from being flooded. The purpose of the rest of these structures, except one which appears to be a water well, are unknown.

Was this site built by Vikings. If they took the time to build this location and others how long were they living here in the present day United States. What happened to them. Did they become part of North American Indian Tribes or where did they go.

Burnt Hill Massachusetts

 Burnt Hill Massachusetts
Burnt Hill Massachusetts

Burnt Hill is located in Heath, Massachusetts and is approximately 1,850 feet high. I climbed it from a road on the west side, following a stone wall to the extensive acreage of blueberry fields at the top. The standing stones are located in the north at the highest point on an exposed ridge of windswept bedrock.

Did the Vikings build all the stone circles located at Burnt Hill. Were they here in North America long before Colombus.

There are many American Indian Stories telling of fierce yellow haired warriors who came from the North and built circles of stones and worshipped their gods there.

Below you will see and read about Stone Circles in Europe. Were the stone circles in the present day United States and Europe built by the same people.

What A Viking Settlement Might Have Looked Like In Present Day America

What A Viking Settlement Might Have Looked Like In Present Day America
What A Viking Settlement Might Have Looked Like In Present Day America

Stone circle at the Carrigagulla complex, County Cork, Ireland

Stone circle at the Carrigagulla complex, County Cork, Ireland
Stone circle at the Carrigagulla complex, County Cork, Ireland

Stone circle at the Knocknakilla complex, County Cork, Ireland

Stone circle at the Knocknakilla complex, County Cork, Ireland
Stone circle at the Knocknakilla complex, County Cork, Ireland



Earliest dates

Stone circles usually date from the British late Neolithic / early Bronze Age, that is, c. 3000-1500 B.C.

Archaeological evidence, coupled with information from astronomy, geology and mathematics[citation needed], suggests that the purpose of stone circles was connected with prehistoric peoples' beliefs, and their construction can be used to infer about ancient engineering, social organisation, and religion. Their precise function however, is unknown, and will probably always remain open to debate.

They are different from henges or isolated monoliths, although all these features are often encountered in a single location. Nor should they be confused with earlier rings, such as the Goseck circle in Saxony-Anhalt, that may have served similar religious/calendrical/astronomical purposes, though at a much earlier epoch.

More About Stone Circles

Prehistoric stone circles are found as megalithic monuments in Ireland and the United Kingdom, with two confirmed examples in Brittany on the island of Er Lannic and two more suggested at Carnac.

The Petit Saint Bernard circle lies further afield, in the French Alps. They are also known as harrespil in the Basque country, where villagers call them mairu-baratz or jentil-baratz that means "pagan garden (cemetery)", referring to mythologic giants of the pre-Christian era.

A unique form of circle, the recumbent stone circle is to be found in North East Scotland, where the largest stone is on its side. These recumbent stones are almost always in the SW quadrant of the circle, and are aligned on the major moonrise. Typically the heights of the circle stones are also graded, with the smallest stone being opposite the recumbent.

In Scandinavia, there was a tradition of making stone circles during the Iron Age and especially in Götaland. The appearance of these circles in northern Poland is considered to be a characteristic of the migrating Goths (see Stone Circle (Iron Age) and Wielbark Culture).

There was a separate period of stone circle building from the eighth to the twelfth century in West Africa. The best known are the Senegambian stone circles, built as funerary monuments, with more than a thousand known. Other stone circles can be found on the Adrar Plateau in Mauritania. Stone circle construction has become popular since the 1970s, built either for purely monumental purposes or to serve a particular mystical purpose. The new stone circles typically lack henges or other auxiliary features and are not on a particular alignment. Notable examples include the Swan Circle at the Glastonbury Festival, while Stonehenge at Maryhill (ultimately built of concrete rather than stone) is an early example, being completed in 1918.

Stone circles in the United Kingdom & Ireland

During the Middle Neolithic (c. 3700-2500 BC) stone circles began to appear in coastal and lowland areas towards the north of the United Kingdom. The Langdale axe industry in the Lake District appears to have been an important early centre for circle building, perhaps because of its economic power. Many had closely set stones, perhaps similar to the earth banks of henges, others were made from unfounded boulders rather than standing stones.

By the later Neolithic, stone circle construction had attained a greater precision and popularity. Rather than being limited to coastal areas, they began to move inland and their builders grew more ambitious, producing examples of up to 400 m diameter in the case of the Outer Circle at Avebury. Most circles however measured around 25 m in diameter however. Designs became more complex with double and triple ring designs appearing along with significant regional variation. These monuments are often classed separately as concentric stone circles.

The final phase of stone circle construction took place in the early to middle Bronze Age (c.2200-1500 BC) and saw the construction of numerous small circles which, it has been suggested, were built by individual family groups rather than the large numbers that monuments like Avebury would have required.

Many fine examples are to be found within Dartmoor National Park, Devon - the site of 18 recorded stone circles (and 75 stone rows) dating mainly from the late Neolithic to mid-Bronze Age. Grey Wethers, a double circle on an isolated plateau, is among the most significant sites.

By 1500 BC stone circle construction had all but ceased. It is thought that changing weather patterns led people away from upland areas and that new religious thinking led to different ways of marking life and death. Stone circles have often been associated with the druids, but they were abandoned long before druidism came to Britain, and there is no evidence that they were ever used by the druids.

A Collection Of Videos About Vikings

Below you will find a really great collection of Videos about the Vikings. If you watch these videos you will know everything you could possibly want to know about the Vikings. They were fierce warriors and they just may have visited and even had settlements in present day America long before Colombus.

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