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Standing Stones & Shaped Stones Patterns

*** under construction ***

Introduction

Specifically shaped stones were repeatedly used. Documentation showed the usage was not random. A full analysis revealed there were several patterns. These patterns were used to help sort out certain aspects of the site.

Common to all shapes were standing stones: short and tall, freestanding, in chamber walls and integrated into stone walls – inline and across-wall, and in horizontal and vertical positions.

There were two basic shapes the triangle and rectangle. The basic shapes were utilized further by choosing stones with one of the two shapes which had or were worked into other specific shapes. A few nondescript shaped stones formed patterns by their repeated use and specific placements.

Shapes

Triangular
Styles: Flat faced stone slab, Triangular faced with two shoulders, Prism (3 sided with triangular ends), Pyramid (3 & 4 sided with peak)
Colored: white and gray with white band(s)

Rectangular
Styles: Flat faced stone slab, Rectangular slab with slanted top, and Rectangular slab with an L shaped top corner
Colored: white; gray with white bands; white spots

Patterns

Paired Triangle and Rectangle
Several examples are presented to show this pattern. There are more pairs on site. Paired sets showed up primarily on the west side of the site but there were exceptions.

West Side

a) A 5’ high triangular prism shaped column was placed abutting a 5’ long rectangular slab in the perimeter stone wall on the west side at a T junction. The stone wall connects with the cairn field on the northwest section of the site.

b) The winter sunset alignment stone has a basic triangular shape with an attached anchor stone. A short distance further along the stone wall in which it was erected is an upright rectangular stone with an attached anchor stone. The winter sunset alignment stone is the only alignment stone on site with an anchor stone. Therefore the rectangular stone with an anchor stone in close proximity can be linked to it. The two standing stones create a pair of triangular and rectangular stones on the west side.

            Triangular Sunset Stone: 4’4” H x 3’4” W x 6” T
            Triangular Anchor Stone: 3’7” L x 9” W (top) & 2’6” W (bottom)
            Rectangular Stone with L shaped corner: 2’5” H x 2’11’ W x 4” T
            Rectangular Anchor Stone: 4’2” L x 3’4” W x 6-7” T

c) A standing stone 30” high with a triangular top leans against a rectangular stone 32” long. The pair of stones is located along a trail on the west side down slope from the winter sunset alignment stone.

            Standing Stone: 30” H x 14” W x 2½” T
            Rectangular Stone: 32” L x 14”-17” W x 8”-12” T

 East Side & West Side

A short 1’5” high triangular slab with a diagonal white band was erected in the perimeter stone wall on the east side next to the Equinox sunrise standing stone. A short 10” high rectangular slab with a single white band on one side and double white bands on the reverse side was erected on the extreme west side of the site near a split outcrop with a two standing stones and a short triangular stone inside the split. This places a paired but separated set of triangular and rectangular stones on opposite sides (east and west) of the site.

            Triangular Stone: 1’5” H x 2’2” W x 10” T
            Rectangular Stone: 10” H x 1’4” W x ½” T

Triangular Stones with Two Shoulders – West Side, only

a) Winter sunset alignment stone has two scooped out low shoulders

            Size: 4’4” H by 3’4” W by 6” T

b) Summer sunset alignment stone has two rounded peaked shoulders

            Size: 3’8” H by 5’7” W

c) Summer sunset alignment at cairn field has two scooped out low shoulders

            Size: 2’10” H by 2’10” W by 3”- 9” T

d) Trailside standing stone has two scooped out low shoulders

            Size: 2’6” H by 14” W by 2½” T

Rectangular Stones with Slanted Side – East Side, only

a) Summer sunrise fallen alignment stone has a rectangular base with a single slanted side starting at the left top side and going part ways down. It is a narrower version of the current summer sunrise alignment stone. This was the original sunrise alignment stone on the site and is located midway between the current summer sunrise alignment stone and the hill top. It has fallen and lies flat on the ground beside a tall tree by side the trail where it splits off one section going out to the North Stone and the other section leading up to the hilltop.

            Size: 4’ H by 2’3” W

b) Summer sunrise alignment in stone wall. The height at the peak is equal to the width at the base. A sharp slant starts at the peak on the left side and goes across the whole stone and down approximately a third of the way. This creates a standing stone with a single slanted side.

            Size: 3’10” H & 2’ H by 3’6” W by 7-8” T

c) Equinox sunrise alignment stone has a similar shape to the two sunrise alignment stones. However, this standing stone is not as refined as the other two. Also, there is one difference it has a small crescent shape at the peak. The crescent shape forms a slight depression. In the other two sunrise stones the peak is a small rounded knob.  

            Size: 4’ H by 3’3” W by 4” T

Paired Stones of Same Shape

a) Upper Processional Way has numerous standing stones but two stand out and apart from the others. They were placed across from each other and form a pair of non-descript standing stones.

South side standing stone has rounded corners and a short extension jutting out which points toward the hilltop area with the chambers

            Size: 5’8” L (base) & 7’2” L (top) by 2’ & 2’ 10” H by 8” T

North side standing stone is not rounded. It has a short extension that juts upward on its

            Size: 5’L (base) by 3’ H & 1’10” H by 6-8” T

b) East-West Chamber has two large stone slabs at the entrance.  The stone slabs were chosen because they had similar shapes a long slanted side and were close in size. They were used to flank the entrance to the chamber creating a matching pair.

West side slab: 6’ 11” L (base) & 3’ 7” L (top) - both ends are slanted causing the difference between top and base lengths by 2’ 7” H  

East side slab: 6’ 5” L (base) & 3’ L (top) across flat & 4’10” down slant by 3’3” H west end & 1’ H east end)

c) North Stone and Winter Water Area have similar shaped standing stones that create a matching pair. Each stone has a tall portion jutting upwards. About half ways down the east side a slanted portion extends out and downward ending at a short vertical side down to ground.

North Stone: Tall side: 4’2” H & Short side 2’4” H by 3’ 8½” W (base) & 2’6” W (midway)   

            Winter Water Area: Tall side: 3’3” H x 3’ W (base) x 6” T

V shaped Rectangular Standing Stone

This is a tall rectangular shaped stone slab with a slight indentation in the middle and angled out sides like an opened book. There is a white vein with several patches of white are in the middle of the slab. The standing stone is in the north wall of the enclosed area called the Winter Water Area. The white vein and white patches face outward from the enclosed area. It is the only one of its kind.

            Size: 3’ 10” H x 3’ 10” W x 1’ T

Multiple Standing Stones Grouped Together

Each of the following alignment stones has an associated group of standing stones. Each group of standing stones has a different type. What is common to all three are a group of multiple standing stones.

a) North Stone: Six narrow standing stones were placed in the stone wall in an across wall position, back to back leaning against each other a short distance west of the North Stone. Three are rectangular shaped and three have rectangular bottoms with triangular shaped tops.

Rectangular : #1- 24” H x 11” W x 1’T, #2- 19” H x 9” W x 2” T, #3- 28” H x 12” W x 2” T
Triangular topped: #4- 23” H x 14” W x 2” T, #5- 36” H x 23” W x 2’ T, #6- 36” H x 17” W x 6” T

 b) Summer Sunrise in east side stone wall: Four straight-sided, column-like chunky standing stones were erected as a group in the stone wall a short distance south of the summer solstice sunrise alignment stone.

#1- 2’2” H x 10” W x 7” W, #2- 2’7” H x 14” W x 14” W, #3- 1’10” H x 12” W x 8” W,
#4- 3’6” H x 12” W x 14” W

c) Equinox Sunrise: Ten standing stones with their flat face in-line with the stone wall’s length were placed a short distance north of the equinox sunrise alignment stone. These stones have irregular shapes.

#1- 2’3” H x 5’ W x 10” T, #2- 2’10” H x 4’8” W x 5” T, #3- 9” H x 2’6” W x 10” T,
#4- 1’6” H x 3’6” W x 7” T, #5- 2’ H x 2’9” W x 5” T, #6- 1’8” H x 2’ W x 5” T,
#7- 1’9” H x 1’7” W x 7” T, #8- 1’10” H x 2’3” W x 8” T, #9- 2’9” H x 2’7” W x 6” T,
#10- 2’9” H x 3’4” W x 8” T

Discussion

The majority of the shaped stones have either a triangular or rectangular shape. The basic triangular and rectangular shapes were expressed in various forms while maintaining the basic shape. In turn, the two basic shapes created a basic pattern from which other patterns stem from. A secondary basic pattern was found in pairs of stones with the same basic shape but that do not fall into the triangular and rectangular category.

Studies of Native American artifacts identify specific time periods within specific regions. The most prominent of the artifacts is the projectile point. During a specific time period and within a specific region projectile points were consistently manufactured in a specific style. Over time, the style of that region changes allowing archaeologists to assign time periods within a specific region. Paleo projectile points with triangular tops with vertical sides and fluted from the Clovis period are radically different from Beekman triangular projectile points that are small with flat sides and equilateral triangles from the Late Archaic / Transitional Archaic periods (Fig # & #). The common factor is both are projectile points used to hunt animals. This concept holds with the use of triangular shaped stones that come in different forms such as the flat faced standing stone, the rectangular bottom with a triangular topped standing stone, the three sided prism shaped stone with triangular ends and the three or four sided pyramid shaped stone. The common factor is each form has a triangle shape integrated into it. The use of various forms of triangles and rectangles comes over time as the site was expanded during four known building periods over a range of 2500 years.

            Beyond the basic shape pattern five other patterns were identified:

            Triangular Stones with Two Shoulders – West Side, only

            Rectangular Stones with Slanted Side – East Side, only

            Paired Triangle and Rectangle

            Paired Stones of Same Shape

            Multiple Standing Stones Grouped Together

These were individual patterns. When combined with each other they were used to identify complex patterns.

            Specifically shaped stones were used in specific areas of the site. A triangular stone paired with a rectangular stone was most common on the west side of the site. Triangular stones with two shoulders are only found on the west side of the site. Combining these two patterns produced a complex pattern. The complex pattern showed up four times. To further understand the complex pattern other features were looked for. Of the four complex pairs three had two niches* associated with them. The addition of the niche was used to confirm the sunset alignments. It was found there were a winter sunset alignment and two summer sunset alignments. The first summer sunset alignment is on the top of the west side. The second summer sunset alignment is integrated into the cairn field on the northwest corner of the site.  

            A similar complex pattern was used to identify the alignments on the east and north sides. Each alignment had a group of multiple standing stones, one niche* and an alignment stone. The sunrise alignment stones were rectangular with a slanted side from the top down half ways. The North Stone has a tall portion with a slanted side starting midway down.     

            In addition to the complex pattern the summer sunrise alignment stone was confirmed via a small drain in an in-ground boulder thirty-five feet west of it. The author sat at the drain and observed the sphere of the sun rise over the lower corner thereby confirming the alignment.

            The North Stone was found to have a counterpart. On the south side of the site in what was named the Winter Water Area, there is a stone shaped exactly like the North Stone. The two areas had the only niches* on site with triangular shaped base stones lying flat and embedded in the ground. The matching standing stones and the niches were used to create a link between the two areas.

            Paired stones of the same shape included the North Stone and its counterpart in the Winter Water Area. There were the two slanted stone slabs flanking the East/West Chamber’s entrance and the standing stones with protrusions placed opposite each other in the Upper Processional Way. Not much can be ascertained by this pattern except that the paired stones form a link with each other. The pair of slanted stones in the East/West Chamber formed a formal entrance. The North Stone and its counterpart as discussed above formed a link between an area on the north side and an area on the south side. 

            Of the paired standing stones in the processional way one has its protrusion extending towards the chambers. The second has an upward protrusion on the end going away from the chambers. The position of the protrusions was interpreted as formal processional lanes leading “in” to the chamber area and “out” of the chamber area.

 

Conclusion

            The shaped stones formed patterns. Those patterns were analyzed individually, in combination with each other and in combination with additional features found in close proximity to them. The complex patterns lead to identifying specific uses and identified links between specific shaped stones.  One of the results was identifying the alignments.  

 

*See Article on Niches