Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Stone Prayers: Native American Stone Constructions of the Eastern U.S. and Canada

Where/When: Sat Oct 28 1-3PM , Acton Memorial Library

Scattered through the fields and woodlands of the eastern seaboard of North America are thousands of stone monuments.   These have been the subject of controversy ever since they were first discovered by early European settlers in the 1600s, and they remain controversial to this day.   Some archaeologists claim that they are all the result of European settlers clearing land for farming or grazing; some antiquarians claim that they were built by pre-Columbian voyagers from across the Atlantic; while others consider them to be the work of indigenous people, both before and after European contact.  There have even been claims by some archaeologists that the stones are of natural origin, due to glaciers or downslope erosion.  Recently, the descendant populations of Native Americans have come forward and claimed these as their own sacred sites, as forms of prayers in stone.

This study examines the above four hypotheses quantitatively, in light of a very robust database of 5,550 sites from Georgia to Nova Scotia.  It presents evidence which strongly disconfirms all but the indigenous construction hypothesis for the overwhelming majority of the sites.

The program will be on Saturday, October 28th, from 1 – 3 PM at the Acton Memorial Library, via Woodbury Lane off of Rte 27.  It is free of charge and is open to the public.

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