Monday, December 15, 2014


An Unusual Walled Enclosure

In April 2001, I came across a curious stone walled enclosure on top of a rocky knoll in East Lyme, CT.  I drew a small map of it at the time, which is posted below, along with metric measurements of he five large boulders on the knoll and the length of the walls linking the boulders.  The small arrow to the upper left of the drawing indicates the location of the small opening.  The overall outside measurements of this enclosure were approximately 29.5' x 19.5', and inside measurements would obviously have been much smaller.

Here are the notes I transcribed at the time:  "This 'corral' is odd in that it is nearly completely enclosed, the only exception being an inverted 'V' at the arrow, which is about 1.5' wide, enough, I suppose, to shove a small animal through it.  But how to get them out?  And the boulders are all on top of this rocky knoll.  Found there?  Moved?"

Attached are four photos I took at the time, the last one being of the inverted 'V' opening.  Trying to coax a small animal out through he opening seems daunting, and climbing in over one of the boulders to capture it doesn't seem very attractive, either.

View of the opening

Any ideas what this enclosure might have been for?


pwax said...

A vague thought the enclosure was for "some kind of ceremony". Imagine someone entering or exiting through the crack you show in the last photo.

Norman said...

Jannie Loubser, a rock art specialist and knowledgable about Indian myths and religion, wrote: "Cherokees recall meandeirng walls and walled-in spaces as places where certain medicine people had visions and communed with spirit beings (e.g. the Shawnee shaman Ground Hog's Mother at Fort Mountain and Yahula near Dahlonega, as mentioned in Mooney 1900). If anything, these enclosed spaces probably protected the meditating vision seekers from the terrifying and overpowering apparitions or Horned Serpents and Little People on the 'other side.'" This is one interpretation of what the enclosure might have been used for. Any colonial use seems unlikely because of problems of access.

Tommy Hudson said...

Ceremonies held at sacred areas are also much increased in their potency. Religious practitioners would seek these places out. It has been documented, that during the 1560 expedition of Tristan DeLuna through the S.E., just such an instance occured. The Spanish were much impressed, and included it in their cronicles of the expedition.