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2016.10.11

October 11, 2016

On Saturday we drove a little bit north, just over the New Hampshire border, and paid a visit to America’s Stonehenge.

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It’s about thirty miles from us, but somehow I’d never heard of it until recently.

It is a fascinating place.  Parts of it have been dated as far back as 3000 BC, and the site has been built and rebuilt upon until about the 1800’s.  By native Americans, by colonial settlers, and who knows who else.  Somehow it was forgotten or abandoned, and then rediscovered in the 1930’s.  It’s been an active archaeological site more or less since then, and opened to the public in 1958.

There are buildings, walls, wells, a pretty elaborate drainage system, some cave carvings, and a few things that seem to be somehow related to worship – an altar-type table, with a few hidden chambers nearby, etc.  Lots of little structures where people inside could see out, but people outside couldn’t see in.

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And surrounding the whole thing is a ring of stone walls and, periodically, big standing stones.  The standing stones are perfectly aligned to solstice and equinox sunrises and sunsets.  Pretty wild stuff, really.

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They say the hill was pretty well barren in the olden days, which explains why anyone tried to farm there.  The trees around are fairly new (like, 100 years or so), and so the curators keep the sightlines cleared from the central viewing location all the way out to the horizons, it’s a pretty cool thing to see.  I took a panoramic photo with my phone, with limited success in capturing the full effect.

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We spent nearly two hours there, during which time we probably saw ten other visitors in all.

It was a great way to spend an October afternoon.

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