America's Stonehenge

Research Blog

New Light on Grouping of Stones

Posted March 21, 2018 by Dennis Stone

In the fall of 2016 we began excavations on a strange grouping of stones that had only been looked at once previously in the 1970s. This spiral-like grouping is near the Watch House, just shortly up the path from the visitor center. Initially it had only been looked at (not excavated), and we believed that it may have been part of the lunar-major south alignment, though that has never been confirmed.

In the fall of 2016 we began excavations on this grouping, and found that three of the stones had most definitely been worked with stone hammers. A large stone hammer was actually found lodged between two stone slabs. One side on each of the three stones has a serrated edge from strike marks caused by stone tools. Each one also has a flat base and a notch at the top. It appears that these three stones were once standing, which is made even more credible by the fact that all three of them are laying down in the same direction, as if perhaps an earthquake had caused them to fall.

Excavations on this grouping are still ongoing, and every new discovery made continues to add to the mystery of Mystery Hill.

Restoration of the Chamber in Ruins

Posted February 23, 2018 by Dennis Stone

Research at America’s Stonehenge started in 1937 with William B. Goodwin, and still continues today. In 1989, we started working with Pat Hume, past president of the New Hampshire Archaeological Society, and she has been working with us almost every year since then.

In the past few years, starting in September 2015, we have been working on several new projects, one of those being restoration work to the Chamber in Ruins. The west-facing wall and the east-facing wall of the chamber were bowing and in danger of collapsing, so we asked Pat Hume and a small team of volunteers to conduct restoration work on the chamber.

During the restoration we took measurements of the structure and found that the chamber is trapezoidal in shape, and that its dimensions conform with the Megalithic Yard, which is 32.64 inches, or 82.9 centimeters. Three corners of the chamber are corbelled, which we found interesting; at first we weren’t sure if the corbelling was due to stone slippage over time, but upon closer inspection, we noticed that all three corners were corbelled, and that it was intentional. For continuity, we went into the Pattee Chamber because it is similar to the Chamber in Ruins; both entrances face south, they are both rectangular in shape, and the corners of the Pattee Chamber also have corbelling to them.

There are two very large stones on the Chamber in Ruins: the roof slab, and the lintel stone which lies underneath the roof slab. The lintel stone has an interesting-looking groove that is about three inches long. We are not sure what it means or who did it, but it was clearly intentional and an interesting discovery.

James Whittall, one of the earlier researchers on the site, had worked on the Chamber in Ruins in the 1960s, so Pat Hume worked with a volunteer to go through all of Whittall’s backfill with a fine sifter. They cleaned up the area, repaired the west and east walls, backfilled the chamber once more, and took precautions to ensure that the walls would not start to collapse in again.

Dennis Stone Headshot

Dennis Stone is the president of America’s Stonehenge. He graduated from Daniel Webster College in 1977 with a degree in Aviation Management, and was a full-time commercial pilot for over 35 years before his retirement in 2016. America’s Stonehenge was opened to the public in 1958 by Dennis’s father, Robert Stone. Dennis has been involved with America’s Stonehenge for most of his life and has always had a fascination with archaeology and archaeoastronomy. He has taken numerous courses and traveled extensively to ancient sites both in the U.S. and internationally. His family includes his wife Pat, his son Kelsey, and his daughter-in-law Katherine. His hobbies include traveling, boating, and classic cars.