America's Stonehenge is located near Salem in a state of New Hampshire.
It is arguable the most mysterious places in USA that is still in the
middle of the debates on the age of the construction and its origin.
America's Stonehenge came to light in 1930's when local land owner
William Goodwin named the structure as a Mystery Hill to the public.
Unfortunately the man had no knowledge in scientific archaeology. Once
he got convinced that boulders and rock formation are work of the Irish
monks known as Céli Dé or Culdees, he started to "reconstruct" their
settlement. William Goodwin believed that Europeans settled North
America long before the arrival of Christopher Columbus. Here they
constructed their small communities upon landing where they lived for
several years. Since these monks took an oath of celibacy no children
were left to inhabit the site so it was abandoned shortly thereafter.
Local farmers used local caves and structures for storage and other
purposes as early as 18th century, but no methodical study were ever
done. So William Goodwin set out on his quest to prove that the Irish
constructed this strange settlement from nearby boulders. His workers
started to move rocks around and placing them at the location that they
thought it belonged to. Needless to say that all this active work made
the dating of the site more difficult to date and to study for
professional historians and archaeologists alike.
Theories of William Goodwin were not entirely baseless and crazy. In
fact we do know now that the Vikings came to North America (known as
Vinland to them) and established several small settlements along the
coast. It is not entirely impossible that several Christian monastic
monks might have followed them on these trans- Atlantic trips.
Archaeologists did discover tangible artefacts that proved Europeans
discovered the New World long before the historic trip of Columbus
This was not the only theory on the origins and purpose of the
America's Stonehenge. Some claimed it was work of the Native
Americans who used this location, other went as far as claimed that
the site actually belonged to the ancient maritime travellers from
Phoenicia (Middle East), Carthage (North Africa) and Iberian
Peninsula (Spain, Portugal). Belief that it was constructed by the
builders from the Old World is based on strange symbols and
inscriptions discovered on the site. Some believe they were made by
people from the Mediterranean basin in the time of Antiquity.
Although it is hard to prove or disprove this theory it is almost
certainly a fairly old site. People did live here centuries ago. We
don't know whether it was a permanent village or merely a stop base
among natural formations. However carbon dating from the fire pits
discovered here date this site to 2000 BC to 173 BC. It might
suggest that either the site was in fact constructed by the ancient
people from various locations and ethnic groups. Or it can prove
that Natives first visited this hill and only later did activity of
the local farmers changed the appearance of the layout of the
boulders. It is hard to tell and in depth study of the site will be
able to answer these questions.
Regardless whether you believe in the authenticity or any of the
theories of its origins it is a nice place to visit. The entrance is
free for everyone. Part of recreational park are covered by hiking
trails. Additionally you can find a farm of South American alpacas
Sacrificial Stone that you see below on the right is
believed by many to be a site for sacrifices of animals, humans or
both. A large groove around this carved stone table is believed to
be for collection of blood of sacrificed animals. Another
explanation for this is that farmers from the 18th and 19th century
either used it to kill their live stock or simply make soap.