What's The SD On Pre-Columbian Structures in New England?

Link from the Boston Globe:http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/07/12/mysterious_cave_now_part_of_new_upton_heritage_park/?comments=all#readerComm
These cave-like structures are common all over New England. People once belived them to be Colonial-Era root cellars…but most of them are nowhere near any inhabited areas.
There seems to be little archaeological interest in these sites-has anyone done any careful analysis on them?

Who says they’re pre-Columbian? They look like the type of stone cellars common in the British Isles, and I haven’t heard of any real evidence that they were built before English settlers arrived.

There are a lot of these in New England. Various amateurs have tried to credit them to non-American visitors – Vikings, Irish monks, Phoenicians, Greeks, Basques. The idea seems to be a holdover from ideas that the locals weren’t sophisticated enough to do it themselves. But they were demonstrably *here[/io] after all, which the other groups were not (Vikings in Newfoundland is a far call from Vikings in inland New England). My vote goes for the local Indian groups.
One of the more interesting places is the spot called Mystery Hill, sand now known as America’s Stonehenge. This place is generally acknowledged to be the place inhabited by a settler named Pattee, and even the enthusiasts admit that his home was right up there on the Hill. But the structures in the area include masive stone constructions, some using immense blocks, that seem unlikely to be the work of an early colonial settler. In the 1930s, a guy named Godwin, who was convinced that medieval Irish monks had established a settlement here (and wrote an entire book about it – The Ruins of Great Ireland in New England0 purchased the site and started to excavate it. But he also “reconstructed” it into what he thought was the original form, so it’s not clear how much of the current assembly is his doing and how much is original. The argument has gone on for years. There are supposedly pre-Godwin photos showing the site before he put his hand to it, but I haven’t seen them. But everyone agrees that he didn’t buiold the site out of whole cloth – there was SOMETHING here, just as at other sites around New England.

The “Stonehenge” part comes from the supposed alignments between stones at the site. But it’s not as clear as the original Stonehenge – the stones are much smnaller, the outside “circle” meanders, and there’s no clear “center”. Still, they’ve gone to the trouble of cutting “avenues” through the woods so that you have an unobstructed view from the stones to the horizon for things like Midsummer sunrise.
One of the more intriguing bits is that Lovecrafct apparently knew about these places, and worked them into his story “The Dunwich Horror”. Lovecraft scholar S.T. Joshi says he visited Mystery Hill too late for it to be the direct inspiration (though I have my doubts). It’s weird to look at the mkovie versions of the story and l0ook at their depictiionms of “The Devil’s Hopyard” and se how different it is from the real, lichen-encrusted mregalithic structures.

That wouldn’t surprise me. New England Indians had a variety of food preservation techniques, and most involved keeping the food away from local critters. The link in the OP shows one that is fairly crude, and could have been built by anyone. Others are clearly built in the same style as structures found in England now. But I haven’t heard of any reliable means of dating these sites. There’s one just a mile away from my house that’s well known, and credited to early settlers, even though there’s no way to date it. But Vikings establishing inland settlements and leaving no other traces of their presence exept for these simple stone chambers is pretty far fetched.

Moved MPSIMS --> GQ.

I have been to “Mystery Hill”…and there are some Celtic-looking carvings on some of the rocks. There are also some “stone circles”…which look a bit like the prehistoric circles in Brittany, England, Ireland. Clearly, these strctures warrant some study…but almost nobody seems interested.

I’ve been there many times. There are TWO stones with carvings on them – a supposed running deer on one and a supposed Eye on one of the Sunrise stones… (There is another stone with a carving on it – the “watch hut”, but that carving was deliberately done by a restorer a couple of years ago, and they tell ylou about it.)
There’s nothing like the stone circles I’ve seen inBritain and Ireland. The “astronomical circle” is a huge meandering closed-circuit but non-round “circle” msade of relatively low stones. It looks very different from its supposed European counterparts.
Some of the constructions look like megalithic structures elsewhere, but they don’t have, for instance, the “one big boulder supported by threee others” that I saw a lot of in Ireland.

So the Hill was Godwinized?

You know who else’s Hill was Godwinized?

So…is this the sort of thing Stephen King featured in the novella "N"?

That spooky circle of stones in Ackerman’s field?

Don’t forget Dighton Rock.

There are lots of so-called mystery stones/caves/etc. all over New England but I haven’t seen any real mystery about any of them.

95% - are silly, reaching stories kept alive for tourism purposes and told with a “wink”
5% - are crank theories by self-published authors

These stories are probably best considered a cultural phenomenon, rather like buried pirate treasure legends (Oak Island and the like)