Winter Solstice Shrine Observed
This is the unique structure I found in the woods last May (2014.) I also previously posted about it, the 2nd post on this blog (from September 2014.) Before I stumbled upon it and submitted a picture of the structure to NEARA members (New England Antiquarian Research Association) this structure was not known about. It is referred to as a unique structure because it is not a Chamber (such as the Upton Chamber), and it goes beyond the classification of a Cairn. So far this is a one-of-a-kind structure.
I am comfortable with calling this structure a Stone Shrine. When I hiked NEARA members to the site last June, it was determined there was a strong Winter Solstice alignment, and perhaps other solstice/ equinox alignments. I had gotten in touch with Peter Anick, the Massachusetts NEARA co-ordinator and we met up to observe the winter solstice alignment the morning of December 27th (not quite the day of the solstice which is the 21st, but close enough, actually.) Below are pictures of the Stone Shrine, the winter solar alignment, and related stone-works in the area.
Quintessential pic of the Stone Shrine:
From behind the structure, Peter Anick & I observe the sunrise a few days after the Winter Solstice. What is amazing is that the birds start to sing and communicate when the sun comes up:
The sun grows stronger:
Standing back a little further w/ a stronger sun:
Sun-rise rays of light hitting the front of the structure. Note that we observed the solar alignment on the 27th (still solid to research it though), not the 21st, and that modern treelines and housing further away are blocking the sun a bit from the ancient shrine structure:
Close-up of the notched standing stone to the left of the structure's entrance, and also showing off some more stone workmanship:
Another view from the back. Also note in the background of this pic the boulder on the ground that seems to be aligned w/ the structure's entrance:
Possible stone row/ spiral on a nearby knoll:
A nearby row of boulders which are very close to the shrine structure. Notice how they are spaced out. Is it possible these boulders represent the 3 belt stars of Orion's belt? Many megalithic sites around the world use this same motiff/ symbolism incorporated into the design elements, the three Great Pyramids of Giza being an example. If this Orion constellation connection is the case, than this site goes even beyond a solstice observatory and is even more significant:
Nearby cairns on the hillside:
A donation pile:
A stone marker, or, rock-on-rock:
Interesting stone wall:
Terminating at a boulder:
As mentioned in an above pic, this boulder lines up with the entrance of the shrine structure:
More nearby stone-wall terracing:
To get to the site there are 3 levels of stone wall terracing going up the hillside. This is the 1st level which is by a street:
Nice outlook view on the hillside beyond the structure. Also over-looking water:
Peter and I also tried looking for another stone marker (such as a boulder) on the hillside in front of the shrine structure, in alignment for solar observation. There was housing and development all up there, although we did find a few possible candidates and felt strongly that this was all a sacred hillside at one point.