it was pretty much overcast with scattered showers the whole time I was out today. But the sun decided to make a most brief appearance so I could take this picture - most accommodating. Odd that it decided to say "hello" when i came across the Summer Solstice stone - it was almost like it was saying "Hey, Amber.. stay tuned... I'm almost there".
The site's history is muddled partly because of the activities of William Goodwin, who became convinced that his Mystery Hill was proof that Irish monks (the Culdees) had lived there long before Christopher Columbus, a concept he sought to publicize. He moved many of the stones around from their former positions to better support his idea, thus obliterating a good deal of the archaeological record. The site's current owners, the private company America's Stonehenge Foundation, say his activities are "one of the reasons the enigma of Mystery Hill is so deep".
Proponents of a pre-Columbian, yet non-Native American, origin for the site argue that some stones are encased in trees that may have sprouted before the arrival of the first colonists, claim that there are similarities between the ruins and Phoenician architecture, and say that marks on some stones resemble some ancient writing systems of the Old World. The late Barry Fell, a marine biologist from Harvard University and amateur epigrapher, claimed that inscriptions at the site represented markings in Ogham, Phoenician and Iberian scripts (also referred to as Iberian-Punic). He detailed his claims in his book America B.C.
Artifacts found on the site lead many archaeologists to the conclusion that the stones were actually assembled for a variety of reasons by local farmers in the 18th and 19th centuries. For example, a much-discussed "sacrificial stone" which contains grooves that some say channeled blood closely resembles "lye-leaching stones" found on many old farms that were used to extract lye from wood ashes, the first step in the manufacture of soap.
Carbon dating of charcoal pits at the site provided dates from 2000 BC to 173 BC, when the area was populated by ancestors of current Native Americans. In archaeological chronology, this places indigenous use of the site into either the Late Archaic or the Early Woodland time periods.
In 1982, David Stewart-Smith, director of restoration at Mystery Hill, conducted an excavation of a megalith found in situ in a stone quarry to the north of the main site. His research team, under the supervision of the New Hampshire state archaeologist, excavated the quarry site, discovering hundreds of chips and flakes from the stone. Both the state archaeologist and Dr. Stewart-Smith concurred that this was evidence of indigenous tool manufacture, consistent with Native American lithic techniques, although no date could be ascertained.
It is possible that in its original form the site may have been one of the ceremonial stone landscapes described by USET, United South and Eastern Tribes, Inc., in their resolution on sacred landscapes.