Ellen Lloyd - AncientPages.com - In New England, we find about 800 ancient stone chambers of different and sizes and shapes. Who built them and why, is a subject that is still debated.
In the hills surrounding Boston, Massachusetts there are several fascinating man-made ancient chambers. Upton Stone Chamber is the most famous of them all. With a 14-foot entrance tunnel and a dome that rises about 12 feet, topped by a large capstone, it’s one of the largest beehive chambers in New England.
“It's the most spectacular stone chamber in New England," said James Mavor, a retired oceanographic engineer who studied it from 1980 to 1985 and came to the conclusion the dome was built by Irish monks.
The dry masonry chamber at Upton, Massachusetts. (Adapted from ESRS Bulletin, 1:12, 1973)
"Of all the enigmatic structures that we have seen in America, the Upton chamber stands out as one that could have been built under the influence of Irish monks in the 8th century," Mavor wrote in his paper “Earth, Stones and Sky: Universality and Continuity in American Cosmology” ( NEARA Journal, 29:91, 1995. NEARA = New England Antiquities Research Association).
Strange ancient domed structures, commonly called “beehive tombs”, also known as Tholos tombs have been found in many places around the world. What is odd about these ancient structures is that they are referred to as tombs, and yet no burial remains have been found inside them.
Beehive tombs have been found worldwide. These are located in Oman.
When you enter the Upton dome, you find yourself in a completely dark chamber. It remains unknown who constructed the Upton Stone Chamber and why, but one thing is certain – the structure is astronomically aligned. The Mashpee, Narragansett, and Wampanoag Aquinnah tribes surveyed Pratt Hill and found astronomical links between the chamber and cairns on top of the hill. It was deliberately built to observe the setting solstice sun and stars of the Pleiades, as marked by large stone piles located on nearby Pratt Hill.
The entrance is 5 feet high and 14 feet long and leads to a perfect beehive-shaped room.
Other scientists, who examined the Upton Stone Chamber have several theories about its builders. To begin with it, archaeologists estimate the structure is at least 400 years old. Early records of the New England colonists make mention of some of the chambers preexisting before they settled the land. This means the stone chamber builders could have been built by Native Americans or perhaps Europeans who arrived in North America before the Vikings.
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Interestingly, no artifacts have been found inside Upton Stone Chamber or most of the other stone chambers for that matter. So, what was the purpose of the stone chamber in Massachusetts? It was obviously never used for storage, but the chambers are associated with linear arrays of stones and stone cairns on nearby Pratt Hill. These alignments have obvious astronomical significance.
Written by Ellen Lloyd – AncientPages.com
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