Ceremonial Stonework: The Enduring Native American Presence on the Land

Ceremonial Stonework: The Enduring Native American Presence on the Land 

Presented by Markham Starr

Thursday, February 20 at 6:30 p.m.


While archaeological evidence shows the first people in New England inhabited the landscape for more than 12,000 years, newly landed colonists from Europe immediately dismissed Native American spiritual practices as pagan rituals to be destroyed or silenced through Christianization. Although disease, war, and other troubles brought to the continent nearly annihilated the indigenous population, the physical manifestations of Native beliefs, wrought in stone, were often ignored. Still standing witness to the strength of their spiritual lives, the stone objects they created remain scattered across the New England landscape. This book takes the reader deep into woods now long abandoned to rediscover the structures they left behind. After walking hundreds of miles and photographing over 8000 objects, the author chose 270 images, separating the work into 25 categories in an attempt to understand their significance. While the exact meaning behind them remains obscure, there can be little doubt of the overall importance of this stonework to its creators or or their decedents. Endangered by modern development, this book sheds additional light on what has been overlooked and ignored for so long, seeking to help preserve them for generations to come. This second edition contains all of the information and photographs found in the first, but in a smaller format with the photographs rendered in black and white.