It’s amazing how many places you can find evidence of the past out in the middle of the woods. Stone walls, old foundations, abandoned wells and even cemeteries can be found in wooded locations far from the nearest roads or paths. Most of these are from historical towns and homesteads that were simply abandoned due to disease, attack, or economical changes such as lumbertowns where the trees have all been cut, or mines that have been played out.While there’s plenty of evidence of early European activity, there are also stone formations related to Native American interests that date back thousands of years. Here in Maine, much of the forested areas have never been developed to the degree that construction would devastate or cover many of the ancient sites. Here’s a photo of a possible cairn, often used as a monument of sorts. Each of the rocks in this cairn are perhaps a minimum of 100 pounds and greater than 14″ in diameter. James Gage (www.stonestructures.org) thinks this may be a Native American cairn due to it’s proximity to several dozens of similar structures in a small area of perhaps less than an acre. Other indicators are the unusual amount of vertical stones, most of which are wide at the base and come to a point. Here’s another photo of a very unusual marker, just a few hundred yards from the large group of cairns. This marker is unlike any of the other vertical stones in the area, and almost appears to be sculptured. Lying on the ground next to it is what I thought to be a long, triangular post, perhaps used as a pointer for a geographical or astronomical location.
Upon removing the upper leaves and spongy forest debris, it actually comes to a knife-like or feathered tip. Once I hit a sandy type soil, I stopped digging in the event there were any artifacts or evidence located below. The marker itself is approximately 3.5-4′ tall. There’s no indication as to who put this marker in place, but it is one of the most unusual I’ve seen. It’s approximately 1,200 feet from the nearest road, and that road actually followed an ancient Native American trail very closely, that was hundreds of miles long.
By most accounts, the first Americans in the Northeast go back no more than 11,000 years. However, that’s due to the available evidence. 12,000 years ago represented the end of the last glacial period. That glacial period started about 30,000 years ago, peaked 18,000 years ago, and began to recede. But, that doesn’t mean that there couldn’t have been any inhabitants prior to 30,000 years ago. I suspect that most of the evidence would have been destroyed by the glacial extension. While the last glacial period seems to have lasted about 18,000 years, the actual ice age began 70,000 years ago. While we may have passed the end of the last “glacial period” some time ago, technically, we may still be in an “ice age”.