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Ancient Celestial Correlations at Poles Hill

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Abstract and Figures

A collection of altered glacial erratics on Poles Hill in Gloucester Massachusetts that function as a solar observatory for viewing solstice events is shown to fit into a broader celestial context. The locations of these and a number of other erratics that also appear to have been altered are correlated with bright stars in several northern constellations including Draco and Hercules. We describe a method for mapping the sky to the ground using stars in the serpent constellation, Draco, as tie points. One star, Thuban, the former pole star, is associated with the central marker in the observatory; another, Rastaban, the "eye" of the serpent, is associated with a large boulder that resembles a snake's head and faces west. A result of this mapping is that the line of site (the “gaze” of Rastaban) is directed toward a collection of boulders that appear correlated with a group of bright stars in the constellation Hercules (the “keystone” asterism). The snake head sits atop a section of serpentine bedrock that looks like a coiled snake when viewed from above. An adjacent semi-circular “U”-shaped bedrock formation correlates with another star, Etamin, in Draco. The line of sight from this observation point passes through the same boulder that serves as the summer solstice sunset marker in the solar observatory. The continuation of the line passes in between the ground projected constellation Ophiuchus (“the serpent bearer”) and Serpens Caput (“the serpent’s head”). We show that this pattern on the ground lines up with the actual constellations in the sky at sunset on the autumnal equinox about 4000 years ago.
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Introduction*
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Figure'1'Satellite'image'of'Poles'Hill'in'Gloucester,'Massachusetts'(Imagery'courtesy'
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Figure'2'Schematic'of'solar'alignments'at'Poles'Hill'
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Figure'5''Large'boulder'shaped'like'snake'head'north-northwest'of'gnomon'
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Celestial*Context*
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Methodology*
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'H#(#+"'H[E(+L%E(>+E($)%&'#F(')>+"F(MH3I+&(=αXO"+,)&%E@4(+("#-+'%J#-K(*+%&'4(b67(N+?&%'3F#(
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+(E#,'%)&()*(E#"$#&'%&#(I#F"),B('H+'(-))BE(-%B#(+(,)%-#F(E&+B#(>H#&(J%#>#F(*")N(+I)J#6(.#L'(
')(E&+B#("),B(%E(+(H)"E#EH)#()"(TYVXEH+$#F(I#F"),B(*)"N+'%)&6(:#(+EE),%+'#('H#E#('>)(
-),+'%)&E(>%'H(1+E'+I+&(=βXO"+,)&%E@(+&F(/'+N%&(=γXO"+,)&%E@4('>)(E'+"E()&('H#(H#+F()*(
O"+,)6(MH%E(N+$$%&?(%E(+-E)(,)&E%E'#&'(>%'H('H#("#-+'%J#(N+?&%'3F#()*('H#(,)""#E$)&F%&?(
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Figure'6'Sky'above'Poles'Hill'on'Tuesday'2016'Jul'26'23:30'UTC'(Courtesy'True'Sky)'
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')('H#(?&)N)&(=0@4(1+E'I+&(+&F(/'+N%&(N+$(')(E&+B#("),B(=/@(+&F('H#(+FW+,#&'(TYVXEH+$#F(
Draco&
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Ursa&Major&
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Figure'7'Star'map'registered'to'Poles'Hill'aerial'image'using'two'three'stars'in'Draco'
(A,'E'and'F)'as'tie'points.'North'is'up.'(Courtesy'Google'Earth)'
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'
Figure'8'Projected'stars'(G-J)'in'the'“keystone'asterism”'in'Hercules.'Numbered'
placemarks'(1-5)'are'locations'of'nearby'boulders.'North'is'up.'
(
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Figure'9'Erratics'that'may'correlate'with'stars'in'the'keystone'asterism'
(
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Figure'10'Parallel'east-west'sightlines'from'Rastaban'(E)'and'Etamin'(F)'pass'
through'Hercules'to'circular'feature'near'rock'(H)'and'summer'solstice'sunset'
boulder'(B).'North'is'up.'
(
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Figure'11'Sightline'from'the'viewing'area'(F)'to'the'summer'solstice/equinox'sunset'
boulder'(B).'As'this'sightline'is'currently'obscured'by'trees'a'parallel'sightline'from'
snake'rock'(E)'looking'west'is'shown'for'reference.'
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Figure'12'Equinox'sightline'is'between'the'ground'projected'locations'of'the'
constellations'Ophiuchus'and'Serpens'Caput.'
MH%E(E#,)&F(3&#L$#,'#F(,)""#-+'%)&(-#+FE(')(+&)'H#"4(%&F#$#&F#&'(N#'H)F()*(F+'%&?('H#(
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Figure'13'The'sky'today'at'sunset'looking'west'on'the'fall'equinox'2016'CE'
(
Draco&
Hercules&
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Figure'14'The'sky'at'sunset'looking'west'on'the'fall'equinox'2000'BCE'
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Acknowledgements*
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ZH+$#F(Z')&#(Z'"3,'3"#E4V(Bulletin(of(the(Massachusetts(Archaeological(Society(<8(=9@a(bkX7b4(
;iii6(
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c+--+"F(4(/F>%&(C6(+&F(2+N#E(:6(A+J)"4(2"64(TC+E#(*)"('H#(3E#()*(+I)J#(E3"*+,#(E')&#(
,)&E'"3,'E(%&(+(.+'%J#(0N#"%,+&(,#"#N)&%+-(-+&FE,+$#(%&('H#(.)"'H#+E'4V(NEARA(Journal(]8(
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h6/6(A+-'>))F4(A(Guide(to(Glastonbury's(Temple(of(the(Stars:(Its(Giant(Effigies(Described(from(
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/&?%&##"%&?6(!+$#"4V("#+F(+'('H#(/+E'#"&(Z'+'#E(0",H+#)-)?%,+-(^#F#"+'%)&(0&&3+-(A##'%&?4(
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... Hancock and Grigsby (Hancock and Faiia 1998) later proposed that a group of Angkor temples in Cambodia were aligned to certain stars in the constellation Draco. Other hypothetical alignments with Draco have since been suggested (Kreisberg 2010, Carlotto 2016. ...
Chapter
The coupling of water politics with water spirituality will be sharpened in Chapter 4 by recounting continuing efforts of Ojibwe “Water Walking” Women to recover older indigenous practice in attending to the water “herself” as living Spirit, before moving into a consideration of the spiritual force of White “Biopolitics” and Christian “Domination” under the rubric of Pauline notions of “Principalities and Powers” and Potawatomi ideas of the “Windigo” phenomenon. Robin Kimmerer’s invocation of Nanabozho and unpacking of the Seven Fires Prophecy will open the discussion toward a more indigenous comprehension of Great Lakes dwelling and struggle.
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Evidence supporting the existence of a solar observatory on Sunset Hill, also known as Poles Hill or Pole Hill, in Gloucester Massachusetts, is presented. Sitting atop a kame overlooking two tidal rivers, the Annisquam and Mill River, the site was important to Native Americans. Archaeological data indicate they occupied nearby Riverview seasonally during the Archaic and Woodland periods up to the time of English contact (Lepionka 2013; Phillips 1940-41; Pool 1823). This study is the result of collaboration between an anthropologist (Lepionka) and an aerospace engineer (Carlotto). Combining ground observations with aerial data we have identified three key seasonal alignments. Two alignments (summer solstice sunrise and sunset) are marked by fixed boulders relative to a central reference boulder or gnomon near the middle of the site. The winter solstice sunrise is defined by two large, flat, stacked stones to the southeast. There is also evidence of an equinox sunrise alignment. We describe tools and methods used to identify these markers and determine line of sight. We also provide ethnological background information and discuss several areas for future work.
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Effigy mounds occur across the midcontinent of North America but their cultural purposes and construction chronologies are rarely known and often controversial. Determining the age and construction history of monuments is important to relate religious symbolism, scientific knowledge, and cultural continuity to groups within a region. Based mainly on circumstantial evidence, researchers have long held that Serpent Mound in Ohio, USA, was constructed 2000–3000 years ago during the Early Woodland (Adena) or Middle Woodland (Hopewell) periods. Excavations in 1991 recovered charcoal buried at shallow depths (35–45 cm) in fill units of the mound and the 14C ages from two of these units indicated that Serpent Mound was built ∼900 years ago, during the Late Prehistoric (Fort Ancient) period, much later than originally thought. Our recent multidisciplinary work provides a more complex, robust construction history of Serpent Mound. We used geophysics to map the mound, and solid-earth cores to provide accurate stratigraphy and organic samples for 14C age estimates from the base of the mound. Bayesian statistical analyses of the seven 14C ages from Serpent Mound suggest that it was first constructed ∼2300 years ago during the Early Woodland (Adena) period but was renovated 1400 years later during the Late Prehistoric (Fort Ancient) period, probably to repair eroded portions of the mound. Modification of the mound is also indicated by a possible abandoned coil that is located near the head of the Serpent and visible only in the magnetometer survey.
For Want of a Nail: An Analysis of the Function of Some Horseshoe or U-Shaped Stone Structures
  • Edwin C Ballard
Ballard, Edwin C., "For Want of a Nail: An Analysis of the Function of Some Horseshoe or U-Shaped Stone Structures," Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society 60 (2): 38-53, 1999.
Case for the use of above surface stone constructs in a Native American ceremonial landscape in the Northeast
  • Edwin C Ballard
  • James W Mavor
Ballard, Edwin C. and James W. Mavor, Jr., "Case for the use of above surface stone constructs in a Native American ceremonial landscape in the Northeast," NEARA Journal 40 (1): 33-45, 2006.
The Orion Mystery: Unlocking The Secrets of the Pyramids
  • Robert Bauval
  • Adrian Gilbert
Bauval, Robert and Gilbert, Adrian, The Orion Mystery: Unlocking The Secrets of the Pyramids, Broadway Books, 1993. Preprint of article to appear in NEARA Journal, Vol. 50, No. 2, Winter 2016. (www.neara.org)
051415 Reconnaissance Information for Sunset Hill Gloucester MA in Support of Archeological Analysis
  • Frank Bellini
Bellini, Frank, "051415 Reconnaissance Information for Sunset Hill Gloucester MA in Support of Archeological Analysis," (private communication), 2015.
The Great Long Tailed Serpent: An Iconographical study of the serpent in Middle Woodland Algonquian culture
  • Michel-Gerald Boutet
Boutet, Michel-Gerald, "The Great Long Tailed Serpent: An Iconographical study of the serpent in Middle Woodland Algonquian culture," Laval, Quebec, Canada, 2011. http://www.academia.edu/3537441/The_Snake_motif_in_Algonquian_Culture
Serpent of the North: The Overlook Mountain/Draco Correlation The Graham Hancock Forum Identification and Preliminary Analysis of a Late Woodland Ceremonial Site in Southeastern Massachusetts
  • Glenn N Kreisberg
  • Leonard
  • C Kenneth
  • Jr
Kreisberg, Glenn N., " Serpent of the North: The Overlook Mountain/Draco Correlation, " The Graham Hancock Forum, 2010 http://www.grahamhancock.com/forum/KreisbergG5.php Leonard, Kenneth C., Jr., " Identification and Preliminary Analysis of a Late Woodland Ceremonial Site in Southeastern Massachusetts, " Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society 71 (1), 2010.
Unpublished papers on Cape Ann Prehistory
  • Mary Ellen Lepionka
Lepionka, Mary Ellen, "Unpublished papers on Cape Ann Prehistory," Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society 74 (2): 45-92, 2013.
A Guide to Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars: Its Giant Effigies Described from Air Views, Maps, and from The High History of the Holy Graal
  • K E Maltwood
K.E. Maltwood, A Guide to Glastonbury's Temple of the Stars: Its Giant Effigies Described from Air Views, Maps, and from The High History of the Holy Graal," The Women's Printing Society, Ltd., Piccadilly, London, 1935.