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POSTPONED
NEW DATE TBD

Tentative Agenda

9:00 - 9:15 am 

 Laurie Rush, Doug Harris, Anthony Aveni

Opening Remarks 

 

9:15 - 9:45 am 

Anthony Aveni: 

“Star Stories”

 

9:45-10:45 am 

David Gutkowski, Tom Elmore, Eva Gibavic: 

Triad of Technologies 

at Council Rock Mountain

 

10:45-11:15 am 

Mark Carlotto: 

“Astronomical Alignments at Poles Hill in Gloucester, Massachusetts”

 

11:15 -11:45 pm

Glenn Kreisberg:

Danskammer Point/Wappingers Creek Alignment and

Other Indications of Archaeoastronomy in Southeastern New York

 

11:45 - 12:45 pm 

Lunch

 

12:45 – 1:00 pm 

Fred W. Martin:

 Why do the walls at Ramapo NY match the pillars  at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey?

 

1:00 – 1:30 pm

Vance Tiede:

Celtic Stone Oratories in New England? An Astro-Archaeological Analysis

 

1:30 - 1:45 pm 

Kathleen Patricia Thrane:

The Bear in rock art: solar illumination andcelestial alignment at two rock art sites in midwinter.

 

1:45 - 2:15 pm 

Laurie Rush: 

Ceremonial Stone Landscapes of Northeastern North

America; A New Model for Rigorous and Collaborative Study

 

2:15 - 2:45 pm

 Evan Pritchard: 

The Celestial Bear, Revisited

 

2:45 - 3:15 pm 

Doug Harris: 

Protecting Ceremonial Stone Landscapes of Northeastern North America

 

3:00 - 4:00 pm

 Speakers & A Panel

 

Presenters

Eva Gibavic

Eva Gibavic, an independent mapper and historian, has lived at the base of Brushy Mountain in Leverett,
Massachusetts for most of her life. She developed an interest in ceremonial stone landscapes after
being brought to some local sites at age eight by an old timer in town. After years of plotting sites on in
the area and elsewhere in New England on topographical maps, she was given a GPS by her life partner
and a new world opened up. Self-instructed in ArcGIS, she was in a position in 2007 to offer her mapped
site locations in support of the determination of eligibility for the National Register of the Sacred
Ceremonial Site at the Turners Fall Airport. Over the next 12 years, she worked with Doug Harris,
Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Narragansett Tribe and other southern New England
THPOs, providing mapping and research support focusing on preservation of ceremonial stone
landscapes. With Doug’s encouragement, Eva and others formed Ceremonial Landscapes Research, LLC,
which has supported THPO’s mapping projects in a number of locations, including identifying CSL
features on power lines and gas lines.
In the last few years, Eva has teamed up with Tom to explore the research capabilities of ground-based
LiDAR within ArcGIS Pro and she has expanded her work with photogrammetry as a documentation tool.
She has recently joined Tom and Dave in their research at the Council Rocks site, grounding Tom’s LiDAR
in ArcGIS and providing a larger geographical context to explore possible alignments in the larger Council
Rocks area.

Triad of Technologies at Council Rock Mountain

Triad of Technologies at Council Rock Mountain

Our presentation illustrates the use of multiple technologies and skills in the research of ceremonial stone landscapes (CSL’s). We’ve integrated high-definition LiDAR with accurate GIS mapping and full-featured astronomy software (Stellarium) to uncover details not available to the naked eye on the ground. These three techniques blended together combine for a powerful resource for any researcher at virtually any CSL.

Our presentation today will focus on the Council Rocks site in Northeastern PA, which in 2007 was registered with the PA SHPO as a possible 4000 YBP archaeoastronomy site. Nearby sites already documented with the SHPO were included in the LiDAR scans and GIS mapping, revealing significant new discoveries, and adding to the evidence for the importance of this particular collection of sites.

Through seeing these technologies in use at Council Rock Mountain, you’ll experience the extremely powerful benefits of LiDAR, GIS, and Stellarium as tools that can be applied to any and every CSL or feature under study.

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Thomas Elmore

Thomas J. Elmore is a licensed landscape architect in six states and founded Elmore Design
Collaborative, LLC in 1999. His firm offers specialized services in historic and cultural landscape
preservation, planning and design as well as all aspects of landscape architecture. In 2018, he
established The GeoNAV Group, LLC, a 3D LiDAR Scanning and Mapping Company. Some sites that Tom
has scanned include Council Rocks Mountain, America’s Stonehenge in Salem, NH, Manitou Hassannash
Preserve in Hopkinton, RI, the Newport Tower in Newport, RI, the Old New-Gate Prison and Copper
Mine in East Granby, CT (a CT State Museum), Calendar II Chamber in Vermont, several ancient stone
structures and landscapes across the northeast, and many historic cemeteries and burying grounds in
New England.
Tom’s creative and inquisitive capabilities allows him to think of new ways to incorporate technologies
into his work. He finds and collaborates with allied professionals in related, but different, fields of
expertise with amazing technologies, software and computer capabilities including ground penetrating
radar, ESRI ArcGIS with 3D capabilities to load and view aerial LiDAR data, and Stellarium software. This
group is one of the first to combine aerial LiDAR with high-resolution hand-held LiDAR data in ArcGIS to
document, view, assess, and analyze ceremonial stone structures and landscapes.
In addition to LiDAR scanning, Tom has developed a keen understanding of different types of
technologies and how to incorporate them into his work flow, such as photogrammetry, 3D printing of
digital twins, and drone photography. He continues to push the limits to create new results and work
flows. Tom is Part 107 Certified as drone pilot.
In his spare time, Tom volunteers as an Alternate on his Town’s Conservation Commission, is the
Chairman on Connecticut’s Historic Preservation Council and is a member of his home town’s Veterans
Memorial Expansion Committee.

Triad of Technologies at Council Rock Mountain

Triad of Technologies at Council Rock Mountain

Our presentation illustrates the use of multiple technologies and skills in the research of ceremonial stone landscapes (CSL’s). We’ve integrated high-definition LiDAR with accurate GIS mapping and full-featured astronomy software (Stellarium) to uncover details not available to the naked eye on the ground. These three techniques blended together combine for a powerful resource for any researcher at virtually any CSL.

Our presentation today will focus on the Council Rocks site in Northeastern PA, which in 2007 was registered with the PA SHPO as a possible 4000 YBP archaeoastronomy site. Nearby sites already documented with the SHPO were included in the LiDAR scans and GIS mapping, revealing significant new discoveries, and adding to the evidence for the importance of this particular collection of sites.

Through seeing these technologies in use at Council Rock Mountain, you’ll experience the extremely powerful benefits of LiDAR, GIS, and Stellarium as tools that can be applied to any and every CSL or feature under study.

Read More

Glenn Kreisberg

Danskammer Point/Wappingers Creek Alignment

It can be demonstrated through GIS mapping and astronomy software, that the point of land known as Danskammer Point, located on the West shore of the Hudson River just north of Newburgh, NY, aligns with the mouth of the Wappinger's Creek, located across the river and slightly North.
The alignment represents a summer Solstice sunrise, in conjunction with the rise of the Pleiades on the summer solstice evening, when viewed from Danskammer Point, looking toward the month of the creek.
And, a reciprocal alignment is recognized viewing Danskammer Point from the mouth of the Wappinger's Creek, for a Winter Solstice sunset in conjunction with a vertical galactic (Milky Way) alignment, after sunset on the Winter Solstice.
Is this why the indigenous population held Danskammer Point as a ceremonial site, as noted by Henry Hudson on September 3rd,1609?
For this reason the point was named the Dyvals Danskammer in Dutch, which translates to the Devil's dance chamber in English. It's still called Danskammer Point on current maps.

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Anthony Aveni

Star Stories

Looking at constellations around the world

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Mark Carlotto

Astronomical Alignments at Poles Hill in Gloucester, Massachusetts

Amidst a landscape of glacial boulders atop Poles Hill, a rocky plateau in Gloucester, Massachusetts, is a collection of stone features that appear to be arrayed in astronomically-significant directions. Relative to a central sighting stone at an elevated location, large boulders to the northeast and northwest are aligned in the summer solstice sunrise and sunset directions, and two stacked stones to the southeast are in line with the winter solstice sunrise. The summer alignments are approximately one degree north of the current sunrise and sunset directions, which based on changes in the obliquity of the ecliptic, suggests they could be three to four thousand years old. These and other stone features on Poles Hill may be also correlated with certain stars in the constellation Draco. One, which serves as the central sighting stone mentioned above, corresponds to Thuban, the former pole star from the fourth to second millennium BCE. Two other large west-facing stone features correspond to two bright stars, Rastaban and Etamin, in the head of Draco. The one associated with Rastaban is a large boulder shaped like a serpent’s head emplaced on a serpentine knuckle of bedrock. The other associated with Etamin is a semicircular bedrock formation for observing sunsets on the equinox over the same boulder that marks summer sunsets relative to the central sighting stone.

Using a new method of correlating star patterns to features on the ground that computes a linear transform relating a star’s position (right ascension and declination) to its hypothesized geolocation (latitude and longitude) we have found the degree of match between selected stars in Draco and corresponding features at Poles Hill is comparable to that at other sites such as Overlook Mountain. Extending the Draco transformation to compute the ground position of nearby stars, Polaris correlates to a large stone formation to the east and a bright star in the constellation Hercules (Kornephoros) aligns closely to the summer solstice sunset rock to the west. The line of sight from the equinoctial observation point associated with Etamin passes through the boulder associated with Kornephoros and the sun at sunset on the equinox. Although the ground representation of these celestial patterns lines up in this way, the actual stars and sun do not, but once did. Taking into account the precession of the equinox, we show that the stone features on the ground lined up with the corresponding stars and the sun at sunset on the autumnal equinox circa 1500 BCE. That two different analytical methods, which exploit changes in obliquity and procession, give similar dates suggests the possibility this site on Poles Hill may be more than three thousand years old.

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Fred W. Martin

Why do the walls at Ramapo NY match the pillars at Gobekli Tepe in Turkey?

Both the long stone walls at Ramapo and the 5-meter-tall stone pillars at Gobekli Tepe define sightlines about 10 degrees west of true north. The Milky Way rather than the single star Deneb is suggested as the astronomical object of these sightlines. Stellarium plots at 9000 BC and 500 AD confirm that the Milky Way crosses the horizon in these diirections.. The time chosen for these plots is such that the full Moon is at the proper one of its two annual arrivals at the Milky Way. Thus the sightlines suggest a ceremonial calendar based on the full moon and the Milky Way, rather than the sun and its solstices. Further discussion is made of this lunar calendar model,, and of its fits to sites in Canton MA, Newark OH, and West Bend WI. Gobekli Tepe possibly reflects the use of such a calendar at the dawn of agriculture in its region.

Read More

David Gutkowski

Dave is a dedicated avocational archaeologist. He holds membership in the Society for
Pennsylvania Archaeology, the Eastern States Archaeological Federation and Middle Atlantic
Archaeology Conference. His work in this field began in 2007 with the discovery of the Council
Rocks archaeoastronomy site and continues with Alpenglow Rockshelter, now his second
officially registered site with the PA Historic and Museum Commission. Dave is also an
amateur astronomer, a storage business owner, retired postmaster, licensed massage therapist,
Reiki master, private pilot, woodcrafter, and naturalist. His constant striving to connect the dots
with carefully documented research continues to accelerate academic interest in his work at
Council Rocks.

Triad of Technologies at Council Rock Mountain

Triad of Technologies at Council Rock Mountain

Our presentation illustrates the use of multiple technologies and skills in the research of ceremonial stone landscapes (CSL’s). We’ve integrated high-definition LiDAR with accurate GIS mapping and full-featured astronomy software (Stellarium) to uncover details not available to the naked eye on the ground. These three techniques blended together combine for a powerful resource for any researcher at virtually any CSL.

Our presentation today will focus on the Council Rocks site in Northeastern PA, which in 2007 was registered with the PA SHPO as a possible 4000 YBP archaeoastronomy site. Nearby sites already documented with the SHPO were included in the LiDAR scans and GIS mapping, revealing significant new discoveries, and adding to the evidence for the importance of this particular collection of sites.

Through seeing these technologies in use at Council Rock Mountain, you’ll experience the extremely powerful benefits of LiDAR, GIS, and Stellarium as tools that can be applied to any and every CSL or feature under study.

Read More

Vance Tiede

Celtic Stone Oratories in New England ?: An Astro-Archaeological Analysis

Apart from the historic trans-Atlantic voyage in the NAVIGATIO SANCTI BRENDANI ABBATIS (ca. AD 550) and oral traditions about the "Makiawisug" Little People who lived in underground stone chambers and dispensed medicinal herbs to the Mohegans, five recent independent converging lines of evidence support a preliminary interpretation of a Celtic Early Christian monastic provenience for the Gungywamp (Connecticut) and Calendar II (Vermont) stone chamber sites centuries before English/French settlement (ca. AD 1600), viz:
1) Charcoal with 14C mean dates: ca AD 550 - 1200 (Whittall, 1991);
2) Romano-British style Chi-rho (Greek: XP) rock art (Thomas 1985, Whittall, 1987);
3) European plants in Mohegan Folk Medicine (cf. Tantaquidgeon 1977, 115-116);
4) Drywall masonry architecture with quadrilateral floor plans sharing Pythagorean Triple ratios with commensurate metrology typical of Irish monastic oratories (chapels) built prior to the Anglo-Norman invasion, AD 1169-1171 at the order of King Henry II of England with the blessing of Pope Alexander III (so that the heretical Celtic Church might be enjoined to the Roman Catholic Church); and
5) Both stone chambers share simultaneously timed Sun light (as an architectural metaphor as seen in Irish oratories) for He who said "I am the Light of the World" (John 8:12) entering at dawn on Christmas Day, and extinguishing at 3pm EST or "Nones" the Roman IXth Hour marking Jesus' death (Mark 15:34); thereby signaling the start of the Easter/Paschal Cycle (i.e., first Full Moon Rise after the Vernal Equinox) (Tiede 2002).

REFERENCES

Tantaquidgeon, Gladys 1972, FOLK MEDICINE OF THE DELAWARE AND RELATED ALGONKIAN INDIANS, Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

Thomas, Charles 1985 CHRISTIANITY IN ROMAN BRITAIN TO AD 500. London: Batsford.
.
Tiede, Vance 2002 "The Sun of Truth and the Oratory: Solar Metaphors from Early Christian Ireland", Memorie della Società Astronomica Italiana, https://www.academia.edu/25565042/The_Sun_of_Truth_and_The_Oratory_Solar_Metaphors_from_Early_Christian_Ireland

Whittall, James P. 1991 "Radiocarbon Dates Associated with Stonework in New England", BULLETIN OF THE EARLY SITES RESEARCH SOCIETY 18:1, 63-65.
____________ 1987 "Chi-Rho Symbols, North Gungywamp Complex, Groton, Connecticut,"
BULLETIN OF THE EARLY SITES RESEARCH SOCIETY 14:1

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Kathleen Patricia Thrane

KP Thrane is a documentary artist and avocational archaeologist. She has studied the
landscape, history, and rock art of the region for over twenty years.
Thrane studied at Parsons School of Design/The New School
She completed the Avocational Archaeology Program at Norwalk Community College in
2001.

Currently completing a degree in Native American studies, Art History, and Anthropology
at SUNY Empire State College.

The Bear in rock art:solar illumination and celestial alignment at two rock art sites in midwinter

This research presents two rock art sites with Bear imagery, solar illumination, and alignment to the midwinter skyscape. The sites are in the lower Hudson River Valley in southeastern New York and southwestern Connecticut. Both sites appear related to Algonquian and Lenape mythologies about the Sky Bear. The first site documented here, is illuminated by the setting sun in the southwest during the midwinter solstice. The second site, is illuminated by the rising sun at midwinter. The Bear imagery at both sites look toward the north and northeast sky where the Bear Constellation appears in the winter night sky. The two sites are 16 miles apart, on a north south axis.

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Evan Pritchard

The Celestial Bear, Revisited

In this multimedia astronomical story-telling presentation I will share a little known Wabanaki version of the Celestial Bear story which is rich in detail about not only the seven large stars but the smaller stars surrounding the bear and several nearby constellations. The fascinating story follows through several years of the constellation's journey across the sky.

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