The Mystery of Constructed Stone Landscapes in our Woodlands & Wetlands
Jim Wilson, Northampton County Parks & New England Antiquities Research Association
Watch the recorded presentation on the Watershed Coalition of the Lehigh Valley Facebook page – it was recorded on Facebook live.
Thursday, March 18, Illicks Mill
Ceremonial Stone Landscapes is the term used by the United South & Eastern Tribes (USET), a nonprofit intertribal organization of American Indians, for
stonework sites in eastern North America. USET states that, for thousands of years before the immigration of Europeans, the medicine people of the USET Tribal ancestors used these sacred landscapes to sustain the people’s reliance on Mother Earth and the spirit energies of balance and harmony.
Whether these stone structures are massive or small, stacked, stone rows or effigies, these prayers in stone are often mistaken by archaeologists and State Historic
Preservation Offices as the effort of farmers clearing stone for agricultural or wall building purposes. That long held view is now shifting and is being reevaluated in Pennsylvania, which is rich in stone landscape structures, including here in
the Lehigh Valley.
In this presentation, you’ll see scores of photographs of local “prayers in stone,” learn how the dates of these structures can now be determined and how the PA State Historic Preservation Office is working with citizen volunteers to document ceremonial stone landscapes across the Commonwealth.