The Mystery of New England's Many Stone Chambers (2023)


Sorry its been a while since my last upload, I really wanted to put my best effort into this one.

There are hundreds of stone chambers out in the woods of New England & New York. I made this video to cover a few of the theories behind their presence.


Further Reading/References:


Hey, let's say, you're out in the woods in upton massachusetts on a hike right just walking along enjoying the scenery.

When you come across a weird hole in the side of a hill, your interest is peaked.

So you get a little closer and realize it's, not just a hole it's, the entrance to some kind of stone chamber something clearly built by humans.

Now you look at this odd little chamber.

And you think, hey, I've seen one of these before yeah, just a couple weeks ago in uxbridge, massachusetts, a few miles south of here.

You were doing the same thing just screwing around out in the forest and bam.

Another stone chamber, hey.

And in fact, a couple weeks before that you're down south just a few miles more in sterling connecticut, just having the time of your life running around in the woods like you always do.

And guess what another chamber seems like there's some research to be done about these guys right? But first though why not check out this new chamber, you just found yourself in front of so dang, what a beautiful spot right now you're, really starting to wonder what's up with these chambers you keep finding.

So you bust out your phone and get to work what's the story on these chambers.

Well, the first thing you find out is that there are far far more than just three of these guys.

In fact, hundreds of these stone chambers have been found dotting the entire united states northeast, new york, rhode island vermont, all over.

In fact, a lot of them even have names that one down in sterling that's.

The anecho stone chamber.

Ux bridges is called the snet chamber.

And hey, the one you're inside of right here in upton shares the name of the town, it's, the upton chamber.

But what actually are they who built them and why? Well you find out pretty quick that those questions have a pretty simple answer.

No one knows the exact nature of these chambers has evaded archaeologists and historians for a long long time.

But that being said, there's, certainly, no shortage of theories.

Some of them are a little wild like the idea that these chambers were built by europeans who came over the americas, hundreds of years before columbus typically either the vikings or irish monks of some kind, you decide to look at that irish monk theory, first and learn that its only real argument lies in the architecture of the chambers similar chambers were built by the irish back in europe, with the most notable, parallel being the use of something called corbling corbeling.

You wonder, huh? What's that quick search tells you the corbeling is a technique used to build a curved stone wall in which rocks are stacked on top of one another to keep the wall sturdy as it bends.

Well, this technique is super common in ancient architecture in the british isles it's, pretty rare among native american and colonial european construction.

You find that the argument for the vikings is pretty similar, although with a hair more plausibility, simply because there's more evidence of the vikings presence in north america prior to columbus's arrival.

Now, while these arguments based around similar construction techniques are certainly cool.

You learn pretty quick that most experts consider the idea that the irish or vikings built these structures to be pretty far-fetched, mostly because of the total lack of supplemental artifacts or constructs found in or around the chambers, basically, nothing else that can be traced to either the irish or norse has ever been found in any real capacity around these chambers.

So the idea that they built literally hundreds of them miles and miles deep into the continent without leaving anything behind is usually not taken too seriously, like, for example, the vikings would have had to have landed in north america, taking a look around and gone all right.

Man, let's, march, ourselves, hundreds of miles deep into these woods, build like 400 little huts, and then get the hell out of here forever hop to it all right.

So if the pre-columbus european theory doesn't hold much weight with the experts, what does well for the most part? The answer is pretty uniform a little digging tells you the common consensus is that most of these little stone chambers are just artifacts from colonial farms and settlements.

The most common theory is that they're root cellars intended to keep crops like potatoes, cool and fresh other explanations that get tossed around are animal pens, ice houses and just general storage, you learn that there's a lot of evidence to support these ideas.

The chambers are pretty similar to root cellars found in other parts of the world they're often found close by other remnants of colonial settlements and historians have even found illustrated records of colonial farmers using root cellars that line up very nicely to these stone chambers.

Well that about seals it, you think you're sitting inside a colonial root cellar, hey, but wait a minute something's, not right about that the upton chamber here looks quite a bit different from most of the other stone chambers.

You've seen and read about even setting aside its massive size, its shape, really doesn't seem that practical for a root cellar.

Does it? Most of the others are just an entrance way into a similarly sized chamber easy to move things in and out of the upton chamber, though is gigantic on the inside with a comparatively small, little entrance way if this is a root cellar, why does it look so different from the others? You just gotta know, so you bust out your phone again and find out that the upton chamber is actually quite famous for being so unique of the hundreds of chambers.

This large dome style is quite rare.

And even among the dome chambers this one is extremely large as you look and read.

You find out that many other people, including plenty of experts have asked similar questions, too like if this is a colonial root seller, how come it matches up so well, with european descriptions of native american ceremonial sweat lodges.

And how come professional dating of the soil within the walls of the chamber says it could very easily be more than 600 years old.

And how come on the exact day of the summer solstice and no other time of year, the setting sun shines directly down through the entranceway lighting up the chamber inside and the water inside the chamber.

Why does it pool here so easily and so frequently and can it be pure coincidence that on the day of the summer solstice as the sun shines perfectly in through the entrance that the presence of water in the chamber lengthens, the effect causing the sunset to brighten up the chamber for four times longer than it does when the chamber is dry.

Now as these questions start to pile up, you learn one last piece of information at the top of nearby pratt hill, almost a mile away from the upton chamber lies several stone, cairns of unknown origin.

So if this chamber is a root cellar is it just pure happenstance, pure chance that when researchers shined a strobe from the chamber to those cairns, almost a mile away that the line of light between the two pointed directly up towards the stars of the pleiades constellations? I guess we'll just never know for sure see you next time.



What were stone chambers used for? ›

Peebles determined that many of the chambers were root cellars, but there were a variety of historical uses for the chambers and other structures in her study. Some were foundations for massive stone chimneys. Others were used as pens for animals.

What are the Stone Chambers upstate New York about? ›

The first and most accepted theory of origin is that the chambers are colonial root cellars, used for storage of food. This has been confirmed through oral tradition many times both in Putnam County and in areas of New England.

What is a stone chamber? ›

In the decades that followed, people began to wonder about the region's hundreds of stone chambers. These distinctive stone structures, also called huts, caves, beehives, dolmens, and root cellars, have long provoked questions about their age and cultural origins.

Who were the first to use stone as a weapon? ›

Paleolithic tools and weapons were at first just stones and rocks, especially hammerstones, used to hammer and crush objects. Evidence shows, however, that as early as 3.3 million years ago. a pre-human species in what is now Kenya used spears.

Why did people build stone walls? ›

Some of these cairns and walls may have been used for ceremonial purposes, to indicate boundaries or the direction of trails, or to commemorate the location of important events. More recent stone walls were needed by early colonial farmers.

Why is it called Chamber? ›

The name 'chamber music' comes from its origins as music written to be played at home, in a smaller room (or 'chamber'), where small groups would play as entertainment for guests. The performers were often amateur musicians.

What are stone weapons from Stone Age? ›

The Early Stone Age began with the most basic stone implements made by early humans. These Oldowan toolkits include hammerstones, stone cores, and sharp stone flakes. By about 1.76 million years ago, early humans began to make Acheulean handaxes and other large cutting tools.

What is a stone unit called? ›

The stone or stone weight (abbreviation: st.) is an English and imperial unit of mass equal to 14 pounds (6.35 kg). The stone continues in customary use in the United Kingdom for body weight.

What were stone tools made for? ›

These types of tools can be made with very sharp edges and points and some examples are: scrapers, projectile points, and knives. Chipped stone tools were used for hunting, food preparation, and building homes or shelter spaces.

What did the Stone Age use stone for? ›

The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric period during which stone was widely used to make stone tools with an edge, a point, or a percussion surface. The period lasted for roughly 3.4 million years and ended between 4,000 BC and 2,000 BC, with the advent of metalworking.

What did they used in the Stone Age? ›

People during the Stone Age used tools such as stone axes, rocks and wooden spears which had tips hardened with fire to kill their food. Later during the Stone Age, tools developed to include hard bones and sharpened flint. Bows and arrows were used to hunt smaller animals.

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