The Foxboro State Forest
contains a variety of "types" of stone structures.
These types have been broken down into the six categories below.
BOLDERS - A boulder is a very large stone, usually
large enough to take more than a single person to move. Aligned
bounders are when three or more of these large stones are placed
in a straight line. Many times this line creates a near perfect
north-south or east-west line. This possibly indicates the site's
creators were very aware of solar markers indicating compass direction.
Also, the distance between the boulders is often within a few inches
of being identical. This uniformity could be an indication that
from a given point, equinox or solstice readings may have been taking
- A dolmen is a large flat stone resting on three or more smaller
stones. Uses might have been as a special marker signifying a "special/sacred"
spot, a sacrificial table, or possibly a part of a series of multiple
stone objects. The Foxboro dolmen is in very close proximity to
a group of four very large aligned boulders forming a perfect North-South
line. From the dolemen, each boulder forms a line pointing to the
horizon in the east. Possibly these are sunrise points indicating
seasonal changes or longest/shortest days of the year.
- Single tall narrow stone, obviously man made, propped up to be
a marker or directional pointer of some kind. These stones usually
have a ring of smaller stones at its base to act as support. Early
explorers may have used these as trail markers, early farmers may
have used these as boundary markers for their land, or even earlier
in history, these objects could possibly have simply indicated special
events that took place at that spot.
- A large boulder, supported partially, or completely,
by one or more smaller boulders. The structures completely supported
by three stones are the most impressive, and usually suppress
any tendencies to attribute creation to glacial activity. Because
of the size of the boulders involved, one might speculate that
these formations were made to show others the strength (power)
of a tribal leader to anyone who wandered into a their territory.
Or possibly these formations were used in combination with others
to show direction or pathways to solar/celestial events.
- A horseshoe shaped configuration of rocks. Usually about 8 feet
in width and 3 feet in height, always opening toward the north,
and often built on an incline with the opening facing up the hill.
Current traditions of the Yurok tribe in Northern California, who
have Algonquin roots to our New England tribes, use prayer seats
for spiritual cleansing by tribal medicine men and shaman. Days
of fasting, meditation and prayer are believed to cleanse the soul.
Sitting in the center of this formation facing the opening, the
sun rises over the formation's right arm, sets over the left arm,
and directs one's eyes toward the North Star.
- Just as the name implies, these are large numbers of stones piled
on top of each other, in a specific location. In the Foxboro State
Forest, a number of these piles have been found that mark locations
that form a straight line. This would indicate a boundary of some
kind or possibly a line pointing to a location. Single piles may
indicate a "location of importance", possibly a burial