Stonehenge: Grand Traverse Bay Style

A few weeks back we posted the photo to the right in a feature titled Underwater images from a Lake Michigan Stonehenge at Michigan in Pictures. Stonehenge Beneath the Waters of Lake Michigan at Geoff Manaugh’s very cool BLDGBLOG introduced Mark Holley, professor of underwater archaeology at Northwestern Michigan College, his underwater imaging and the fascinating story that is (slowly) unfolding under the waters of Grand Traverse Bay.

The other day, Get Off the Couch posted Prehistoric Ceremonial Site or Random Natural Arrangement? It’s based on this Chicago Tribune article which includes a cool photo of Mark diving the site. When I saw it, I realized I hadn’t featured this story on Leelanau.com. I hope you’ll explore it in full and stay tuned as we work to uncover more!

…Researchers who study early American Indians say they will need more evidence to be convinced the stones are a human artifact. They are especially wary of the idea of a mastodon petroglyph. Mastodons were facing extinction when early humans were on the scene, and the few that still existed in North America lived much farther south, evidence shows.

“It would be the only visual representation of such in the whole hemisphere,” said a skeptical Charles Cleland, retired curator of Great Lakes archeology and ethnology at Michigan State University. “It would be a really spectacular find—if it turns out to be true.”

Still, Hank Bailey of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians said, “There’s a lot that we haven’t learned.” Moreover, to American Indian eyes, the rocks seem to be arranged with some purpose, he said.

“It could easily be a ceremonial site,” said Bailey, who gave underwater photographs of the stones to religious leaders. “The same kind of thing that I see there is the same kind of things we use, so why couldn’t it have been connected to our people further back than modern archeologists know?”

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