Any casual glance would suggest that these clusters of stones and earthen depressions stretching across 100 acres are ruins from a long-deserted settlement. What distinguishes Gungywamp is the wide historic and cultural berth ascribed to the artifacts; according to a report by the Gungywamp Society archeologists have dated many of the objects from between 2000 and 770 BC, based on the layer of soil in which they were found. At the same time, pottery, buttons, coins, bottle fragments, utensils, window pane glass, and animal bones suggest that the site harbored a colonial or post-colonial settlement for a time. The most mysterious and controversial portions feature a double chamber that operate as a solar calendar, in which, during the spring and fall equinoxes, the mid-afternoon sun illuminates part of the larger chamber, eventually reflecting off a light colored stone which then brings dim sun rays into the neighboring, beehive-shaped chamber. Near the center of the site are two concentric rings of stones, indicating an apparent altar. l
Gungywamp derives most of its allure from the widely disputed origins of these individual findings. Many scientists believe the two chambers served as colonial root cellars to indicate planting and harvest times through the reflected sunlight. Others believe the similarities to a proven slave settlement nearby suggest that the chambers are the remains of an African or Afro-Indian slave settlements. Still others believe that Mohegan or Pequot Indians built the chambers millennia ago to serve some of the long established settlements in the area. The most intriguing (and most widely disputed) claim is that the stones are evidence of a pre-Columbian European settlement, most likely Celtic Christian monks who explored and proselytized; however, more recent research has revealed the potential Christograms suggesting the monks’ presence is most likely simple graffiti. Other rows of standing stones with etchings claim no agreed upon origin.
The land containing Gungywamp remains privately owned, though the State of
The case, which achieved widespread publicity and has elicited lingering debate, arose from the City of
I took these photos of Gungywamp and