Scattered throughout New England stand enigmatic stone chambers that defy conventional explanation. What are they, who built them and why the enormous skill, precision and effort to create them? The first place to start is to state what they are not. Modern archaeologists claim that they are colonial root cellars. This position does not make sense when all the evidence is examined. After years of study by Dr. Salvatore Trento, a geologist and professor at Lesley college and one of the pioneers in chamber research, he concluded the chambers were not built by colonial farmers. For starters he found when you put vegetables in them they quickly rot. He was dismayed that no one was studying them because they are such an archaeological enigma. A letter from a John Pynchon dated November 30, 1654 talks about the strange walls and stone chamber found at the Gungywamp complex in Groton Conneticut that the settlers had just discovered. He reported that there were many strange accounts associated with it and claims the settlers had no idea who built it. Local stone chambers can be found in Goshen (Figures 1 and 2), Leyden, Shuttesbury, Wendell, Pelham, Montague, New Salem, Russell, Palmer and South Hadley. The construction techniques used are the first indication of their antiquity. When you examine any of these chambers you will see that they were not easy to construct, their design is quite complex. The walls are built using a technique called corbeling. This sophisticated architectural design is used to support arches, parapets and floors and in this case the walls which are made up of piles of stones arched inward to support the ceiling lintel stones. This corbeling technique was used in Bronze age Europe as far back as 4500 years ago. The chamber ceiling stones are huge flat slabs of rock that are chiseled out from nearby bedrock. From their design, the weight of the ceiling pressing down on top of the walls gives them enormous stability. They are also extremely waterproof. In one Vermont chamber known as Calendar Two the roof slabs are 10 feet wide, weigh more than 3 tons apiece and are expertly joined together.(Figure 3) At the New Salem chamber, the roof is one stone slab which is 10 ft. x 5 ft, several feet thick and weighs over fifteen thousand pounds. As a stone mason I am qualified to weigh in on this. The heavier the stone you are working with, the exponentially more unruly it becomes. In Upton, Mass. there is an enormous chamber which was built completely underground and carved into the side of a hill. A 6 foot high 14 foot long tunnel leads into a 12 foot diameter 11 foot high chamber. The irregular stones were fitted by expert artisans and the roof stone is an oval weighing several tons. This chamber also possesses many precise astronomical alignments. The engineering feats encountered at these chambers are complex and mystifying. Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the chambers are their astronomical orientations and geometric patterns. At the Vermont Calendar Two stone observatory, the stone chamber is built with the exact 2 to 1 ratio found at the Kings chamber in the Great Pyramid of Giza as well as the legendary Temple of Solomon and many other sacred sites. But even more sophisticated, the size of the doorway entrance is such that it's limits mark the declination angles 18.5 and 28.5 of the moons major and minor standstills, thus providing a means of accurately predicting eclipses just like megalithic man in Europe. Down the road at Vermont's Calendar One site there are 34 astronomical alignments from one single location at the complex. An example of some of the events accurately recorded at the site are the acronomical rising of Sirius at the winter solstice in 3150 B.C. and a heliacal rising of Rigel in the constellation of Orion at the summer solstice in 2424 B.C. Phi, the golden ratio and divine geometric proportion that is also seen as a sacred measure is 1.618 to 1. When this formula is applied to Calendar One's interior dimensions the ratio is 1.617 to 1, astounding. These two Vermont sites are 14 miles apart but they exist on a perfect north/south alignment accurate to within 200 feet. How is this done without a GPS? There is also a 4x5 plinth grid carved into the chamber wall that researcher Byron Dix believes was used to geometrically calculate astronomical events. Not only are there astronomical and geometric characteristics associated with chambers but standing stones, stone animal effigies, sacred wells and stone cairns are also consistent features from site to site. Archaeological excavations in the 1980's at one of the stone chambers in Goshen revealed that part of the complex was dug while soil deposits from melting glaciers were still being laid. This occurred about ten thousand years ago. The same stratigraphic soil anomaly occurred at Calendar One, where just like in Goshen, researchers excavated a stone sun disc. Five such discs from the late archaic period have been found throughout New England. This disc, along with other stone artifacts, are located at the Goshen Historical Museum. Finally, many chambers have ancient carved script in or near them. Celtic Ogam, Phoenician, Carthaginian and Iberian writing and symbols throughout New England are abundant, perplexing and may date back thousands of years. Massive stones fit by expert artisans, ecliptic architecture, astronomical orientations, pre-colonial artifacts, precise geometric calculations, bronze age building techniques and ancient languages, this doesn't sound like root cellars to me. This is not an isolated example of archeology missing the mark, the closer you look the more you see a long standing pattern of incorrect or erroneous conclusions drawn by archaeologists. Anything that does not fit the old paradigm is mocked, attacked or ignored. Of particular relevance here is the misunderstanding by archaeologists of the meaning and purpose of sacred sites and unexplained stone structures worldwide. In part 2, I will delve into theories of who built the chambers and explore the emerging movement to rethink Americas mysterious past.