Tuesday, July 20, 2010


One of the tracks on Laurie Anderson's magnum opus, United States Live Parts I-IV, is called "A Curious Phenomenon."
Recently there has been a discovery of a curious phenomenon deep in the deciduous woods of Southern Illinois. In the midst of the underbrush there is a clearing revealing a circle of short wooden tree-stump-like structures. In the middle of that circle there is a post-and-lintel structure. The entire circular configuration is oriented toward the exact point at which the sun rises on the day of the summer solstice.

Who built this structure? And for what purpose? To what end? A primitive calendar? A center of worship? A lost tribe?

Woodhenge: A mystery that continues to cloud the American brain.
I can't find a video or audio clip of the piece, but it's spoken word, and can be more or less conveyed in the text alone. I always found it pretty funny, but this is funnier: it's for real. The American brain can continue to be clouded. In fairness, she missed by a couple of states; it's in southern Ohio.
Just northeast of Cincinnati, Ohio, a sort of wooden Stonehenge is slowly emerging as archaeologists unearth increasing evidence of a 2,000-year-old ceremonial site.


Bob said...

I've seen some of the Hopewell and Adena sites there in SE Ohio, in addition to later Cherokee sites in NC/TN/GA and would love to learn more about pre-Colombian civilizations in North America.

Very interesting.

Lockwood said...

There was Hopewell-aged mound literally within a pebble-toss of an apartment complex that I lived in during middle school, and as a youngster, I've visited inummerable of these constructs in southern Ohio. I apparently was taken to Serpent Mound when I was very young, but that's one I regret not getting back to- I have no recollection of it at all.