The United States is bar none one of the most diverse countries with a rich cultural heritage; but in times past, have some mysteries yet to be resolved. However, ancient mysteries sites are said to be relics better left unresolved — that’s what they are revered for. The people who long inhabited the American continent long before the Columbian voyages docked their shores left traces of their existence without leaving a meaning. Dear friends, here are ten creepy archaeological sites in the United States that are still a mystery.
Related media: 5 Amazing Archaeology Sites In The United States
#1. Berkeley Mystery Walls
Location: Berkeley, California;
The Berkeley Mystery Walls — also known as East Bay Walls — are a series of stones packed together forming a wall-like structure that runs in rough path through the Bay Area of California, from Berkeley to San Jose. There are gaps in the structure, forming an ornamental spiral pattern. The purpose of this structure is unknown, and its too low to have been a defensive barricade.
Early Spanish settlers found them already, and the local Ohlone people confessed seeing them there, too. Its unclear who actually made them. An 18th century archaeologist suggested they were built by the nomadic Mongol sailors who settled in California long before Columbian voyages dock American shores. However, his theory is seen as wishful thinking rather than scholarship.
Have you been to Berkeley Mystery Walls before?
#2. Bighorn Medicine Wheel
Location: Lovell, Wyoming;
The Bighorn Medicine Wheel isn’t the only monument in North America. There are several of these sacred structures scattered across the indigenous tribes of the northern Great Plains with stones arranged in a wheel shape. But this one in Wyoming is the biggest, stretching a diameter of 23 meters (75 feet) wide. And surprisingly, it pre-dates the first neighboring Crow settlers.
Its unclear exactly who built these wheels. However, in the 1970s, American astronomer John Eddy noticed that some of the spokes in the wheel pinpointed the direction of the sunrise on difference solstices, and other spokes marked the rising point of some stars and constellations. This suggests that the wheel might have been an observatory, though its still a mystery.
Have you been to Bighorn Medicine Wheel before?
#3. Blythe Intaglios
Location: Blythe, California;
The Blythe Intaglios — also known as “America’s Nazca Lines” — are a set of geoglyphs that depicts giant figures etched into California’s Mojave Desert, somewhere around 450 and 2,000 years ago. These depictions are very huge that for so long California settlers didn’t even notice them. They span wide covering several meters long — the largest is over 52 meters (170 feet).
And they remained undisturbed until the 1930s, when a pilot who was bound for Nevada first spotted them in the air. Several researchers believe the local Mojave people were behind their creation. But for whatever purpose they served, both the Nazca Lines and that of the Mojave don’t leave any clues, or how they were even able to perceive them from an aerial view. Nonetheless.
Have you been to Blythe Intaglios before?
#4. Casa Grande Ruins
Location: Coolidge, Arizona;
The Casa Grande Ruins is pretty much an “American Ancient Greek Ruin.” There are a few things archaeologists understand about its structure. The structure was probably built in the early 13th century, that the builders used adobe, and the full complex included several adobe structures — a ball court that was once surrounded by a wall. But what they don’t know is its purpose.
So was it a guard tower, a grain silo, a temple of worship? It was abandoned for over half a century before the Columbian explorers, even long after the native nearby Hopi had evacuated, and was too ruined for early Spanish explorers to investigate it. Today, its protected by Civilian Conservation Corps, and its the first prehistoric ruins to become a national park in the United States.
Have you been to Casa Grande Ruins before?
#5. Deighton Rock
Location: Berkeley, Massachusetts;
The Deighton Rock — much like the Judaculla Rock (also in this list, see #8) — is a petroglyph-clad boulder (a boulder with engravings), of which no one knows who actually made these carvings. However, most archaeologists believe the engravings of the Massachusetts-based boulder might have been the works of the local pre-Columbian tribes.
Interestingly, one of the petroglyphs does resemble one of the markings on a similar rock found in Vermont. This has led to several conspiracies that suggests the Vikings, Portuguese sailors, and even the Phoenicians, might have been responsible for it. The rock is now an exhibit inside a museum in Deighton Rock State Park, with a complete case for each of its theories.
Have you been to Deighton Rock before?
#6. Great Serpent Mound
Location: Hillsboro, Ohio;
The Great Serpent Mound is an earthwork shaped depiction of an undulating snake swallowing an egg, roughly 396 meters (1,300 feet) long. It was first discovered by early European settlers in 1812, and was left undisturbed until Smithsonian surveyors mapped out the site later in the 1840s. It has ever since been a major field of study for decades.
Several archaeologists all agree that it was built by pre-Columbian people, but they disagree on exactly who and when it was built. And they seem not to have an idea on the purpose of the mound, too. Its purpose is another mystery, with some claiming it was a vast tomb with several networks, while others suggests it might have served an astronomical purpose. No one knows.
Have you been to Great Serpent Mound before?
#7. Hemet Maze Stone
Location: Hemet, California;
The Hemet Maze Stone, unlike the other stones in this list, is the only stone that has a single engraving, however, its pretty intriguing. Its roughly a meter (3 feet) square with an intricate interlocking maze pattern. There are several other rocks found throughout California with similar design patterns, but archaeologists have no idea about their origin, meaning, purpose, nor significance.
This forms a swastika-like pattern which is more common in Hindu and Buddhist art than it is in the Americas. But unfortunately, the pattern probably inspired a passerby who added his or her own swastika to the design somewhere in the 20th century. And as a result, the stone maze is currently held behind a chained fence for preservation and protection from potential engravers.
Have you been to Hemet Stone Maze before?
#8. Judaculla Rock
Location: Sylva, North Carolina;
The Judaculla Rock is a soapstone that the native Cherokee people used as a sort of primitive billboard for centuries, etching so many petroglyphs into it that’s made the boulder difficult to identify how many designs there are. It has seven grooves, including the mythical footprint of a legendary giant, probably the work of ancient masons mining the soapstone to make bowls, according to archaeologists.
Archaeologists aren’t sure who initially made these designs, but the Cherokee people claim its their ancestors. Soapstones are naturally fragile, and the Cherokee have always considered the rock as a sacred artifact. Though they are working together with researchers and tourists by given them access while they also preserve the boulder.
Have you been to Judaculla Rock before?
#9. Miami Circle
Location: Miami, Florida;
The Miami Circle is the recently discovered archaeological site in this list. In 1998, a Florida developer knocked down a 1950s apartment complex which unearthed a circular pattern of several holes underneath the limestone bedrock. Further excavation revealed the indigenous tools used by the native Tequesta people, and radio-carbon survey suggests the site is roughly 3,000 years old.
The site — located at the water’s edge beside a series of high-rises — now officially belongs to the State of Florida, which is protected from developers. But its uncertain the purpose of the circles. Several theories suggests the holes are possible signs of prehistoric (architectural) developments, according to archaeologists. Holes dud as a sort of permanent shelter.
Have you been to Miami Circle before?
#10. Mystery Hill
Location: Salem, New Hampshire;
Last but not least in this list is Mystery Hill, often known as “America’s Stonehenge,” this site has little in common with the English megalith. It’s a complex of stone structures and artificial caves, hence its Stonehenge-like resemblance. The exact timing of its construction is not known, but its alleged to have been in existence as far back as the 17th century.
As a matter of fact, the ruins suffered a tampering in the 1930s at the hands of a local landowner who was convinced the structures were probably the remains of some Irish monastic colony somewhere around the 7th century in the Common Era (C.E). But he claimed if his theory didn’t match part from the site, he’d fix them. And we think he took it too personal rather than a scholarship work.
Have you been to Mystery Hill before?
Have you been to any of these archaeological sites before?
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Mon, Sep 27, 2021.