|Fieldstone cairns at the Werge Easement, Thompson, Ct. November 4, 2017|
|Hillside with about 10 cairns visible among the trees.|
|Somewhat tumbledown stone pile with a niche at ground level.|
|A small stone tower|
|The "whale," an immobile boulder or bedrock outcrop with piled stones trailing behind it.|
|Stone pile in poor condition, with trees growing out of it.|
|Stone pile arranged atop a large glacial erratic (the whale stone is in the background).|
|The smaller boat-shaped stone structure at the Werge Easement.|
|The "prow" of the larger boat-shaped platform.|
|The view across the "deck" of the larger platform.|
It is interesting to note that the Werge cairns and platforms occur in the neighborhood of perfectly ordinary stone walls from the 1800s, and sometimes the walls and the mysterious lithic structures are practically on top of each other, separated by just a few yards. So, if one contends that the lithic site is an ancient survival from pre-contact times, one also has to reckon with generations of nineteenth century Connecticut sheep farmers carefully working around the old monuments, and not deconstructing them for wall material or to get them out of the way. Which is entirely possible, but maybe not much more probable than imagining a farmer with a funny aesthetic sense building the stone monuments himself.
|A Thompson, Ct lake in late autumn.|
Ultimately, much of the interpretation of the Thompson stone monuments depends on their age, but there doesn't seem to be any obvious way of telling how old they are. I vaguely suspect that the structures are not ancient (multiple centuries or millennia old), or if they are ancient they received ongoing maintenance and reconstruction. The cairns look like they would be fairly fragile over the long term in a heavily wooded environment such as has existed for most of the past thousand years in southern New England; sooner or later they would have an oak grow up inside them and break them apart, or a three-foot diameter chestnut trunk would fall on them, or frost and ice would push the stones out of place. In the absence of human intervention, the structures would have a half-life, and if I had to guess I would put that half-life at much closer to 100 years than to 1,000 years. But for now at least, that is only a guess, and there seems to be a good amount of real mystery surrounding the lithic sites of Connecticut.