America's Stonehenge is an ancient site dating up to 4,000 years ago. It's origins are unsure, but archaeological evidence of the site ranges from 4,000 years ago to the 1800s. There are many different theories about who was there originally. Some think it may Native American, others believe that it could have been early European Explorers. Whoever it was created a site that shows they were well versed in astronomy. The site is an accurate astronomical calendar.
When I first booked this field trip, I did not realize that today was the autumnal equinox. Once I did figure it out, I am not going to lie. I touched a few stones ala Claire Randall Fraser from the book series Outlander/Starz television series. I was wondering if being at a magical astronomical calendar on a magical day such as the equinox if I would be transported back in time like Claire. If you haven't read the books by Diana Gabaldon or seen the Starz series based on the books, you are missing out.
"Well, Mrs. Smith your daughter's teacher was with Janey at the beginning of the field trip, but the kids tell me she disappeared into thin air. "
Imagine if some students transported with me!
" So I have some good news and some bad news for you Mr. Johnson. The good news is your child is getting a great education in history this year. The bad news is that your child has been magically transported to the year 1659 with her history teacher."
All kidding aside, we had a great trip. We started our day with a quick movie to introduce us to the archaeological site. Once the movie ended we went hiking on a trail that led us through time from prehistory through the nineteenth century. We stopped and explored the different sites. At the end of the trail we discovered an enclosure that housed alpacas, the llamas smaller cousin. Very cute! After lunch, there was some more fun as we went on an archaeological dig simulation.
The students really had a great time. We saw many different monoliths and stone structures on our hike. After lunch the students went to the archaeology simulation site and spent about 45 minutes digging for artifacts like real archaeologists. Who would have thought that a bunch of seventh graders would love digging in the dirt!
So if you live in or around Salem, NH and are able to bring your students there I highly recommend it.
Below are a couple of links for more information about America's Stonehenge.