Is it possible a structure similar to Stonehenge lies at the bottom of Lake Michigan?
The site was discovered in 2007, 40 feet below the surface of Lake Michigan by Mark Holly, a professor of underwater archaeology at Northwestern Michigan University. After voyaging across the lake in a ship that contained sonar equipment, which is generally used to examine old shipwrecks, the archeologist found underwater structure.
After several passes Mark Holly and his colleague Brian Abbot found a row of stones that piqued their interest. The stones of discovered underwater structure are organised circle and believe to be at least 10,000 years old.
“It was really spooky when we saw it in the water,” Holley said. “The whole site is spooky, in a way. When you’re swimming through a long line of stones and the rest of the lake bed is featureless, it’s just spooky.”
In order to satisfy Grand Traverse Bay’s American Indian community, whose interests are to minimize the number of visitors to the site, and to preserve the location of his research, Holley has kept its exact location a secret.
However, the incredibly aligned stones are the only thing that baffled researchers. One of the objects photographed underwater is a boulder which according to many is believed to depict what appears to be a prehistoric carving of a mastodon, an ancient animal which is believed to have inhabited the are over 10,000 years ago.
Holley hopes that a computer model of the carving in the mastodon rock will help petroglyph experts, who aren’t necessary professional divers, determine whether the features were somehow natural workings or whether they were the work of ancient humans.
Charles Cleland, a retired curator of Great Lakes Archaeology and Ethnology at Michigan State University, remains skeptical about the discovery and suggesting that petroglyphs of this kind are extremely rare to find in the Upper Midwest, admitting though that the discovery is very valuable.
According to geographical history, the submerged site would have been tundra when humans of the hunter-gatherer era roamed it 6,000 to 9,000 years ago. Is is possible the stones came from a massive fishing weir laid across a long-gone river? Or could they maybe mark a ceremonial site? Only time will tell.