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A Southeastern standing stone

(child at base for scale)



Upright slab in wall

Standing Stones & Slabs

North American standing (upright) stones range in height from a foot or two on up to over 20 feet.  A standing stone is defined as a tall, generally narrow stone which has been planted in the ground, although these are occasionally found balanced on a ledge outcrop.  Standing slabs are almost the same, except these are broad, rather than narrow.  Slabs are also found both planted in the ground and balanced on edge on top of ledge outcrops.

Two early accounts of Native standing stones:

An early Nineteenth Century discovery of a cache of stone pillars; from: "A history of the old town of Stratford and the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut," Rev. Samuel Orcutt, 1886 -

These pillars were "nearly round, six and seven feet long, from seven to eight inches in diameter; one is nearly square, only the corners rounded, . . . has a slot from the top downwards about eight inches deep and half an inch wide, on the side . . . . One of these posts is much larger than any of the others, and is of oval shape, from ten to twelve inches wide and about seven thick."       The conclusion at that time was these pillars were for a Native medicine (or powwow) ring.  [Some of these stones are preserved as fence posts on the grounds of the Stratford, CT Historical Society.]

Early Western Journals 1748-1846; R.G. Thwaites, editor; 1904; note, p. 22:

“. . . [Weiser] crossed the Juniata River, and approached the ‘Standing Stone.’ This was a prominent landmark of the region, and stood on the right bank of a creek of the same name, near the present town of Huntingdon [PA]. It was about 14 feet high, and six inches square, and served as a kind of Indian guidepost for that region.”

The original Standing Stone of Huntingdon, erected by the Indians, was a granite column, about fourteen feet high and six inches square, covered with strange characters, which were the sacred records of the Oneidas. Once the Tuscaroras stole it, but the Oneidas followed, and, fighting for their sacred treasure, recaptured it. When the whites came along, the Oneidas, who had joined the French, went west, carrying the stone with them. Afterwards, a second stone, much like the first, was set up, and a fragment of it is now preserved at Huntingdon. Link 

Standing Stone Monument in Monterey, TN preserves the remains of an originally 12-foot tall stone.   The stone was a boundary marker for an Indian Treaty of 1785, until 1805.  The  stone was used as a boundary line between separate Indian Nations. The Cherokee called the monolith "NEE YAH KAH TAH KEE" which is interpreted "Standing Stone."  A tomahawk and  the words "NEE YAH KAH TAH KEE" were inscribed on the monolith which now rests atop the monument. The monument was dedicated on the 17th day of October, 1895.  It can be viewed in City Park in the center of Monterey.  Link

Standing Stone State Park, original location of Nee Yah Kah Tah: "The park takes its name from a twelve foot 'dog shaped' monolith."   Link

Photo of the Devil's Tombstone, OK  Link

Florida- Crystal River Archaeological State Park, with two stelae, one of which was erected c. 440 A.D.  Link   (photos here: Link )





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