Are Stone Star Charts, Created by Native North Americans, the Largest Maps in the World?


Were they built by Algonquin, Iroquois, ancient Adena or members of another culture?  The huge Northeastern stone celestial maps merit the same awe, admiration and attention as famous indigenous monuments in Central and South America.  Can tribal historians and elders aid in the preservation of this wondrous heritage for all mankind?

[This article is a result of a presentation made by Noel Ring, retired Geographer, during the Indigenous Mapping Network 2009 Conference. Her presentation, "Northeast Stone Star Maps. An Indigenous Enigma" , created a flurry of discussion afterward. Please review her presentation to see the various images, maps, and textual descriptions.]

A team of scientists and Native American scholars is needed to help identify the age, origin and builders of massive stone star maps scattered across Northeast North America. Seventy stone stars in three unique constellation designs are found at a dozen sites in New England and maritime Canada.  The stellar charts include two distinct indented wedges and a kite-shaped feature outlined by boulders linked by stone walls. The complex of stars, all visible in the summer night sky, have no known European constellation or colonial survey design origins. Native Northeastern star lore offers only partial parallels to portions of the huge maps, viewed best from aerial and satellite data as they cover many acres. Funded multidisciplinary research will hopefully help catalog, identify and preserve these remarkable monuments, many under land development threats, as true testaments to Native North American skills in astronomy, cartography and engineering.

Gertrude Sherlock (Cree) Sitting on Stone Star

The stone star which Gertrude Sherlock (pictured above) is sitting on, is the star Dubhe. Dubhe is part of the Big Dipper and aligns directly with Polaris, the North Star, literally a few thousand feet away! All are clearly visible on air photos, and of course, you can sit on them, too. Feel free to contact Noel Ring directly through email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

BIO:  I'm a geographer who taught high school in California and geography at several universities in New England and eastern Canada, retiring as a Curriculum and Grants Coordinator in 2002 from Pima Community College in Tucson.  My technical interests include cultural landscape patterns and remote sensing.  Discovery of the stone star maps originally occurred in the 1970's while teaching air photo interpretation to Vermont college students, though none of us recognized their true character at the time!

 Noel Ring