Alec Mountain Stone Circle – lost in time.
How many civilizations have lived in the Sautee Nacoochee Valley area? We know the Cherokee lived here along with other Native American tribes including mound builders, but these ancestors weren’t known for building rock walls and rock structures like those you find in ancient Europe.
Lost in time, not far from the Sautee Village area there is an ancient stone structure on private land that I was lucky enough to be invited to visit with a friend doing research. It was a beautiful day, and I was filled with excitement and anticipation to finally see this structure I had read about.
The structure had at one time had interest and recognition but because our “experts” in archaeology and history can’t seem to place this and other stone walls and structures in Northeast Georgia into our classic textbook historic timeline it has basically been ignored.
Phillip E Smith, an Archaeologist, visited Alec Mountain in 1956 and at that time the stone circle was a
Tourist attraction. He drew this sketch, showing placement of excavations.
Why have we not respected the treasures of our past? This amazing archaeological site has been left to disappear back into the earth, covered with leaves and no effort made to understand the culture that labored to place these heavy stones on top of each other in a large oval shape for some purpose. Who were these people? Was it built in the same era as the mysterious stone wall that encircles part of Fort Mountain near Ellijay, Georgia? Were the same people, the same culture responsible for a stone wall built on top of Soapstone Ridge in the Lake Russell Wildlife Management area near Toccoa?
I wish I had the ability to see deep below the piles of leaves and brush to understand the layout of this structure and maybe somehow discern it’s purpose. I took photographs but they don’t do this historic structure justice. One could argue that it was randomly placed rocks but I doubt Phillip E Smith would have made an archaeological sketch of randomly placed piles of stones.
A Section of Alec Mountain stone circle on the southwest side of the outer wall
The question remains, whether the generations who come along behind us care enough to preserve and understand the meaning of this place before it becomes lost in time.