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The Project Maps

Main Circlestone Map

The Circlestone Ruin Map PDF file Printable Map

The main Circlestone map above was digitized using satellite imagery and an aerial photograph taken by Andrea Jeckering, at the time working for All Out Aerial. (Photo used to digitize) The small inset map in the upper left-hand corner is an amalgamation of Thomas Kollenborn's 1984 map with the inside spokes added to his map by me in 2003. The map is off in its north/south alignment. Kollenborn's compass was not set correctly for declination, even though he had been assured it had been set correctly. Andrea's photograph was georeferenced using a georeferenced satellite image. The flat portion of the east side of the circle is oriented to true north and south.

The Trail to Circlestone

Circlestone Trail Map

This map is, as far as we know, the only published map of the trail to the Circlestone ruin.

Hikers who visit the ruin should treat all sites in a wilderness area with the utmost respect. Do not disturb the site in any manner. Leave nothing, take nothing, move nothing. Arizona's wilderness areas are national treasures; visitors are obligated to share responsibility for preserving these unique natural and cultural resources.
Map's Reavis' Meadow Picture
PDF file Printable Trail Map

Circlestone Wall Heights

Circlestone Wall Heights Map

This map notes the average depth of the scattered stone fall from the collapsed walls. The map also indicates the height of the sections of the walls that are still mostly intact. The location of the ten-meter grid the 2006 team staked out to measure walls and vegetation is also plotted.

While enrolled in a calculus class, honors student, Stacy Peterson, used a similar map and the expedition's field note to estimate the original wall heights of the structure. She estimated the circular portion of the structure, on the south, west and north sides, the wall was three feet high and three feet wide. The flat east side wall measured around five feet tall, three feet wide at the base and two feet wide at the top. The interior spokes probably stood only a foot to sixteen inches high, and the center square cairn stood around two feet high above grade. There is no way to know if the center structure's walls extended below grade as digging or any other kind of disturbance is not allowed in the wilderness area.
PDF file Printable Wall Heights Map

Azmith Map

Solstice Equinox Alignments

One of the first questions everyone seems to ask when confronted with the Circlestone ruin is, "Was the ruin some kind of calendar akin to Medicine Wheel, Wyoming or even Stonehenge?" There does appear to be possible sun alignments suggested after accurately mapping the ruin.

Solstice and equinox sunrise may have been marked by the middle spoke of the east wall. The other alignment the data suggests is a horizon marker at Spring Equinox. The sun sets directly atop Tortilla Mountain in the photograph on the map which was taken from the ruin on March 21, 2003.
PDF file Printable Azimuth Map

View Window Map

View Window toward Phoenix from Circlestone

The Circlestone Ruin is geographically placed so that in looking west from the ruin, one not only can view the equinox sunset on Tortilla Mountain, you also look directly down on the city of Phoenix 45 miles away.

This map shows the view window between the Usery Mountains and the Superstition Mountain on to the desert basin. The ancient Hohokam pueblos and irrigation system is layered over the metro street grid.

The Red Mountain campus of Mesa Community College is also centered in the view window. The project team was unable to attempt signaling between the campus and the ruin, but without light pollution, signaling between Circlestone and the Hohokam's Pueblo Grande would have been possible.
Map's Picture of Tempe Town Lake from Circlestone
PDF file Printable View Window Map

Archeological Sites Map

The Surrounding Ruins

The sites plotted on this map are all recorded in the Tonto National Forest Archaeological Archives.  There are surely many more, since most that have been recorded are near trails.  The trails in the Superstitions probably follow routes used by ancient people.  Therefore the habitations depicted here are most likely representative of geographic habitation patterns.

While researching these sites, Chris Allen found another stone circle recorded as "Paradise Spring Overlook."   It is labeled "Paradise Overlook" on this map.  The site was recorded by Charles Vernon on 4/15/93.  In his report, he wrote: "Site is very similar to the well known Circlestone site to the southeast, but not nearly as well defined. . . . Similarity to Circlestone indicates possibility that it too, was a ceremonial site."
PDF file Printable Surrounding Ruins Map

Jake Colpitts Poster

 

Jake Colpitts Paradise Overlook Poster

On March 19, 2010, Jake Colpitts and his brother Ken hiked into the wilderness area from the Apache Lake trail head in order to find the ruin, take pictures of the stones and the spring equinox sunrise, and measure and draw the stone circle.

Jake and Professor Peterson produced this poster to present the findings of the expedition at the 2010, spring semester, "Student Showcase" at the Red Mountain campus of Mesa Community College.

Jake's drawing of the possible walls and his equinox sunrise at the peak of the eastern horizon picture are illuminating.

PDF file Printable Poster

 

The Trail to Circlestone

Paradise Overlook Stone Circle Map

The site data collected for this map was collected on an expedition to the site in March 2012. Students, Peter Gomer, Brandon Barba and Professor Bruce Peterson, entered the wilderness area at the Roger's Trough Trail Head. They met Charles Miller, one of the original 2006 Circlestone Expedition team, and his wife Vanessa at the ruin three days later.

Using the measurements collected by the team and a Google Earth image, Professor Peterson produced this GIS vector map. The accuracy of Jake Colpitts' drawing made by pacing measurements and site sketches is quite amazing. The exact wall line on the west side of the circle under the juniper trees is difficult to ascertain.
PDF file Printable Paradise Overlook Circle Map
PDF file Paradise Overlook Data Sheet