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Peculiar Rock Cairn

Found in the Vicinity of the Murray Farm Tunnel Chamber

by Victor Moseley

[Note: This article appeared in the Volume 1, Number 2, 1984 issue of the Midwestern Epigraphic Journal]

Last Summer, on a trip home from the Barnesville Track Rocks, where more petroglyphs continue to be found, Midwestern team members were discussing the absence of any additional finds in the Murray Farm Tunnel Chamber area. It was suggested that our shot gun approach to reconnaissance might be more productive if we simply walked north from the chamber on the same azimuth as that of the tunnel, on the chance that the tunnel itself served as a pointer to another feature. Several weeks later two members, Bill Dangler, Steve Mellor, and a team returned to the Murray Farm and, using this suggestion, made a discovery.

Along the tunnel axis of 14 degrees Magnet North (approximately 9 degrees True North) and at a distance of about 500 meters, Dangler and Mellor found a large rock outcrop on the side of a ridge. On the downside of the slope, it had the appearance of two huge rocks, 2-3 feet thicks, stacked one above the other. Situated on top of the outcrop was a rock cairn that got more interesting as one moved uphill for a better view. The huge base rocks, now seen to be only one, provided a platform on top of which smaller rocks had been piled to form a circular wall 2-4 feet high enclosing a floor area 6 feet in diameter. The dimensions of the platform on which the cairn sat was about 12 by 14 feet. No inscriptions were found.

Some of the rocks in the cairn wall were quite large, particularly those closer to the base of the wall. On, which was found dislodged on the floor of the enclosure, required the combined effort of three people to move it.

As to the original purpose of the monument, none could agree. Nor could anyone suggest another such construction that might compare well with it, either in America or overseas. Due to the size and weight of the cairn rocks, it appears a bit ambitious for a hunting blind, brush being more readily available. One team member, Clyde Repik, offered the possibility that it might have been constructed for a temporary winter domicile. Clyde, who has visited megalithic sites in Scotland and Ireland, recalls seeing nothing comparable to this Holmes County Cairn in either of those two countries.

Team members on a return trip to the cairn scouted all of the area within 300 yards of the monument. Several other rock outcrops were bare of constructions and no other obvious cairns were found. One group nearby seemed suspect, but if it were once a cairn, it was now well scattered. Several more piles were probably the result of past farmers clearing fields.

Outside view looking uphill
Looking down into the cairn
Measuring the diameter