Researchers from Tiperon University-Blacktip have discovered a primitive coral circle in the heart of the Caribbean island’s near-impenetrable interior.
“These standing stones are thousands of years old,” expedition leader Ernesto Mojarra said. “The idea of ancient peoples carving them from coral, then moving them hundreds of meters inland over this sort of terrain, it’s a technological marvel.”
The henge’s construction is similar to that of Neolithic stone circles in Western Europe, Mojarra said. Radio carbon dating indicates the structure is approximately 2,500 years old.
The discovery has sent shockwaves through academic communities.
“This is either a case of convergent cultural evolution, or evidence of early Brittonic peoples settling in the Caribbean,” TU-B history professor Edwin Chub said. “If the latter, it would predate the first documented European arrival in North America by more than 1,000 years.”
“Caesar’s diaries mention druids ‘sailing to the Summer Lands’ to escape Roman persecution,” said comparative literature professor Christain Troye. “But historians attributed that to a night of overindulgence in Aminean wine with Pliny the Elder.
“There’s also a reference to ‘nigris extremum insulae’ in Geoffrey of Monmouth’s ‘Historia Regum Britanniae.’” Troye said. “It’s a phrase that’s confounded generations of Arthurian scholars. Now we may finally have our answer.”
“There’s indications of smaller buildings surrounding the henge,” expedition leader Mojarra said. “Whether workshops or residences, we’re not sure.”
The team also found remnants of Bronze Age helmets and tubing that could have been used for breathing underwater, as well as numerous small amphorae of a type used for beer and wine storage at European Bronze Age sites.
“Sea levels were higher back then,” Mojarra said. “The bluff we know today would have been a smaller island, barely 20 feet above the waves, putting this site on the coast. We have to do more research, obviously, but it’s possible we’re looking at the Caribbean’s first scuba diving center.”
The expedition has drawn fire from local neopagan groups.
“We’ve filed a formal protest to stop further desecration of the site,” said Aubrey Hole, local divemaster and chieftain of The Ancient Order of Druids’ Blacktip Lodge. “Magnetic lines of force crisscross over that site like you’ve never seen. It may be our most sacred site in the central Caribbean.
“And with the summer solstice on top of us, well, how’d they like us ripping all the stained glass out of their church right before Easter?”
Mojarra said the exploration will be curtailed by the impending rainy season, but the team plans to return next spring with ground-penetrating radar to check for underground anomalies.
“We can’t process all the artifacts we’ve found so far,” Mojarra said. “Bronze air cylinders, Neolithic beer urns, what could be the remains of a circular table. It’s overwhelming.”