Spirit Glyph

The Mysterious Stone Circle
of the Superstition Mountains

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Circlestone Ruin Interactive Map

The Project:

In 2003, I began looking for a research project that could provide some of my community college students with an experience working on original research. The Red Mountain Campus of Mesa Community College, where I teach, has been dedicated to an interdisciplinary focus on environmental issues and the preservation of the Sonoran Desert biota. My son Matthew and I hiked into the Superstition Wilderness Area to explore the mysterious Circlestone ruin. Accurately mapping the ruin seemed an excellent project to pursue.

In 2006, I received a Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction grant to fund an interdisciplinary student expedition to study the controversial ruin on the wilderness area's highest mountain. The Ruin is on a saddle below the 6226 foot peak of Mound Mountain at 6010 foot elevation. Since the ruin is in a wilderness area, only surface research is possible, and we dedicated ourselves to no disturbance of the site. The objective of the project was to accurately map the ruin and its relationships to the surrounding geography and record the data in a Geographic Information System (GIS) database.

As students worked on the project, Chris Allen, a history student, found a record of another stone circle in the wilderness area while searching through the Tonto National Forest Archeology Archive. Currently, students are collecting data to map this ruin called the Paradise Overlook Circle.

The Maps

The project maps are displayed on the second floor of the Palo Verde building of Mesa Community College. The maps on the Map Collection link on this web site are posted as large jpeg files and as smaller pdf files for easier printing.

Some of the shape files from our Circlestone GIS database will be available as students record the meta data for the files.