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Serpent of the North: The Overlook Mountain/Draco Correlation (cont.)
By Glenn M. Kreisberg, New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA)


Draco is the 8th largest constellation, occupying over 1,000 square degrees in the sky as it winds from the Pointers of Ursa Minor nearly to Vega in Lyra. Yet it has no bright stars. Gamma-Draconis, or Eltanin, the brightest star of Draco, has a magnitude 2.2 and is one of three or four stars that typically represent the head of the serpent. It is famous for being the star observed by the 18th-century English astronomer James Bradley when he was trying to detect parallax and so calculate the distance. Since the star Eltanin is considered the brightest star in the constellation it is most likely to be seen as the star representing the head of the serpent on the Overlook representation, which appears to be consistent between the two representations. The spacing and angle between the stars of the two representations, while close, is not an exact match and the angle between Altais and Eltanin would also suggest that Eltanin is the single “head” star in the Overlook Draco representation as opposed to Rastaban.

The total number of stars which represent the constellation Draco can vary from 9 to 14 depending on the culture on which the representation is based. The constellation Draco has 7 stars that are less than 10 parsecs (32 light years) from the Sun, has 3 stars brighter than 3.00 magnitude, and six that are currently know to have planets. The total number of stars represented in the Overlook/ Draco depiction is 8. I thought it might be interesting to compare the magnitude or apparent brightness of the stars that comprise Draco to the size of the cairns on the ground to determine if there any correlation between size and brightness. The chart below lists the stars in Draco by magnitude and is followed by a chart listing the corresponding “Great Cairns” and their respective sizes.

Below is a chart of the eight brightest stars in the constellation Draco, from tail to head and their Apparent Magnitude. Also below is a chart with the Great Cairns and their respective sizes.



Great Cairn

Size (ft)



GC 6


Kappa Draconis






GC 4




GC 3




GC 2




GC 1




Snake Effigy II


Eltanin (Head)


Snake Effigy I


Images showing three of the six “great” cairns comprising the configuration documented on Overlook Mountain

A description of the individual component constructions that constitute the Overlook Mountain petroform follows: Beginning with the two serpents or snake effigy walls located at the highest elevation (1420’) of the eight locations involved. The eastern most of these two walls would serve as the head of the larger, component serpent (Draco?) petroform. The two slightly curving stone walls, each approximately 90’ long, end at a large glacial erratic which serves as a head to each individual effigy form. It would appear the area around where the figures mouth would be located on the glacial erratic, has been worked to accentuate the appearance of the mouth. The two walls, whose tails point towards one another, are located approximately 100 yards apart and are visible to and from each other when foliage is lacking, if one knows where to look. In fact it was determined during a recent winter site visit that each of the large constructions is visible from the next nearest petroform component. The six “great” cairns making up the remaining, lower portion of the petroform (between 1140’ – 1300’ elv.) range from approximately 60’ to 90’ in length and are elongated, oval or crescent shaped. The three largest of the “great” cairns are curving or “horned” shaped and employ the use of retaining walls on the downward slope to allow the high piling up of the stones within, in some place to a height of 12’.

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