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Welcome to Aqua Survey

Aqua Survey, Inc. (ASI) is a full service ecotoxicology company founded in 1975. Aqua Survey provides laboratory testing, field sampling, geophysical surveying and consulting
services to a wide variety of clients throughout the world including many of the largest U.S. corporations, internationally recognized environmental consulting firms, and public sector agencies.

Aqua Survey provides services in the following areas:

  • Sediment Vibracoring / On-Water Drilling
  • Benthic Grab Sampling and Taxonomy
  • Toxicity Identification Evaluations
  • Underwater Utility and UXO Markout Surveys
  • Geophysical / Hydrographic Surveys
  • Geotechnical Sampling
  • Sediment Toxicology and Bioaccumulation Studies
  • Wind Farm and Pipeline Placement Support Surveys
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Mysterious Rocks – Secret Glyph, a Privateer’s Pride or Heavy Lawn Ornament?

Mysterious Rocks – Secret Glyph, a Privateer’s Pride or Heavy Lawn Ornament?

Oct 11, 2018

Has time forgotten the meaning behind these rocks? Do you have a theory?

Last week on an archeological project in Jamestown, RI we encountered a mysterious stone arrangement. Organized in a cross formation, they aligned perfectly with the four cardinal compass directions.

We were on the Cajacet homestead, built in 1690 by famous Privateer Thomas Paine. More infamous than famous in his day, Paine skirted the line between pirate and privateer and rubbed shoulders with questionable characters like Captain Kidd.

Ultimately achieving legitimacy and high status in New England colonial society, Paine left his outlaw tendencies behind. In 1690, his naval experience proved of instrumental value when he led a small fleet in open water combat against French ships attempting to raid Block Island, forcing the would-be invaders to retreat.

Various stories surround the rocks. Some claim they were put there by Thomas Paine himself. Others believe they were put there long before and held significance to an American Indian tribe. Some even speculate that Norsemen laid them long before the Dutch settled the area.

Whether it was the Native Americans, Norseman, Dutch or Paine himself, did they hold a hidden meaning or were they simply a source of pride for a man who amassed his wealth navigating the high seas?


If you have an insight or theory behind the origin of this “compass”, we’d love hear from you.