SERPENTINE: An ancient solstice monument in Ontario


Mankind has always worshiped the sun and the planets, whether through spiritual practice or the construction of large scale monuments. Ancient civilizations such as the Mayans and Egyptians all shared a common reverence for the sun and the earth’s astronomical relationship with the heavens, as did ancient Celtic cultures along with many others across the globe.

In the state of Ohio there is The Great Serpent Mound which is the largest effigy mound in the world that relates to the sun’s position during equinox and solstice events, yet its age and who created it is still debated among archaeologists.

On the shores of Loch Nell in Scotland, there is a 100m serpent shaped mound, long forgotten and crumbling away after thousands of years. It is similar to other serpent mound formations in Scotland and in Ireland. The Damnonii, an early Celtic tribe of the Strathclyde area were known for their serpent/sun worship, and in Argyll serpent worship was also common.

To add to the mystery of these separated, but similar ancient monuments that are spread across the globe, right here in Ontario, just a few hundreds kilometres west of Ottawa, there is another massive ancient serpent structure, but it remains closed off to the public. It is the only one of its kind in Canada but has been studied without current technical advances in archaeological resources.


This large snake effigy on Rice Lake, south of the village of Keene in Peterborough County, was constructed thousands of years ago, yet its greater purpose remains unknown.


Currently access is restricted, but on the Summer Solstice on June 21, 2016, I was given permission to study the site in detail and to test my theory about a possible solar alignment. I have since completed my own research into this fascinating archaeological structure which I believe possesses something of far greater significance than originally thought. Through these studies, sketches, and actually visiting this ancient site, it was proven beyond a doubt that there lies a greater secret, and a deeper history to our nation than we may have first thought.


On the northern shore of Rice Lake along the Trent River system there is a point of land that has been closed off to the general public for a number of years. Beyond the locked gates lies an ancient serpent effigy mound. It is the only one of its kind in Canada. First discovered in 1896 by David Boyle who photographed and sketched this mysterious structure, it was first studied by Boyle, but it was not until 1955 that it was studied in any greater detail.


Measuring almost 200 feet (60m) in length and serpentine in shape, there are several small circular mounds nearby, commonly referred to as the “serpent’s eggs.” Boyle noted there was an alignment of the axis through these mounds in an east-west orientation. Both native and non-natives of the area stated that the mound was believed to be a former raised earth defence embankment against attacking Iroquois. It was only when Boyle in 1897 dug into the snake mound that he discovered grave burials and skeletons.*

Boyle would state in the Peterborough Daily Examiner of September 5th, 1896 that:

“The serpent-and-egg mound is one of the most unique and interesting features of archaeological occurrence in this country. These mounds are found commonly in the remains of Europe and the old world and are regarded as evidences of the prevalence of serpent worship, one of the earliest forms of adoration amongst primitive peoples; suggestive of religious reminiscence of the serpent incident of Eden, doubtless the germ idea of this form of worship.”


The site was further studied when the Royal Ontario Museum initiated a program in 1955 to discover the nature and origin of the mounds. An archaeological investigation was carried out during the summer months and over the next few years, a considerable number of prehistoric native burials had been discovered in the immediate vicinity, some twenty-one of these in the mounds themselves. In 1961 a provincial historical plaque commemorating the prehistoric Serpent Mounds was unveiled with the academic world providing the following conclusion:

“While no definite conclusions have been drawn regarding the purpose of these ancient mounds, it is believed they were originally constructed about the second century A.D., and they were of religious or ceremonial significance to the people who built them.”

Further study was conducted in 1968, with more artifacts recovered, but it has not been studied in detail any further since.


This ancient site then operated as a provincial park and during this time, in 1982, the mounds were designated a National Historic Site. From 1995 to 2009, the Hiawatha First Nation operated the park privately, offering camping facilities, beach access on Rice Lake, a cultural center, and interpretive walks among the historic serpent and nearby mounds. Then in 2009 the park was closed and the gates were locked.


No further information or study to my knowledge has been conducted of what could be one of the most significant archaeoastronomical sites in Canada.

3D-serpent1-marked3D serpent2-marked

I studied the ancient structure and found there to be greater history and meaning behind this historical monument, which I have compiled into my latest book, “SERPENTINE”, which examines it in great detail. This never before explored theory of an archeoastronomical solstice alignment brings to light a deeper understanding of who built and and why.

You can purchase a copy here, or read the full digital book below by clicking on the link:

SERPENTINE: An Ancient Solstice Monument In Ontario


Andrew King, June, 2019


*ROM Archeology ‘Mounds of Sacred Earth’, Kenyon 1986


  1. As a reporter for the Peterborough Examiner in 2003-04, I remember visiting the Hiawatha First Nation and filing a report about Serpent Mounds. I need to dig through my archives at home and see just what I wrote about this place. I wish I had some of your information back then. It would have made for a more interesting article!

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