Thursday, April 27, 2017

Short stretch of wall Ashburnam State Forest

Spotted from the car, somewhere along Stowell Rd:
from below:
It reminds me a bit of walls with a circle at one end.

George Carter was Right!

[About early man in America]:

Friday, April 21, 2017

More archeology in plain sight - from "Life Below Zero"

[More, not rock pile related] At the mouth of the Kiwalik river, looks like tepee spots:
Not so "mysterious".

NEARA Meeting this weekend

so if you want to hear Rolf C-S talk, you can hear him at the conference.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Between the hills at Marble Hill in Stow

Behind the Fire Station, you can walk to the back of the fields and then follow one of a choice of trails. I took a right angle turn left into the wet area full of boulders and saw familiar odds and ends as I headed upstream:
 Hard to escape the impression of an old structure:

Close to the "top" of the water, in the saddle between a smaller hill to the west and Marble Hill to the east, I spotted a systematic rectangle on the west side
Going over to investigate, I saw a smaller pile up the slope a bit:
The rectangle was an indistinct shape, a bit rectangular:
And there is a line of stones, a "wall" leading off diagonally from one corner:

So then, naturally, you go up the hill just to be systematic and the little pile you saw at the beginning turns out to be the tip of an iceberg - a marker pile "iceberg" with piles getting bigger the further and further you get from that original large rectangle (my interpretation).
Here is a panorama:

Over to the side (south) something to look at through the brush?
Larger piles, more broken down:

 And a nice combination of pile and boulder and pile
And then, at the very edge of a site, the biggest so far:
This is big enough to almost qualify as a "mound" itself. A nice slope:
By the way, Stow could be reasonably considered a suburb of Boston.

I want to emphasize the site layout that includes:
  • a grid of piles on a slope,
  • a rectangular structure at the high point of water adjacent to the slope. 
I see this layout in many places. When I see a grid, I hope to see rectangular structures in association with it. Just like last weekend where the rectangles only showed up in the highest valley below Ingalls Rd.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Cultivated fields 37 miles south of the arctic circle?

[Not rock pile related]. This picture has me mystified. What are those enclosed fields on the slope in the background?
3:33 into "Life Below Zero"Series 3, Episode 14. At a place called Kiwalik.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Rock Pile Next to a Gurgle

At Conscience Hill, Westford
At Marble Hill, Stow

Conscience Hill Westford

So many things, impossible to post simply. Marker Piles:
And more marker piles:
And more marker piles:
Still more marker piles:
Something different - up in the high valley below Ingalls Rd:
A rectangular platfom and a diagonal platform connecting to a large rectangle with a hollow -itself  connected to the wall. Like this:
Here is the large rectangle:
Here is another large rectangle nearby. These are all at the highest point of the water.
And another:
The "marker pile" at this point was huge:

Comments on Rolf Cachat-Schilling Lecture

It was kind of a "scene" at the Zion Lutheran Church in northern Worcester - a small group of Mass archaeological society ("MAS") members and a small group of people who heard about it from this blog. From the looks of it, MAS is not a large organization. There were technical difficulties until someone plugged the VGA cable into the correct port on the projector and then the lecture began - an hour late. The speaker derived his credibility from a Nipmuc background (his great aunts), from his contact with the Lenape, and from over 60 rock pile sites he has explored in Shutesbury. He proposed an empirical recording of features - so as to compare correlation to expected European agricultural features versus expected Native American ceremonial features - an approach promoted here and also by Curt Hoffman. Needless to say the numbers told a clear story: poor correlation to expected agrarian features, strong correlation to expected ceremonial features. But the talk was not really about numbers. It was about types of pile and types of site and typical site layout.

I enjoyed the talk thoroughly. It contained content beyond the generic message of connecting to "energies and...the Creator....", In fact, the content was largely the same as what I have been observing. Specifically:
  • a small variety of common structures and a very small variety of types of site
  • a number of uncommon structure types
  • most sites contain a combination of marker pile grids (my words) and burials 
The speaker also talked about two other common types: "turtle piles" and "concentric circle" ground piles. He showed a number of examples where the marker piles were on the west side, and the turtle piles on the east side. However, this is one place where I am confident that no such correlation exists. Marker piles are usually facing west  - on a flat slope that takes the morning sunrise. But they also appear east facing, presumably for the afternoon sun, and I know grids that face north and perhaps etc. 

Generally, I thought the speaker was on the right track but wrong in some of the particulars. He showed a pile with a beautifully built carpet of same-sized stones, and called it a "donation pile".  I would argue about that. He also made more out of ground piles than I would - I am not sure that concentric circles are anything other than the way you construct a pile. He mentioned counting the rocks in a pile and mentioned marker piles all being the same size - which I know is not true.

But those are minor quibbles. What really pleases me is to know that there are people out there who are observing carefully. They see much the same as what I see, and I do not need to worry the subject will be limited to spiritual, ethnographic, and anthropological approaches. As you know, I believe in letting the sites speak for themselves as much as possible.

He left me wondering:
  • How do you know it is a burial?
  • What was that about the right moment for passage of loved ones to the "beyond"?
  • Are they going to the sky or the underworld?

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Tonight in Worcester: be there or be square

Mass. Arch. Soc. Meeting RESCHEDULED

April Meeting, Sat. April 15 , 2017, Zion Lutheran Church, 41 Whitmarsh Avenue, Worcester MA
Remember to enter the Whitmarsh Street side of the church
7:30 Business Meeting: Janet Bessette
7:45 Refreshments: Alan Smith and Curtiss Hoffman
8:00 Lecture