Saturday, May 28, 2016

Into oblivion

     This spring, I returned to several places where I once found arrowheads only to find mountains of dirt and fill and new foundations for new homes. No original ground surface remains. Those sites have been destroyed and are gone forever.
     Most of my arrowheads are from southeastern Massachusetts. This area is being developed at an incredible rate. I realize that at some point I may see houses going up in every place where I once spent hours slowly searching for traces of Stone Age man.
     Last night Dave and I took a short walk by some new foundations in a place that we knew had been documented as a site where artifacts were found in the past. Heaps of fill covered most of the ground and there was only a small area that still looked like the disturbed remnant of what was the original ground surface. Few rocks were visible but Dave spotted this and I was really jealous.

     Developers plan this construction, local politicians approve it, construction workers carry it out. How many of them realize what is lost when places like this are bulldozed? How many would ever care?
     Few archaeologists conduct excavations anymore, preferring to leave sites in the ground for the future. A noble idea- but when the future comes, how many sites will be left?

Friday, May 27, 2016

A small featurless site, Brush Hill Sherborn

I described a site at the lower blue outline here. I also found rock piles at the upper blue outline, downhill and west of where the power lines cross Perry St. Here, along the edge of the swamp was a messy scatter of piled rocks. Sometimes they would separate and group up into what was an identifiable rock pile, then the mess continued - following along the edges of the wet area. Finally the piles got better formed and started to be evenly spaced and in lines. And then there were two parallel lines of evenly spaced piles forming a bit of a "grid". So it sort of became a marker pile site at one end.
This gives a good idea:
Nothing much to see. But I followed it along for a few paces thinking it was at least a deliberate construction of some kind:
What are we looking at here?
In the end, with piles like this:
It certainly qualifies as a "rock pile" site. And at this end, it is starting to show some inter-pile arrangement:
And some piles with outline structure:
We have seen things like this before. At Borderland State Park, at Birch Hill (NH), and in Acton. Pretty much everywhere. The last picture, with an outline and a larger rock to the side, is certainly familiar.
I have a "principle" which may be useful or not. It says:
The more widespread a pattern is the older it is. 
Accordingly, this is an old site for an observable reason and a theoretical one: it is decrepit and its patterns are widespread.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A wall anomaly

This looks rather intentional:
Any theories? (Same part of Brush Hill as previous post).

A simple ceremonial site - Northwestern Brush Hill, Sherborn

On a slope above a wetland, a few rock piles scattered around a boulder:
That's what a simple site looks like. This one is from west of Hunting Rd.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Reader Linda writes:

I enjoy your site very much. I've checked in for years. I'm from Massachusetts and I'm happy to say my back hill in Monson is sprinkled with megaliths and covered with many interesting stones. There is one very large megalith with the most interesting features of all, which includes cupmarks, white quartz blocks that circle the stone, and other interesting features.

There are also what appear to be lintels, about half a dozen, one of them a two-tiered lintel - photos attached. I started digging a smaller one out and it does have sides as you'd expect from a cave entrance. And here's a link to many more photos - I'd love to know what you think!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Aboriginal Alpine Ceremonialism in the White Mountains, California

"At 3,609 m. (11,840 ft.) elevation in the White Mountains of Eastern California is a site containing 216 rock features consisting of cairns, pits, and other stacked-rock constructions but very few artifacts. Two obsidian bifaces, two milling tools, and lichenometric dating point towards site occupation between 440 and 190 cal B.P., contemporaneous with the White Mountains Village Pattern, which was marked by intensive seasonal occupations of multi-family groups in the alpine ecozone of the range. Though the site’s features are similar to facilities associated with artiodactyl hunting across the American West, their diversity, abundance, and distribution are more consistent with ceremonially-oriented sites on the Plains, in the Mojave Desert, and especially on the Plateau. This, in conjunction with the site’s setting, suggests that there were ritual functions associated with the site, and that the ceremonial use of high-altitudes has been overlooked in the region’s research history."

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hopping Brook is under threat of development

The site I have been reporting on here and here had some orange surveyor's flags. It is confirmed that these are from development planning.

Day of Rememberance - Nolumbeka

From the Nolumbeka project:

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Hopping Brook in Holliston - part two

Continuing from here. I went to a lower "Hopping Brook Rd 2", parked again and walked in past a sandpit to an entrance to the woods.
Again I was drawn to the left and upward (upper blue outline):
I spotted a rock pile beyond the wall:
Going over there, I entered an area of many small rock piles:

They continued up the hillside:
 Some with vertical sides:
 Some in a line, evenly spaced:
This is called a "marker pile" site. It partakes of the ruler, grid, and calendar. The component rocks are large:
And it seemed the higher on the hill, the taller the piles. Perhaps they were to be viewed from below.
Some artistic experiments:

Arctic Cairns

From Norman Muller: