Tuesday, September 16, 2014

High on a hill in Westminster

Designed for foot traffic. (Across the road and uphill from Redemption Rock.) Also, I thought this was kind of nice:

I am giving a talk at the Acton Library

On October 20th, 7PM. I will show a lot of pictures.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A few more features on North Manoosnoc

On the walk diagonally up from the foot of Mt Elam Rd to the northwest summit, I saw several interesting features. Two short stretches of wall and some propped slabs. 
Here is one short stretch. The upper end is just out of sight:
The upper end:
Later, higher on the hill, an older one:
You see little bits and pieces of stone lying around. Like it was a quarry. How did the place get this grass?
In the background:
I was going to dismiss this as a fireplace:
But then I realized the effort of lifting that slab of rock would be quite out of proportion with the needs for a temporary fireplace on the side of a hill.
Back near the bottom of the hill, a rare pile with white rocks, an "albino" pile:
It is too bad the mountain laurel is thick around the foot of the hill but it is a darn nice walk up to the summit and back.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Polypody ferns and ceremony

On the northeast slope of North Manoosnoc in Leominster I stopped to take a picture of one of my favorite ferns: the polypody which Thoreau called "cheerful little communities". They often grow out from between the rocks like this:
So I was admiring the outcrops, seeing a few things here and there that looked arranged, and sat down to enjoy the place. I was sitting right on top of one arrangement:
See how the entire crack has been stuffed with smaller fragments? 
Looking a little further down the rock, I noticed something else behind the next group of ferns.
A closeup:
[See Manitou p 275,300 for discussion of buckets and historic period ceremonialism.]
I have long thought this part of Leominster - called "Notown" - must have been where the Indians of Fitchburg were displaced to, when the Europeans arrived. Since the area is full of large stone mounds I believe it must have been an important center, even before the historic period. And now I see Notown is likely to have been all one and the same place - from the past into the historic. It was abandoned only recently and polypody grow there now.

Monday, September 08, 2014

"Ceremonial Stoneworks of the NorthEast"

A new blog from Matthew Howes [click here]. I added a permanent link on the right.

A broken point

You can sorta make out that this is a stemmed arrowhead with a damaged base and missing side.
Does anyone know the type? Here is a photo, the above was scanned:

Lewis Hollow land is ‘forever wild’

by VIOLET SNOW on Sep 8, 2014
Mt. Laurel School kids on a hike to the rock formations on Overlook Mountain.
    “A local private family foundation has purchased a 37-acre property on Overlook Mountain in Woodstock in order to preserve the land and its stacked rock formations, alleged to be of ancient origin. A Lewis Hollow neighbor has bought a nearby 45-acre parcel and placed a “forever wild” deed restriction on the land, protecting it from development. Glenn Kreisberg, who spearheaded formation of the Overlook Mountain Center (OMC) as a vehicle for protecting both properties, is also seeking to save a 30-acre area in lower Lewis Hollow.
    Kreisberg has studied and written about Overlook’s mysterious rock mounds and serpentine walls that he believes are Native American and ceremonial in origin. He hopes that purchase of the remaining 30-acre parcel will enable OMC to create an educational center at the former hunting lodge located on the property, as well as an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) limited-mobility wildernesses access area…”

 (I suppose "forever wild" all depends upon your definition of "wild," especially while walking around an "alleged ancient" Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscape...)

Top of Juniper Hill, Ashby MA

Juniper Hill in northeastern Ashby is not easy to get to. But I figured a way to park across the border in Mason NH and get into the woods and walk back south to the hill. It was somewhat difficult going with mountain laurel, so I was pushed higher and did not get to explore the wet areas around the hill.
The summit is a typical Massachusetts hilltop. And I saw a small cluster of rock piles:
Here is one of them:
It is a bit suggestive of a prayer seat. Note the rock inside the "U" is white:
Sometimes I get the impression that a prayer seat has been blocked off, after use. The white rock here might have this role. [Update: For what it is worth,I thought white rocks amplify rather than block - making this a strange configuration].
Here is the other large pile a few feet away:
Note the large triangular rock. It is pointing in the direction of the first pile, which is the direction of the opening of the "U", as you can see in this next picture:
The stone walls are quit fine up there:

Saturday, September 06, 2014

NEARA Fall Meeting

From the New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA):

A .pdf version of the NEARA Fall 2014 Meeting Notice has been posted to the NEARA web site home page. Home http://www.neara.org You can also now register online by clicking a link on the home page. It's quick and easy and saves on postage and paper!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Stone cultural features and ceremonial landscapes Roundtable


Corrected Date and Time:
 Saturday, November 8, 2014 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
     Please join us for another rousing Native American-Archaeology Round Table with outstanding presentations and panel discussions by New England professional archaeologists and Native American leadership.
     This year's Roundtable will explore stone cultural features and ceremonial sites/landscapes. Our diverse group of speakers will share their experiences and knowledge about this expansive category of cultural features. Until recently, stone cultural features have gone largely undocumented by cultural resource professionals while working in the field. The explicit goal is to introduce new information and elicit suggestions for how professional archaeologists can consider and record this variety of cultural resource in future investigations.

     Scheduled speakers and panelists include CT State Archaeologist Dr. Brian Jones; Rhode Island State Archaeologist Dr. Timothy Ives; CT State Historic Preservation Officer Daniel Forrest; Schaghticoke elder Trudie Richmond; Mohegan Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Elaine Thomas; Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Kathy Knowles; Mohegan elder Faith Davison; Eastern Pequot Vice-Chair Brenda Geer; authors and stone structure researchers James Gage and Mary Gage; Mohawk-Abenaki engineering consultant Donald Aubrey; archaeologists Dr. Greg Walwer and Dr. Curtiss Hoffman; and geographer Dr. William Ouimet.

   Held every year in autumn, the Archaeology Roundtable consists of presentations and panel discussions on a particular theme. Previous themes include Native Conflict; Peopling Of The New World; and Archaeology's Role & Responsibility In Contemporary Politics. Presenters and panelists include respected archaeologists and anthropologists, as well as prominent figures and leaders from the Native American community.
The Roundtable is a free event and audience participation is encouraged.