Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Multi feature site from northeast Pennsylvania

Reader Heather T, sent these pictures [and captions] from the land she manages. Currently under threat of development. Comments may be helpful. 
Cairn Cylinder:
A Huge Beauty:
More cylinder style:
Wall with crystal:
 Wall with horseshoe cut out:
Found under ledges:
Found on ground, don't know what it is:

Serpent Gateway (CT)

    I’ve driven right by this Site more times than I can remember, going up to where my Grandson’s Dad has lived for quite a few years, trespassed on the edges, and now find it’s a new parcel of open space, under the stewardship an organization that oversees the largest number of properties/acreage in the area – and the director is interested in Indigenous Stone Features of the Cultural Sacred Landscape.
Rough site map.
    So I’m learning this Site, getting it into my own cognitive map in my mind and trying to put it down in words, photos, drawings and on some actual maps – or at least into maps in some computer files since the cost of printer ink would break me...
  The linear row/serpent turns to a zigzag row of stones/serpent as it heads into the rather stony riparian zone, a stonework border visible here and there on the western edge above a (possibly Indigenous-made) earth and stone causeway.  As I headed uphill, I observed numerous boulders with cobbles placed on them, came across a substantial row of stones, a circular mound of stones, a sort of "dot" row of stones (maybe just the high points of a debris buried less substantial row?), more gateways and more stone piles. I revisited a serpent {Serpent Surprise}, pondered a "mining site," and a partially mortared square foundation. I've put together a Flickr album if you'd like to see more:
    This possible grinding slick was one interpretation of one of the "cobbles on boulders:"

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Coming up...

Note the pathway.

In the field

with me (a bit distorted):

Moose Hill - Sharon

This is a likely looking place on the topo map but turned out to be a well-used woods, mostly dry. I would save energy and not go again.
There were a few interesting walls up along the outcrops. It was too thick to get in, down by the water. It is nice, though, to get to the tops of these Massachusetts hills.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Mine Site (WI)

More of Todd Rongstad's SACRED GROUND DOCUMENTARY SERIES, this one

featuring Christopher Veit, Gathering Waters Archaeology, LLC. talking about fire and Indigenous mining. There's a few more recent related posts, showing some fine stone working of projectile points here: Todd Rongstad's YouTube Channel

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Soggy Vegetables? A "root cellar" from Norman Muller

Diver finds petroglyph submerged in Connecticut River since 1909 (VT)

By Chris Mays

BRATTLEBORO VT — "Around the time Annette Spaulding started SCUBA diving in the Connecticut River nearly 30 years ago, she came across an old article referencing a petroglyph along the river in Brattleboro. 
   The article included a description by Edward Augustus Kendall, a translator, social campaigner and miscellaneous writer, who had observed the rock carving in 1806 and 1807.
   "A single dot or hollow is made to serve for both the nose and mouth," he said. "No ears are given to the human heads." The petroglyph had "two distinct feathers or antennas" atop its head…
   "It could be possibly Abenaki but no one knows exactly because there's no documentation of how old it even is," said Spaulding, who lives in Rockingham. "Nothing verifies what Indian tribe carved it, but it's very similar to the ones in Bellows Falls. That's the big mystery."
Annette Spaulding, a master diver, has spent roughly the past 25 years looking for the petroglyph located at the mouth of the West River. (Photo(s):Kristopher Radder / Brattleboro Reformer Staff)
     I found this image of (possibly) some quartz veins in the stone that seemed interesting as perhaps some naturally occurring “ambient images” that might remind a person of Great Serpents – or Water Serpents, Horned Serpents, Underwater Panthers etc.
    These veins reminded me of some images I’d seen and mistakenly thought were from Bellows Falls VT, but are actually in Maine and Canada that I’d seen in “A Possible Water Serpent Effigy at Site R7-2, Rochester, Vermont” {http://rock-piles.com/R7-2/} by Norman E. Muller (2007):
 (Fig. 16 above, Fig. 17 below)
“…Snakes or serpents are common to the mythology of many Indian tribes from South and Central America, where it is the feathered serpent.  In North America it is the water serpent.  As the Vastokases have written, “the dwelling places of these great snakes are the insides of hills near lakes, where underground passageways provide access to the water” and the meaning of snakes to the Algonkians was multi-layered.  “They may represent the powers of evil and darkness in their manifestations as fish-tailed or horned monsters, but they can also signify the energy of life and the powers of regeneration; in myths they sometimes function as vehicles of transition for the soul’s journey to the netherworld” (Vastokas & Vastokas 1973:95).   To Barnouw (1977:18) “great horned serpents appear as entrance-way guardians.  The bridge crossing over a river into the land of the souls is a serpent disguised as a log.”  Images of these creatures appear in the Peterborough petroglyphs (Fig. 16) and in a petroglyph at Emden, Maine (Fig. 17), among other places.  Interestingly, the Kennebec River in Maine, in the Algonkian language, means serpent (Brinton 1868: 108) {Norman Muller on Water Serpent Effigies: http://rock-piles.com/R7-2/page3.html}.
   Looking at images of the Bellows Falls faces, I did not notice (or notice that anyone else noticed and photographed) any quartz veins that might resemble something serpent, but I was a little intrigued about the cracks in the stone that might have been a little humanly enhanced that brings up the possibility of some serpent connections and the many legends of shape shifting humans and Great or Horned or Water Serpents: 

   Some of those squiggles remind me very much of some naturally occurring (and maybe humanly enhanced) "meandering" veins in stone below some "meandering" - and possibly Serpent-like - pictographs in this news story photo from a little over a year ago:
    And I get a security warning when I try to get back to the online source of this photo, so please, don’t try this at home – bad things could happen. I did talk about the photo and the cracks and the ancient images with Jannie Loubser who appears in this photo – and about naturally occurring veins as a sort of variant of and placement of rock art near and more in other conversations, finding there is often a connection between all of the above – so maybe there actually is something significant in those quartz veins in those underwater photos of that petroglyph so recently found by Ms. Spaulding.
     And there may be more to come about those thoughts. Proving once again that social media was created to talk about interesting stones, I first heard about the Brattleboro story from a post by a fellow who is interested in this ceremonial stone business who said, “Way to go Mom!” above the link to this news story…

So, Exactly What Is A "Stonefort"?

(Tommy Hudson's comment to an earlier recent post led me to this - thanks Tommy!)
     "This one-third of a mile loop trail took us on a tour of an ancient "stonefort", one of ten wall-like structures, constructed entirely of heavy stone, believed to have been erected in the Late Woodland period between 600AD - 900AD in Southern Illinois. Each of these ancient arrangements have been discovered on top of hills or promontories and were once believed to have been used as some type of stone fortification, thus giving them the name "Stonefort". These unique walls, consisting of heavy stones, are now believed to have been constructed as meeting places or perhaps ceremonial locations. The original wall that sat atop this particular trail was actually removed, dismantled by early European settlers to the area, who used the heavy stones as building materials. The low stone base is all that really remains of the original site, however, in 1934 the Civilian Conservation Corps (whom I can't thank enough) rebuilt the wall into the site that we see today. During the reconstruction of the wall, the CCC found many Native American artifacts including a good deal of pottery. "I personally love sites like this that carry that hint of ancient mystery, sites such as this and Rock Pile Mountain always pique my curiosity of early Native Americans and, while marveling at their accomplishments and ingenuity, I also find myself theorizing on what these sites may have been used for..."
     Text and photos above are from "Giant City State Park: Stonefort Nature Trail" (Blog post for Monday, November 3, 2014 by Shannon Buford), found at: 
     And that "Rock Pile Mountain" link reveals an interesting image – and: “A word of warning, there are many different "rock piles" on the peak of this mountain, obviously created either as a cruel joke or as an homage to the real rock pile itself…According to what I've read this ancient circle of granite rock is believed to have been piled near the very peak of Rock Pile Mountain by some earlier man. The original Rock Pile, for which this entire area and mountain was named, was over four foot tall. However, according to some accounts I have read, due to present day travelers and inconsiderate visitors the Rock Pile now is just over a foot or two in areas, but you can certainly see that it is created by man, for some purpose...The exact purpose, well, we'll most likely never know…”
“Finding a spot of enlightenment and my center, in the Rock Pile.”

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Cooper's Hawk

[Regular rock pile exploration to resume in ~2 weeks. Meanwhile...]