Thursday, January 17, 2019

genetics nonsense

[Not rock pile related]

I am going to quote a paragraph here, from

Over the past several years, multiple teams of researchers have conducted studies with the goal of learning more about what has happened with the Neandertal DNA that became mixed with human DNA approximately 45,000 years ago. Most have agreed that introduction of DNA from Neandertals underwent negative selection and thus has slowly diminished—at least in modern Europeans. In this new effort, the researchers have found evidence that suggests these earlier results were wrong, and that there is no evidence of negative selection. They further contend that the reason the other researchers got it wrong was because they made incorrect assumptions about between non-Africans (Europeans) and Africans.

Note that "most" researchers got it wrong because of "incorrect assumptions about gene flow...". You wonder, what kind of journals published this research that was largely confused about basic assumptions? Also how can the "evidence" of the earlier papers become the "no evidence" of the later paper? Suppose, for example, they were papers about the color of a flower; and rewrite the phrases. You have "most have agreed the flower was pink" and now there is "no evidence the flower is pink". Given these contradictions you have to ask: what kind of a standard for "evidence" exists in a subject that can do such a reversal?

The conclusion is that there is no such thing as "evidence" for DNA comparisons. Consequently [I will take this to the extreme], one should assume all genetic evidence related to Native Americans and peopling of the New World is suspect of being just an expression of "incorrect assumptions about gene flow" by researchers.

Don't get me wrong. There is certainly worthwhile science to do with genetic comparisons. The problem is that it is so easy to introduce bias. You would think the journals might have a clue about this.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Different Mound Shapes and "Apalachia"

For those not put off by the "People of One Fire" point of view, you may find this interesting. It describes differences in origin for three different groups called "Apalachian". Each had different styles of mound.

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Rattlesnake Eye and Scales (PA)

"Hey, what's up with that one?" I asked John Martin a while back:
A day or two or three ago, he went back up to the "stone wall" to capture more images:
Of course I'm reminded of this:
Either some kind of great cosmic coincidence is going on or this is intentionally realistic and anatomically correct for the species:
He was thinking of that too because I'd sent him that - and this as well:
"Anyone can say it's a Big Snake," it's true,
 But now and again a Stone Structure says it too:
Added 01/04/2018
Same "Squamation" in a MA Chamber:

A few more examples:

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Could this be a turtle?

Reader RC asks.

He writes:
I found your site when searching for information on prehistoric rock Cairns after reading a local history book that my wife gave me for Christmas.  I remembered having this stack of stones on my property.  I cut away some willows today and this is what I found. Interesting in that there are other stones on the ground around it and remnants of a stone wall about 25 feet away.  I would be curious what you think.  I am located in Otsego County, New York State. 

Monday, December 31, 2018

Year in Review - 2018

The year 2018 was slow, with fewer new sites than in the past. I am exploring less, the drives are getting longer, and I moved my base from Concord to the Cape. These days, I only explore on weekends when I make the drive back and forth.

New sites were reported from Georgia and South Carolina and, generally, public awareness has continued to expand, both at the state level and the town level. The Native Americans and Doug Harris have been rolling out aggressive outreach campaigns.

-- SITES --
(near) Nod Brook Groton
Howard Brook in Northboro - some fine sites along the brooks of the "Fish and Wildlife" area, south of Mt Pisgah.

"Debunking Stone Wall Myths"
Excellent argument on "crazy" stone walls not being post-colonial

South Justice Hill - the best and only large site I found this year.

There were several smaller sites in the valley between the hill and S. Princeton center:

I start exploring to the south, in place like Foxboro and Stoughton:
I explore southern Franklin State Forest:

Still further south at the edge of Wrentham: - mounds (still) have hollows:
September, more Wrentham [no more hollows]:
I get a little miffed about the spread of fake history:

I start calling damaged mounds "Wrentham Pavements":
and (in November)
They seem to all be like this, from Wrentham on south. However, fresher mounds were still to be seen in that area.

Finally, a major site is seen, shown to me by reader "bd" in Wrentham State Forest. It has many varieties of "mound-with-hollow", mostly of the mid-sized sort. From classic:
To multi-chambered:

Also, the kind of "pavement" I am have come to expect in this part of the state:
[or perhaps not? The typical "Wrentham" style is a pile spilling over the edge of a bluff, above a wetland.]


Cairns and Copper Mines: Drummond Wisconsin.

Chatahoochee National Forest:
Pickens County, SC:

Some links:
Finger Lakes area of NY 
A Wall Site in Bartow Co., GA
Poconos Rock Piles 
Another Stone Complex (GA) 
Rock Piles on a Farm in Saskatchewan 
Ontario "Megaliths" 
Mounds with hollows - headwaters of the Susquehan... 
Negwegon Stone Piles - Michigan 


"Let the Landscape Speak:"

Doug Harris's schedule gets filled:

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Some good 2018 memories

2018 was another tough year for searching for arrowheads. In recent weeks I have spent hardly any time searching. Looking back at the things I found this year, I do have some nice memories. Here are the results of three good days from back in May and June.

On a Friday after work I visited a favorite spot. The weather was perfect, I was in a good mood and I have very many times had some luck on Friday evenings, starting my weekend. This one was really easy to spot.
Totally exposed and just waiting to be picked up.
I like the asymmetrical shape, with one strong and one weak shoulder. The shape of the base is somewhat suggestive of the Orient Fishtail type but I have found several quartz Lamoka and Squibnocket Stemmed points at this site.
There were some other fragments out there to find too. Pretty good for a short walk.
One morning after some heavy rain I stopped by another favorite spot. It didn't take long to spot this quartz stemmed point. This place has produced many Lamoka, Wading River and Squibnocket Stemmed points, mostly quartz with just a few made of argillite or quartzite.
This is a nice complete point, still sharp. It is small but thin and nicely made.
This was nearby.
It is the same shape as the other one, but thicker, a little chunky. The material is gray, a sort of smoky quartz. There is damage to the tip.
As usual, there were some broken points to find also. It is a good feeling to search for arrowheads and actually find something.
The best 2018 find I have to show is not even mine. It was found by my friend Dave, at a site he discovered. Earlier in the spring I had found some nice stemmed points made of interesting materials at this site, which I posted about here and here. Dave had found a big broken blade but not too much else this year. That all changed when he happened to see this. But was it damaged?
This beautiful Neville point is made of a striped felsite that I believe comes from Mattapan. I also have a nice Neville in this material from this site but this is the best point I have seen found there. This is about as nice of a point as someone in Massachusetts is likely to be able to find, in my opinion. I was happy for Dave and it was fun seeing this come out of the ground. Neville points appeared about 8,000 years ago, they seem to have been most common 6,000-7,000 years ago.

I hope everyone has a great New Year and finds plenty of whatever they are looking for in 2019!