Thursday, July 20, 2006

Turtle Cairns In Rhode Island

by JimP

An obvious pattern is evident in possible turtle cairns found in Rhode Island. I'm interested if anyone out there has seen cairns of similar construction. This first one above is from a site I've called The Queen's Cairns on the Exeter/West Greenwich line. This is perhaps the finest construction of any I have seen. Note the rounded back and distinctive rock protruding from the front which likely serves as the head of the turtle.
The next one above is a Larry Harrop photo taken at Parker Woodland in Coventry, RI. Note, once again, the distinctive protruding head. This one seems to have been built with a possible niche between what would be the front legs of the turtle.
Above is another Larry Harrop photo, this one taken at the Miner Farm at Tomaquag. Once again you see the distinctive rock possibly used as the head of the turtle. Having seen this one in person I can say that the head does indeed protrude, but not as much as the others.
The last one above is a Larry Harrop photo taken at the Watemoonsuck site in Hopkinton. This one seems identifiable only by its distinctive head rock protruding from the front -- a rock very similar to the others pictured above. It appears this cairn has been damaged either by collapse, perhaps a falling tree limb, or someone who removed the stones for some other use. The site does show evidence of multiple uses over multiple generations.

Here's an earlier post from Peter Waksman on this blog regarding this very topic which includes a couple more photos of similar cairns.

If anyone knows of more cairns of like construction please contact me by e-mail -- (remember to remove NOSPAM from the address before sending.)


pwax said...

Wonderful examples and great pictures.

Tim MacSweeney said...

Thought I sent in a comment about Tom Paul's Hammonassett articles in the NEARA archives where he shows some similar piles - that I'd love to see in person.