I find Adjunct Professor Meli's certainty that this is a burial site disturbing. Read how, in the course of a couple of paragraphs that certainty becomes an established fact. Comments on this topic are most welcome, especially from anyone who knows Meli, or has information about the site.
"...“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said William S. Simmons, a Brown University professor, chair of the anthropology department and expert in New England tribal folklore. “These are definitely human construction. Whoever built these built them carefully. ... One thing you can say about it for sure is that it’s old.”
Frederick F. Meli, an adjunct professor in anthropology at the University of Rhode Island, has toured the area four times. He said he found more cairns in the surrounding woods. He said he is certain they mark a burial ground.
“That type of burial mound is consistent with peoples in this area,” he said of the burial styles of New England’s native tribes.
THE ACADEMICS were brought to the woodland site by Wilfred Greene, chief of the Seaconke Wampanoags, whose tribal name is Eagle Heart. Greene and his 250-member tribe have appointed themselves the spiritual caretakers of the site in hope that the rediscovered burial ground might help the rebirth of their tribe...."
This really bother me, so I offer Meli a challenge: instead of lecturing innocent Indians and reporters of the Providence Journal, come over to this blog and explain yourself to the real rock-pile community. How do you know this is a burial ground? What research or scholarship do you have to back up your claim? What is the basis for your expertise?