Saturday, July 28, 2007

Quartz Rock Piles from west/central Georgia

Reader coferrells send this in:
I have a lot of white quartz/quartzite rock piles on a hill side that faces east. They are anywhere from a couple feet across to several feet across and range from a foot tall to a couple feet tall. They have been there a long time. The rocks range in size from an orange to a large honeydew. There is one pile that is probably the biggest and it is probably six feet across and at least 2 ft tall. Right in the middle on top is a piece of rock (I think its granitic gneiss which is the predominant rock here). There really is not a lot of quartz around the property, just in the piles. We find a LOT of quartz and quartzite projectile points in the pasture below. Do you think they might be Indian graves. I really do not want them bothered if they are. People have asked me what the rock piles are and I usually tell the they are farmers' rock piles. Then they always ask where the farmers got all that quartz... These piles are in west/central Georgia.

In pic 506, you can see multiple mounds going up the hill.
Incidentally the points we find here are from the Archaic Indians, very old. These mounds appear to be very old.

Pic 508 is one of the piles that has a single piece of granite in the middle.
Pic 507 has a camera case that is 6"long and 4" wide for comparison to the rocks.
And 511 is a pile. These are not all of them, just a few. There are a couple that have been tumbled.But yes, my conetention has always been they were probably prehistoric and that no farmer would pile only white quartz...on the TOP of a ridge.

One other thing. These piles are on an east facing ridge overlooking a valley with a creek at the bottom. It is a nice view.

[Note from pwax] With the exception of some small assemblages of quartz which could be called a "pile", I haven't seen anything like these pure quartz piles up here in the northeast. If anyone else knows of some, please leave a comment. As I recall, there is an Eagle Mound, also in Georgia ,made or at least surfaced with quartz - leading me to wonder if this use of quartz isn't a particular and identifiable tradition from that area.

13 comments :

pwax said...

I also want to make a comment about the fact that this information comes from Georgia. Looking over the visitor logs there are always more visitors from Georgia than anywhere else in the south. I thought this was because I posted some information about "Little Mullberry Park", a common search term. But it seems as if there is either an increased awareness of rock piles in Georgia, for some reason, or else there are just a awful lot of rock piles down there. But it is interesting that we have heard from VA and from W.VA and from Georgia several times. What about the Carolinas? The Arkansas, etc? I am sure they have rock piles in those states too.

Geophile said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Geophile said...

Wow! Those are beautiful. Does anyone know where the quartz comes from? Is there a vein of it nearby in the gneiss or does it come from further away?

I live near an outcropping of quartz, some of which has small but nice crystals in it, and there are small piles of it but I think they're just places where the farmers tossed stones out of their fields, because there are so many big quartz stones all around. This place in Georgia is very different. I'll bet the piles look great on a moonlit night.

I'd be interested to hear any further information on this site.
Thanks,
geophile

JimP said...

There is a large quartz pile on the Panther Orchard Farm property abutting the Miner Farm.

Anonymous said...

There is a large, mostly quartz cairn on Breakneck Hill in S. Pomfret, VT, and a quartz platform in Rochester, VT.

Norman

Treehugger said...

I just googled quartz arrowheads,and this post of yours from a reader in Georgia came up.

I live in Atlanta. 20 years ago, hunting for shells on the beach at Hilton Head, South Carolina, I found a perfect quartz arrowhead. Tomorrow, at one of our state parks, Etowah Indian Mounds, in Cartersville, an archaeologist is dating artificats for free.

I have a contest going at work. One person says the arrowhead is 225 years old. Another 150. I think it's a heck of a lot older than that. Anyone want to guess?

Also, could you please put me in touch with this reader in Georgia? Or let them know about the event tomorrow? The state park's website is www.gastateparks.org. Mine is www.katherineskitchen.squarespace.com.

Lovely site you have here. I will return.

Rick Garrett said...

The Woodsman Sage reports
I have found several quartz piles of different sizes & shapes. My most interesting find was six perfect quartz arrowheads and one extraordinary obsidian arrowhead
with a blue band running through the middle. these arrowheads are made from gem quality stone and were found inside a clay pot with a lid. The pot was broken but still pretty much intact. the obsidian head was so sharp my brother cut his finger while handling it. I would like to know how an arrowhead made from volcanic glass found its way to middle Ga. wikinson county ?

Deanna said...

We live in North Augusta,SC, very close to the Savannah River. We have found the same thing. Three piles of rocks, same as in the pics above, lined up along the east side of the hill, with a creek in the valley. The river is not far from these, either. In the same area, in the river, we have Indian fishing wiers, and artifacts are found all the time. I have been researching the Archaic Indians that have been living the Savannah River Valley, and evidence of their life here is constantly being discovered. Just wanted to let pwax know that yes, we have them here too, just not documented too much, at least what I can find the on the net. Thanks for the info though, the article straighten out some things for me.

Anonymous said...

I have found the same thing. Rock piles east side of hill overlooking a creek. North Georgia

Anonymous said...

This type of stone pile (sometimes referred to as 'cairn') can be found across the Southeastern United States. I have found many of these in the Northeast Georgia area, and I have found these similar characteristics: they are mostly found on hillsides or ridges and placed towards the east or southeast, with a creek or river below. And I have also noticed that the quartz stones seemed to have been carried for some distance, unlike stone piles created by farmers clearing fields.

A noted certified archeaologist has studied such stone piles and he was unable to reach a definitive conclusion. Even those with similar outward appearances could have differing origins, from Native American to recent creation.

However, his conclusion was that such piles SHOULD be reviewed by an archeaologist as they could well be of Historical Native American origin.

Also, some historians have noted a possible connection to the Yuchi tribe (also seen spelled as Euchee or Uchee.) The Uchee were noted for their stone pile creations. Furthermore, while doing my own research, I was contacted by a professor who was studying a possible link between this tribe and Siberia or Central Asia, as these same stone cairns can be found there.

Anonymous said...

I also should have added that in the early 2000s, I invited a professor of anthropology to visit a site of stone piles, including one large "pile" in excess of 100 feet long and 20 feet wide that runs downhill towards what is now simply a creek. Upon seeing the stone piles, he stated they were consistent with Hopewell era, of Native American origin.

pwax said...

Note this in the comment above:

"Even those with similar outward appearances could have differing origins, from Native American to recent creation"

It is a fallacy to view "Native American" as contradicting "recent creation"

Anonymous said...

The "Augusta/McCormick" area quartz can be found down on the coast. The small piles I have seen were on the west bank (west being the direction toward Savannah River)