Monday, July 16, 2007
Stiles Hill Boylston, MA
I was at a curious site this weekend on a hill with a tall radio tower that you can see to the north as you drive on Rt 290 between Northborough and Boylston on the way to Worcester. I could not figure out if the site was ceremonial or random rock disposal; or when it had come about as a site. At first I walked up the gradual western slope below the radio tower and I saw what looked like loose dumped lines of rocks:There was also what looked like a terrace or a road bed. Then, as I continued to try to dismiss the material I came to one rock pile that did look kind of deliberate. Notice the white item towards the center of the pile. Here is a detail: This is the neck portion of a porcelain vase with a raised pattern of blue on a white background. The word "Victorian" comes to mind but, of course, I have no idea when it was from or when it was used in a rock pile. It seems deliberate to me and, if it is, then the pile is at least as young as the pot. As I looked around for more piles, there were a few indistinct traces: And some other, quite distinctly well built piles, at least this one: And then another similar curved elongated rock pile, that looked like it might have somehow been dumped, like the piles I saw at first (left side of the first picture above). But this one looked slightly more compact and more like a pile: Still, I could not convince myself this was a ceremonial site. I started to think it was a mixture of different things. Then I came across the footings to the radio tower: And then the radio tower itself, towering so high over head I had to look straight up to see it. There was a good deal of soil disturbance and loose rocks on the surface along the sides of the path of the tower's cables. All of the loose rocks I had been seeing could be accounted for the result of the tower construction. But somehow I felt that the better piles I was seeing would have been older than the tower. Then I saw this pile with a recent (beer?) bottle inserted into it This was close the the path of the tower cables and I imagined a workman taking a picnic break here and, for some reason interacting with an existing rock pile. But then also the radio tower by itself makes this a special location. Was the tower here before the rock piles? Hard to say and all with that bit of broken vase. I try to put this all together but a simple answer eludes me.