Thursday, August 30, 2007

Vandals damage Nipsachuk cairn

Norman Muller writes:
One of the cairns at the N. Smithfield site in RI was broken into. Attached is a photo of it.


[photo removed at the request of the -author]

18 comments :

pwax said...

Some comments:
The excavation started with a careful removal of the smaller stones, which are visible as a ring at the outermost periphery from the hole.

Four or more large elongated rocks were found underneath the layer of smaller rocks. Having this many large rocks of the same size and shape suggests a purpose.

The digging is down 8 inches or so below the soil surface and stopped underneath one of the large rocks at the center of the hole. This hints that perhaps the "search" stopped here and was un-successful.

Geophile said...

This is the problem we face as sites become better known.

The picture certainly shows that this pile had structure and wasn't just a random pile of stones as some people claim.

JimP said...

That makes me so angry I could throttle the person that did it. I don't believe this was done by some pot-hunter who read about the site -- it looks to me like it was someone who had a vested interest.

pwax said...

Why do you think that Jim?

Anonymous said...

This was Narragansett Imrpovement Co. trying to prove that they're not "graves" so that they can go on with their very profitable gravel removal project(not home development)

pwax said...

Is that true about Narragansett Imp. Co.? Any more information?

JimP said...

I think that because of the time, care, and methodical nature of the excavation. It seems to me, and this is just my opinion, that the time and effort that was put into damaging that pile is more consistent with someone who had something emotionally invested, rather than merely someone trying to find an artifact or two for their collection. It's almost as if the pile was autopsied.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Hey, at least this pile was 'searched' unlike 99.99% of all piles destroyed daily during development. Unfortunatly this may likely be the fate of all the piles at this site. Developers are ruthless in their quests. this ongoing saga is getting ugly...
Keith

pwax said...

Jim, there is something to what you say. There is the sense of "inside job". Why else pick this one rock pile? Someone would need to know where the piles are in the woods and that, by itself, suggests the kind of intimacy you are talking about.

Geophile said...

But wouldn't they have dug deeper if they were looking for a burial?

JimP said...

Not when your time and resources are limited.

Anonymous said...

Quite possible, perhaps, and likely, this is one of the piles that was (is) being studied by the researchers. I know we have all been waiting patiently on the report! They were supposed to have started searching though some recently. What we are seeing is a piles disection. This is what a dig looks like, messy but organized. We have never seen a pile studied before so we may be jumping to conclusions it is vandals.
Did you see any other piles there that were being taken apart?
Keith

pwax said...

We know that the photo, now removed, came for some one assisting with the dig there. They reported it as vandalism, not part of the dig.

Anonymous said...

This pile was also on private property NOT belonging to Narragansett Improvement and not on their land. If it were Narragansett Improvement, wouldn't they dig on their own land?

JimP said...

There are more parties involved in this than Narragansett Improvement. It could've been anyone with a vested interest in the controversy. And just because this pile was not on their property doesn't mean they are removed from a list of suspects. A perfect way to avoid suspicion would be to tear apart a pile not on their land.

pwax said...

I agree with Jim P about it looking like a "vested interest" but I don't agree in assuming the culprit is the Naragansett Improvement Co. In my experience, people whose fixed ideas are being challenged (by reality) often get angry.

Anonymous said...

There is private property next the the proposed development that has rock piles which are being researched by specialists. The property owners have been very secretive and do not want to be identified. The researchers have been closed lip about their findings. Also, the researchers have been very outspoken about preserving the piles on the proposed development. It could be that this is a photo of the research?

I found it odd that the pile was so close to a path. The piles in those woods are mostly hidden on hills, away from paths.

Anonymous said...

I saw that picture and am not clear why it was removed. You should have left it up instead of hiding it away / sweeping it under the rug. Secondly, If I had nefarious intentions, I would not have picked a pile right by a trail where it would be discovered quickly nor take a chance at being seen. I think there is more to the story.