Wednesday, January 31, 2007
I visited this place a few weeks ago (see here) and I again parked on Concord Rd just left of the first "S" in "SSF" on the map fragment. At this point, you can see a couple of rock piles next to the road. From there I walked south east and downhill till I crossed the main dirt road through there. There was a stone wall parallel to the road and, downhill beyond it, what looked like an isolated bit of wall by itself - possibly a rock pile. When I went down to take a closer, sure enough, it was a pile.
We are at the edge of the conservation land and you can see the houses in the background. The view is roughly to the south. There were three of four piles like this, badly damaged, on a small knoll, nestled in a little bend in the brook. It was a place where you could hear the water gurgling in the brook (see here)..As you can see, these would have been reasonably large piles made from larger rocks about 10-20 inches in diameter.There was one little wedged split:
There were also a number of things so badly damaged and running together that I could not make out any part of what the structure was before.I have a number of other pictures from this site but they do not seem to tell much.
At some point there should be an accounting for the different proportions of rock piles at different sites. Here the piles are -so- big with component rocks on the average -so- big. And these proportions are typical of rock piles found from -here- to -here-. Also, if we add in the metric of pile "half life" [which I wrote about earlier but I cannot find the link for], we can imagine a quantitative study of sites even though they are as badly damaged as this one. In fact when so little is left of a site, it sheds a harsh light on what is left to study: counting the rocks, counting the piles, measuring the rocks, examining the topography, cataloging the locations.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I turns out there are quite a lot of piles near the aperture - It is worth identifying the place as an individual site. Here are a couple of other nearby features:
And there was at least one more substantial pile (damaged).
This is Bruce McAleer. He noticed a large number of "pairs"at this site. I like this example:
Showed the site to Bruce and took some new photos.
Here is the pile in the upper right of the previous photo
Here is one more view. The piles seem "parallel" to each other. Something to keep an eye out for at other sites:
Monday, January 29, 2007
Friday, January 26, 2007
Attached are some images of cairns in . The first is the tallest cairrn I have ever seen, either in person or in photos. It is at least 11' tall and is located in the town of Franklin. It reminds me of a tall cairn that was illustrated in an article that Tom Brannan wrote for the NEARA Journal some years ago, in which he proposed that the tall cairns were used as trail and ley line markers. Whatever their explanation, the one in Franklin is very impressive.
The other two cairns illustrated are no longer. In an article Don Windsor wrote in 2000, titled "Stone Piles in Chenango County" (Archives of the SciAesthetics Institute 2000 Dec; `1(2): 33-50), he wrote the following about a group of cairns near Buckley Hollow along the Finger Lakes Trail south of . Underneath the bold heading THESE PILES HAVE BEEN DESTROYED!! on page 36, he writes: "On Tuesday 22 August 2000, I received a phone call from Ed Sidote telling me that Rufus Perkins reported that these large stone piles were taken apart and sold for stone. Delayed by a trip to Florida, I photographed the remains on Thursday 31 August. At that time the 4 cylindrical piles were just a rubble of unmarketable stones. The large triangular center pile was still intact. It probably is gone by now. That same morning George Kolb spotted a pallet of stones on the side of Winner Road, east of the site. Not only were the piles gone, but the impressive stone fences nearby had been taken also.
And check out the Provisional Archeology Office Newsletters [Click here]
Thursday, January 25, 2007
I stumbled on this link about an archaeological site in South Acton, MA. Many of you probably know about it, but I thought the link might be interesting to blog readers from elsewhere. I had not heard about this site myself.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
[Click here for full article]
Went out with Ed Myskowski, Norm Muller,and Steve Ells to show them the YYY site and to pick Steve's brain about aspects of Estabrook woods. I had a pretty good time showing off the site, walking and chatting. From YYY we headed west and south across HHH hill past the ... north of Mink Pond, to a knoll looking southeast back at the pond, continuing past Boaz Borwne's, and over and downhill to something called "Cornel Rock" - an outcrop at the edge of the open fields.
We saw several interesting things along the way but, for me, the highlight was the knoll looking back over Mink pond: there are two large rock piles on top at the edge of the overlook. Don't know how I missed that, I have been around that knoll more than once. Here are two views of the main pile:
There is also a third pile that belongs to this group, which I must have seen before, on the north side of the hill, easily visible from the path. This is a path I have been on before, cutting west off of the main Estabrook Rd near the north end of Mink pond. Several times ago, when I first explored Estabrook woods, I photo'd a large propped rock on a support boulder which looked like a turtle's carapace. Tim McSweeney had some fun with that photo. This time, when the group got to this point we all took another look at this propped up rock and commented on it. Apparently it is a feature that caught Steve's eye in the past, that Norman knows about too. Steve Ells was amused at the idea of 4 old guys, who know each other only slightly, walking around in the woods in something like the middle of nowhere and coming to a rock which three of them have a personal connection with.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Update: I went up there and it was a sandy hill with at most a couple of rock-on-rocks. I conclude that up there at the edge of Dunstable it may be mostly too sandy for rock pile sites.
Another feature of the site that catches my eye, when I get back home to look at the pictures (some of which were taken by Tim), is the common juxtaposition of a black and a white pair of rocks at the edge of a rock pile. Here are three clear examples:
Then there were other structured piles like this one with nice symmetry:
Showing a little offering place:
Showing more symmetry:
Monday, January 22, 2007
This weekend we went on a couple of desultory explorations Saturday and today, Sunday, went on a slower walk out behind FFC's house. Found a couple of really very nice examples of rock piles. The first is a perfect triangle with head and shoulders and a white apex:
The next is a very symmetric winged figure. It was large so I held the camera overhead. Unfortunately this cut out one of the most interesting aspects of the pile, which was two triangular rocks at the bottom, pointing downward like swallow-tails. Look carefully at the other rocks, especially the left and right "wingtips".
(These piles are in a small woods that is frequently hit by lightening.)
I have now located 57 sites of rock piles, some with only one or two piles, others with 50-100. It just occurred to me as I look at the topo maps for "Billerica" and for "Maynard" that most of the sites are located with views to the Southeast or Northwest. To prove this I went through all the sites and counted, discounting sites where there is a 360 degree view, and putting 3 sites in a dual category I find that the tally of site view directions is:
#NW = 25
#SE = 21
#S = 4
#SW = 3
#NE = 3
#E = 1
#W = 1
#N = 0
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Atlantic Trace Settlement Update: Geography, Cartography and Archaeoastronomy
is part of the Illustrated Paper Session:
Student Illustrated Paper Competition Session 2
scheduled on Thursday, 4/19/07 at 15:00 PM.
The preliminary program and schedule of sessions for the 2007 AAG National Meeting in San Francisco, April 17-21, is now available online at http://communicate.aag.org/eseries/aag_org/program/index.cfm?mtgID=52. The full agenda, including plenary sessions and specialty group meetings, can be found in this web-based timetable.
2007 Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California Online Program
Noel Ring, Retired university instructor* - Private Consultant
Elaina Hyde, Astronomer - Max Planck Institute of Astrophysics
Ken Goss, Retired General Mgr. - AeroGraphics Corp.
Seventy stars replicated in stone on landscapes in maritime Canada, New England, Great Britain and Ireland form the central pattern of the Atlantic Trace Settlkement, first identified by air photo interpretation in the mid-1970's. Likely the largest maps on earth, the lithic celestial charts are of as yet unknown cultural origin. They are predictably located near Bronze Age copper mines, carbon-dated ca.3000B.P., in western Europe and copper ore outcrops in northeast North America. To date, API and groundtruth field surveys place ATS stellar maps, constructed of large boulders often connected by stone walls, at over 25 sites in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Maine, Vermont, Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. Two wedge-shaped and a kite-shaped feature comprise the repeated ATS pattern, which spans an annual view of the night sky. Native American star lore encompasses portions of the ATS complex, such as the Big Dipper (Plough), Polaris, and major planets along the Line of the Ecliptic, also discerned via API. Nothing in European cosmological cartograsphy or colonial cadastral traditions provides precedence for the ATS pattern. As reported at the 2004 AAG Annual Meeting, land use development continues to endanger ATS sites on both sides of the Atlantic. They merit urgent multi-disciplinary research funding for additional detection, dating, GIS application, and site preservation. The co-authors hope the AAG will support efforts to investigate and preserve these unique cartographic monuments.
TransAtlantic Stone Star Charts