Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Near Aiken's Marsh - NY

by theseventhgeneration
This is a little site I found along a DEC road near Aiken's Marsh. I didn't have time for further exploring beyond what is roadside. To best describe this entire site, I would say you can make out 13 rock piles in all, with the first few linked by a low stone row. As you go further down, away from the road, the piles are not linked and are less distinct, with the last one being nothing but smear. I was surprised to find that the largest pile in the row had "rail holes" in it.Looking over the one pile that had "holes", up toward the road (the top hole is visible in the bottom of the photo here):Looking down the row, away from the road:So, I am focusing on the one well stacked pile, because it is the only one here with holes. It is smaller than the ones in Arctic China SF. That is a half meter stick in the photo.This photo shows there is no rock pile with holes that corresponds to the 3 holes in the large pile. Although the adjacent pile has probably collapsed, I still question the lack of a base hole that should still be visible, and also question the nature of the row. The piles get smaller and smaller as you move away from the large pile, so does that negate the possibility that the piles are there as fence rail holders?And on the side opposite the 3 holes, there was one hole with wood in it:Looking inside the 3 holes, mainly for wood, I was surprised to see this:Yes, those are beer bottles. The holes are large enough to slip the bottles in through them and the rock pile is somewhat hollow inside, so that they dropped down a bit and only the bottoms are visible. I thought about removing them, but didn't want to damage the pile trying to get them out.


pwax said...

I think the occasional presence of wood in the hole indicates that these were used as a fence. Do they seem to enclose something?

theseventhgeneration said...

No, not the ones I've found. But I do agree that the wood is there for use as a fence rail. What I question is whether there is a possibility that the structure was originally a Native American cairn and was later modified (specifically, increased in height) to accommodate a fence. The only reason I bring this up is because I have heard the argument go from "the presence of the wood is proof it was a fence" to "Native Americans didn’t build cairns in rows", the existence of the former being “proof” to support the latter. I think the site with the standing stone here is proof that you can’t make this broad assumption just because there are some cairns out there with wood in them.

So, going back to my original question, I'm wondering if this argument ("construction on construction") is valid, or viable. I'd like to be able to open up an avenue of discussion with anyone who won’t even look twice at cairns in rows. Certainly, each site has to be looked at in its own context.