Saturday, May 30, 2009

Small treasures from northern Estabrook Woods - Concord, MA

There is more to explore up in that woods, so I did a loop at the northern end and saw a couple of nice ceremonial structures. It is interesting that the Indian "hand of man" still sits pretty heavily on the northern end of the Estabrook woods, almost as conspicuously as the Anglo "hand of man". The Indians must have lived up here and I continue to speculate about Kibbe (or is it Kibby?).

Somewhere not far from Middlesex School is this lovely split wedged rock:I looked for steel drill holes but did not see them. Still the regularly spaced indentations along the upper edge suggest that some kind of harder tool was used to at least get the split started.What would the Gage's say about that?

Then I walked northeast along some kind of northeastern fork in the dirt road (called Estabrook Rd) and passed a remnant of a rock pile:I was surprised at how much "new" unexplored territory there was along there. Deeper in and downhill there was a breakout zone with a single large rock marking the start of the water, with a pile on the rock:And there was a little knoll down in there with a wall crossing it. At the high point was a break in the wall and someone had borrowed some rocks from the wall to make this small structure:
I think I now recognize this. It is a small prayer seat enclosure, that has been stoppered with a single round stone in the middle. One speculates that closing the "U" was done after the seat was used. The flat plat, on the right in the photo above, is also a common feature. There is good evidence of "U" shaped prayer seats, some with very high enclosing walls (especially ones we see from out west (like this) and there must have been a reason for such high barriers around the supposed seated person (see also comment here from the Wolbach Farm in Sudbury). Here in Estabrook woods, it is a humbler affair. The view outward would have been through the gap in the wall.By the way, the gap in the wall seems unlikely to have been to accommodate vehicles, since it leads directly down into the swamp and there was no trail through the gap.