You may not buy this as a ceremonial site.
I am pushing through the laurels on a hillside in Leominster and come to a big messy pile. Is it just discarded rock?Not really. On the one hand, these are not random sized rocks but selected for as a certain size - not too large to carry nor too small. On another hand this is not at any kind of "angle of repose"; and finally there are lots of other little rock piles in the vicinity of this larger one. You can see some piling on the boulder to the right, and we'll look around more in a moment:[Let me digress briefly. To argue this is a ceremonial pile, you might also say: "why would they clear a field with a big pile in the center of the field when there are stone walls and discard piles along the walls and no reason to depart from that as a rock disposal strategy". I think this argument is self defeating: if you keep bringing up field clearing as a hypothesis, you are keeping that hypothesis alive rather than killing it with neglect. The right way to defeat a hypothesis is to support a better one.]
Taking a look at this pile from a different angle, there is a piece of quartz (click to see where the red arrow is pointing):closer:
closest:A nice piece. This was the only quartz I saw on the hillside, although I did not look carefully. A solitary piece of quartz in a rock pile is a familiar pattern. Here is another view of the quartz (it is on the right):Would you agree that there is a somewhat circular depression (a "hollow") with the quartz on the right hand lip of the depression? The pile was a mess and I could not make much of its structure but I was hoping to see hollows.
Let's look around some more in the vicinity. Smaller piles all around:
Weary old things.In spite of my bravado I was still doubting if this was a ceremonial site. The site does follow a plan I have been preoccupied with lately: a central large "mound" with hollows, surrounded by smaller outliers [see here]. But I persisted, spiraling outward from the center and seeing more and more little ones.
Then I push through some brush and..."woo hoo!"
For me, that is a nice looking mound. We'll take a closer look at it in a subsequent post. At this point in the walk, I stopped being uncertain about the site.