Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Some years ago I contacted you with some cairns up along the Delaware on the Pa. side and one of your members went up and checked them out. (see here)
Both piles in the picture have a flat side. These sides are parallel but not at the same angle as the line drawn between the two piles. Something like this:Here is a closeup of the rear pile:The flat surface is quite clearly deliberate.
Here is one of the less visible piles:This view of the four shows the pile spacing, which is somewhat regular.What I call a "marker pile" site. For better or worse this is the most common type of site found around here.
Monday, June 28, 2010
I am getting used to seeing this combination and believe the two piles are actually part of a single structure whose purpose includes the gap between the piles. It opens towards the water.
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Returning to the entrance, the obligatory split-wedged rock:
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Thursday, June 17, 2010
The photos you took [see here] of stone features at your , particularly the one of the hollow cairn, reminded me of a cairn I photographed in Washington, MA, four years ago, which had a niche at its base.
[PWAX: That last one reminds me of the "Hopkinton Beehive", discussed here.]
Also perhaps relvant here
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
First glimpse:Later on I noticed that there was a little pile of quartz next to the pile, in the foreground here:
As I walked up to the pile I noticed light coming through the base, suggesting the pile was hollow. It was:I never saw rocks so glued together with age. The native bedrock around here is a loose, iron filled, phyllite. Here is another view:I never saw that before and considered if it was something non-standard and perhaps not ceremonial. But there was that quartz and, about 20 feet away at the same level on the slope was a short low stretch of stone wall.Another look at the pile (I managed to hold the camera steady):
Final thoughts were along these lines: Could this be practical? It is a steep slope, so it would be practical to put it somewhere easier to get to. Did it have a function like a beehive? (no, wrong place), like an oven? (no, wrong place), like an altar? (maybe). Is the pile isolated? (no, in fact there is that small pile of quartz and the nearby low wall). In the end, this is more ceremonial than otherwise. I consider it unlikely that any of the students would know how to make such a careful rock pile.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Ted’s most recent posting about similar damage to oval stone piles, reminded me of a large platform cairn in Brooklyn, CT, that I saw a number of years ago. It is one of the largest platform cairns I’ve ever encountered. Only one end is well preserved,the other sides are notI don’t think that blowdowns can account for the damage, since the pile is so huge (about 45’ long and 7’ high) and well constructed, at least on the preserved end. Nor does vandalism seem a good explanation. I could be that stones from the pile were used to construct walls and foundations – certainly a logical source. [I would call that "vandalism" - PWAX] And once stones began to be removed, the structural integrity of the mound was compromised and it began to collapse of its own accord.
Norman continues in another email:
This stone mound was in a dilapidated condition before the tree fell on it, and because it is stone’s throw from some old colonial foundations, I concluded that the farmers took stones from the mound to build foundations for a barn and house. To see what little effect a large tree will have on a well built stone mound, here is an example from S. Newfane, VTI would add this example: the large platform at Miller's Hill in Holliston, MA (see here):
I felt, when looking at it, that rocks must have been pulled from the bottom of the retaining wall and, as Norman said, the pile would collapse sooner or later after that.
Another small example here.