Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Monsters, Gods, or Rocks of Power? (site A at Sawyer Hill/Gates Pond)

With reference to the map here.

I stepped into a place of weirdness and only realized later, after dreaming about it and after looking at the pictures. Now I need to go look again, and look more carefully at things I barely noticed the first time.


The northeastern-most hill in a series of hills called "Sawyer Hill" in Berlin, MA has unusual geology. Primarily a brown methamorphic schist that breaks apart in flat plates, mixed with large sections of white feldspar - what I compare to quartz because of its similar ceremonial uses. The brown schist is characteristic of all the hills west of Rt 495, from Oak Hill in Littleton down to here, 10 or so miles south at the Rt 62 exit in Berlin. But I think these large chunks of feldspar must be a bit unusual.

A substantial stone wall crosses the hill in a north-south'ish direction and what I found was a lower, thinner stone wall that branched off from the main wall at a group of large boulders, heading downhill and west. After ~50 yards this lower wall turned south and then back east but never got back to the main wall. In the process it enclosed an area of an acre or so with a few choice rock piles built on rocks. At each corner, the wall had a little branch that was almost invisibile and extended 10 or so yards outward from the enclosure. There was also a tumbled down smear of a pile in one corner and several other features of interest at the ends of these side branches. The feldspar was used strategically in several places.
When I got home and looked at the pictures, I became more aware of what looked like an old pathway passing by a side wall, up around and into the enclosure. Also I became more aware of the portholes that were built into the wall in various places. On an adjacent knoll were a few other piles with at least one placed conspicuously next to a strange piece of bedrock. Now I need to go back and look for other signs of this pathway. Also take better note of the site layout. But here is an approximation:As I look at the photos, I also see single smaller rocks on the ground that might also be significant. The stone walls were certainly part of the site, and included portholes like from the other day [click here, last picture].

Taking it chronologically, I stepped into the woods off Taylor Rd and immediately saw a prayer seat. I was also encouraged to see a fine vertically split rock with wedges. Continuing into the woods and skirting the hill I saw a shadow on a rock, and went to find that it was a kind of rock pile or bit of wall along an outcrop. Above it a small pile and an adjacent low stone wall runnng downhill.
Another look, to the left in the above photo, suggests a pathway coming up along the outcrop:Uphill, a boulder and another rock pile. I was looking at the first rock pile and noticed it had a white rock in it on the side facing the wall. There was a corresponding white rock in the stone wall across from it.Never saw that before. Passing the wall, then a rock-on-rock, I came to a second wall running downhill. This was a beauty and it seemed like a short stretch of wall but it did not quite disappear before joining another low wall coming in from the side. In the space encllosed by these walls, a couple more rock piles and The second pile had a white feldspar rock You can see the lower wall behind them. Is that a bit of pathway along the side of the pile and through the gap in the wall? Here is part of the lower wallLooking one way along the it, I find a tumble of rocks some ruin.Looking the other way, there is a spur composed of propped, slanted rocks leading off from the enclosure (we are looking back towards the enclosure from near the end of the spur) Another view and a pile near the termination of the spur Is that a manitou rock? Also near the end of the spur was a stunning rock-on-rock: Take a closer look: white feldspar support and a quartz striped rock on top. This could be more recent, it seems delicate. We are now outside of the "enclosure" with other rock piles (not shown in the sketch above) and other families of propped-slanted rocks. I climbed back up to the hill to the main wall which had portholes and seemed intimate with the large brown rocks near the hilltop I walked back downhill and over to a separate knoll to the southwest. Isolated on the knoll, there is a rock pile next to a shaped outcrop. The rock pile might have a niche in it It also has a hint of white. Coming back I took another picture of the quartz striped rock-on-rock and saw that there as a small third white rock on the ground, part of the structure.This is not a familiar kind of site. The use of white rocks is taking advantage of unusual geology. The focus on boulders and outcrops, and the unusual collections of propped-slanted rocks, connected via walls and spurs are all unfamiliar - or at least I never noticed them before. And the hint of a path and the apparent random scattering of pile locations suggests something different than the common themes of astronomy and death. At this site, it is more as if you are visiting the rocks.

Back at the main wall, on the way out...

6 comments :

Tim MacSweeney said...

I am amazed! And further amazed as I go to the Bing maps and the bird's eye view of the stone rows:
http://www.bing.com/maps/default.aspx?q=Berlin%2c+MA&mkt=en-US&FORM=BYFD

Tim MacSweeney said...

Again, it reminds me much of http://wakinguponturtleisland.blogspot.com/2009/05/around-camp-whiting-in-woodbridge-ct.html

Geophile said...

Wow! And I love that eighth picture down, not counting the drawing.

sbo said...

thank you so much. fosbobetr good Archive

sbobet said...

yards this lower wall turned south and then back sbo
sbo
east but never got back to the main wall. In the

sbo said...

nice topic thank you and thumb up !
sbo