Sunday, July 29, 2012

Inscribed pebble and possible birdstone from CT

Reader Mellisa H. writes:
I live in Connecticut and just recently, while hiking with my children along the rivers, have been finding some interesting rocks. One of these rocks I am almost certain, is a bird stone. I am sending you two pictures, one of the six inch bird stone, and another of a three inch rock with markings. ... I was hoping for your opinion as to whether or not my artifacts may be of native American origin.[PWAX: I am especially impressed with the inscribed pebble. Those are pretty rare in New England. Maybe a dozen exist? Not sure about the bird stone - other photos will be posted later...Here they are.]

11 comments :

Menotomy Maps said...

The inscribed pebble got me motivated to post something which might be similar:

http://tracesinthewoods.blogspot.com/2012/07/mother-nature-or-human-work.html

Chris Pittman said...

I'm not sure about that pebble. I see other dark-colored inclusions in that stone and I suspect that what looks like an inscribed triangle might have been similar inclusions of some softer material that eroded out of the tougher matrix. I would suggest that the dark color inside the grooves of the possible inscription argue for a natural origin. I don't see anything on that birdstone that appears to be the work of man.

pwax said...

Agree about the birdstone but not about the pebble. I see a lighter vein of material that coincides with one of the sides of the triangle but not the other two. Also the darker material inside the scratches is not a natural inclusion (I don't think).

Norman said...

Also agree about the birdstone. Looks like a work of nature to me.

pwax said...

I would be remiss if I failed to point out that one line next to two lines (as in | ||) spells B-L in Ogham.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the birdstone, I guess I did get a little over zealous. However, the pebble was actually found during a hike on my friend's property. Her yard ( mainly wooded area) borders the Connecticut River, which, in previous years, has flooded most of her property. The pebble is about two inches long and one inch wide. At this point, we really want to know its origin and have it authenticated. How could we go about doing this? Thanks in advance!
Melissa

Tim MacSweeney said...

There is a wide range of artistic ability among humans; we remember the fancy and fine works, pay less attention to the rougher - sometimes. I say it's a unique bird stone made by a unique individual in a certain medium, to the best of that individual's ability.
There's a range reprsented in this post: http://rockpiles.blogspot.com/2011/11/looking-for-bird-stones-online.html - and it's not much different from photo #5. Good eye Melissa!

Tim MacSweeney said...

Rough and broken birdstone, from "Bird stones, beaver jaw, beer bottle unearthed in dig,"
http://www.kankakeevalleyhistoricalsociety.org/The%20Times%20(Dig)7-1-05.htm

SWD said...

Its not a bird. It is a turtle head. It is the world turtle, according to native american legends and myths.

Tim MacSweeney said...

You are stealing my lines, Mr. SWD!

feritgrrl said...

The pebble is inscribed- it is a personal power stone- pauwaus/powwows/shamans used these in rituals. I have seen some that clearly are maps and I think are a means of connecting with the power of one's lineage homeplace/family or band territory. The triangle shows up in petroglyphs throughout the northeast usually referenced as a wigwam, but in Northern N.E., among Eastern Wabanaki folks and M'ikmaq, it is a woman's peaked hat. I suspect the more southern forms started with that same form/interp. based on a female effigy figure found in MA dating from about the transitional Archaic/Woodland. The effigy is wearing the peaked cap. I suspect that is what this petroglyph depicts- a woman's peaked hat- but as such represents the user/owner's lineage, not necessarily his or her gender.