Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are these Native American? From a 4000 acre n.e. Kentucky Farm

Reader Jason W. writes:
There are about 15 or so rock piles fairly close to each other, the stone wall is the only wall ,it is about 2 foot high,3 or so feet wide,and at least 75 feet long. it is in a desolate area located on top a steep mountain ,where it flattens out....the location of my finds is approximately 8 miles from the ky serpent mound.
The piles are all on one side of this wall, and are within feet of each other, its about a 2 hour walk to the site,but will try to get more pics. my other pics didn't take, but i remember the rock wall definitely having an s shape to it. the guy i was with was certain it was native american,but u are the experts not us. i wish to know this so to preserve it, that is my only intentions.

Found at the bottom of the hill:

Monday, January 30, 2012

Revisiting Dakins Brook - Estabrook Woods Concord, MA

I did revisit the site at H, so let me also revisit the map of several sites about the headwaters of Dakins Brook in Estabrook Woods. The location of H is changed and the higher site on the way down from Boaz Brown's (L) is labeled H'.As mentioned, these sites are all along the edges of the valley of the brook. So now that's straightened out, here is a pile from H. I am struck by how these different piles have different basic designs and show different degrees of decrepitude. So this pile, at a lesser degree of decrepitude than the simple ovals up the hill at H', is more elongated and, arguably, has a "tail" in the form of the two larger rocks, adjacent.

A few yards away, yet another style of pile, this one is rectangular (judging from the presence of a corner) and in even better shape:
I dream of chronologies from oval to rectangular.

A small site above the birthplace of Dakins Brook

Although I said I was not going to do any more exploring last weekend, I did take a short drive and walk with my wife over at Estabrook Rd. But we stayed to the left and I aimed for where I remembered finding a site at the headwaters of Dakins Brook in far western Estabrook Woods [which I blogged about here...scroll down.] But I got a bit confused between the landforms and the waterways in there and found myself, instead, at a familiar place - the Boaz Brown cellar hole. So from there I figured I would head down hill, further west, to get to that site at the top of Dakins Brook and, wouldn't you know, Estabrook revealed yet another small secret to me. I found three very old oval piles built against the slope. These are so forlorn and hidden I am thinking seriously about going back and cleaning them off completely. Three little bumps. Those are big piles, about 10 feet across. So old. I think these should be compared with other piles from the same slope, as mentioned in the link above.

Update: If you take into account all the sites I have found in this part of Estabrook Woods, they are all at the edge of the higher rockier ridges, about equidistant from the middle of the valley which, today, has the nice Mansions along Estabrook Rd. I make out that these sites are from a corn growing culture. I label this new site H' on the revised map.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

To explore or not to explore

Hmmm. Another beautiful warm January day with a hazy sun. But I already found one site this weekend. Overpowered by laziness....cannot quite reach the....

Nice colors

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Out Crop, Stone Row, and Heavy Machinery

In a perfect world, I could post a link to the post about the stone mound with the small turtles and the white quartz hammerstone that is still stained brown at the business end of it, as well as all the stone rows up on that terrace in the upper left of this photo.
In a perfect world I could find the folder with the photos of that stuff and a before photo of this row and the outcrop from a little less than a year ago, but I can't right now.
In a perfect world those machines in the lower right corner wouldn't be able to just destroy that ancient row so thoughtlessly and needlessly and nobody bats an eye or sheds a tear - except for me and you.
Before it became the hamburger and edge of town, I used to play army with a friend in this very spot, site of the first car dealership on Straits Turnpike in Watertown CT...

SRAC blog

by theseventhgeneration
Susquehanna River Archaeological Center of Native Indian Studies (SRAC) recently posted about Spanish Hill. That article was published as the lead article in the New York State Archaeological Society's Newsletter. Click here for the announcement, which contains a link to the pdf version of the NYSAA newsletter and a link to the original blog post.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Stone Heap by Golf Course

Near the Western Hills Golf Course - near Park Road in Waterbury (or possibly Middlebury) CT
It was once part of a Deer Park I wonder about sometimes: http://wakinguponturtleisland.blogspot.com/2008/01/im-still-wondering.html

Rock Pile - Sebago Maine

Reader Rob S. also writes:

I have another to share with you. I was tickled pink when I found it in October.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ohio Archeology

Norman Muller sends some interesting articles:

Ohio Archaeology [click here]
Serpent Mound [click here](PDF)

One of these rock piles is not like the others.

Reader Rob S. writes:
Hello everyone:
I thought I'd help to get our minds off the snowy woods:

On the afternoon of the seventh of this month I went to Poor’s Hill to see if I could find anything; it’s located next to Peabody Pond in Sebago, Maine. I finally did stumble upon some rock piles nested in one of the hollows of the hill. Most were low to the ground and could barely be discerned from the snow and leaf litter.One, however, stood out from the rest. It was taller and I could make out a green bucket from under the rocks. I lifted one of the rocks, but there was nothing to see but ice. The rock was put back in place. I believe it was used to lure in bears for some hunter. I intend to go back in the spring to see if there’s more to be found nearby.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yurok Language

Norman Muller writes:
I received this reply from Andrew Garrett, Professor of Linguistics and Director, Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, University of California, Berkeley, in reply to the question where did the Algonquian language originate? Thought you might be interested.

No, the more accurate way of describing the matter is to say that the Algonquian languages, as a family, are related to the Yurok language and to its immediate neighbor (in California) the Wiyot language. The three together, Wiyot plus Yurok plus Algonquian, have roughly the kind of relationship that Celtic languages plus Romance languages plus Germanic languages respectively have (except as if there would be one "Celtic" and one "Romance" language in this case). The more standard view as to place of origin is that the location of the ancestral population was somewhere in the upper Snake River basin, near where Washington, Oregon, and Idaho now converge; the people who spoke a language ancestral to Algonquian languages headed east (including to the St Lawrence basin) and the people who spoke languages ancestral to Wiyot and Yurok headed down the Snake and Columbia rivers to the Pacific coast, three or four thousand years ago. (The wikipedia page for "Algic languages" is not inaccurate, though it does not have up-to-date bibliography, or see pp. 72ff of the following:

http://books.google.com/books?id=fFX066QfQv8C&pg=PA311&lpg=PA311&dq=golla+algic+wiyot+yurok+klar&source=bl&ots=nhOES81UlJ&sig=NMAV7z92A2OZphyZzQ9RHrLJ998&hl=en&ei=1oS_TaT2Lc6cgQeClfn0BQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=snippet&q=Wiyot&f=false)

A Found Image

Shenipsit Trail, Glastonbury to Vernon
http://www.everytrail.com/view_picture.php?trip_id=154927&picture_id=307914
From a site to further explore: http://www.everytrail.com/best/hiking-connecticut where it is written, “This list shows the most popular Hiking in Connecticut based on user reviews, votes, and mobile downloads. Plan your next trip with EveryTrail guides by downloading a guide to your mobile phone with the EveryTrail iPhone or Android app.”

Sythetic Hand Axes

[Not rock pile related] I cannot resist a good hand-axe.

Halifax History

I think these might be some new pictures. (Click on the "Mystery Walls" link)

Harvard Rt 2 RockPile

Reader Russ, found a pile you can see from the highway.
He writes:
Large pile on RT2 east at mile marker 109 in Harvard just before the 110/111 exit. You seem to be out that way frequently. Easily seen from the high way. Best accessed off Old Shirley Road about ¼ mile up on the right. Coincidentally the Harvard conservation map shows a tiny bit of shading very close to the location? The pile is anchored by a large stone and is about 25 – 30 feet long. Looks good framed in snow.
Also:
There seems to be a hollow or depression on the south west side, as you approach from the road. It is located near a small stream. There was also quite a bit of marsh surrounding the stream. Very frozen last Saturday making things easier. Culverts have been added with the construction of the road but the stream runs past roughly north / south on the east side of the pile. Seems logical with the grade that it runs three and a half seasons and likely forever.
I looked for other smaller piles without success. Quick peeks from the street suggest that behind the private homes on the same side of the street there may be more. The back yards are filled with granite. Possibly the source of the pile stone?
I have attached the link to the Harvard conservation land if you look closely this piece is quite close to a couple of very small non-designated shaded areas. Has the pile been quietly protected?

http://www.harvardconservationtrust.org/trails.htm
There appears to be a new trail behind the private property. The entrance is right at the spot where the west bound exit from RT2 wraps right around the corner onto 111. There is a clear orange arrow posted on a tree beside it. There is no place to park and I am at present unclear if it is public or private. It would be worth a peek if accessible.

[PWAX: I blogged about this pile a few years back here.]

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DNA evidence follows the pack

[Not rock pile related]
Here is an article about the domestication of dogs. I love this sentence:

..."In other words, man's best friends may have originated from more than one ancient ancestor, contrary to what some DNA evidence previously has indicated."

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winter Doldrums Setting In

It looks like it is that time of year again. There is enough snow on the ground to make spotting rock piles difficult and I am a bit lazy about walking in the snow at 7 degrees F.

Update: A question for readers from the south: Is there any time of year when you cannot go into the woods?
Update 2: I should have asked: is there a time when you prefer to not go in the woods?
Update 3: I guess I won't have that excuse if next weekend is like now: 54F.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Water Tower Hill in Westford's Greystone Conservation Land

Is this a site of individual prayers?
After finding an interesting see-through structure (blue "X") I crossed the valley and found a rock pile at the foot of the water tower hill.I could see other rock piles higher on the hill above (see the water tower up there?):So I went uphill, zigzagging back and forth between small rock piles, each built with a handful of smaller rocks on larger supports. For example:I don't know how to classify this site. It is typical and reminds of similar hillside sites (eg Flagg Hill, Stow or the southeastern foot of South Manoosnoc in Leominster). [Also like this from the other day and about a mile or two from this spot] The piles are not arranged in lines or evenly spaced and the site lacks the structure of a marker pile site. At most here there might have been some slight clustering of the piles into little groups. I hate to cop out on this but when the piles are not in obvious relation to each other but are occupying one specific topography, I imagine there is something special about this place that called for rock piles by more than one person over a more extended period of time. In other words a site individuals would go back to.
But of course I really have no evidence or special observations about these places one way or the other. There were a few other rock piles here and there on the hill.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Structure made from quarry fragments

Saw this at the Westford "Greystone" conservation land. Another view.Judging from the hole in the ground next to it, I think there must have been a boulder quarried here. I am guessing someone built this out of the scraps. But who knows.

I should mention that the rock pile site is across the valley starting at the foot of the hill and going up the slope from there.