Saturday, February 06, 2016

"As close to the sky as possible, where the slope levels out but the water still flows" - George Hill Upton

That seems to sum up where I expect to find rock piles: at the tops of brooks feeding into navigable waterways. The rule doesn't always work but I have been letting it guide my explorations for the past several months and it has had as many successes as failures - in this Middlesex ex-urban landscape. For example here, here, and here.
I followed this strategy at George's Hill in Upton, going uphill following brooks.
When I got to 'A', I thought: ok this is about where I should find rock piles. I immediately did find rock piles - confirming the search strategy.

It is particularly interesting that in Upton, at 'A', the piles were small (less than 10 ft across) and very old looking - where I am used to seeing larger rectangular mounds with hollows at these brook high-points. This means the placement at the top of a brook persisted through cultural changes in the style of burial mounds.
I saw other piles between 'A' and 'B', of little note. At 'B' I again thought: there could be rock piles here. But I couldn't see any. My feet found one, then I saw a couple others. These were nondescript and might have been evenly spaced in a row.
Here are some pictures of the piles at 'A'. Only about half the actual piles looked slightly rectangular and the faint depression in the middle was only present in a few. I "cherry picked" the best examples to show:
You can see the faint rectangle, and note it is actually a pretty good sized pile:
See the grey rock near the center of the picture? Close up:
Those fluted surfaces are from percussive flaking. This is a core or tool of some kind.
Another:
The snow makes it easier to see. A few more:
These all look faintly rectangular to me. Do you see it or not?

6 comments :

Curtiss Hoffman said...

Peter -
This is different from the George's Hill site you looked at last week, yes?
Technically speaking, Upton is not in Middlesex but in Worcester County. While Middlesex still tops the charts at 600 sites, Worcester is catching up at 412. No other county in the region has more than 200 sites!

A. Morey said...

Indian deeds of Hampden County: being copies of all land transfers from the Indians recorded in the county of Hampden, Massachusetts, and some deeds from other sources, together with notes and translations of Indian place names

"The high land."
"The place where the road forks."
"The place where the river bends.."
"The Land from where the water flows to us."
Signed by: Chickwallop alias Wawhillowa, Nenessahalant, Nassicohee, Kiunks, Paquahalant, Assellaquompas & Awonuske ye wife of Willuther all of Nanotuck who are ye chief & proper owners of all the land on the west side of the Quinetticot River at Nanotuck. 24 September 1653.

pwax said...

Curt:
These are not the "site" with the 'U' but are different. I do not really consider the 'U' a site.

Curtiss Hoffman said...

Why not? Do you see evidence that it's recent?

pwax said...

My comment is not a serious and is not related to age. I consider that an isolated 'U' doesn't amount to a lot.

pwax said...

Speaking of Worcester vs Middlesex Counties, it seems likely Worcester could catch up. For my part, I have only been to the eastern fringes of Worcester.