Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Southern Franklin State Forest

I have reported on FSF before, here and here, when I visited the central and northern parts of the park. So on this visit, I went in from the end of Lorraine Metcalf Rd and stayed as far left as possible.
I spent most of the walk slogging - it rained hard the night before and -boy- is there a lot of Sweet Pepper Bush in there! I found some mounds around Magotty Hill but also got tuckered out when trying to return to the car I found myself at the water tower at the high point of the Forge Hill. Luckily I recognized the place and only had to do another mile of slogging to get back to the car.

So I want to say that the first mound, at A, was exactly where I expected to find something. I had taken a trail to the left from Lorraine Metcalf and, after it crossed a brook (you can see a western branch of Mine Brook there) there was another side trail leading off south. Kept south for a few yards until a stone wall crosses the trail and I followed the wall west down towards the wetland, thinking: "now this is the kind of place I expect rock piles". Sure enough, I poked my head into the bushes on the north side of the wall and saw something looming in the distance. I showed a video a couple posts ago. Here are some still photos. First a fuzzy picture from a nearby "satellite" pile towards the larger mound.

If there was a 'hollow' it was at the far end (more like what I called a "tail" in the past). 
Some other views:

How cool is that?

I continued south by bush and trail and eventually found some very messy things next to a field (at B) which I did not trust. I suspect these were real but added to by field clearing. I'll spare you all but a couple of the photos:

The piece of quartz swayed my opinion.

I continued west along and through some cleared field areas on Magotty Hill, then headed north. The underbrush was heavy and I exited the cleared area at the only spot (at C) where I would have seen this, and I take no credit for finding it - just lucky: 
(from the field view)
 (view back towards the open field)

That one is definitely real. 
After seeing these mounds in the southern part of the forest, I walked through thick wet bushes all the way north and then most of the way back to the car.

Update: I guess a chronological account like this, coming after many of the same ilk, adds little value other than the location of some rock piles - someone living nearby might want to go have a look. But in truth, what is observable at these sites is piles that are built up quite high - meaning they are young, without the type of "hollow" I expect to see in mounds further north. Should I compare these mounds to the ones over in Hassanamesit and Peppercorn Hill? My experience is still too patchy to make these comparisons confidently.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

A mound in the "distance"

Great, when you turn aside and peak into the woods and see something through the bushes. (This is Franklin State Forest.)

Ames Long Pond (eastern side) - Stoughton Memorial Conservation Land

To be honest, it is not worth showing pictures from here - it was bright sunlight dappled shadows on top of old, broken-down, 'ground' piles.

Friday, June 29, 2018

First find in a long time

From the Concord corn fields:
This is a fine material, called hornfels, or "hornstone". I never found a complete item made from it before. Some other shots.

I believe it is a little knife. An unusual shape but undamaged.


Destroyed by Fowl Watchers
A photograph of the conceal construction erected at Carn Glas cairn. (Picture: NOSAS)

 Read more at:

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

From Michael Hoye:
I found this portion of a stonewall to be interesting in Holland, Ma. Does anyone see anything here?

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Doug Harris leads a field trip to the Upton Chamber - July 14

(via Peter Anick)

Thanks to all who came to hear Doug Harris speak about indigenous ceremonial stone landscapes of New England during his recent Massachusetts tour. We at the Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Trust (NITHPT) are excited to connect with anyone interested in learning to recognize, appreciate, and protect ceremonial stone landscapes. 

To that end, starting in June and continuing through October of this year, we will be leading monthly field trips in Upton to show people the Upton Chamber and companion features on top of Pratt Hill in Upton. The trips will be on the second Saturday of each month. The next field trip is slated for July 14th

Although there is no charge for the field trip, NITHPT is a not-for-profit 501C(3), and charitable donations are welcome to support our mission to protect and preserve ceremonial stone landscapes. 

What:                   Field trip to the Upton Chamber and associated ceremonial stone landscape features atop nearby Pratt Hill

When:                  Saturday July 14th from 1PM to 4PM 

Where:                 Meet at the American Legion parking lot at 15 Milford St, Upton, MA 01568
·         From there we will carpool to the Upton Chamber at Heritage Park, and then to the base of Pratt Hill
·         We will park at the base of Pratt Hill and walk to the NITHPT land at the top of the hill to see the stone features there
·         For elders and handicapped we will can transportation you up the hill if given advanced notice

RSVP:  Please send email to  (we can accommodate up to 20 people)

Monday, June 11, 2018

Headwaters of Canoe River - northernmost Foxborough

This the landform west of King Philips Rock, between Little Canoe River and Canoe River:
You can get there from East Str, where there is a brook croosing just below the dam of that pond in the middle of the map fragment.
At first I went more or less directly east and found a few low ground pile (upper blue outline):

Kind of a dull, dark, flat place under yearling pines.

I continued north and east, wanting to get up to whatever high points were available. Somewhere back in those hinterlands (and back down low near the water, that maybe now is "east" Canoe River) was a small site with three or four  items:
Otherwise it was dull in there. 

My main intention was to explore along the Canoe River and I am sorry I did not stick to that plan and explore along the river to the north. 

I eventually circled back to the lower end of the pond and went south along the edge of the high ground following a stone wall. This was a familiar configuration (I was reminded of Howard Rd in Shirley) of wall on bluff over brook - so I continued along southward, trying to keep an eye out for structures on either side of the wall. Not at all surprised to come to a mound. Some views:

At the end of the ridge was a collection of satellite piles that were more or less evenly spaced. A configuration of marker piles next to mound is familiar. Here we are looking back towards the mound which is to the not quite visible to the left in the background:

A little further downstream was another mound. 

This one had only one satellite.

Oley Hills - Twenty Years After

(From Norman Muller):
I retured to the Oley Hills site nearly twenty years have left it.  It is owned by a new family, and the terrain around the bottom of the hill has changed.  Attached is a photo of one of the cairns, how in an open field; before it was in a low growth of shrubs. It is built on a low, flat boulder and must be close to six feet high.

The other photo is of a donation cairn on the ridge top in view of the large platform cairn. Sorry the slide is so dark.  Attached is a photo of the platform cairn taken years ago.  I wasn't  that aware of the connection until today, approaching it from a different direction.

Monday, May 28, 2018

A rainy day

I had the day off, I left my house in the morning to go try to find some arrowheads. I went to a place on the coast, where I have found many quartz artifacts. What's this?
It's the base of what turned out to be a pretty large arrowhead. I believe this shape is known as Squibnocket Stemmed. The tip is missing, but it's nice to find something this size that is even this much intact. I found a couple of broken quartz arrowhead fragments also.
I left that place and went to go meet my friend Dave. Some years ago, Dave identified a spot near where he lives, that has yielded some nice artifacts for us over the years. In the last couple of years, I haven't found much there, beyond little fragments. This was a good day. I was excited to spot this. It was almost the exact same color as the soil.
This is a Stark point. The material is, I believe, argillite. It is an indescribable feeling to pull something like this from the ground. I was elated.
Dave spotted this broken blade lying in plain sight, just waiting to be picked up for the first time in thousands of years.
It is a shame that it is broken. Big, nice flaking, made of an unfamiliar material- a type of felsite, I imagine.
I was looking very carefully and picking up every little flake and chip. A tiny broken edge sticking out of the soil turned out to be this great arrowhead. I could not believe my luck. I don't have a lot of points like this. I think this would probably be called a Neville Variant type. The material is felsite. These big stemmed points are generally older than the smaller quartz arrowheads I usually find. There is some damage to one of the shoulders.
Here are all of our finds from that site, that afternoon. Days like that are unfortunately few and far between.
My finds for the day, back at home. It will probably be a long time before I find artifacts like these again.

Friday, May 25, 2018

By a pond

At the edge of a pond there is a pretty forest path.
 I go there sometimes to take pictures. Kids on dirt bikes use the path, too. Their tires churn up the soil, use of the path causes erosion. Looking down, I noticed a thin, sharp flake of broken quartz. This is a clue. I took a closer look. Along a short stretch of this path, about 15 feet of it, the dark soil was flecked with occasional flakes and chips of quartz. The larger chunks suggest that people were breaking down quartz cobbles to make tools. The small thin flakes appeared to me to be the result of tool sharpening. I think people lived right here, on the edge of the pond.
What's this on the path?
It's a worn out and broken Squibnocket Triangle projectile point made of a crystal quartz material. It's really beat up but is a nice material and it took a lot of skill to make this.
I think it is incredible that in 2018 it is possible to readily discern the traces left behind by people who lived in this exact place thousands of years ago. I think it is fascinating and I would like to think that others would also find it interesting to know that early man lived here at the edge of this little pond where they like to swim and fish. I think it would be great if there was some kind of sign or marker to inform people about this. I fear that it is more likely that some day machines will come and grade this trail, or put a house or building here. I imagine that many who might know of a site like this, are worried about looters coming with shovels to take the artifacts (and I am sure there are more and better arrowheads here). I imagine this place will remain completely intact, right up until the day it is completely destroyed.