Sunday, May 20, 2018

"Mystery of Stone Walls" (CT)

The enduring elegance and mystery of stone walls: Who built them and why at the heart of an ongoing debate
The Day
Published February 02. 2018
By Steve Fagin  (Photos by Markham Starr and  Carl Tjerandsen )

"Lace up your hiking boots, grab a trekking pole and set out on a woodland stroll anywhere in eastern Connecticut or western Rhode Island, and before long you will encounter a stone wall..."

Saturday, May 19, 2018

I luuuuve the woods

Stepping from the road into the woods, where light and shadow dance over the ferns.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Abutment across a gully, old marker piles, etc. in Princeton and Sterling

With reference to the map shown here and to the 2nd and 4th folds described, here is what I found in the 2nd fold. I don't know whether to call it a "wall" or a "turret" or a "linear feature" (a cop out), or something else ("abutment"?). Let's take a look at some overviews and some details.

A structure, built across the top of the gully (we are in E. Princeton):
There is a well built gap at the center. Not visible on the  right was a continuation of wall, starting with a rectangle with a hollow. So, looking back at the main feature, here is that rectangle with hollow:
The main pile is off to the left in this picture.
Here is a view from uphill:
It is more a "staircase" than a "zigzag". Here is a view from the other side:
Sorry I did not get a better picture of the gap in the middle, or the whole setup from this view over to the far side with the hollowed pile.

Somewhere in there I came across what could have been an old foundation or could have been a burial. Don't remember where:

Then later (now in W. Sterling), at or around the 4th red outline on that map, I found some old broken down piles that seemed more or less in rows and more or less evenly spaced. What I call "marker piles", which I imagine are akin to a sundial.
The piles seemed a bit triangular.

There was an old road nearby, with stones along the side.
And there was a lot going on that was obscured by the decrepitude.
It is unusual and extremely gratifying to find sites like this in Sterling, not too far from that main site I found a few weeks ago
It was heartleaf lilly weekend. With trillium!

I am going to try again tomorrow

Took the day off so I could try again to get to the locations I planned on previously - the time I got lost. Let's try a map with more definite landmarks:
I'll tell you how it goes. Meanwhile, I'll post the things I did find before getting lost.


(via People of One Fire)

Monday, May 14, 2018

Spring arrowheads

Each spring, I return to some favorite places to see if anything new has popped up. I have found some things, and will share them here in a few separate posts. Here is a typical find, from one place I enjoy visiting. The winter rains had washed a little gully in the earth, exposing some handfuls of gravel, and this. A broken quartz triangular arrowhead. Nicely made, with a point that is still sharp.
The results of an afternoon after work, in a different place. Crude and broken, almost not worth showing. But better than nothing at all.
My friend Dave and I spent some hours on a Sunday carefully searching a sandy slope near a riverbank. What's this?
It's likely that this will be my best arrowhead find for 2018. I don't have many like this. It's very thin.
Here it is cleaned up at home. It is felsite. The damage to the base has no patina and is recent- a pity. That little chip almost obscures the subtle bifurcation to the stem, but enough of it is still present for me to feel confident calling this a Neville point. I have another one of these from this same site. Neville projectile points appeared around 8,000 years ago. This artifact is very likely six or seven thousand years old. It was probably ancient when the Great Pyramid was built. The landowner enjoyed seeing this find. He's moving some dirt around in an adjacent area this month. My fingers are crossed.
All of these finds were from southeastern Massachusetts.

Up along Justice Brook (Sterling, MA)

Massachusetts Highway in May

[Not rock pile related]. The beauty of this place is not lost on me and I thought perhaps people who live far from Massachusetts might be interested in how the place looks. A bit of that here:

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Today's plan

It is elaborate enough, I thought it might be interesting to look at the places I hope to visit during today's hike. I have been scratching at areas around Keyes and Justice Brooks. Today I hope to get back to the main site I found two weeks ago (far right and uphill, in this fragment):
My instincts are to find the folds in the land, and the knolls overlooking where brooks meet. Wish me luck. I trick myself out of the house with promises of donuts and relaxation. I'll start at the far left in East Princeton, where there is a playground I can park at.
Update: Starting at the upper left and going clockwise, I found things at the 2nd and 4th red outline. After that, I got lost.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Top of the water example - West Sterling

Just a note. This spot, a bit of a saddle, is the kind of place one should always explore when looking for rock pile sites. Here is about as minimal an example you are likely to see:
So I was passing that spot, and found three rock piles in a row:

While I am mentioning it, about underneath the cross-hair on the map, was a big wall bulge. Getting there is quite a slog, believe me:
In case you are interested in old mills, the one down by the river in East Princeton is well worth a visit, or perhaps a picnic and a dip on a summer day:
Just don't get swept away

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Power Lines (Woodbury CT)

   Every once in a while Peter will post something here about finding something by various Power Lines in (mostly) Massachusetts.
   Over the last 28 years, I’ve walked along (and posted a little bit here now and again) about Ceremonial Stone Landscape features under and around the power lines that cut through the Nonnewaug Preserve in Woodbury CT.
  And at my blog too:
  I've probably lost more photos than I have collected here:
   Entering my 29th year of independent research, I went back up to this area of great Archaeological Sensitivity above the historically known Nonnewaug Wigwams, and find it’s all changing fast, one more chapter torn from the Pootatuck History Book:

I could hear all this happening while I was sick as a dog and home bound, taking Ceftriaxone IV.
 There's some stonework revealed by brush clearing, but I couldn't walk any farther...
I'm pretty sure that this spot has been bulldozed away: