Friday, August 23, 2019

Opacum Land Trust (Sturbridge MA)

  The mystery of the stone piles and structures that dot our countryside will be the program at the 6th annual Opacum Land Trust fall dinner happening on September 18th (2019) at the Barn at Wight Farm in Sturbridge. Doors open at 5:30 pm- enjoy your favorite beverage, bid on our silent auction (featuring local treats, treasures and activities), meet and mingle with Opacum volunteers and supporters, and find out more about the important conservation work of your local land conservation organization…

…Following dinner will be a program by Dr. Curtiss Hoffman about his extensive research on the mysterious stone structures found across our region, featured in his newest book Stone Prayers: Native American Constructions of the Eastern Seaboard.

Join us to hear Dr. Hoffman discuss this highly debated topic.  Autographed copies of his book will be available to purchase.

Tickets for the event are available through September 8th at
 or for more information, visit  or call 413-245-1175. Proceeds from this event support the conservation work of Opacum Land Trust.”

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

More quartz fragments from the Woods Hole Islands

I believe this piece of quartz is flaked:
If you accept that, then let me draw out the discussion a little and speculate that this is a broken tip from an arrowhead. At the upper left is a "tip" that is worn and rounded off. Here is a view of the other side, with the "tip" pointing upward:

Do you see what I see? A groove from the lower edge up towards the tip. In fact there is also a shallower groove with the same orientation visible in the first picture above. 

Lets take a look at the broken edge:
So what do you think? Looks like part of a Clovis point. Back then, this area was above sea level and the "hole" and "gut" would have been valleys. Excellent spots for an ambush?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Early summer arrowheads

August is a tough time for me when it comes to finding stone tools. It's been hot, vegetation covers the ground. The air is a little cooler today, and I'm sure there will be hot days ahead- buty I am looking forward to fall. Here are some of my most recent finds, from earlier in the summer.

A walk in Rhode Island yielded a handful of fragments. Par for the course.
This quartz stemmed point is a typical southeastern Massachusetts find. It was fun to spot. I think this is hard hammer percussion flaking, meaning that it was flaked by hitting it with a rock. This results in a crude look (to me) but it nevertheless took a lot of skill to make these this way out of this material.
I also found a nicely made quartz scraper nearby.
That's all I've got to show. I thought this tiny turtle was cute. I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the summer.

Monday, August 12, 2019

TV recommendations

From Norman Muller:
This is probably old news to you, but I just watched two episodes of "Native America," a four-part PBS series on the religious and cultural beliefs of the indigenous peoples of North and South America.  Apparently it was televised last year.  To me, it is very well done and clearly presented.  I saw it on Amazon Prime.

From Tim MacSweeney:
I just watched the first two episodes of 1491 from the Aboriginal TV network, for free at their Facebook page. 

Friday, August 09, 2019

Norman Muller writes:

A friend of mine sent me two photos yesterday of a 100 foot wall at the Oley site in PA that cuts across a rocky wetland.  The wall many also have a manitou stone leaning against it. See image below.  The wall is about 100 feet long and not connected to other walls.  It reminds me of a wall on the side of a mountain in Rochester, VT, that cuts across a wet area (2nd image).  It, too, is unconnected to other walls.  Both examples fit.a pattern, and I'm wondering if you and others have recorded similar examples in your travels.

Thursday, August 01, 2019

A Little Walk (Westbrook CT)

Looking West
    I did get to take a little walk recently, under the trees with a cool wind blowing in from Long Island Sound, vaping CBD for relief of my arthritis-like symptoms and a second PICC device implanted in my arm for this Lyme Disease that just won't go away. It's a place I've posted about before, within Curtiss' CT Cluster #7, the Hammonasset East, I do believe...

Looking East


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Mosier Mound Complex

I had forgotten about this:

And we already had this:

Comment: this is not like what we have in New England. Maybe more like Track Rock Gap?

Friday, July 26, 2019

What kind of arrowhead is this?

From reader Joshua:

Could someone please help me identify these two arrowheads I recently found in Point Judith Rhode Island? Any help would be appreciated.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Broken point from Woods Hole MA

Found on the "hole" side of Devil's Foot.
It is missing its tip. Not beautiful but interesting. It is called a "small-stemmed" point but I don't know the type.
It is pretty thick to be a projectile and what would a spearpoint be good for on a small island?
The break, perpendicular to the axis of the point, does suggest it broke tip first.
Is this a typical MA arrowhead style? Wading River?

Pockumtuck Festival

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Jonesing for new rock piles

Feeling an urge to get back off the Cape and explore. Sorry for the quiet in the meantime.

Monday, June 24, 2019

Long distance alignments

From Norman Muller:

Herman Bender, a good friend, sent me this comment about long distance alignment which he posted on the Hanwaken Facebook site. It agrees with my thinking about the matter:

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Morning after a good rain

     In my last post I mentioned that I would be out searching for arrowheads after it rained. As it happened, it rained most of the morning, and I had to work in the afternoon; my only chance of getting out there before anyone else was to get out there while the rain was still coming down. I got soaked, but that's OK. Happiness is no footprints. Also it did stop raining while I was out there so I got to dry out some.
     This thin little triangle was easy to spot.
     This stemmed point was also totally exposed.
     I wound up getting a couple of decent arrowheads, a big broken blade and a few fragments not worth showing. A good day.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Spring arrowhead season

     Spring is the best season for arrowheads.
     One day I went out after work to a nice sandy place where I have found a lot of chips of quartz and argillite, but very few tools. Conditions on the ground were very good with a lot of fresh exposure. This quartz arrowhead was fun and rewarding to find, and could not have been more obvious or easy to spot.
      Nearby, I picked up what I thought was just another quartz flake. It turned out to be a pretty unusual little stemmed point with an expanding stem.
     A quartz triangle and a quartz stemmed point, the two types of tools that to me are so typical of the artifacts left behind by prehistoric people in southeastern New England. There were, of course, other people in this region at other times, who used different types of materials. I think the quartz industry sites are more numerous but maybe it's just that I am better at finding those sites.
     One very rainy afternoon my friend Dave and I went to a favorite spot only to see two others out there, with sticks, searching for artifacts. Discouraged, we left and went to another, very small area where he and I have both found stuff in the past. I spotted this tiny corner peeking out of the mud.
     This triangular quartz arrowhead is very small, the sort of thing that some collectors used to call a "bird point." The site where I found this must be so dense with arrowheads, there is almost always something to find there even though there is almost no geological change happening, extremely limited exposure in a tiny area only. As with most of the sites I know, it is private property but is known to the state as an archaeological resource. I am not aware that there is any real effort to protect these resources which to me is a shame.
     One sunny weekday recently I had an incredible lucky streak. I was really feeling lucky so I went to a favorite place in Rhode Island near the coast, before work. This stemmed point is big, thick, and chunky. Thicker than what I usually find. I speculate it might have been used as a knife. I like it.
     This neat little stemmed point nearby was very easy to spot. Just waiting to be picked up.
     It is pretty much all there. Maybe a little worn from centuries in the ground.
     There was lots to find there, that morning. I found most of another stemmed point, and some fragments.
     After work, the weather was still nice and I was still feeling lucky so I decided to try again in a different spot, this time in southeastern Massachusetts. I spotted this tiny base sticking out of the ground. It was exciting pulling it out of the ground, hoping it would be whole. They usually are not.
     This one was, though. Very pretty. It is, I believe, a Squibnocket Triangle. This could be the nicest point I find this year.
     I found some other stuff that afternoon in that place, too, including another triangle made of a really pretty crystal quartz material, with some damage.
     On another day, back in Rhode Island, I spotted this. It might be a hafted scraper but perhaps more likely it's just broken.
     It was hot and dry out there that day. I did manage to find another crude and beat-up stemmed arrowhead.
     Last week I went to another spot that I know has a lot of artifacts. It was really hot and really dry, terrible conditions. Almost no rocks visible. Despite this, I carefully searched the most productive area and I was rewarded with this.
     This is pretty big and well-made. It doesn't show well in the photo but in hand, this quartz material has a glassy appearance that shows the flaking scars better than is typical with quartz. I'm happy with this.
     It's nighttime as I write this and it is raining here. We are supposed to get some decent rainfall tonight. I will plan to be out there searching again tomorrow. I spend a lot of time looking, to be able to find anything.

Friday, June 07, 2019

YouTube from Quebec

Here are mounds from Quebec. The piles get better and better on the way through the video.