Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mass Historical does it again

Dear Reader:
Re: the FAQ pointed out by Bruce M.

If you should happen to encounter this nonsense from the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC), know that you are being lied to. The so-called "thorough" investigations have consisted primarily of schmoozing the developer, applying assumptions, and making a cursory site visit. I have watched it happen. Contrast this MHC statement with what USET said [and, yes, it is about rock piles]. The Indians have a much clearer understanding of their own sacred landscapes than do the representatives of the government which stole those lands. So consider the messenger:

I’m concerned that stone piles in a project area may be Native American grave markers. What should I do?

Piles or continuous walls of fieldstones are common in rural Massachusetts wherever there are rocky soils. When historians and archaeologists have conducted thorough, professional research into such stone piles, they have invariably shown that these features are not associated with the Native American settlement of Massachusetts. When it is possible to determine their origin, stone piles prove to be related to agricultural activities such as clearing of fields for pasture or cultivation, and/or marking property bounds during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, pursuits that were once much more common in what may now be residential suburbs. Because stone piles or walls often marked property lines or boundaries between different land uses such as pasture and woodlot, they are often in a linear row or other geometric pattern, some of which may be consistent with cardinal compass points, solstice sunrises or sunsets, or other celestial phenomena.

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