Monday, February 13, 2006

Fieldtrip continued - the eastern slope of the Hill of 500 Cairns

The eastern slope of the Hill of 500 Cairns, also has rock piles on it. They are much more sparsely located than on the western slope and they are more built up. I am not sure they are marker piles but there were clear examples of four-in-a-row diagonalling up the hill from this side. Also, these piles are well outside of what George Krusen called the "enclosure" of stone rows which surrounded the famous limestone "cairn field" at the western foot of the hill. Perhaps these eastern slope piles are more recent additions to the site.
The first thing I saw on the eastern side was a nice light feldsparstructure.

There were some nice piles over here.
If they are marker piles they are more like the type where the pointer rock is flat like a "fin" sticking out of the pile. By this time in our fieldtrip I was starting to get hungry and becoming less interested in yet another rock pile. But there are some different interesting things on the eastern slope. Let me tell you about (1) an aperture pile, (2) a strange short stone row with a large aperature through it, and an isolated piece of quartz perched on a ledge at the edge of the hill. [Click here] for information about the aperture pile and the quartz. Here is the curious stone row:

The row ends to the right of the picture. At the top on the left is a larger rock - a bit like the head of a snake. What I found most interesting was the hole in the middle of the wall. See that? Yet one more thing suggesting looking at/ through/ past a construction. That seems to be the theme of the Hill of 500 Cairns.
After exploring the eastern side of the hill, we headed back over the top, where there were a few more things suggesting viewing. For example look at the graduated sizes of the blocks of rocks in the foreground. See the way shadows behave up here?
After this we headed down the southeastern side of the hill, passed that ledge with quartz and scrambled back out to the road. I am ashamed to say I missed this site entirely when I came to explore this hill sometime last year. So now we have a little bit of a sense of this Hill of 500 Cairns. My conclusion: this is a hill which is steep on all side and has elevated horizons in all directions. So it is a natural location for marker piles and, in my experience, is more thoroughly covered with piles than other hilltop sites nearby.

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