Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Oley Hills Part 2

By Geophile

At Oley Hills, one small section seemed to have special significance. This section included a high platform of stones that faced across the valley, a huge boulder which I was told had been blasted at one or both ends by an owner some time in the 20th century, but which probably once rocked, and an area partially surrounded by a low wall that connected some stone features, including what was almost certainly a large turtle effigy.

The top three pictures are the boulder, the platform with two Lenape descendants, Bob Red Hawk and Bart Standing Elk, and third, the wall-linked possible turtle effigy pile nearby. If you click on and enlarge the platform photo, you will see rock piles and people below, giving a better sense of the placement of it.

If we were allowed the kind of imaginative lattitude we see in images of Mayan or other archaeological wonders (and I'm not sure we should be), I would paint a picture of people holding torches and singing together, standing on the platform rock piles at Oley Hills and facing northeast across the valley to hail the sunrise at some crucial time of year, while others rocked the great boulder to produce low sounds that resounded for miles. But who knows what really went on here?

Time has muddled my memory as to where many of the other features of the site were in relation to one another. The split-wedged boulder in the other picture was one of the most striking things I saw there. At that time I didn't know that this was a feature that turned up at other sites. I just remember my mind trying, at first, to figure out how it could have happened naturally, and when that failed, trying to figure out how people could have done it. I regret not having something in the photo to demonstrate the scale of the thing. It was almost night when I took this one, so it's harder to see.

1 comment :

pwax said...

Boy those are beautiful cairns. I have never seen anything like them in Mass.