Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A unique site

I have written about this place before: a gully with little knolls and ponds and brooks and curious rock piles, near the water's edge, which are built up with one vertical side. Often the vertical side faces a smaller pile across a gap. I called this "pile-space-pile" or "pile-gap-pile". Anyway, I went back to show the place to a neighbor who was far from convinced by my talking about rock piles, that there was anything real about them. So we started the walk looking at a few minor rock-on-rock and wedged rocks - each of which he came up with some trivializing explanation for. After a while I said: you know in a few minutes you're going to stop saying that. And indeed when I showed him some of the piles pictured below he started chuckling and tried to come up with a few more explanations and finally gave up saying: well they could be ceremonial. When we got back home he said I did a good job convincing him. In fact all I did was show him the piles. So let us take a look at some of them. I am not going to say much about where this site is located and sort of like the idea of keeping it to myself - although there is at least one deer hunter who must know the place.
To give a picture of how the vertical side is important but like a "false front" with nothing behind it, here is a view from the back (note this might be an aperture pile):
I have written before about pile-gap-pile. Here are some examples, perhaps different angles on piles I have photo'ed before.
Seeing this last one, my neighbor said something to the effect that the pile was so substantial he could believe someone was buried inside it. Needless to say, I do not think these are burials. But he has a point and it certainly would be interesting to know if there is anything in there. Too bad we will not find out.

Just a couple of other nice pictures:
You can see how delicate this last one is. It must be reasonably recent. Piles that have been knocked over are easy enough to see at this site but for such delicate piles to survive long seems highly unlikely. I suspect the deer hunter's family. Speaking of deer hunters, at some point during the proceedings my neighbor was asking if these piles might not be places to hide while hunting deer? It seems the answer is simple enough: you do not need 100 places to hide when there is only one deer and one hunter. Nor do you do not need elaborate vertical piles to hide behind when a bush would do as well and when deer cannot see something if it is immobile - in fact you do not need to hide behind anything as long as you hold still and are down wind. Jokingly: also the deer would hardly be more fooled by a false front.
Of course at the site there are also numerous smaller piles, less photogenic but probably as important as the "nicer ones".

I think this is as a good a site as any to help come to grips with the purpose of the vertical facing. It would be nice to have the ability to map the site accurately and plot direction vectors for the false fronts, and see what lines up with what because, as I finally admitted to the neighbor (who had stopped asserting and started asking) I do think these have something to do with lines of sight.

One last comment: we walked through the site and out the other side along a forest path/road. Immediately after leaving the main gully and turning to look back, there is no sign at all that such a site is there downhill in the gully. You could walk by a hundred times and never suspect it.

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