Thursday, July 06, 2006

Next day out in Falmouth, MA (July 4th in the morning)

by pwax
On my third day out in Falmouth looking for new rock piles I went to the northern side of Beebee Woods, and walked south and west from the trailhead on Ter Huen Drive. I did not see much till I got to a substantial pond which I believe is the "Punch Bowl" and turned back north/east on a trail. Not too far along and there was a clear rock pile in the middle of the trail:
There were a few very faint traces of other structures nearby. For example this loose line of dirt and cobbles leading to a small boulder:
I looked all around for other things and saw a couple of what seemed like more recent rock-on-rocks nearby. They seemed recent because the rocks had no lichen and were placed precariously in a way I would assume would be damaged after not too long. Is this simple "wannabe" stuff or genuine recent ceremonialism? This question seems to come up over and over in Beebee Woods. There has been enough time since Mavor and Dix wrote about the woods, for people to go out and mess around. However one place where I lifted the "recent" rock off of its support, it seemed clear that some amount of time had gone by because there was a stain on the lower rock.

Continuing along the same trail just before it crosses a stone wall there is a knoll a few feet to the north of the path with a wonderful "turtle pile". I'll show you in a moment. But here also there was at least one nearby feature that looked more recent:
That little rock propped up in the split does not seem quite right. And close examination made it seem relatively recent. If I had to say, these "recent" features are about as old as the rock piles I found near a tumbled down cabin in the woods which I took to be from around 1960. So that is my estimate for when these"recent" features were made.

Anway, here is a "turtle" a little beyond the pile-in-the-trail and before the stone wall:
This pile is about 8 feet long with the head facing southwest along the left side of a valley that starts here. This is an example of "Turtle Piles - Version 3" [Click here] I believe this is a straightforward identifiable type of structure. Examples are known from the Cape, Foxborough, Acton, Littleton, and Stow. The Littleton example, on the corner of Fort Pond and Nagog Hill Roads, is so much associated with Sarah Doublet Forest, that it is hard to dis-associate it from the most recent Indians who are known to be have lived there in historic times.

I looked around and noticed the recent ceremonialism (shown above) and continued by following the stone wall uphill. At the top it met another wall which led to some extremely non-Indian type rock structures.
The second picture shows one side of a stone outline made from rocks borrowed from the wall. To the left in the picture is the campfire and to the right is some sort of seating and/or altar. Both suggest multi-person activities. Doesn't resonate with rock piles. From there I made my way out.

1 comment :

pwax said...

I should add that in 1960 there were very few people indeed who would have noticed a rock pile beside the trail and even fewer who would have been inclined to create minor ceremonies nearby such a feature. It almost suggests a "remembering" rather than a "discovering".