Friday, May 04, 2007

Thunderbird nest with rhyolite

Bruce noticed this pile and pointed out both the hollow - which he believes is part of the design and should be called a "thunderbird nest" - and also pointed out the unusual rock at on the side of the hollow. It was a piece of gray knapp-able rhyollite (sometimes called "felsite").Correction: Bruce email'ed to say: "...used the term [Thunderbird Nest] loosely with you but never assumed you thought I was really serious about this. This is an offhand name I use for piles with a hollowed pit. I have no idea what their intended use was and also know you think they're just from pot hunters.".
I would add that it is possible these are architectural features but sometimes they seem like clear examples of post contruction vandalism.


JimP said...

Everytime I hear this, "Thunderbird Nest," terminology I can't help but wonder about its origins. Was it the creative invention of a researcher? Does it have some basis in ethnography? Are there any historical references for anything remotely related? Are there any traces of such a thing in Native oral tradition? Did this name, perhaps, come from Indians?

My problem is that without some sort of traditional or even ethnographical basis for the nature of these constructions, such a label as, "Thunderbird Nest," is wildly inventive and rather romantically contrived.

Furthermore, placing such a creative label on a feature that no one seems to even remotely understand yet may prejudice alternative hypotheses and the future development of coherent theories.

I don't mean to sound as if I am questioning Bruce's veracity or expertise. That is not my intent at all. His experience speaks for itself. But I definitely need to know more about such a label for these constructions before I can feel good about fully accepting it.

pwax said...

I agree completely. Bruce found the pile and said it and I was respecting his convictions.

Anonymous said...

I agree completely with Jim about this.


pwax said...

So there is a consensus that "Thunderbird Nests" are horseshit.

pwax said...

But it is unfair of Bruce to characterize my position as being that I thought it was form vandalism. I always had the three hypotheses in mind as alternatives: "nests", "vandalism", or "architecture". I am firmly in the "architecture" camp now (2013) and have come up with arguments for it. Specifically: well-built inner spaces, and places where the pile is only a pavement but it has one or more well-defined outlines.

Anonymous said...

Most men on earth would immediately KILL any real Thunderbird who would appear out of fear. That is the real sadness about Thunderbirds of any age.