Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Mystery in the Green Mountains

More about "Hidden Landscapes" - Ted Timreck's film about the pre-history of New England and rock piles. From the Burlington Free Press: [Click here]

It is nice for rockpiles to be given such an elegant treatment but this ongoing confusion about the depth of time - motivating the discussion of rock piles by blurring the 12,000 years between when fluted points were used and now - is unfortunate. It is like the Nipsachuk publicity - generating interest in rock piles at the expense of mis-representing them as all being burials. Is this a good thing that before the subject of rock piles gets its scientific "legs" it already be burdened by a couple of large incorrect assumption? Rock piles are not paleo-Indian and they were not all used in burials. Maybe some of the public will end up here and read that.


pwax said...

I have been trying to come up with a justification for what I am saying here. Ted Timreck's "Red Paint People" movie includes Maritime Archaic burials underneath rock piles. Mavor and Dix did find lots of hematite (the "red paint") in the one pile they excavated in Freetown but there was no reason to link that Freetown pile with a Maritime Archaic people. Everybody used red paint. And maybe they should be linked but I am pretty convinced of the moderness, the youngness, of fragile rock piles.

The middle woodland has also been suggested as a date for some of the rock piles in Georgia and there is an at least 5,000 years time difference between the Archaic and the middle woodland, so I think it is wrong to smear all these different periods together.

pwax said...

Smearing cultural differences over time is, in some ways, as inaproporiate as smearing cultural differences in space (or place). It is not OK to confuse between a Navajo and a Cherokee. It should be similarly not OK to confuse between either of these and the makers of fluted points.