Monday, September 10, 2007

A visit to West Sterling, MA

There is lots of nice looking un-explored woods out there and I wanted to go back to a part of Leominster State Forest where I had seen some rock piles from the road. But I ended up going somewhere else and found a rather extensive site of low simple rock piles. The piles were built almost exclusively on support boulders, with many single rock-on-rocks and apparently many piles designed to be visible from the tops of large boulders. I saw lots of little lines of piles or rocks lined up with boulders. I'll explain. But I should also mention why I am publicizing this site and also tell about my little adventure with the sounds of gunfire.

First off, this site is a bunch of very simple rock piles where in most cases you could easily see that the rocks are not enough to hide anything. There would be little reason to destroy them for the "treasure hunting" kind of idle curiousity. At the same time, someone actively hostile to rock piles would probably not bother to hoof it out to Sterling then walk 1/2 hour into the woods, just to knock over some rocks. So I believe the risk to the site is low. In any case the site is somewhat remote and there is a greater possible benefit to someone going out and looking at this site for themselves than risk of someone going to be malicious. Here are some of the nicer piles I saw in there:
Note the smaller stones in front and in back of the rock-on-rock. They could have fallen into this position or they could be deliberate.There were lots of pleasant little groupings in the woods:which I tried to make videos of (see a later post). Also a couple of examples where it seemed the rock piles either led up to a larger boulder or surrounded a larger boulder. I got the feeling the piles were built to be visible from these larger boulders. Here for example is a view over a pile to a boulder that had other piles surrounding it on the downhill side.
And here is one of a pair of low lines of rocks that pointed back towards this same boulder but from farther away.
You can sort of make out a bit of the gray of the large boulder. This boulder had a few other interesting things about it (see a later post) but it was only one example at this site. For example look at his boulder and the cluster of small structures that lines up with it in the foreground:
Here is a closeup of the little line of structures:I took lots of pictures and videos, which I'll post later.


pwax said...

You guys never comment on my sites. I wish you would.

Geophile said...

Well, I can tell you, it's not from lack of respect for you or the quality of the sites you present. I just never feel I have anything to add to what you show and say.

In this case, I think the idea that the smaller rock piles are lined up in relation to the boulders is a good observation. That book I read not long ago, An Archaeology of Natural Places, described how the Saami people of Finland would build low walls or other structures near natural boulders of unusual shape or size or placement.

In cases such as you describe here, it may be worth taking time to look closely at the boulder for those qualities. I would be interested to know what about that boulder may have arrested the attention of those who then decided to make those rock piles. Some effigies perceived in boulders can seem subtle to us, who are not always accustomed to seeing animals, for example, in sleeping or other atypical positions.

It may be important in which directions the line-ups of piles go, and what may be found some distance away in those directions. Maybe not, but it's a thought.

How's that?

pwax said...

Thanks Geophile. Just what I wanted. The boulders were destinguished, by being the largest boulders around. In each case where something seemed to line up with the boulder, they lined up with a spot below the very top of the boulder. In the case of the main one (shown again a couple posts later) the spot would be comfortable place to sit, but not at the highest point of the boulder.