Monday, November 12, 2007

More about Georgia rock piles.

Have we seen this (h/t Tim MacSweeney)?

I paricularly like this quote:
"...It is clear to all reasearchers of piled rock features that the variety of features encountered reflects differing aspects of functional and cultural affiliation. No one questions that some are pre-historic and some are historic, or that some are mortuary and others are simple discard piles. The problem is sorting out the types..."

Wait! It gets better:
"...One startling discovery was the recovery a small "superball" about 40cm below the top of rock pile 4. This obviously modern artifact illustrates how quickly an artifact can work its way through a rock pile...."


pwax said...

It is infuriating reading this and watching the author tip-toe along the edge of realizing that historic period Indians have continued spiritual practices from the past. Instead he draws a sharp distinction between the spiritual and the non-spritual, equating it with the line between pre-historic and historic aged rock piles. ARGGGH!

Geophile said...

It's old, though. Maybe the USET resolution, along with work like your blog, will shake those assumptions and others like them.

JimP said...

I agree with you Peter. He writes with the assumption that contact period rock piles are worthless. Even more bigoted is the idea that the only sites of Indian origin that are of any interest or significance are those that are pre-historic.

JimP said...

And what's up with this statement:

"While zoomorphic patterns would suggest an aboriginal origin, other patters, such as circles would not."

Huh? Indians didn't know about circles?

Anonymous said...

Tim McSweeney's link to the Gresham article brought back a lot of memories, because I obtained a copy of this issue nearly ten years ago, at the same time I also got a copy of the 1962 Smith article on the aboriginal stone walls in Georgia and Alabama.

Gresham is a denier of the antiquity of the stone mounds or cairns in the South. For years he had an ongoing battle with Patrick Garrow, a contract archaeologist of a large firm, who accepted the antiquity of cairns at sites like the Parks-Strickland mound site. You can read some of this at: Garrow wrote some interesting reports justifying the prehistoric origin of the cairns, and I referred to one or two of these in an article I wrote on cairns for the NEARA Journal three or four years ago (maybe more?)