Saturday, June 27, 2009

A gully on the north side of Nobscott Hill - Sudbury, MA

The videos I posted recently talk about my surprise and pleasure at finding myself in a rock pile site on the northwest part of Nobscott Hill, although the piles were badly smeared and nearly disappeared. The second video showed a large pile which is at the top of the gully at the lower right of the larger blue outline in the map fragment above. This larger pile was plunked down right about at the top of the gully, giving a clear impression that it was deliberately placed at the top of the water. And yet, like other piles along the lower edge of the orchard there, the pile included enough loose rubble to suggest it was just the result of dumping rocks pulled out of the agricultural area uphill.Note the rocks off to the left in the photo. But also you can see there is some decent construction present and that the rocks are sorted to about the same basic size.The same sort of confounding of the badly damaged ceremonial versus overly structured agricultural was true for most of what I saw here on Nobscott Hill. This hill has been crawled over repeatedly by all sorts of people - it is a major hill in conservation land right here in the busy suburbs. Anyway here are a couple more views of this large pile:
What struck me, in particular, about this pile was its placement at the head of a gully. Below it, perhaps 25 feet down the gully was this small circular structure:
Here it is in relation to the larger pile:Is this a fireplace? It looks like a little prayer seat, placed directly in the gully to derive the maximum benefit from the location.

We know from the history of Sudbury that Nobscott Hill was the residence of one of the local powwows/sachems named Tantamous (see quick summary here). I read that the word "Nobscott" is related to "place of falling rocks" - which may be a reference to "Tipping Rock", a perched erratic boulder on an more eastern summit of the hill. But the presence of Indians over here on the northern and northwestern side of the hill is evident. There were several clusters of rock piles. Including some further down this same gully, and some roughly where the smaller blue outline is on the map fragment above. Certainly a pleasant walk. I have been trying to find rock piles on Nobscott Hill over several years. Here they are.

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

It's Tippling Rock not Tipping Rock.