Thursday, March 11, 2010

"Walden Woods" off Rt 85 - Milford, MA

With me driving and FFC spotting for rock piles out the window, we drove north on Rt85 through Milford and, later, into Hopkinton. (Rt85, or Cedar Road, is the main road running vertically through the map fragment above.) Some time ago I was shown some pretty vast sites in the area by Bruce McAleer and I figured there was more to be seen and was particularly interested in the areas around Echo Lake. For the most part, since Echo Lake is a water supply reservoir, parking anywhere nearby is prohibited but at one point a modern development showed up on the left (the road going left from 85 at the letter "C" in "Cedar") and we ducked in there, ignoring the "Private Road" signs. We could both see a pretty interesting hillside just north of that road at the entrance (see here), and FFC spotted a rock pile. So we pulled over and went to have a look. Here is the scene up there:
There were signs of more recent quarrying:And a number of rock piles that could have been modern or ancient.
and some obvious mixings:
In the first picture above, there is a large rock pile at the rear, to the right. Here are some closeups:This is what I have been calling a rectangular chambered cairn, presumably vandalized. Note its position at an outlook. Recall that chambered cairns like this, at an outlook, are one of the characteristics of the "Wachusett Tradition". I did not see any "ski jump" shaped piles here but there were several nice rock scatters on top of boulders with some hints of vertical facing:
(I think it takes quite a while to grow that kind of moss)

There were quite a few nice piles scattered from the bottom of the hill to the outcrops at the top.

Here was something quite interesting at the top of one outcrop. This is enough like a serpent effigy that I want to call it that:

Also some nice split rocks - one that is split and filled:One that is wedged with a single wedge:

When we got back to the car, the custodian of the private development had wandered out, coffee mug in hand, to chase off the riff-raff. We chatted and left with a slight sour taste in the mouth. I was thinking that since the development bulldozers left off exactly half-way through a good sized rock pile, we probably could have given him a hard time, in a NAGPRA sort of way.
(the bulldozed slope is to the right). But then, mucking up the rock piles here was going on long before the modern housing development.

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