Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pollock Works

Norman Muller writes:

For many years Robert Riordan, an Ohio archaeologist, has been excavating the site known as the Pollock Works, a 2000 year old Hopewell site in Greene County, Ohio. As Riordan explains it in his recent article “Enclosed by Stone” (Hopewell Settlement Patterns, Subsistence, and Symbolic Landscapes, eds. A. Martin Byers and DeeAnne Wymer, Gainsville 2010, 215-229), the site “encompasses a 5-ha ovoid space that slopes downward toward the west, demarcated by vertical cliffs 3 to 15m high on the south, east, and north that blend into a broad talus on its western side. Embankments composed of earth and stone 3 m high were erected as a barrier wall across this western slope, stretching between the outcropping cliff on the south and the 7-m-high creek bluff on the north.”

In excavating a U-shaped portion of the western embankment, Riordan found five separate construction layers, the four top layers of which were capped with slabs of limestone. On the basis of his excavation, Riordan proposed that “a small, geologically isolated limestone plateau in southwestern Ohio was intentionally remodeled with embankments to cause it to better resemble, and thereby to more properly become, an elevated space that was considered to be divorced from its surrounding landscape: a hilltop effigy, if you will.”

The following pdf attachment explains the stones that Riordan’s team found, their number, weight and the work that was involved in carrying the stones to the site.

This is followed by a commentary on Riordan’s article by the editor, A. Martin Byers. A jpg of the engraving of the Pollock Works by Squier and Davis is also attached.

1 comment :

pwax said...

This is a nice example of Indians using stone for construction material. They did construct in stone but, perhaps in the East, did not make buildings out of stone.