Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Gabe's Place - at the western foot of Kezar Hill, Shirley MA

Went for a walk in Northern Shirley - a town which is almost always disappointing because it is largely glacial outwash geology with few good rocks on the surface. But there are some hills with a little bedrock and places where larger gravel (i.e. small boulders) was dropped; so I thought I would give it a try and was disappointed. But if you cannot find rock piles on foot you often can hunt them up easily enough by car. It is rarely too hard to spot new rock piles by driving around a bit past un-explored woods. How come no one else is spotting them? Is it me or is it the towns where I am looking? I would appreciate some comments on this question.

So after giving up on exploring around Deacon Hill, I went north briefly on Townsend road, turned around and came back and, this time, noticed some rock piles under the trees across the road from a small road "Gabe's Place".The woods turn out to be at the foot of a larger hill called Kezar Hill and also it turns out these woods are part of the "Rust Conservation Area". I thought it was private land at the time, so I thought I had to sneak in and I only took some hastey photos. It was cloudy and dark under the trees so most of the photos are a bit blurred.These rock piles are moderately smeared out, rectangular piles, about 6 feet across. Most incorporated a single piece of quartz. Here is a smaller example, about 3 feet across, clearly rectangular:The largest and best preserved seemed to have a bit of a hollow in it:Some were built on boulders,Some were larger, some smaller:They were well covered with dead leaves but, because I was nervous about getting caught trespassing - right next to the road as I was - I did not clean off any of them or try to get a better look.
One of the piles included a reasonably recent piece of glass (I showed this the other day, third picture here).

Some piles hinted at structure but, again, I did not try to clean off any of them to study more carefully
Hints of outline.

Here's what I think: this is an old site with a few burials and a number of marker piles. The site was in use for an extended period, so some piles are more smeared than others. I think the occasional use of quartz both in marker piles and in burials is typical as is the mixture of the two. I think some of these piles are from the "late" (or is it "northern"?) Wachusett Tradition.

Here are some views of the place:
I always the love the juxtaposition of ancient and modern.

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