Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Damage at Stewart Mill Site

From Tommy Hudson:
This is a stone pile site near Douglasville Georgia that I have known about for several years. The site is unique because the stones are almost entirely milky quartz. They would have been carried uphill from milky quartz outcrops about a tenth of a mile away. They are constructed, in a wide arc, around a springhead.
A builder, who is one of my clients, called me when a landscape crew used a bobcat loader to scrape up some of the stones to use as fill in a ditch. He realized what was happening and stopped them. Unfortunately, about half of the fifteen or so piles were removed. I have good photos and documentation of the site prior to the damage. I have talked to the homeowner about the importance of the site and he said he will leave it "as is".
I am curious as to why someone(s) would go to so much trouble to carry these stones up a steep hill, and why milky quartz? I know that in the Southeast, Indians considered clear quartz to be a connection to ancestors in the spirit world. Could this be why? I have two other sites like this where there are milky quartz stone piles and nearby outcrops of milky quartz boulders downhill from the stone piles. Tool preforms are scattered around the outcrop sites, so I know the outcrops were used by the Indians. Got any ideas?

The site after the bobcat work. Note the damage to the tree.
Quartz stones before the damage. This is a crescent shaped pile about 15' long, from bottom to top.Pile of large quartz stones, each of which would probably require two people to carry or drag on a litter.A pile scattered, over time, or possibly by pot hunters.
Stones in the configuration of a wall about 25' long, left to right.


pwax said...

For what it is worth, it looks like fire was applied to those pieces of quartz. So maybe dating would be possible.

TommyH said...

The shaded areas on the stones may be fire scars. The darker black spots are some kind of inclusion. Maybe feldspar? I' m just guessing. By the way, I have revised my site file and site drawing to show that the stones placed in the ditch are recent, or "after the fact". Would'nt want some archaeologist, a hundred years from now, to think that Native Americans filled a ditch with stones for a firepit or some such. Also, I wanted to point out that the bottom stones of the piles are deeply embeded in the top soil, maybe even throught the topsoil to sterile soil below. You can see from the bobcat scrapings that sterile residual soil is not very deep. Tommy