Sunday, September 30, 2012

Brook in Leominster State Forest

I crossed the brook there where the rocks were completely slick. I used a stick for an extra leg, took my time placing a first foot, expected to slip on the second step, and hoped it would stay under control for the third. It was close. Then, as I was congratulating myself, I almost fell into an extra little bit of brook on the far side.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Turtle Rock Effigy

Tommy Hudson writes:
This is the Turtle Head effigy on the northwest side of Fort Mountain in north Georgia. It is facing northwest. I took the photo a week ago. A friend of mine checked the astronomical alignment of this and the stone wall on the mountain, along with other piled stone features on the mountain, but could find nothing definite. Interesting place.

Lazy 9 rock piles

If you take a number "9", mirror it, and lie it on its side, you get the shape of a rock pile. Here are three examples from the Midway site in Acton. 
The next two have one extra rock, near where the tail of the "9" would end, if it curled slightly. 
These were found within a few yards of each other. 
(I guess I should go back and clean these suckers off and take pictures on a cloudy day, so you will be able to see what I am talking about.)

A Maya Site

[not rock pile related]

"Marco Gonzales is a Maya archaeological site located near the southern tip of Ambergris Caye off the coast of Belize...roughly 3.6 metres (12 ft) above sea level, slightly higher than the surrounding swamps due to accumulated anthrosol, soil composed primarily of artefacts (e.g., pottery, tools), conch and other shells, building remains and other debris resulting from millennia of human habitation. The presence of artefacts beneath the mangal swamps indicates that the site was once larger than what is presently exposed...There are at least 49 distinct structures and walls within the presently mapped area of the site..."
And I'll add that I just might have a few original photos from here in the near future...
And then I'll add this:
I guess the Gonzales Site may be sort of more Mound Related, rather than Rock Pile Related, but aren’t both sort of related to each other? And I see the word “anthrosoil” used to describe what makes up this “bump,” this mound, on the landscape (that sounds like the Human Made Mounds in the Amazon previously thought to be natural features). When I see the sights at this “site in the rough” maybe it might give a me a little insight to the sites in the rough I see…The photo is from where there’s more info.

"Short Stretches 2"

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

More arrowhead finds

One evening after work last night Dave and I went to go for a walk in a sandy place where we have both found some arrowheads this year. Every time there is a good rain it moves the sand around and there is always the chance something new will pop up. We were only there for an hour or so, I didn't find anything but Dave spotted this little quartz triangle fully exposed after less than 15 minutes.
It could be a narrow Squibnocket Triangle or possibly a Madison. I am jealous.
After we searched the area it rained a couple of times so I went back on Saturday. The conditions were perfect- wet ground with clean rocks, no dust, bright overcast with no distracting shadows. I saw a lot of flakes and chips but didn't find any tools until I found this in a spot I had previously skipped.
This is the broken base of a stemmed point, I would call this a Neville Variant. I'm not sure what the material is but it is very nice and pretty, cream-colored with pink streaks. Too bad it is broken.
I kept looking and I found this very small quartz arrowhead. This is what some people would call a "bird point." I don't find many in this size and shape. I don't think it is really possible to date these little small stemmed points.
I also found this Squibnocket Triangle. This is larger than average for this shape. I would like to think the shape of the tip indicates it was modified for use as a drill, but I suppose it might be more likely that the tip is just damaged on both sides.
Here is everything I found in 2-1/2 hours of searching. The dark-colored fragment is one "tang" of a very finely made thin broad point. The parallel flaking suggests it is something from the Archaic period. It is a tiny piece of what once was something very nice.
Saturday night it rained hard. I went back to this place and spent another 2 hours there Sunday morning. I didn't find anything at all.

"Short Stretches" for PW (link)

Birdstone on a Stone Row

Monday, September 24, 2012

FFC on the way to Midway

says "I am the only one into the little stuff":

Make no bones about it

I found this one this morning:
"The Massachusetts Unmarked Burial Law protects unmarked burials or cemeteries of any
cultural affiliation over 100 years old on both public and private lands, but applies to skeletal
remains only and does not include grave goods. Whenever possible burials are left in situ, but when
reburial is necessary the costs are borne by the disturber. A period of one year is allowed for scientific investigation with the the option of consultation if a longer period is needed..."
From: An Archaeological Landscape in Narragansett, Rhode Island: Point Judith Upper Pond. Alan Leveillee and Burr Harrison page 58 (1996)
"Maugua the Bear in Northeastern Indian Mythology and Archaeology" is interesting too.

Colorful Stones on the Serpent's Back

I visited the Snake/Serpent Effigy (on a Land Trust Property in Woodbury CT) shown above for the third time just the other day. It has some interesting stones on its back (as if the head stone itself isn't interesting enough). Right on top of the alleged head:
Moving north:
And then there is the testudinate one, a mix of quartz and another type of stone, above that square piece of white quartz:
This one:
You may click here for details

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Vandalized petroglyph or not?

A curious story from the Pincher Creek Voice (a small Alberta newspaper): "Local history drilled out and washed away? "

Friday, September 21, 2012

Last pictures from the old camera

I wanna say about my camera: she was a good old horse but developed cataracts. Anyway, here are some pictures from another part of the Sudbury State Forest. The sites are actually pretty frequent in these low lying areas south of Concord. I just never really explored them.
But this is a place I have been to several times and blogged about. (Cannot find the link, it was about rock piles built into outcrops). Since last time I was there my eye has gotten my perpetual quest to find rock piles with hollows. So lets take a look at some of the (blurry, milky, and soon to be in the past) pictures from the old camera. You can actually see the rock piles from Concord Rd but you need to get out to have a close look at the outcrops there. All of them have faint traces of structures. In the end, it becomes obvious that there are some man-made additions there.
Here is a ramp that wraps around the side of an outcrop...very faint but clear once you see it.
 From the other end:
An adjacent outcrop, with a small structure at the end:
A view back towards one of the enhanced outcrops, from a more prominent boulder, looking over several very short stretches of wall:
The next is a small example, that I was confident had a visible hollow in the middle [blurry old camera!]. 
And then what you would expect to see nearby: a smaller satellite pile with a bit of white rock:
These are quite reminiscent of what is in northern Dunstable: rock piles with hollows built up against boulders. 
Goodbye to the old camera.

The Day - State sides with Mohegans in ruling that jeopardizes Montville housing project | News from southeastern Connecticut

Reader Ted Hensrickson writes:
Peter, found this interesting:

"Cairns: Messengers in Stone"

The author David Williams writes:

Greetings from Seattle. In mid-July you were kind enough to mention a blog post I wrote about Building a Mile High Cairn. [see here - PWAX]

I am writing now because I thought that you and the readers of the Rock Piles blog might be interested in my new book--Cairns: Messengers in Stone, which weaves together the cultural and and natural history of cairns from around the world. Chapters include the geology and ecology of cairns, burial cairns in Scotland, cairns on expeditions, and stone stacks. Part history, part folklore, part natural history, my book shows that cairns are more than a random pile of rocks, they provide habitat for plants and animals, a means of communication, and guides for travelers worldwide. For more info, you can go to the cairns page on my website.

Cairns is available at independent bookstores and on Amazon.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

"A heap of stones at a place called the Hot House"

Here's a link:
"Sweat Houses in the Southern New England Area" by Eva Butler.
A word new to me "Pesapungganute" appears in the article. Stone pile mention: "Several Mohegan-Pequot deeds mention sweat-houses. Daniel Comstock in 1730 deeded to his son John, land on the Thames River in what is now the town of Montville. It was a piece of meadow, to witt, fresh meadow at a heap of stones at a place called the Hot House." (Land Records, Vol. IX, p. 149, City Hall, New London, Connecticut.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A knoll in Sudbury next to water

This is a small site. I was barely sure it was not just some rock piles out beyond the end of a stone wall placed there for future wall building (see blurry video). But there was a lot of symmetry to those structures and, later, I found several rock piles that were not in line with the wall.
Overall there were maybe six low, very smeared, rock piles.
No, this is a genuine rock pile site, not a bit of unfinished wall building.

Switching to a new camera

I am excited about using a new camera. The model I was using, an HP Photosmart R827, was replaced with a new R827 - they still had one in stock at Amazon. So a new lens and the same old color quality and resolution.

Only two posts to go to empty my old camera.

Rock pile found when wandering in woods near Lake Waramaug

Reader Will S. writes:
Today I was off-trail hiking (way off-trail) through the woods bordering Lake Waramaug and discovered a rock pile atop a large foundation rock (pics are attached).  I am fully aware that this could simply be something done recently, but do not possess the requisite knowledge to determine that....Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.
[PWAX - I comment that it looks a lot like the isolated pile I showed here]

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A minor knoll in Sudbury State Forest - video

I am trying to show a site something like this:So here is a little video:

I see that after uploading and with my old camera, this video is almost worthless. But take heart! I replaced my camera.

Burials in Rock Piles

Cool references:

Monday, September 17, 2012

Part of Strawberry Hill, Acton

We were on a part of Strawberry Hill we probably should not have been on and saw a curious stone wall limited roadway, with three stone walls. Hard to imagine the need for Jersey Barriers in colonial times. We were following the wetland uphill and the triple wall only lasted a few yards. We came upon rock-on-rocks and small rock piles, which FFC was quick to point out. And eventually we got to some faint outlines. All of this was in a failed attempt to find a quicker route to the "Midway" site that we are hoping to explore in detail.
Here we saw:
andand the view uphill.One outline picture was blurry but this one is clear:Given my obsession with rock piles with hollows, you'll understand my desire to see this as of the same nature.
Another little rock pile
A few more rock-on-rocks