Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Beech Trees and Mounds in Billerica

A week or two ago FFC called me and said he took a stroll at lunch where he is working in Billerica and found a grid of rock piles with a larger messier mound. [Sounds like a "Wachusett Tradition" site to me and I asked] "Will you show it to me". So the next available Saturday we went out in the early morning to check. 
[Digression: this site is at the lower end of Fortune Dr. where there is a bit of conservation land up against a marsh, facing south/south-east. Why is it important for me to tell you this location? If you are worried about vandals, I ask: "how can you ruin what is already a ruin?". Or if you are concerned about disturbing the spirits, I say: "No, those spirits are gone. This place has been opened up to the face of the creator." So all we can do is see that their grave is kept clean. I think FFC and I agree about this.]
This is a site with two large rectangular mounds with hollows, surrounded by a variety of smaller "marker piles" - in a grid - as well as some highlighted quartz in the rocks strewn about, and a lovely split-wedged rock. There were also some faint traces of older smaller mounds with hollows. All of these are very standardized. 
Meeting up with FFC, we walked to the bottom of the parking lot of an adjacent company, and stepped across a stone wall.
The rock piles were low and in the nth stage of smearing out. They were evenly spaced, in lines; hardly worth looking at:
I was anxious to see the larger mound. Let's have a look:
It is a large mound, with a tail that curls into the foreground on the left. The view out towards a marsh is typical of these types of piles, around here. But Billerica is the farthest east that I have seen one. We are east or Rt 3 and it is all urban after this. 
Some more pictures:
The light brown leaves are still attached to the beech trees and FFC was struck by them. Beech are not too common and suggest a mature woods. Later, I asked him to name the site and he said "Beech Trees".
We both poked around separately for a while. I took pictures of a fine split-wedged rock:
FFC went down the edge of the marsh a bit and found a second large mound:
I find these to be gorgeous. Maybe cuz I hunt for them so often; and these are great examples of rectangular mounds with hollows. Here is a hollow on the upper surface of this second mound:
Here is a view back towards the corporate building:
Just look at this beautiful place!
Nothing particularly intelligent to say about this, just that it is a wonderful site about 10 minutes from the Burlington Mall and a great research opportunity for students in this area.
As we leave the site, let's take a closer look at some of the ground piles.
Are they triangular? rectangular? Do they have little hollows of their own?

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