Saturday, December 15, 2012

Blood Hill (1) - above the main mound

Blood Hill is a big hill just north of the border between Ashby and Fitchburg. I saw it looming over me while driving around looking for somewhere to walk and luckily it turned out to be a conservation land. So I went in from the east up an old road figuring I would check out the summit and then check out the water and wet areas. After visiting both the main summit and part of the smaller one to the southeast, I went back to the saddle between the summits and stepped off the path.
There was a rock pile immediately. Nice to see something but it is not that rare to find an isolated pile in a saddle between hills. 
Then I saw another pile covered with grass and leaves, then a third. I brushed off the dead leaves to find its component cobbles deeply buried in accumulated dirt, thinking "this is old".
It was pleasant to see some old rock piles. Continuing a few more steps downhill, I came across a rock on rock, also well buried, and then a slightly more prominent pile:
 Here it is, as part of a line of three structures:
I still did not think much of the site but dutifully began sweeping a bit laterally across the hillside. My foot found a larger smeared out pile. 
See the deer trail, winding along? I continued downhill and turned a corner past a pile buried under a hemlock. I could see another pile below and I am thinking "these are real rock piles".
At this point, I am almost starting to believe this was more than just a few old rock piles. Note this is like the first pile above.
For me, this is very pretty stuff, even in ruin:
I started being more systematic, searching laterally across the hill, and started coming on larger rock piles, with a hint of rectangular shape and a hint of quartz.
These begin to have the attributes that I associate with the culture that made mounds with hollows (the "Wachusett Tradition"). In fact a pile against a boulder had some of that form:
These were part of a cluster of piles:
The lower ones on the ground were slightly rectangular, some with a bit of quartz:
In my experience, these are deeply buried rock piles. I continued exploring laterally, out to a wall where there was something ceremonial at the corner:
On the left is a piece of white quartz. On the right, a piece of beige quartzite.From there, I turned and headed downhill where I found a big mound. I'll describe it next.

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