Monday, September 30, 2013

Wedge-Shaped Formation

Sydney Blackwell writes:
I’ve attached pictures of the large wedge-shaped formation I mentioned and two similar constructions near it. The wedge rock in the stand-alone small construction (image 1242) is lined with quartz on its left underside. 

Mounds with square holes - New Brunswick CA

Reader Steve W: writes:
I've found two sets of mounds of rocks. each set has one mound that has a square hole in the center.  each set of mounds, the one with the hole in the center, has a corner that seems to face north. these mounds are on the Kingston peninsula, new Brunswick, canada

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Interpretive Pictures of Track Rock Gap

From the "People of One Fire", pursuing a Mayan view for this site in Georgia:

Friday, September 27, 2013

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The best of NEMBA Vietnam 2

I have started to be impressed with the idea that one type of rock pile site played a role in defining a pathway. Places like this show where the impression comes from:

Viewed from above and below. [A bit like here.]

The best of NEMBA Vietnam

Just about in the middle of the planned casino development:
That would be around here:
I'll post some pictures next.

Stone on Stone

A natural and social history of cairns
By Michael Gaige
AMC Outdoors, March/April 2013

“Stacking stones is an old business. Trail builders in the Northeast picked up the tradition from ancient cultures. The Scots may be best known for it; after all, the word cairn originates from a Gaelic term for “heap of stones.” But the rather prosaic definition does little justice to a tradition stretching back millennia and across continents. The early Norse used stones as precursors to lighthouses, marking important navigational sites in the maze-like Norwegian fjords. Vikings blazed routes across Iceland with varda (Icelandic for cairn) more than a thousand years ago. Cairns cross deserts on three continents and dot the Tibetan Plateau, the Mongolian steppe, and the Inca Road system of the Andes. Erected for navigation, spiritual offering, or as monuments of remembrance, heaps of stone occur in just about every treeless landscape in which one finds loose rock.
When European explorers began plying the arctic coast, they concealed messages (often their last) describing their discoveries in prominent cairns. They also dismantled many indigenous cairns thinking a comrade had hidden a message within.
Across the North American Arctic, Inuit people construct stone monuments called Inuksuk. Meaning “to act in the capacity of a human,” an inuksuk, like a cairn, can relay a variety of messages: memorial, resource site, or safe passage. The 2010 Vancouver Olympic logo portrayed an innunguaq—an inuksuk with a human-like form.
The extent to which American Indians in the Northeast constructed cairns is unknown. A scattering of evidence suggests they stacked stones for burials and memorials. A cluster of cairns atop a prominent peak in southern Vermont could predate European exploration. But because there is no reliable way to date the structures the architect remains a mystery.”

Michael Gaige became fascinated with the stone-stacking tradition after following cairns hundreds of miles on foot in mountain landscapes throughout the world. He is a freelance conservation biologist and educator based in Saratoga Lake, N.Y.

3 PDFs at Turtle Island

And one, in part, says this: "Quartz shatter was sometimes placed along trails(Apple 2005: 107)so that those travelling the trails at night would be able to see the trail from the moonlight reflecting off of the quartz. Quartz piles along trails were noted during a site visit to the Mule Mountain Spring and related
earth figures site...Rock cairns, which variably mark trails, burials, or other phenomena, occur in the project vicinity as piles of rock standing from one to three courses in height.Older cairns are frequently indicated by stronger desert varnish or patina (Nixon et al. 2011)..."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A site on a bluff overlooking Second Brook - near Bush Hill Rd, Hudson NH

[With reference to the map here] I climbed up from below and had a hard time convincing myself these were man made. But I did convince myself.

Higher up, closer to the "fields" for clearing, messier things. But I think this has structure - a "fat L" or a "lazy 9".

Monday, September 23, 2013

An area full of rocks and bumps of dirt

Some kind of outline

What do you think this was?
Or this?
These are from the valley east of Richardson Rd in (northern) Fitchburg.

A site next to Second Brook, off Bush Hill Rd - Hudson NH

I walked down to the edge of the Second Brook (left hand blue rectangle) and found a solitary rock pile there. 
I looked carefully for other piles in one direction, walking 20 yards or so. There were none. I looked carefully in another direction, there were none. There were bushes a few feet away in a dip, and I saw a rock in there. When I pushed through, I could see other piles on a little high spot. I should have known to look on the knoll next to water first. In this case, I am glad I was looking carefully. 
Here are details of the first pile:
This pile is faintly triangular.
And the second pile, in the bushes:
From there I could see another on a little rise (we are looking back towards the brook now):
The little "rise" the little "ridge" [I don't know what to call it] had another rock pile at the other end:
So the piles were in a layout like this with the first pile in the lower left:
These piles are of a type that should be familiar to the reader: smeared out with one white rock. The smear sometimes looks a bit triangular, sometimes a bit rectangular.  Here we are back at the first pile again.

And then there's this:

"Slobot could see where a soapstone bowl was started, but never finished."

And I'll add, "Slobot spots a box turtle soon after, never seeing any similarity between the two, not having been programmed to recognize the possibility of a similarity."

Kevin Sargent Photo of possibly the same or a different stone:

Sourisford Linear Mounds

This contentious sign outside Linear Mounds may be removed. Dakota object to the label 'Burial Mounds.' 

"Out of this vast area, only one group of burial mounds have escaped cultivation. The Sourisford Linear Burial Mounds remain as one of the best preserved examples of mounds in all of Canada—so much so, they were designated a National Historic Site of Canada. The site is accessible to the public and protected by Parks Canada..."


Thursday, September 19, 2013

No blogging

New laptop, Windows 8, OUCH!

Galway NY Rock Piles

Reader Jay C writes:
I have an area up here in Galway you might want to have a look at... 6 'burial piles' on top of a ridge of base rock. Mohawk flint & Herkimer diamond mining area.. 

Update: "Because this was a 'high traffic' Mohawk Indian hunting area, and also was part of the Mohawk to Northville native trail system (that eventually went all the way to Canada) There were a number of encampments near by, Some cliff carve-outs (Parkis Mills) and a flint/Herkirmer diamond mining area very close by. I have found 10 mounds so far.. I only ever thought there were 3."


Fred Seward writes (via FFC):
The attached jpg picture [from Wikipedia] shows the precession of the pole with dates labelled. The circles of declination are spaced every 15 deg.  In 176 years the pole will travel 1 deg away from the N star, or 5 deg in 880 yr.  This corresponds to 1120 AD.
This is true if your alignment is on the N star.  If it is on the autumnal equinox, the geometry is more complicated.  In this case, 5 deg will take you back to 1600.  probably earlier for the vernal.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

NEARA fall meeting

Peter Anick writes:
Reminder to book your room early for the October 25-27  NEARA conference in Springfield, MA.  Rooms and conference rates can only be guaranteed up till Oct. 1.  (and you can always cancel later if your plans change.)  Ask for the NEARA rate of $99.

La Quinta Inn & Suites  100 Congress Street
Springfield, MA 01104

Phone: 1-413-781-0900

The conference program and registration forms have been mailed out.   Keynote speaker is Lucianne Lavin, author of the new book: Connecticut's Indigenous Peoples. What Archaeology, History, and Oral Traditions Teach Us About Their Communities and Cultures.

Great field trips, as always, on Friday and Sunday.  More info will be posted here:

Also, please spread the word by "liking" our facebook page (search for "neara").

See you there!

"Fat L" rock piles

Here is a standard design, one of the forms of rectangular piles with a "hollow":
Here is one beside Falulah Brook:
I wrote about that site here.

Here is one from High Ridge Wildlife Management Area. It is beside an un-named brook feeding the Whitman River:
I wrote about that site here, where this is located at the lower blue mark on the map.

I take it this is another. It is from near Brush Bush Hill Rd in Hudson NH. It is on a bluff overlooking Second Brook.
I haven't written about the site yet.

I am sorry they are hard to see in the pictures. They are not easy to photograph and not easy to see in the first place. I believe these are old burial mounds. It is no wonder people do not know about them.

So let's call these "fat L" piles, a variant of the "lazy 9" piles I wrote about here.

Friday, September 13, 2013

NEMBA Casino Site

I hear the land east of 85 and northeast of 495 (just where they cross in Milford) is slated for development of a casino. I thought I would go have a look tomorrow. If there are ceremonial sites there they may not know about them. Looking at access points on Google Maps, is this encouraging?