Thursday, November 14, 2013

Interesting stone "oven" in northeastern (no...northWESTERN) Willard Brook State Forest

In eastern Willard Brook State Forest you can park at the northwestern end of Valley Rd (a dirt road) and walk southeast. I wanted to go south uphill, follow the brook, and get up to the higher meadows and wetlands I could see on the map.
Going upstream I saw something curious on the left - a rock pile and a sequence of features along an outcrop.
Taking a closer look, it seems hollow, and seems like it might have had its top cast off to the side.
Another look from in front. There is a small lintel and opening.
Inside, the rocks are stained red - presumably from fire.
A few steps past the structure, modifications continue:
I cannot imagine a purpose for this structure - seemingly like an oven but part of a sequence of stone structures which have no obvious connection to uses of an oven. Look back, continuing up the hill:


Curt Hoffman said...

Peter -
This looks to me like a collapsed one of Ted Ballard's U-structures. He is currently working on an article for the MAS Bulletin in which he will suggest that some of these were roofed with stone.

pwax said...

U's are more typically open on one side and without fire staining.

Curt Hoffman said...

It looked to me like it was open on one side. Al Smith and Marty Dudek excavated a U in south central Mass. which did have fire staining on the back wall.

Norman said...

Years ago someone suggested to me that some of these U-structures were used for making charcoal.

pwax said...

I looked at it again today and it is not a U. You can go out and check.