Monday, November 17, 2014

Stone pile embedment

More from Tommy Hudson:
Picture of a stone pile on a mountain in northwest Georgia. This is in an area where dozens of stone piles are located on the spine of an east facing ridge, but not at the very top of the mountain. The property has had only two landowners since 1841, and these piles are known to have been in place at least since then. Of course, the original landowners were Indians. 
I used a gas powered leaf blower to clear away the sticks and leaves, so I could photograph and measure the pile, then blew the leaves back in place when I finished. Looking at the bottom of the pile, it is easy to see that the stones are deeply embedded in the topsoil, even to the sterile soil below, an indication that the stones have been buried over time by the natural debris in the forest. A profile of the pile would show that the hummus buildup would even be slightly higher than the surrounding forest floor due to the rocks containing more of the debris. I wonder if any other readers have noticed this with stone piles in your area? Have they kept any records of stone embedment, not only individual piles, but site to site? I have noticed it is a simple way to gauge the possible antiquity of the stone piles in north Georgia and I have recorded quite a few sites like this.


pwax said...

Yes, I see very well buried piles and assume they are old. I saw some recently that I will post soon.

Tim MacSweeney said...

The only stone piles that I have ever cleared of leaves (and modern trash in some places)are the ones behind my old chicken coop and chicken yard. The bottom of these piles are definitely in that lighter colored sterile layer below the darker soil.Entering the word "chickenyard" into the search box above takes you to photos.

Norman said...

Tommy makes a good point about observing whether the piles are built on ground or on bedrock. Most of the piles I have seen appear to be on bedrock or boulders. Many of the huge stone platform cairns or mounds on West Hill in Rochester, VT, appear to be on bedrock, even though soil has now accumulated around them. This makes me wonder what the hillside looked like when the cairns were constructed. Was it completely bare, or did those who constructed the cairns remove the soil before the stones were placed?

pwax said...

I rarely find piles directly on bedrock.

Anonymous said...

wow. nice find in Georgia. maybe this wasn't originally a "cairn" so to speak but another kind of indigenous construct that has collapsed over time. I say this because of the uniform shape of some of the stones. for instance in the yucatan a scholar observed that two rock piles on either side of a river weren't just rock piles but the ruins of a collapsed bridge.
not saying this pile was a bridge, but it looks like it may have been something, long ago! thnx for sharing.
-Matt H.