Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Headwaters of Miscoe Brook - northwestern Upton

Some sites are more poignant than others. Often, as with the previous site report, you find a whole collection of rock piles without any evidence of an overall architecture - possibly because it is many sites grouped together with no clearly defined entities to grasp mentally. Or perhaps with too many old and decrepit piles that are blurry and leave no clear impression. Other times you have a mixture of different kinds of rock piles, each in its place, within a reasonably small area, creating a sense of overall site architecture that can be understood. Perhaps this is why some sites are more attractive and leave a lasting impression. Perhaps it is the place itself. These are the sites I would most recommend visiting.
At the headwaters of Miscoe Brook is one such site, occupying a flat bench next to the brook, containing a single boulder with a well built rock pile on top; surrounded by several smeared-out, semi-rectangular, larger mounds. It looks like a burial ground to me. 
I found the site by planning a traverse west from the parking spot on North Street (next to the Mass Pike). I had a map ready with several specific destinations marked in that direction: every summit, every saddle, and every brook. But I forgot the map at home and basically cut west following the highway for a while, then went southwest for a while. I did not see anything and when I came to a brook, following it downhill seemed like a good idea. [Later, at home I see my planned trail would have crossed the site.] Anyway, I was stumbling along and saw this, across the brook:
[Click to enlarge and you'll see a pile on a boulder.]. Let's have a closer look:
See the larger smeared mounds in the background? Looking back from one slightly upstream:
Looking back from another:
I could not make anything out of the smeared structures. Perhaps cleaned of debris they would be easier to see. There were others, even more broken down, on the downstream side of the boulder:
This bench by the brook creates a strong sense of place and site layout.  

Not much more to see. I few smaller ones downstream around the bend:
A few uphill in a small cluster:
I poked around a little more downstream, and across the brook, and found a little more.
A linear mound (remember the large mound at the top of the site in the previous report?):
Some nice piles.
The place made me sad.

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