Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A small arrangement of stones - SW Rocky Hill Groton/Ayer

Came upon a boulder with a rock pile on top.
Looked around a bit and the boulder seemed part of a line of boulders:
A bit like a gunsight. There was another boulder with a rock splinter on top:
I do not think this was in line with the others but to the side.

Sometimes rock piles are not ceremonial

Came across this one by itself.
 For some reason I cleaned off the leaves, which usually don't do.
 What's that in the middle?
The iron spike suggests to me this was a surveyors fixed point, so this pile might mark a corner or some other aspect of a land survey. Any other theories?

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Short stretch of wall Sudbury State Forest

From the same location as my previous post. This seemed to be a short stretch of wall going downhill to end in a boulder but actually the wall continues after a break (behind us). Still this is of interest:
Look at the black and white rocks right at the very beginning:

Sudbury State Forest - Deerfoot Park

I went back to the place I posted about here in 2012 (there is a map) which is a place with rock piles built into the outcrops. I saw them again with slightly sharper eyes and still did not manage to take any good pictures. 
There are rock piles visible from Concord Rd but you have to get out of the car and go look at the outcrops. As I wrote before, most of the outcrops have added rocks piled on top of them, with more or less structure. They seem quite old. And the site is extremely similar to parts of Noon Hill. Let me point out three things I noticed: a rectangular pile right "below" an outcrop, a nice place to be between two fine old things, an arrangement of stone wall that was broken like a dashed line.

Here, note the smaller rectangular pile in the foreground.
Although there are lots of things on the outcrop behind, this pile is isolated. I was excited to see it and it reminded me of something at Noon Hill - where there are also piles built on outcrops.

A few minutes into my walk, I stepped uphill between two adjacent ridges of rock and saw this one on one side:
And this on the other:
Not the best pictures, here is a better a picture of the first - which is the largest and least disintegrated of the whole place:
The third thing I wanted to note was the "broken-dash" wall, that was near this pile and led towards a larger boulder.
Now there is too much light for good photos! Anyway, I noticed a flat faced satellite pile near this wall and those outcrops with mounds. I realized later that its flat face, was aligned in the same way as the wall:
Here we are looking towards the wall at this pile's flat face. You can make out the wall in the background:
I nice place. Only a few steps from the road, this site is very accessible.

Shaped Rock from Northboro

Reader Christian C. writes:
I have been following your Blog for quite some time and find the subject very interesting. I live in Northboro Ma in quite a old home that is estimated from the 1800s, right next door is a original brick one room school house and my house is right at the bottom of a hill with a stream across the street. 

There are quite a few interesting rocks on my property as well as some unique features, stone ring, large circular pit, as well as some mounding shapes. The pictures I sent is of one particular rock that has a split in it, and what looks to me like could be a "face" and behind the rock is a long mound and the rock i attached pictures of looks to me as if it could be the visible "head" of this long buldge/mound. Past this rock there is another large rock almost acting as a gate, with then a third large rock about 10 feet past this. The rock with the face also has some white quartz on top and the sunset in almost a perfect alignment with the rocks/mound. 

The stones you see on top of the mound behind the split rock, I had put there since the area almost acts as a natural divider between the lawn area and the woods. Anyways I hope you find some of this interesting and if you find any interest in these and would like to see them in person I would be more than willing to have you come by. Thanks and appreciate the work you do with the blog, very interesting stuff. Thanks!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Arrowhead finds - June

     It hasn't rained much, but I have had some luck and am happy to have some photos to share.
     Here are a couple of broken finds from two different sites earlier this month. It's a shame about that pink rhyolite stemmed point, it is well made, an interesting material, and it would have been really nice. The quartz Squibnocket Triangle is decent but unfortunately also damaged.
     One day after work, I stopped to get something to drink on the ride home. I got back in the car and it occurred to me that there was a place where there might be something to find, that might not be too far away from where I was. I plugged the address into my GPS and saw that the spot was less than 45 minutes away. It was warm, sunny, and dry, but I thought it might be worth at least driving by. So, off I went. I parked the car and walked over to the area I had considered searching. Bone dry, dusty... Not very promising. I took 10 steps. I saw a gleam of quartz, picked it up. It was a perfect arrowhead with a needle sharp tip. I had been looking for 10 seconds. What a thrill! I considered getting back in the car and leaving. I usually search this place for about 2 hours for every stone tool I find, and the conditions were not good. Well, I am glad I stayed! Here is what I came home with, after 2 hours of searching.
     The items on the bottom row are crude or broken things that show obvious flaking, I do not think they are just flakes. The other items are projectile points or fragments of tools. These very small arrowheads are both whole, or nearly whole. Miniature versions of the most common shapes I encounter, in southeastern New England. Both are quartz; the Squibnocket Triangle on the right is nicely flaked.
     These were my nicest finds. The one on the left is what I picked up just seconds into my search. The one on the right is nice and big. It really got my heart beating, when I spotted it in the dust.
     In addition to the usual quartz tools and fragments, I found some more interesting materials. The stemmed point on the left, missing its tip, is from a white material that I believe is chert. This tool was so heavily resharpened that the blade is narrower than the base. I believe that these people were really thrifty when it came to fine materials like this, and this tool was worked down so much, I imagine this was the discard stage. The midsection on the right is made of flint and shows pressure flaking on one edge. A rare material, around here.
     Here are the best of the finds, cleaned up.

Friday, June 17, 2016

The Ograbme that Grabbed Me

I was looking at this wall this morning:
"Since I have had more than one snapping turtle give me this exact sort of look, I am reasonably sure that this is a Stone Snapping Turtle:"

Thursday, June 16, 2016

South of Reeves Hill Wayland - Snake Brook

This is not a particularly exciting conservation land - mostly torn up. But I walked from the water tower, over the hill, down, and followed the margins between hill and water, until I came to undisturbed woods and....wait....ahh....there's a real rock pile:
Not the sort of thing you would find in a movie about rock piles. But it is the site layout that makes this place interesting. It was an outcrop bounded on most sides by wet ground (the outcrop is to the left and we are on the northern side here):
First there were a few piles, evenly spaced, and going along the side of the outcrop. Here are three things in a row. Sorry for the bad picture:

 Some better pictures:
As I look at these pictures, I see little circles of rocks. Another:
Note the white rock.
I don't know about this one:
And cannot get much from the blurry pictures. What have we here?
Best pile of the day. Looking back:
Other piles from around the outcrop:

Another circle?
So I guess this is a marker pile site, organized radially around the outcrop, located at the first available place following this brook upstream from the Charles River. The brook is called Snake Brook. The circles are grouped over to one side. I made the little video you saw here the other day.
Unless you have the whole map to look at it may not be clear but virtually every undisturbed wetland in Middlesex has a rock pile site or sites along the edge.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Another Site in Ontario (Canada)

    Just before I saw the post from 6/10/206, “Rock Pile in Ontario CA,” I was looking at a whole bunch of photos (and a couple hand drawn maps) taken by Lee-Anne Carver and Alex Call at another spot in the same province. I only became aware of this face book post because a fellow named Terry J. Deveau happened to comment that it was “Super interesting. Need to check it out in person. Too many possibilities to narrow down from photos.”
Image credits: Lee-Anne Carver and Alex Call, lifted from: