Thursday, September 29, 2016

NEARA Fall Meeting

Follow the Above Link to View the Exciting Speakers and Field Trips Scheduled for 
New England Antiquities Research Association's Fall Meeting
October 28-30, 2016
Hope to See You There!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mapping the Mosier Mounds

The Signi´Čücance of Rock Feature Complexes on the Southern Columbia Plateau
Thomas J. Connolly et al - Journal of Archaeological Science (1997) 24, 289–300

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Pacific Ocean "Antiquity"

Some videos that might be of interest to NEARA enthusiasts: at the POOF site.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Quick Report #3 - Site B at Warren Brook Upton

I saw another opening in a wall and went though it hoping to find rock piles. There is one! But it seemed isolated. I took a couple pictures:
This is at the top of a gradual slope leading down-eventually into Warren Brook. A cliff-like outcrop is behind us. The slope with blueberries and a few trees looked empty but it made sense to take a look around anyway. So I headed downhill and quite soon spotted a rectangular pile with a hollow:
And then other large-rocked piles, like the first one I saw.
In the next, noting the large rocks in the foreground, these could be part of the structure. Perhaps this is another rectangle with "hollow".)
Sorry to describe this so hastily. The site is one of those "eerie" places that belongs on the short list of places that are most worth visiting. 

Signs of recent use:
On a nearby knoll, some decrepit piles and these:
These piles would all have been visible from the flat area where there was a rectangle with a hollow. So I regard them as a sort of "satellite" pile. This is quite typical of sites with those kind of rectangles.
What a privilege to get to see this place.

Quick Report #2 Site A at Warren Brook

I told you a bit about site "A" in this previous post. A small site, along the slopes of a gully, with triangular piles and a few other things. This is the place with two well-made entrances through the enlcosing walls. Another feature is that the piles at the southern end of the site were taller than at the northern end. I have come to think that a height increase, across a site, indicates that the piles are farther and farther away from where they are viewed. So if this is at one end of the site:
and this is at the other:
But these piles may be way too particular for that conclusion.
I hate to skip nice pictures. Here is my first view of the site, as I was walking along a wall:
Some of the triangles:
Another view of the site (taller piles in not visible in the distance, but in that direction)
I liked this one:
Funny shaped rock. Looks like it was worked. Another little corner:
Here are two beauties:

I note quartz in the wall at another corner of the enclosing walls:

Quick report #1 - Kezar Hill Gully

[For me a "gully" is a small ravine and a ravine is a narrow steep sided valley.]
See the small blue outline above the word "Kezar" on this map fragment. I walked across a dull flat hill in the direction of the gully and it was only blind luck that I got there at the exact points were a small sub-gully entered the main one and had its own little rock pile site at the top. At the bottom of that same sub-gully there as one more pile that looked slightly different from the ones above.
View down the sub -gully:
The typical piles:
[Looking at the picture, I am a little surprised to see a beer can. We are way out in the woods here, off trail. Maybe something about the landscape leads people to this place.]
This was the best pile. A hint of a vertical side.

Down at the edge of bottom of the main gully, was this last pile:
In person, it looked bigger than the ones up the sub-gully.

A Brief Exegesis on Inventorying Field Stone Piles (North Dakota)

Posted on January 23, 2012 by admin
“I’m just wrapping up a report on some field stone piles, and thought it might be worth a brief post.

Field stone piles are, of course ubiquitous in cultivated fields.  Sometimes they are obviously of recent origin, sometimes it is hard to tell.   The problem out here on the Plains is that Native American peoples have built and used cairns for a variety of reasons (including burials).  When we do an archaeological survey, we want to be carefully not to write a cairn off as a field stone pile.  Aggravating this issue has been the mixed rigor and accuracy of field stone pile identification in standard archaeological surveys. Universities don’t teach seminars on field stone piles, and in fieldwork (by necessity) we record them pretty quickly. I have seen cases where piles that were obviously made with a bulldozer are identified as prehistoric cairns, and I’ve seen cairns written off as field stone piles.

The North Dakota Department of Transportation is now requiring a survey of field stone piles that have been sold for use as road fill [this happens fairly frequently].  A few times in the recent past, construction equipment has revealed that what everyone assumed was a field stone pile was a cairn (and a burial).    Much of this re-evaluation is being driven by Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (especially at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate)..."

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Intriguing picture from New Zealand video

(I like the shape of the hill, too)

Warren Brook in Upton

Taken from the Upton Trail Maps for Warren Brook:
Another place I have been before, this time I entered via Oak Knoll Ln. Stayed left off the trail and then stayed left again when I was drawn downhill, to the lower wetter area. Somewhere in there - a rectangle with a hollow:
But onward: I was walking along a wall looking across, at "A", when I saw some piles on the other side. It was a site, with triangular piles and others, somewhat like a marker pile site. This place was enclosed with stone walls and there were two well formed entrances near the top of the site. 
(A)Entrance 1:
(A)Entrance 2:
I'll come back to showing some pictures of the place but what seems quite interesting is that, later in the walk, I came to another break in a wall (at "B1") and had the hunch to look for rock piles beyond and it worked. With one significant difference: this break was poorly made, obviously just pushed through the existing wall. So [bear with me] if the wall is of the same age in both places then the first site pre-dates the wall and the second one post-dates it.
(B1) Entrance, looking back from inside the site:
See the difference? 
To exaggerate: here some piles from site "A":

and here are some from "B2":
Something of an entirely different sort from what was at "A". 
Anyway, while talking generalities about "A" and the "B"s, let me mention that in the past I found a really nice site in there that I did not see on this walk (second time I have failed to relocate it) but I think it is downstream from "B", near where I put the "?".
[Still have too much to blog about: the details of these places in Upton and of the gully at Kezar hill.]

The "V" of land between Townsend Rd and Garrison Rd, in northern Shirley

I have written about this place before. Visited it again from above and then again from below. From above, in the northern part of the lower left blue outline, I was walking along on what seemed an old road. A low stone wall on the downhill side then, on the uphill side, a bank and a higher stone wall. But it was more a highway than a road - maybe thirty feet wide. 

I came to a place where there it looked like there were rock piles inside the road.
What do you make of this (same from above):
and this:
So I don't think it was a road I was walking along. More a broad terrace.

A weekend of small triangular ground piles (some with quartz)

I've written about small triangular piles several times (see here and here) Sometimes there is a piece of quartz in the pile and sometimes it is at one of the corners of the triangle. So last weekend, I found some in Shirley on Kezar Hill and also in Upton Conservation Land near Grafton. The impression is that not only are these type of piles widespread, they also seem to be fairly old and are among the most decrepit piles that still have some recognizable features.

Last weekend, in Shirley, I went a looking: first down slope to the west of Garrison Rd, then over at the top of the gully running up the northeast side of the hil. Finally I went back to the "V" between Garrison Rd and Townsend Rd to take another look at the piles I know from other there.

I'll just show you one pile from within that "V":
You see a straight line of rocks on the right edge of the pile. Also a piece of quartz near the rear. I am extrapolating to the rest of this pile when I call it "triangular", but I think the triangular shape is pretty clear on these next examples from the Warren Brook area of Upton:
(It may take a moment to see this)
Maybe this one is a stretch but it still looks like a triangle:
 a detail:
Does it make the case? I know how to measure the "triangularity" but I am hoping it's not necessary. You can see the shape plain enough, can't you?
Here are a couple classics, from Blood Hill, Ashby: