Saturday, December 31, 2016

New England Sweat-Houses (Updated)

by JimP

Minor updates to my blog post about sweat-houses in New England, with an updated link to the article. The old link will no longer work.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Single Horned Serpent (Washington CT)

   There is a short cut back home to my house in Woodbury CT from the Institute for American Indian Studies in Washington CT, but I always seem to take a wrong turn somewhere and find yet another scenic route. One of those times was back in January 2015 when I took these images of an interesting - and pretty massive - "stone wall."

Sometime in this last November, I had Matt Bua's "Talking Walls" with me at the DMV, and there at the bottom of page 49 was this photo: 
I had a sudden realization that this stone mound resembled a coiled up snake with a large oval cobble for an eye, the smaller thinner slabs stacked to resemble scales, sort of staring up at me from the page. My DMV number came up and I was soon out of there, headed home to look up the nomenclature of snake scales, called squamation or scalation.
Maybe not 100% accurate anatomically speaking, but it seemed the "feeling" was there, sort of like an "impressionistic realism" in an artistic style of stacking stones.
Would it work with that Washington Serpent, that oval cobble an obvious eye?

I went looking for a horned serpent with a forward facing horn, thinking maybe one of those uppermost stones might be a horn, and lucked into this image:

Added on 2/4/2022:

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Another small marker pile site near Wilder Brook

I never described the northern of two site on the map (see here). At this location there was a couple of small "grids". Not much to say other than to express the pleasure of coming back from a walk with few finds, topping a knoll and seeing this:
Looking around, I saw even spacing between piles and how some were on the horizon:
We have seen these before in so many places, slightly triangular, vertical sided (the fresher ones), with occasional single pieces of quartz:
I could see a couple piles at the edge of this small group of marker piles. From their point of view there was a second group on the eastern side of the hill. Here are three in a row:
These were a bit more substantial. And one could also see pieces of burnt rock incorporated, as well as quartz.

As often is the case, one sensed a bit of "path" passing by these piles:

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Solstice at King Philips Rocks in Sharon MA

A solstice Greeting from Fred Martin:
The attached is first light at the Table Cave at King Philips Rocks in Sharon MA on the solstice of 1979, now 37 years ago!
On this solstice, best wishes for the holiday season to all you NEARA friends-


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

NEARA Solstice

Ancient civilizations in the Americas were not any different than the ancient civilizations from all over the world who built stone monuments that align to the sun, moon, and stars.
These three Winter Solstice sunrise aligning Stone Chambers in Putnam County NY show that archaeoastronomy was practiced in North America by ancient people far back in antiquity.
These three Winter Solstice sunrise aligning Stone Chambers in Putnam County NY show that archaeoastronomy was practiced in North America by ancient people far back in antiquity. 

Stone Chamber
Ammunition Bunker?

You Decide...
There has been a lot of speculation about the origins and purpose of this stone chamber located on Ninham Mountain in Kent NY.  Local historians say it was built as an ammunition storage bunker during the Revolutionary War although there is no real evidence to support this hypothesis.

The most compelling evidence against the structure having been built completely in the 18th century is the surrounding environment.  The chamber is facing SE with a beautiful view of a roaring brook.  In the immediate area are two corbelled stone chambers, a perched boulder, a stone lined well, and many miles of stone walls. 

The mountain is named after Chief Daniel Ninham, the last Native American Sachem of the Wappinger tribe who's village was located near the mountain.  Ninham also fought for George Washington in the Revolutionary War, just to add to the mystery.

Whatever this structure may or may not be, it sure has a spectacular Winter Solstice sunrise alignment!  This picture was taken early morning on December 24, 2010 by NEARA Member Teresa Bierce.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Rock on Boulder - Wyoming

Spotted in the background of Episode6 of "Meat Eater", around minute 17.
(Antelope also).

Friday, December 16, 2016

The Chicago Portage

This is sort of interesting:

The Chicago Portage is a water gap connecting the watersheds (BrE: drainage basins) and the navigable waterways of the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes. It cuts through the Valparaiso Moraine, crossing the Saint Lawrence River Divide that separates the Great Lakes and Gulf of St. Lawrence watersheds from the Gulf of Mexico watershed, making it one of the most strategic points in the interior of the North American continent

 - from

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Adding Antlers Behind the Ulstĭtlĭ'

One of those little segments of stones, perpendicular to a longer row of cobble stones and boulders, ending in a large triangular flat topped boulder - with some interesting quartz (best seen opened up in another window, the bigger the screen the better).

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The feeling of loss on a fall day

and the glimpse of a new rock pile through the dead beech leaves.

Small things at Wilder Brook

On the hill to the west of the lower blue dot (here) a couple of subtle things:
If you look closely, there are 4 rocks visible on the surface, in a slight curve. Statistically impossible, this must be the work of man. Another view from off to the side, where there was a white rock.
Near there, a low place. Is that another?
No, it is part of a larger structure:
The Wilder Brook area is full of things to look at. One notes it is a portage place between the CT and Merrimack river systems.

Monday, December 12, 2016

A couple of rock pile sites along Wilder Brook in Winchendon

I am not worried about vandals damaging these places. They are so far gone, who would spend sweat digging into them - with no hope of a find in sight?
The "almost nothing" from last week (click here) was located at the lower blue outline. And I mention it in the context of all these other "top of the ravine" places. This one was as beat up as the one from Townsend. I mention these particulars because they are recent not because they are unique.

The upper blue outline was a small marker pile site.

Closeup of old mound at Wolf Brook start

I had pretty much given up hope of finding anything on an otherwise pretty barren hillside and was headed back down following a wet place between the private properties and got onto higher ground as soon as possible, which immediately took me to some rocks on the surface and then, suprisingly, a mound just where it was supposed to be. At the top of a gully, as I showed here.

Another picture:
I forgot my camera and am not used to the cellphone.Nevertheless, this is a traditional site. There were a few other traces across the way:
I am hoping to make the point that these ravine 'tops' seem to be the prime real estate.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Invisible Mounds - invisible but necessary

There is something poignant about the mound there, a bit to the left in back, almost invisible. Houses a few feet beyond.

I gotta say this location is very very typical. So much so, that the placement at the tops of ravines (this is above Wolf Brook, Townsend) cannot have been optional.
Maybe this is a good time to post a similar location from Carlisle: this is visible to the west from Lowell Rd, on the way to Concord. This is also at the top of a ravine, in a similar disposition but looking much fresher: 

So, what I am saying is that no gully goes un used. Compare locations: in Townsend vs in Carlisle:
 It suggests a required behavior.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Off to Wolf Brook - of a Saturday morning

I like the sound of "Wolf Brook". Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Almost the middle of almost nowhere

A large stone mound along the side of a ridge:
 Another view:
That's laid up rock. But almost gone.
I wasn't sure why bother with a photo like this, looking down from the top:
I see now that it shows a 'notch' of some sort. 

Northernmost Gardner MA, west of the road and east of Wilder Bk.

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Brown Rd Harvard

You can see things from the car. We spotted a new site in an area I already explored.
So we saw:
 and thought it looked a bit rectangular with a bit of a hollow or two.
From the side:
A few other piles in there:

Nice to get to show these to a son.