Thursday, January 19, 2017

Visible and almost invisible linear traces in the swamp

It is interesting how ditches and walls are directed. I always want to ask: Why that angle? Sometimes walls are along the same alignment as ditches and you want to ask: what practical use is there to coordinating walls with ditches? For example, this example from Brush Hill Rd in Hudson NH is typical:
So here are the lines I see:
When it comes right down to it, the hypothesis that this is related to Native American ritual has more to offer than the hypothesis of Euro agrarian practicality. The Native American hypothesis has testable predictions: you hope to discover horizon features and celestial events that are along those linear features of wall or ditch. I wonder if a New England archeologist would care to tell us how these particulars could be understood and tested within the conventional Indian-less view?
Adding: In some ways the European agrarian hypothesis is not even a hypothesis since it is not testable. Remember the discussion in "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" about the meaningfulness of ideas that were not testable?


Tim MacSweeney said...

Peter: those ditches resemble the "mosquito ditches" in the salt marshes along the CT coast. Could these be hand dug CCC era mosquito- control ditches? Here's some on Cape Cod:

Tim MacSweeney said...

Those stone walls around it look substantial in the bing bird's eye:
There's a story in the sediment of that swamp!

pwax said...

Another example: Hobbs Brook north of Rt 2 in Lincoln. There are some shorter ditches at the nearer to Rt 2A that are parallel with smaller ditches near RT 2. What possible reason would there be to favor this one direction?