Thursday, April 30, 2020

Jade at the landfill?

[Not rock pile related] Came across this while shoveling topsoil from a big pile at the Falmouth landfill into the back of my car. It pays to be interested in what can be found in dirt:
Is it jade? I think it is glass. These sorts of ring appear on the tassel of Chinese lanterns, and maybe in some Korean headgear.

Anyway, no arrowhead hunting and no rock pile hunting - just gardening and the occasional unexpected discovery in the dirt.

(After a bit of searching) I guess they are called "Disc Pendants":

Update: Looking carefully, there appears to be a capital 'O' etched inside the material.
Update: I have a piece of real jade (an ashtray) and it is about the same hardness.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Thursday, April 09, 2020

The Road to Plymouth/Patuxet (Wôpanâak/Wampanoag Territory)

      “During her journey, Weetamoo walked well-worn paths through forests which her community had long managed with fire. As Roger Williams noted, Native men performed controlled burns of the “underwoods” in the fall, which, combined with selective cutting for firewood, fostered an abundant open forest, which encouraged the growth of tall nut trees. The spacious canopy allowed sunlight to filter through the leaves, encouraging growth of berries and other edible plants. The nuts, grasses, berries, and saplings that flourished in this forest were inviting to game, while the clearing of undergrowth facilitated travel and visibility for hunting as well as gathering..."

Sign the Mashpee Wampanoag Petition

[During the Pandemic when no one was looking, the government tries to revoke the Mashpee Wampanoag tribal stutus.]

Thank you to 235,000 of you who signed our petition.

We continue to support the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe, and as you can see members of Congress are listening and starting to take some action.

There are legal proceedings in the works, and while we await that frustrating yet important process we can still continue to share the petition, call members of Congress, and stay up to date on what's happening.

Share the petition:

And stay connected with the Tribe on Facebook and the website.

Thank you,


Wopanaak Language Reclamation Project started this petition on MoveOn. If there's an issue close to your heart that you'd like to campaign on, you can start your campaign here.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Mysteries of the Kibby cellar hole in Estabrook Woods, Concord/Carlisle

Here is a place with various funny things going on. A site with lots of rock piles around a colonial (actually Revolutionary war period) foundation. Kibby was said to have been a large man who could only bring one (also large) daughter of three to church each week, having a single pony. So the other sisters had to wait their turn to go church every three weeks. When Carlisle was to be divided off and away from Concord as a separate town, Kibby who lived on the border, inside of what is now Carlisle, insisted that he fought in the Revolution to protect Concord and, so, did not want to become a Carlisle resident. So they let his property remain in Concord - a bite taken out of the southern border of Carlisle. At least for a while.
So I wandered around this place with my wife, looking at the piles, the indications of colonial life, and talking about the curiosities of the place. Mainly there are mounds all over, as well as smaller piles. And I am wondering how to argue that Kibby must have been a christianized Indian. I note that the site is at the very highest point of a drainage that leads south from here. A few steps away the water is flowing north.

And I look around thinking: could that be farming related? How would I know this was Indian? How would I know it is ceremonial? I don't think there is any very good answer here. I note the classic "mound with hollow" a few yards north of the site, across the wall and down hill, that Walter Brain passed while taking me to see something he found interesting:
Surely that is a classic burial. 

Anyway we had a pleasant walk, dodging other hikers due to coronavirus. As we we left I see a fine split wedged rock, a few feet from the cellar hole.
Farming related? Yeah right.

I think the evidence suggests Kibby was a christianized Indian, living in an ancestral home, at the top of an important drainage - a place that always belonged to his family. Future scholars can try to refute this by looking at land deeds. Do they show Kibby acquiring the land?

Manitou's "Boulder Ridge" in Falmouth

On page 62 of my (2nd) edition of Manitou, Mavor and Dix describe a site in Falmouth they call "Boulder Ridge". I don't remember if I found this place or used Mavor's maps - which he gave me copies of. Anyway, the survey they did shows a site with lots of details and bears little resemblance to the pictures I took there the other day. My impression is that this is a marker pile site and so I looked for a larger lower "mound" that might be associated to this but found nothing. Just a few very decrepit piles lost in the blueberry bushes an an even slope:

 This one was at the edge of the site, next to a main trail - a clear sign to anyone walking bye.
What Mavor and Dix have to say about this place is far more interesting than any observations I can make. As I look at page 62 I am reminded how careful those authors were.

Nantucket Arrowheads

Reader Nathaniel writes:
I started my arrowheading obsession about 3 years ago when I was living on Nantucket. It took me 2 years to find a complete point but since this has become an intense passion.  Other than family and lawyering its all I think about.

Stone turtle

Reader Donald writes:
One of my favorite rocks are the ones shaped like a turtle as we know how important the turtle was to the Native Americans in our area.