Saturday, November 21, 2020

Golden Eagle on a Ceremonial Structure

Somewhere in Spain (Valle de Iruelas Avila?)...

Somewhere on YouTube....(here)

Looks like one of those burials they excavate in Scotland. Being as how we are quick to spot such things, here in archeology-starved New England, it is quite possible that they don't realize it is a prehistoric structure, there in Spain. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Ice Age Relic/Balancing Rock (Watertown CT)

Florence T. Crowell Photo Accessed from:

Watertown CT Historian Charlie Crowell writes: "Before being used as a monument, this stone was known as “balancing rock.” At its original site, it sat on top of a rock outcropping and was so finely balanced that a small child could push it and to would rock back and forth, but it couldn’t be knocked over. The seemingly precariously balanced boulder was left in that position by the last ice age. The process of dragging the rock to its present site was grueling and laborious. It was done using horses..."

In a personal communication to my friend Al Conley, Charlie notes:  "Richard Sperry, owner the land where the boulder originally sat, wanted to keep it as a balancing rock even after it was moved and set up as a monument. He thought engineers could handle the job, but it never happened."

More here:


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Indian Rock Piles in the Massachusetts Woods - Waksman's 2014 lecture in Acton

Edited a bit, sloppy in some places, nevertheless this contains much of the basic "logic" of this subject. Hope it is entertaining:

Friday, November 13, 2020

Split Wedged Rock - Sippewissett


There should be word for this: when a dog posts guard on top of a structure.

Note the steel drill holes and the already removed portion of boulder, on the left side. You may need to zoom in to see the wedge. The missing piece of boulder was not nearby. In the course of trying to convince a friend that this was a ceremonial structure, I argued myself into the position that this wedge could have been used as a separator, inserted when the rock was first broken, to keep the sides offset from each other during subsequent moving and removal. Of course that does not preclude the wedge having been used with ceremonial intentions as well. :)

Connelly Hill

 Are there any readers from the Holliston/Upton area that can go check a site? I was glancing at the map:

Given the extremely rich collection of sites just to the east, it seems obvious that there will be sites around the marsh, circled in red. 

I checked the satellite view and there are building all around, so this may involve some tresspassing. Any takers?

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Which Turtle? Which Place?


The Significance of a Stone Turtle 
 Or a Turtle Made of Stones 
Depends on
Which Turtle in Which Place

Above: Judges Woods Turtle Effigy (incorporated into a "memorial"). Below: A Diamondback Terrapin Effigy above the Hammonasset Salt Marsh, "Hunting Grounds," like Ed Lenik says, not for a Turtle Clan, but for the Diamondback Terrapin, if you are looking for the simplest answer as to "Why this particular Turtle in this particular place?"

As a modern day observer of Stone Turtles
 Or Turtles Made of Stone 
The main significance is that the Stone Turtle speaks, saying:
 “Indigenous hands were on these stones,
    Placing them just so in order to resemble Turtles…”

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

So what if it looks like a turtle?

OK, I may be in some disagreement with my colleagues who are sending pictures of rocks that look like turtles, or rock piles that look like turtles. I figure I should ask: what is the significance of a rock or rock pile looking like a turtle?

We are aware that the turtle is a very important creature with its thirteen shell plates and it place in the mythology as the creator of earth. But let's take a rock, for example, that everyone agrees looks like a turtle. "There is a was revered".

What I am curious about it whether my colleagues leave it at that? I want to propose something else: that the rock with a point on it, and the pile shaped like a turtle had a function which is enhanced by the turtle presence, but that is not the primary characteristics of the feature. 

What I mean is, the pointed rock might cast a sharp shadow, or the turtle pile may have the same function as other piles nearby that lack the turtle shape . In both cases I assume that primary function is made stronger and given more power due to it being a turtle. 

But to have a modern observer experience a turtle shape does not seem to say a lot about the past. So I ask my colleagues what they make of it, beyond observing a turtle's shape?

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Another Quick Comparison


Possible 'Turtle' Rocks

Norman Muller writes:

I read your recent post about single stones resembling turtle heads.  Maybe yes, maybe no,  I prefer something clearer, such as that turtle petroform at Killingworth, CT, with its prominent head, carapace and legs, particularly visible on one side. 
Or that remarkable turtle boulder in Voluntown, CT, that Larry Harrop discovered (P1120480), 
which has an anthropomorphic construction on top, perhaps alluding to the origin of man.  Or a large glacial erratic in Rochester, VT, which from one side looks like an upraised turtle head (DSC0030).  
Whereas from the other side there is a curious stone platform attached (DSC0120), the latter
perhaps emphasizing the importance of this particular boulder.

A Quick Comparison


Saturday, November 07, 2020

A couple turtles in Beebee Woods, Falmouth

A small concession to my friend Tim MacSweeney. I have to admit that these rock-on-rock examples had turtle head shapes. Seems pretty deliberate. 

At a low point

On a slope

Thursday, November 05, 2020

A minimal site in Woods Hole

A site can occupy as little as 10x10 square feet, so it is not surprising to find something in even the smallest patch of woods. There is a thin strip of woods across from the entrance to Devil's Lane and I poked my nose in their yesterday. Saw a little circle of rocks, too small and uncharred to be a fireplace:

A bit small for a person to have sat in, I suppose this is a 'niche'. But the thought also occurred to me that it might have been a small 'U', now stoppered after use.
A few feet away on the knoll, something that would be easy to miss, four rocks in a row.
Straight lines make me think "astronomy". Mavor was up and down in these woods.