Sunday, July 18, 2021

Name that rock

Can anyone offer a clue about what kind of rock this is? It looked like granite at first but it is mostly a reddish mineral:

What I take to be a working edge, was upper-right in first pic, lower-right in second pic. Here:

Monday, July 05, 2021

Trail Maintenance with Stile/Style (Essex CT)

    I usually find myself shaking my head at "Trail Maintenance Photos" that breach "stone walls" and otherwise disturb probable Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscape features, but I'd like to give a CSL award to the Windswept Ridge Preserve of Essex, CT for this remarkable alternative to disturbing possibly quite ancient rows of stones or Qusuqaniyutôkanash...

(Photo by Jason Greene:)

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Mounds from Spring Creek, PA

Reader Jon sends new pictures:

Here are some photos I wanted to share with you. Rock Pile A  is images 1002, 1008 and (1009 from 2016). Rock Pile B, 100 yards away is image 1004.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Some images from Jim Wilson’s Zoom Presentation


"Learn what history, science and Native Americans have to say about ambiguous stoneworks found throughout the Northeast Woodlands—including here in the Lehigh Valley—and how public and private organizations are coming together to document, preserve and protect them..."


Sunday, June 20, 2021

Underwater archaeology team finds ancient obsidian flakes 2,000 miles from quarry


“An underwater archaeologist from The University of Texas at Arlington is part of a research team studying 9,000-year-old stone tool artifacts discovered in Lake Huron that originated from an obsidian quarry more than 2,000 miles away in central Oregon.

The obsidian flakes from the underwater archaeological site represent the oldest and farthest east confirmed specimens of western obsidian ever found in the continental United States.

 “In this case, these tiny obsidian artifacts reveal social connections across North America 9,000 years ago,” said Ashley Lemke, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at UT Arlington. “The artifacts found below the Great Lakes come from a geological source in Oregon, 4,000 kilometers away—making it one of the longest distances recorded for obsidian artifacts anywhere in the world.”

The find in Lake Huron is part of a broader study to understand the social and economic organization of caribou hunters at the end of the last ice age. Water levels were much lower then; scientists have found, for example, ancient sites like stone walls and hunting blinds that are now 100 feet underwater.

“This particular find is really exciting because it shows how important underwater archaeology is,” Lemke said. “The preservation of ancient underwater sites is unparalleled on land, and these places have given us a great opportunity to learn more about past peoples.”

Citation: O’Shea JM, Lemke AK, Nash BS, Sonnenburg EP, Ferguson JR, Nyers AJ, et al. (2021) Central Oregon obsidian from a submerged early Holocene archaeological site beneath Lake Huron. PLoS ONE 16(5): e0250840.


Saturday, June 19, 2021

Falmouth area arrowheads - ID requested

 Can any one identify the arrowheads here:

I am particularly interested in this one, which looks like a late stage "paleo" point:
Note the base is "thinned" compared to the upper part.
Wow. Wish I found it.
Update: Apparently I am wrong, it is a Middle Woodland "Fox Creek" point. Thank you to Curt Hoffman for the IDs.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Another "Chamber" Video

The "Rattlesnake Squamation/Scalation" Variation

   I just watched this video from Mike Luoma of VT yesterday. We've been communicating electronically on FaceBook and I sent him this image below soon after viewing it: 

A captured still from:

Wednesday, June 02, 2021

Clovis First Dies (AGAIN!)

New evidence may change timeline for when people first arrived in North America (

[Research from 20 or so years ago at Monte Verde in Chile already changed that "timeline". Seems like the only people still promoting a 13K time depth for man in America are textbook writers and YouTube.]

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Land Protectors Win One for Nayyag - Ancient Native Site Rescued

 Nohham Cachat-Schilling writes:

W8li Nogdgisg8adt8onk Nitompaog (Good-Meeting My Friends)

W8li Acim8, Wunne Achimu, Good News: MassDOT has cancelled its plans for a roundabout that would have destroyed the legacy of an ancient ancestral Indigenous village with unique artifacts.

Thank You Land Protectors and Equal Preservationists, Your strong opposition is cited as a basis for this change.

Those of us who were bad-mouthed for standing up are now honored by the legacy of our Ancestors.  This is a great first step in equal historic preservation for Massachusetts.  We can now being to real plan for equal historic preservation in Massachusetts.

"NORTHAMPTON — The state has cancelled its plans to build a traffic roundabout at North King and Hatfield streets on what’s also the site of a 10,000-year-old 'undisturbed ancient village.'"

Early on, we were attacked for standing up and criticized for calling the site a village, but obviously, this interpretation is now accepted and our stand is validated.  They said "no Native Americans are concerned, " but we showed that Natives and diverse Americans care very much.  Thanks to the Skibiski family, River Valley Co-Op, Aquinnah Wampanoag Cultural Resources Office, Nolumbeka, Mark, Rochelle, Anthony, Tyler, Don, Peter, Rob, Mary Lou, Gia, Christopher, Jose, Leah, Kenneth, Eric, Eileen, Amy, Adele, Alex, Sarah, Wayne, Martin, Chris, all 55,000+ people who signed the petition on behalf of justice in historic preservation, and everyone who supported. 

“MassDOT has determined that the best next step is to terminate the current construction contract and undertake a re-evaluation of the project design. The re-evaluation option is responsive to the nature of the public comments received, which asked MassDOT to consider alternatives that avoided the location of the archaeological site,” the notice said. “This re-evaluation will take public opposition into account as a key evaluation criterion for all design alternatives considered.”

We can now offer the pedestrian overpass alternative, a chance for a cultural space, and neighborhood improvement.  Several people suggested a pedestrian overpass and traffic control light alternative at the DOT comment meeting.  

w8liw8sse nitompaog (good work my friends),

Friday, May 14, 2021

Whaddya Think?

Found on an island, wrong material but this looks like the base of a Merrimack (Stark) point:

scalloped edges:

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Oley Hill site dates to 2500 years ago

I asked Norman Muller about his dating result for the Oley Hills. They used OSL (Optically Stimulated Luminescence) to arrive at a date of 2500 BP, for one of the terraces at Oley Hills. He wrote:

Yes, the Oley site is much older than Cahokia.  I am of the opinion that the large platform stone mounds in the Northeast were inspired by the earthen mounds in the Midwest.  Or maybe the influence went in the other direction!  You are aware, of course, of that large geometric earthen mound in western MA (see LiDAR attachment; the mound is about 50 feet high and 200 feet long at the base; the top is precisely oriented to the cardinal directions.  I visited the site with Timreck and Lisa Gannon).

Sunday, May 02, 2021

Ontario Mounds

Reader Joanne writes:

We found these unusual stacked rock piles deep in the woods.  The one is quite large, almost an igloo shape, maybe 10 feet across and 4 feet high with a depression in the centre. It is made up of carefully placed stones.  About 65 feet away from it is a flat circular mound about 6 feet across, under a very distinctive bent tree.
Further on in the woods we found another stacked pile up against a rock out cropping but I don't have a clear photo of it. These piles are well back in the woods and not near any homesteads or farms, or even roads. 

 Any thoughts on their origin?  Thanks for taking a look at them.

[Added later:] This site is west of Algonquin park in Ontario. In the park itself there are 41 smaller rock cairns but none as large as this one.

Mike Martin's Cave

A reader writes: 

Rock Piles contributors, especially Jimp:

I have a challenge for you:

I'm researching "Captain Lightfoot," the "last of the New England highwaymen" who was hanged in 1821 for a robbery near Medford, MA.

The attached article (first column) from an 1885 edition of the Boston Globe describes a cave alleged to have been used by Lightfoot, i.e.Michael Martin.

The location is Arlington, MA--now much developed.But the streets mentioned (Highland Ave, Spring Road (Old Spring Street?), place this very near Menotomy Rocks.

Is the cave in this article the one found by Jimp in Menotomy Rocks Park?

Jerry Kuntz
Warwick, New York

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Curt Hoffman Talk

Dr. Curtiss Hoffman will present a talk on stone structures to the archaeology club at Norwalk Community College, via Google Meets, at 7:30 PM this evening, April 29th.  The log-in code is

Old Sugar Shack Snake Effigy (Woodbury CT)

 A stone wall-like roadside Snake Effigy, hiding in plain sight:

41.590 - 73.199
I found I didn't need to overlay an eye to emphasize the idea of a snake head:

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Nobscot Park

Curt Hoffman writes:

Sometimes, you can discover these sites without having looked for them.  Yesterday, I was looking for a way around the construction on Edgell Road and Water St./Edwards Rd. in Framingham, MA to get to a destination, and I happened to notice on GoogleMaps the notation "Rock Pile" within the bounds of Nobscot Park, a small parkland maintained by the Framingham Garden Club.  We checked it out, and  there  doesn't seem to be very much there, but I did note 2 rock piles associated with stone rows and a third unassociated stone row at the approximate locations on the map denoted by "rp" and "sr" respectively.  There was no signage in the park except for a few Garden Club signs and memorials, and the stone monuments were rather far from the  "improved" grassy area of the park -- I have no idea what the  GoogleMaps citation was referencing.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Johannes (Jannie) Loubser - talk on Georgia Rock Art

Norman Muller writes:
A fascinating, well organized, and finely illustrated talk on rock art in Georgia and neighboring states by Johannes (Jannie) Loubser.

Update: ... adding:
This National Forest handout is well researched and clearly presented, and is based on research conducted by Jannie Loubser.

Friday, April 23, 2021


 By Norman Muller:

I agree with your essay on openness versus secrecy regarding rock pile sites, which you posted on your blog on April 13.  While I am reluctant to publish the exact location of certain sites, particularly those that are fragile and vulnerable to damage, I believe that we can best preserve rock pile sites by describing them and their connection to the past – our past -- and through education, since keeping everything quiet or secret does nothing except to perpetuate ignorance.

And with education, we might well start with the historical commissions in the Northeastern states, some of which are either reluctant to accept the fact that there are Native American rock pile sites in our midst, or openly hostile even to their existence, such as the view of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, which continues to claim they are simply colonial in age.  Such resistance to reality does not promote the preservation of rock pile sites, but rather subverts it through ignorance, eventually leading to their damage and destruction. 

 I have assumed that articles written by NEARA members about rock pile sites are generally ignored by the archaeological community.  It might be a good move for NEARA to make it a habit to send new copies of their journal to each of the state archaeologists in the Northeast.  And also publicize any initiative that promotes the dating of rock pile sites.  This wouldn’t hurt and may eventually stimulate a change in thinking.

 If education is the key to preservation, then evidence of the age of these rock pile sites can only help make the task easier, since archaeologists usually rely on the finds of pottery and projectile point shapes and styles to establish the age of a site.  Without some solid data as to the age of rock piles sites, we will always be on the defensive when trying to promote the idea that certain rock piles are ancient and should be preserved.

 It was this dilemma that confronted me when I began to contemplate the Oley Hills site in Pennsylvania upon my retirement in 2017.  I had done a considerable amount of research on the site, beginning in 1997, but after more than twenty years of looking and thinking about this site, I still had no idea how old the impressive stone features on this remarkable site were. 

 Then I came across some articles on OSL (optically stimulated luminescence) dating of stone used in the construction of ancient buildings online, many written by Ioannis Liritzis, a Greek scientist based on the island of Rhodes.  He had applied the technique to confirm the known dates of some ancient buildings and temples in Greece and Egypt.  When I asked him whether any scientists here in the U.S. practiced this dating technique, he mentioned Jim Feathers at the University of Washington.  In 2018 two fist-sized stone samples were taken from the Terrace at the Oley site and sent to Feathers for analysis.   In 2019 we received the verdict:  the site was nearly 2500 years old.    

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

"Cairns" in Prince Edward County, Ontario

 Read Ken D writes:

Hi, I thought you might be interested in my find at the back of my property in Prince Edward County - Ameliasburg.  To the east of us is a Mohawk Indian reserve so I instinctively thought the 8 cairns on my property were burial sites. I found your blog 'Reflections' interesting indeed.  

Ken indicates that he is willing to show them to someone interested. Contact this blog for email introductions.