Saturday, October 09, 2021

Columbus didn't discover America?

 [not rock pile related]

Italian sailors knew of America 150 years before Christopher Columbus, new analysis of ancient documents suggests (

It seems likely to me, that Basque fishermen knew about America, long before even the above documentation.

Yay for Indigenous People's Day!

Friday, October 08, 2021

Large Stone Tool from the Woods Hole beach

Continuing a series of implausible stone tool types: I see deliberate flaking on rocks, regardless of the size of the rock. Often enough, a large rock has been flaked, presumably because the removed flake was useful. But here are examples of what is called "hinge flaking" that are coordinated with each other, suggesting that, rather than being a source for material, here the entire large rock was a tool.

Now look at the edge:
This is a comparatively soft material. 

This rock was on Devil's Foot island. I have found a couple others like this before, on the stretch of cobbles north of little Gansett beach. It leads to the question of what would large chopping tools be for, when used on a beach?

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Acton's Pine Hawk Fall Archaeology Program

Thanks to all who have already registered for the Friends of Pine Hawk fall programs described below. This is a final reminder. All programs are free but do require registration at

[click image to enlarge]

Friday, September 24, 2021

I have a problem with the idea of "The First Americans"

[Not rock pile related]

They talk about "First Americans" as if it was obvious that there was a first time Homo Sapiens stepped onto land of the Americas. It seems to be a persistently pointless discussion that seems to lack the kind of verifiability that is expected of scientific hypotheses. 

For example: it might have been lots of people "stepping" onto America, in different spots, at essentially the same time and, it may not have been Homo Sapiens. 

Update: I was thinking it is a bit like the chicken and the egg: it suggests that there was a "first chicken". Kind of a pointless way to think about the evolution of birds, eggs, and the modern chicken.

Early peopling of the Americas - back now at 23,000 years ago

Finally the "Clovis First" numbskulls have to shut up. Even better, the "Beringian Land Bridge" dopes need to shut up too. 

Fossilized footprints show humans made it to North America much earlier than first thought - CNN

A point I have been trying to drum into the ears of some of my colleagues down on Cape Cod, is that Woods Hole was free of ice before 18 K years ago, and was part of the same landmass that was contiguous with the rest of un-glaciated America. In other words, there were probably people around here in the same time frame as the people who made those footprints.

I call conventional thinkers "numbskulls" because the evidence of man in America at those dates is clear, and all around - in the stone tools one sees - in deep glacial layers in New England, and on the surface in California. And I will say something here that is about as "fringe" as you can get: some of those ancient people were very strong, and probably pretty big. I see axe-like things I can barely lift. 

Update: The point is that with firm dates in the middle of the glaciation, there is no obvious earlier starting point for man in America. The question of timing the first Americans is wide open!

Monday, August 23, 2021

Two triangular arrowheads from southeastern Massachusetts

Here are a couple of finds from last year, that I hadn't posted. This triangular quartz arrowhead was easy to spot. I could see that it was damaged.

It is fairly well made, with nice edges and a symmetrical shape. It's missing the tip. I find many more damaged points, than whole ones. But any find is a good find for me.
This was not far away. The material looks interesting, and the part visible above the ground appeared undamaged.
But, this one is missing the tip too. I think the material is felsite.
Certainly better than going home empty-handed as I do so often (including the day on which I am writing this). These are very representative finds from this part of Massachusetts, in my opinion.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Gansett Sites

 Went for a walk in Woods Hole (up Mast Rd) and saw a small piece of woods with a rock above the surface:

There's got to be some rock piles up in there  - I thought. As it turns out, every low bump you see in the above or below pictures is a rock pile (eg at the foot of the tree above). That's what rock piles look like most of the time around here - not large monumental cairns. 
I have now found small sites at several points along the edge of the Golf Course. We can suspect that the whole area was once rock piles. There are more, further east.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

More quartz artifacts from this year

 These photos are from a nice weekend day at the end of May. I went to a favorite place in southeastern Massachusetts and was really pleased to see this projectile point, fully exposed, waiting to be picked up.

This is what I would call a Squibnocket Stemmed point. Others might simply call it "small stemmed." The material is typical. This one is somewhat unusual in that it has one shoulder. I have found a few like this.

I left this place and drove south into Rhode Island, to another place I know. The conditions weren't great but there were quartz flakes visible here and there. I bent down to pick up a barely exposed flake, and was surprised and elated to see this pop out of the ground. This was right after I picked it up. That clean bit on the left side of the base is the only part that had been peeking out of the ground.

I really like this shape, with the square stem. I don't have many like this and it's unusual for me to find one that is not broken.

I found some other fragments too. Another lucky day.

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Quartz artifacts from Rhode Island

 I haven't posted anything here in a long time. I've got a lot of finds to post and I hope to get back to posting here again more regularly.

These photos are from an evening in June. It was a Friday after work, which is a favorite time for me to get out and look for stuff. I feel like I have good luck on Friday evenings, and a good find is a great way to start my weekend. On this particular evening it had rained hard and I wanted to go to a place I know where there is lots to find. Other people search for artifacts in this place as well, so I was happy to get there and see no fresh footprints. Most of the stuff I find at this site is broken, with many or most of the artifacts likely having been discarded during the production process. I did find a lot of broken stuff on this occasion. In this photo there are artifacts ranging from crude bifaces that were likely preforms or discarded production pieces, to fragments of finely pressure flaked tools. Over 99 percent of the artifacts I find at this site are made from quartz.

I saw this interesting looking broken edge and snapped a picture. It looked pretty big, I thought it might be a big flake or perhaps a broken tool. 
But, it wasn't broken. The shape of this, I would call a Levanna. It doesn't show any pressure retouch to the edges, or any use wear, as far as I can tell. Perhaps this piece was not satisfactory to the maker and was discarded.
 I found these crude, thick bifaces too. I think things like this are really interesting. I have seen them described as preforms, and "choppers." There is a lot of marine shell at this place. I wonder what kinds of tools were used to open clam shells?
I took this photo on the way out. It was getting dark, thunder could be heard in the distance. We had so much rain in June and early July. I wish we had had that rain in the spring- but I made the most of the weather anyway. This photo is so representative of the last many months for me- a handful of artifacts tucked into a Covid mask from my pocket.
Here is that nice big artifact cleaned up at home. I'm not even sure I can call this a projectile point. It's really pretty, though.
It's thin, too. It's hard to find something like this, in this size, in this disturbed setting.
Here is the best of the day's finds, cleaned up. It was a good and lucky day for me. I hope everyone is having a great summer and staying healthy.

Monday, August 02, 2021

Cape Cod Museum of Natural History

An exhibit devoted to conventional archeology. The museum owns a few nice points but, off-hand, I would say their collection - as displayed -  is not as good as mine or Chris Pittman's.

I went to the museum hoping to see the mammoth tooth. They have changed the signage which used to say the tooth was around 12 thousand years old. Now it says that it is from the "Pleistocene" which ended around 12 thousand years ago. Much better!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Name that rock


I am posting a new pic of this material, against a neutral background, an unpolished surface.

I believe this is called a metamorphic igneous rock. Does it have a name? It is from glacial gravel on the beach.

Previously Had:

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..."