Monday, March 28, 2022

Cahoonzie NY

Am planning a trip, this place caught my eye - half way between CT and Scranton PA: "Cahoonzie". Found something on YouTube:

Rock Wall Cahoonzie NY - YouTube

Network of stonewalls on a steep mountain side. (VT)

 A remarkable row of stones in a "Hidden Vermont" video:

    My impression is that an undulating Stone Snake borders the path up to the mountain top. This capture shows the height of the wall on the lower side , the soil build up over time on the other -but with a well worn path, also made over a long period of time...

 A segment that reminds me of a snake in Washington CT: 

Not an overlay but a comparison, showing markings found on the Eastern diamondback Rattlesnake (and the Great Snake):

     And Tommy Hudson shows up in the comments, making some comparisons to N. Georgia!

Friday, March 25, 2022

Metates and manos Qusuqaniyutôkanuk (CT)

 Qusuqaniyutôkanuk: “On the stone wall”

(Above: March 24, 2014)

   "That's a snow covered Qusukqaniyutôk leading up to a bedrock outcrop, connecting to other Qusuqaniyutôkansh or “stone walls.” If there are "metates and manos" to be found within the enclosure, then whoever constructed these "rows of stones" was "gathering something and then processing something in this fire tended garden spot," a reasonable person might conclude..."

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Mapping the Mosier Mounds


"The Significance of Rock Feature Complexes on the Southern Columbia Plateau"

    by Thomas J. Connolly and Mark A. Tveskov et al

  (Received 31 October 1995, revised manuscript accepted 2 February 1996)

"On the Columbia River’s south bank near the town of Mosier, Oregon, is a 12+ hectare (30 acre) complex of rock walls, pits, and cairns patterned in a talus and debris field at the foot of the 30 m (100 ft) Columbia Gorge escarpment. Commonly known as the ‘‘Mosier Mounds’’, this site is an unusually large, well-preserved example of the rock feature sites found throughout the Columbia Plateau and associated with vision quests, burials, and game drives. This paper describes the construction of digital models of the site and advantages their flexibility o ers for site recording and assessment, and provides interpretations regarding the specific uses and larger social purposes of the site with reference to the ethnographic and archaeological records." - 1997 Academic Press Limited

Monday, March 21, 2022

Traditional Klamath/Modoc Stone Stacking (N. California/SE Oregon)


"Traditional Klamath/Modoc spirituality focuses on a cosmology incorporating power quests initiated by the shaman to ally themselves with cosmological entities in order to satisfy the basic needs of life. The Klamath see their lands and territory as existing solely for them by Gmok’am’c created to care for one another. The Modoc has similar views and beliefs in their connection to their territories and lands.

They both believe that every rock feature, mountain, cave, body of water, meadow, or any other distinct location in the land had its own spirit and everything with a spirit had power. Since every single rock had power, stacking them was building power. Bringing a rock from Shasta, which would possess Shasta’s power, could be stacked with another rock from another power place to construct power vortexes.

These powers and communication with these spirits was sought after, especially beginning by youth at puberty. Males would go on power quests lasting 5 to 7 days under fast. Young women would also quest, but through dreams and sleep rather than the physical, mainly due to physical safety concerns in the environment.

Often an elder would watch over from a discreet distance the young female on a power quest to ensure that she remains safe. Both youths would embark their journey from a power spot such as Crater Lake where they would exhaust themselves by swimming, running, sweating (such as a sweat lodge ceremony), and piling up rocks (rock cairns), and engage in other energy draining tasks. They would then fall unconscious from these exertions and begin dream questing to communicate with spirits.

The exhaustion would create an altered state of consciousness or hallucinatory state from the exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and/or fasting. Power was then transmitted from the spirit during the dream in the form of a song.

Researchers Theodore Stern (1966) and Verne F. Ray (1963) noted a boy on a vision quest might construct several stone cairns one a day during the extent of their quest, sometimes stacking to a maximum height and then unstack it only to restack it a few feet away. Each would be stacked only as high as the boy could construct it. The power obtained could give the individual some measure of control in success with procreation, battle, hunting, accumulating wealth, arts, or gambling.

The more power they gained, the more prominent they could become within their tribe leading to becoming shamans, leaders, or top hunters. Mature individuals would also build cairns atop the landscape to focus their minds during their quests. These began small, usually involving only 2 rocks. On subsequent returns to that location the individual would add a rock or rocks to the stack. It was also common for this individual doing this stacking to remain in the location for weeks at a time.

Adults would also construct cairns in the puberty fashion when additional power or communication with spirits was needed, especially in events of life change or emotion such as the birth or death of a child, chronic illness, death of a spouse, or gambling losses. These would be called crisis quests. John Fagan (2000) noted that at the Ridgeline Meadow Site (35JA301) a linear rock formation points directly to Mount Shasta as a prominent feature of the Klamath sacred landscape, seen by some as the principal home of Gmokamc.

Bryant Mountain in southeastern Oregon possesses numerous power quest cairns along it of significance to the Modoc, specifically the Koki was band, according to Matt Goodwin (1997). Several of these cairns were arranged in a serpentine-like pattern as well as cairns arranged in circular or triangular patterns. Also atop this mountain are cairns with no discernible physical relationship to other cairns.

Other cairns were built along trails, as noted by Henry L. Abbot in 1855 along Klamath waterway trails of stacked rocks 2-6 feet in height, some believing these to be marks to show the trail when it was covered by snow or more plausibly due to the quantity of cairns, that they were built along stops along the way to offer prayers of safe passage and overall good luck. Ideally food offerings were left with these to the spirits of power places such as streams, springs, pools, caves, or rock features. Stones sometimes would suffice as an offering if food was not available to give.

The Plateau and Plains peoples would often do these types of activities as well, though incorporated in the sweat lodge ceremonies and fasting. Crow and Hidatsa peoples would incorporate in self-mutilation and/or self-torture to demonstrate their worthiness to receive visions.

Power quest cairns often are found with an eastern orientation such as along the eastern slopes of hills and mountains. Klamath/Modoc would build shelters with their entrances facing east, beginning all prayers facing east the direction of which the sun would appear. Some power quest cairns however have been found on west, north, and south facing slopes as well. This was often a case when a power seeking individual on one mountain top would be seeking power from another mountain…”

Friday, March 18, 2022

Cerutti Mastadon Site

[Not rock pile related]. This is pretty good:

NATtalk: An Evening with the Cerutti Mastodon Scientists - YouTube

Two things stand out for me. The first is that this is a 130,000 year old archeological site in San Diego.

The second is an unusual find, what they called an "anomaly", consisting of a single mastodon tusk placed vertically in the ground. There was no obvious physical force that would do that, so the presumption was that the tusk was deliberately buried in that orientation. 

Can I stop for a second and imagine the meaning to such a gesture? It feels like spearing the earth with a tusk could be an expression of gratitude - an offering or a trade. 

So imagine these early humans  - who at 130K BP might have not even been entirely human - being spiritual and behaving ethically in relation to food and the earth. 

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Grids in Ireland?

 This does not fit my theory very well. 

Stone mounds © Sunny cc-by-sa/2.0 :: Geograph Ireland

I recall a story of a group of 11 Indians, showing up in a canoe, in Britain. These rock piles in the pictures at this link make me wonder if Indians got to Ireland. After all, it is not easy to abandon a (my) long held theoretical belief.

Grids by the Salton Sea in CA?

Saw an interesting picture here:

Stone mounds -

I wonder if there were Algonquian tribes in that part of CA?

Thursday, March 03, 2022

Our Hidden Landscapes with Dr. Lucianne Lavin

About twenty five years ago or so, when I showed Dr. Luci Lavin a "Stone Turtle Effigy" opposite my upper driveway, she assumed that I was "completely bonkers."

  About five years ago or so, after a talk she had just given on "Our Hidden Landscapes," she told me that she felt she owed me an apology for thinking that.

I let her know that it was nice of her to do so but that it wasn't necessary since the existence of Ceremonial Stone Landscape features does not preclude the fact that I may actually be "completely bonkers."

Via the Lyme CT Land Trust

Our Hidden Landscapes with Dr. Lucianne Lavin:

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

Propped Boulder - Redding CT

 Reader "student" sends:

"...along with other nearby rock formations that appear to have once been ancient structures".