Friday, September 26, 2014

Along the Nonnewaug Trail

A circular little segment of a linear row of stones along a road that was originally an Indian Trail...

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Standing Stone - Patch Hill, Boxboro

From reader Russ M:
These pictures were two or three years in the making trying to find the right combination of time and weather.  Using the Stupid Sheet and a compass it was my belief that this marker in the woods was oriented with the equinox sunrise.  It is up hill from the cairn field below.  I also got some very interest snaps of the sun on the front of the stone.  At times it gave the illusion it was glowing with the sun pulsing through the trees.  Happy Autumn!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wetherbee Ave in Acton

I went back to this familiar place and -sink me- if I didn't step into the woods a bit early and stumble onto new rock piles. Here is a little horseshoe of rocks opening into a seasonal brook:
And a couple of adjacent piles, larger, rounded. I suppose quite old. My wife Barbara is in the background.

At Wetherbee Ave, at the top of the field, there is a bit of a waterway dropping off from there and draining towards Rt 2. In fact the field clearing piles are near the top of this and the "real" piles are downhill along the watercourse.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Surprise Lecture

Just found out I am supposed to talk at an AMC meeting at the Northborough Historical Society (52 Main Str Northborough, MA) tonight at ~7:45. 

Oops! Lucky I a have too much to talk about and too many pictures to show.

I don't suppose any of you can get there. They forgot to confirm and I just found out it is on!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

High on a hill in Westminster

Designed for foot traffic. (Across the road and uphill from Redemption Rock.) Also, I thought this was kind of nice:

I am giving a talk at the Acton Library

On October 20th, 7PM. I will show a lot of pictures.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A few more features on North Manoosnoc

On the walk diagonally up from the foot of Mt Elam Rd to the northwest summit, I saw several interesting features. Two short stretches of wall and some propped slabs. 
Here is one short stretch. The upper end is just out of sight:
The upper end:
Later, higher on the hill, an older one:
You see little bits and pieces of stone lying around. Like it was a quarry. How did the place get this grass?
In the background:
I was going to dismiss this as a fireplace:
But then I realized the effort of lifting that slab of rock would be quite out of proportion with the needs for a temporary fireplace on the side of a hill.
Back near the bottom of the hill, a rare pile with white rocks, an "albino" pile:
It is too bad the mountain laurel is thick around the foot of the hill but it is a darn nice walk up to the summit and back.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Polypody ferns and ceremony

On the northeast slope of North Manoosnoc in Leominster I stopped to take a picture of one of my favorite ferns: the polypody which Thoreau called "cheerful little communities". They often grow out from between the rocks like this:
So I was admiring the outcrops, seeing a few things here and there that looked arranged, and sat down to enjoy the place. I was sitting right on top of one arrangement:
See how the entire crack has been stuffed with smaller fragments? 
Looking a little further down the rock, I noticed something else behind the next group of ferns.
A closeup:
[See Manitou p 275,300 for discussion of buckets and historic period ceremonialism.]
I have long thought this part of Leominster - called "Notown" - must have been where the Indians of Fitchburg were displaced to, when the Europeans arrived. Since the area is full of large stone mounds I believe it must have been an important center, even before the historic period. And now I see Notown is likely to have been all one and the same place - from the past into the historic. It was abandoned only recently and polypody grow there now.

Monday, September 08, 2014

"Ceremonial Stoneworks of the NorthEast"

A new blog from Matthew Howes [click here]. I added a permanent link on the right.

A broken point

You can sorta make out that this is a stemmed arrowhead with a damaged base and missing side.
Does anyone know the type? Here is a photo, the above was scanned:

Lewis Hollow land is ‘forever wild’

by VIOLET SNOW on Sep 8, 2014
Mt. Laurel School kids on a hike to the rock formations on Overlook Mountain.
    “A local private family foundation has purchased a 37-acre property on Overlook Mountain in Woodstock in order to preserve the land and its stacked rock formations, alleged to be of ancient origin. A Lewis Hollow neighbor has bought a nearby 45-acre parcel and placed a “forever wild” deed restriction on the land, protecting it from development. Glenn Kreisberg, who spearheaded formation of the Overlook Mountain Center (OMC) as a vehicle for protecting both properties, is also seeking to save a 30-acre area in lower Lewis Hollow.
    Kreisberg has studied and written about Overlook’s mysterious rock mounds and serpentine walls that he believes are Native American and ceremonial in origin. He hopes that purchase of the remaining 30-acre parcel will enable OMC to create an educational center at the former hunting lodge located on the property, as well as an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) limited-mobility wildernesses access area…”

 (I suppose "forever wild" all depends upon your definition of "wild," especially while walking around an "alleged ancient" Indigenous Ceremonial Stone Landscape...)

Top of Juniper Hill, Ashby MA

Juniper Hill in northeastern Ashby is not easy to get to. But I figured a way to park across the border in Mason NH and get into the woods and walk back south to the hill. It was somewhat difficult going with mountain laurel, so I was pushed higher and did not get to explore the wet areas around the hill.
The summit is a typical Massachusetts hilltop. And I saw a small cluster of rock piles:
Here is one of them:
It is a bit suggestive of a prayer seat. Note the rock inside the "U" is white:
Sometimes I get the impression that a prayer seat has been blocked off, after use. The white rock here might have this role. [Update: For what it is worth,I thought white rocks amplify rather than block - making this a strange configuration].
Here is the other large pile a few feet away:
Note the large triangular rock. It is pointing in the direction of the first pile, which is the direction of the opening of the "U", as you can see in this next picture:
The stone walls are quit fine up there:

Saturday, September 06, 2014

NEARA Fall Meeting

From the New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA):

A .pdf version of the NEARA Fall 2014 Meeting Notice has been posted to the NEARA web site home page. Home You can also now register online by clicking a link on the home page. It's quick and easy and saves on postage and paper!

Friday, September 05, 2014

Stone cultural features and ceremonial landscapes Roundtable

Corrected Date and Time:
 Saturday, November 8, 2014 - 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
     Please join us for another rousing Native American-Archaeology Round Table with outstanding presentations and panel discussions by New England professional archaeologists and Native American leadership.
     This year's Roundtable will explore stone cultural features and ceremonial sites/landscapes. Our diverse group of speakers will share their experiences and knowledge about this expansive category of cultural features. Until recently, stone cultural features have gone largely undocumented by cultural resource professionals while working in the field. The explicit goal is to introduce new information and elicit suggestions for how professional archaeologists can consider and record this variety of cultural resource in future investigations.

     Scheduled speakers and panelists include CT State Archaeologist Dr. Brian Jones; Rhode Island State Archaeologist Dr. Timothy Ives; CT State Historic Preservation Officer Daniel Forrest; Schaghticoke elder Trudie Richmond; Mohegan Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Elaine Thomas; Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Kathy Knowles; Mohegan elder Faith Davison; Eastern Pequot Vice-Chair Brenda Geer; authors and stone structure researchers James Gage and Mary Gage; Mohawk-Abenaki engineering consultant Donald Aubrey; archaeologists Dr. Greg Walwer and Dr. Curtiss Hoffman; and geographer Dr. William Ouimet.

   Held every year in autumn, the Archaeology Roundtable consists of presentations and panel discussions on a particular theme. Previous themes include Native Conflict; Peopling Of The New World; and Archaeology's Role & Responsibility In Contemporary Politics. Presenters and panelists include respected archaeologists and anthropologists, as well as prominent figures and leaders from the Native American community.
The Roundtable is a free event and audience participation is encouraged.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

The season starts

But what I found was nothing:
 and nothing:

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Sites in Hopkinton, Holliston, Millford, and vicinity, from Matthew Howes

(1) Some nice Propped Boulders from Wood Dr. in the Millville/Mendon area:

(2) Around the Miller Hill area in Holliston, behind Beatrice Ln. near the water-tower, is this propped boulder on hill-top.  It actually sits on top smaller stones, off the ground.  One might argue that from this angle it looks like (abstractly) the profile of a person, with the chin tilted upwards. 
There is also an indigenous quartz quarrying site on this hill also.
(3) Here is a cool site around the College Rock/ Upper Charles Trail area in Milford.  First pic is a quartz crystal incorporated into a cairn.  Also note the Native wall running up the ledge, and other works (cairns) seemed to be related to the horizon points making up the ledge.  The sixth picture seems to be a turtle effigy stone right at the end of a stone-wall terminating at a swamp, also note there is a verticle standing-stone slab on the wall behind the turtle.  Picture five also seems to be a turtle-like cairn.

(4) This site is from Hopkinton, off a side street of Wilson Rd. (which is off Rte. 135 near the Boston Marathon start).  There is a lot of infrastructure industry up this road (pipelines, water treatment plants, news tower, etc.), this site is nearby to a "Hopkinton LNG Corp." "property" but on public land.
Pic 1 I sent you is a cairn w/ quartz at the center-piece.

Pic 2 is a wedge/stone insertion between 2 boulders, which seemed to be part of an enclosure by a now (modern day) dried-up stream bed.

Pic 3 I sent is a rock-on rock w/ a standing stone incorporated.

The fourth pic I sent ("LNG 6") is a very powerfully-moving picture, I almost did not include it for this reason.  There is a lot to this simple picture- a broken pail bucket, a stone slab incorporated into this native wall as well as an effigy figure, and more.

The fifth pic is another cairn, and the last picture seems to be turtle-like, which was also incorporated into the stone wall in another section.  Enjoy!

(5) Here are some stuff from the Fairbanks Cons. Land in Holliston, part of  larger "Rocky Woods/ College Rock/ Vietnam Mountain Bike Trail" area (and now also "Upper Charles Trail"), which runs through parts of several towns.  Echo Lake area is also connected to this area, just a modern-day road breaking this up.
Pic 1 is the drum-stone.

So is the fourth pic, but this one is on a (now wooded) hill-top and looks to me to be a bird effigy.  Looking at this pic from different angles will help seeing this.
 Pic 2 and 3 I sent you are special boulders of placed interest.

(6)  Some scenes of the Ceremonial Stone Landscape over in Northbridge, along "Goat Hill", by the Blackstone River.

(7) At the Macomber Conservation Land in Framingham, on top of a small knoll is this split boulder with a  stone wedge inserted.  The location is near a spring that rolls down into a fresh lake.

(8) Another site in Hopkinton, off the scenic back road of Front St. this time.  The main feature here is a Serpent Wall.  I showed this site to several members of NEARA the other month, and it was determined the wall is oriented running along Magnetic North.  (To me the wall seems like it could be "mounded" but I could not get a second opinion on this.)  Also in these pics is a couple of cairns nearby, also off Front St. Enjoy!

(9)  Here is a site I took Curt to the other month- some conservation woods in Hopkinton off of North Mill St.  Since we were there last I have stumbled on to some other stone works in these woods.  I will include some of what Curt and I saw, and some new things also.
Pics 1 & 2 are of a very unusual rock pile, perhaps of an Algonquin deity which resided in this area, or an offering pile to this deity.  An anamoly in any case.
The next pic is a huge head-and-shoulders type Manitou stone, also note the perfect pre-colonial quarrying techniques and shaping of the boulder (angles) of the boulder behind it!
The next pic is a cairn, and there were plenty enough of those!  Then we have an erected Standing Stone that had been chipped out (possible markings.)  This reminded me of some of the Scandinavian-type stones that depict symbols (will include a link in your comments section.)  Also is an erratic wall that ran up a hill and the last pic is from another place nearby.