Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cairn from Killingsworth CT

reader Tim M sent these photos, and asked if anyone has an opinion about this rock pile:

Redwing MN Cairns

We may have all come across the web site:
Which shows a dramatic cairn on a bluff in Redwing Mn.

Some time ago reader Steve K who lives near Redwing, asked about something I had posted about those cairns and also mentioned he wanted to locate them on foot. I asked him to send photos if he took any, and I am pleased to be able to pass along his report.

Steve writes:
If you're still interested, here are some recent photos (08/13/2017) of one of the rock cairn sites in Red Wing. The DNR had recently cleared away brush, shrub trees, and buckthorn from the bluff making it possible to get some clear pics. 

I also included a couple of aerial photos of another cairn site nearby. There's not much to see in that one, but the tree in the foreground is in a hole that used to be the center of the cairn and there are many large rocks strewn around it. 

Looks pretty damaged since the original photo.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Indigenous Stone Structures in Guam

“Latte (also latde) is a Chamorro term that refers to stone pillars and cup-shaped capitals or capstones, which represent house supports and are ascribed to the ancient people of the Mariana Islands. In some accounts, they are also referred to as casas de los antiguos (houses of the ancients)... research has found that during Guam’s late prehistoric period, from about 1200 BP to 300 BP (before present), latte began to be used and became increasingly common before abandonment after Spanish colonization... In modern times the latte shape has become a symbol of Chamorro cultural identity...”


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Webster Woods, Woods Hole

I think Mavor wrote about this wedged rock:

 It may have been blasted apart.
I remember this loose mound from seeing it in the past, but I never noticed it was a rectangle with two hollows - which I think is pretty rare on the Cape:
A wonderful woods, out there beyond the golf course.

The 4th Annual Pocumtuck Homelands Festival

   "The 4th Annual Pocumtuck Homelands Festival was, in a single word, “Nice.” It was nice to be invited, nice to be in a place where Ceremonial Stone Landscape features are recognized and well known. Everyone I talked to was so very nice and almost everyone had a story or two (or ten) to tell about interesting and intriguing stones as I stood at a table with what looked much like somebody’s 6th Grade Science Fair Project..."


Friday, July 21, 2017


A fundraiser to support the Indigenous Tribes of the Northeast in protecting Ceremonial Stone Landscape Features in Sandisfield, Massachusetts

Presenter: Doug Harris
Preservationist for Ceremonial Landscapes
& A Deputy Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the Narragansett Indian Tribal Historic Preservation Office (NITHPO).

Doug Harris will present a history of Ceremonial Stone Landscape Features in the Northeast region and the struggle to preserve them. The hills and valleys of New England are dotted with living prayers of stone (Ceremonial Stone Landscapes) created by the Indigenous peoples of this region. These stone structures were built to create and restore harmony between human beings and Mother Earth. The prayers that they embody continue to live as long as the stones are kept intact.
Saturday, August 5, 2017
3:00-5:00 pm
First Churches, 129 Main Street
Northampton, MA
The church is handicap accessible and on a bus line
Please enter on the Center Street side of the building

You can make a tax deductible contribution in one of two ways

1) Write a check to Creative Thought and Action (memo: CSL), and mail it to Climate Action Now's treasurer: Rene Theberge, 250 Shutesbury Road, Amherst, MA, 01002.

2) Donate online by going to
Please share far and wide with friends and family.
For more info and/or to help with this campaign contact Susan Theberge

Please include CSL in the subject line.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Reawakening on Turtle Island

   "I haven’t felt this good in years it seems. It’s like coming out of a fog that I’ve been lost in, returning to the familiar, coming back home..."

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Possible Manitou Stone (Griswold CT)

     When I asked James Finley if I could use this photo above, he sent me two more:

     James mentioned a nearby quarry - and asked a very good question: “There is a small quarry right at the bottom of the hill from where this stone is located. I'm sure most of the large stones used in and around the property came from this quarry. My question is, how could you tell if something was placed by Native Americans vs colonials given that this stone is directly along a road?”
   There’s no simple answer to the question –and, living in a home built about the time, all I can think of is more questions:
  Is that road a former Indian Trail?
    Is there more Indigenous Iconography in other stonework (such as the “wall” the stone seems incorporated into)?
  Looking at other photos, I wonder, how many times has an original stone wall been rebuilt or had stones added to?
    What else is there around there stone-wise, where does it lead to, what is enclosed?
    And I wonder about the house foundation: Is it quarried bricks and blocks, or is it like our house – serpents and turtles and a surprising number of rhomboidal stones??

    A link to the Historic Home (with more photos by James):

   (And  I took a few classes taught by a certain professor Jacobs whom I’m pretty sure was named for his relative Timothy Lester...)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Monday, July 03, 2017

Friday, June 30, 2017

Ancient petroform in Manitoba's Whiteshell Park destroyed

Rocks that formed shape of snake at sacred site rearranged into inukshuk
Austin Grabish - CBC News
 June 30, 2017 

An inukshuk now sits where there was previously an ancient petroform depicting a snake. (Diane Maytwayashing )

   “Petroforms are arrangements of rocks that make up the outline of an animal or other distinctive shape when viewed from a distance. The Bannock Point site is a sacred place used from time to time by First Nations people for ceremonial purposes, according to Manitoba Parks and Protected Spaces.
    But when Maytwayashing and her group reached the petroforms, they discovered the stones of one — arranged in the shape of a snake — had been rearranged into an inukshuk.
   "I felt my heart fall to my stomach. It was really horrible," said Maytwayashing who guides visitors to Bannock Point and Tie Creek. "It kind of numbed me because it was like a violation was happening."
    Maytwayashing, an Anishinaabekwe woman and area guide and educator, said the snake represented a sacred feminine ancient story. She said the stones are considered as sacred as the Stonehenge in England or the Egyptian pyramids.
     "It was a place of gathering for thousands of years."
      Maytwayashing believes the destruction of the snake petroform and building of the inukshuk was a malicious act of vandalism...”
 Full Story:

An Update:
“An elder who's spent his life caring for a series of sacred stones that were recently disturbed in a Manitoba park says the site can be put back together and still has a future.
Ron Bell, who hails from the Sagkeeng First Nation, says the snake-shaped petroform at Bannock Point, which an Indigenous tour guide discovered disturbed this week, isn't ruined and doesn't need to be protected by security.

"This is nothing new."

Bell said he's been taking care of that petroform and about 200 others that are largely unknown in the Whiteshell Provincial Park for 63 years.
I have all this stuff recorded," said Bell, who started taking care of the site when he was seven-years-old...”

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Noble Point Effigy (Alberta, Canada)

(The Noble Point not-a-turtle Effigy?)
    “The Noble Point effigy (DjPa-1) is on the north edge of Chin Coulee, approximately 25 km south of Taber, Alberta. The effigy was first photographed sometime around 1967 and later recorded (1975) on an Archaeological Survey of Alberta site inventory form. However, its detailed documentation did not take place until 2009, when it was mapped by members of the Archaeological Society of Alberta Lethbridge Centre. It has not previously been included in rock feature comparative studies of Alberta and the Northern Plains. This article summarizes the efforts to relocate the effigy and the mapping process carried out by members of the Archaeological Society of Alberta. It also provides details on the construction of the effigy and explores its cultural classification and meaning...”

(Yes, he said it's not a turtle...)

The Noble Point Effigy (DjPa-1) (PDF Download Available). Available from: [accessed Jun 28, 2017].

   "...But the most daunting question, because it encompasses aspects of all the others combined, is that of motive. Why draw large images with stone across the prairie landscape?
    Sundstrom’s report lists several possible interpretations for the sites including memorials to important people or events, identifiers of particular social groups, shrines related to war, hunting and planting, and astronomical observatories.
   “None of these are mutually exclusive and none have been decisively studied archaeologically,” her report says.
     Brace takes a practical point of view, saying that many of the animal effigies were environmental indicators, acting as landmarks or identifying the location of resources.
    For example, an effigy in Mankota depicts a salamander with a simple set of external gills, like one that lives in fresh water. The forms sits in an area with much alkaline water, but a line drawn from the tail through the head of the effigy pointed to one of the few fresh water springs, he said.
   Brace sees a similar use for a buffalo effigy. A line drawn from the tail through the head leads to a blind coulee where large game could be driven off the edge.
   The turtle effigies could mean that an important food source could be found in the area, he said...”

(Yes, he said, “The turtle effigies could mean that an important food source could be found in the area.”)
    Turtle found in the area of Alberta: 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

"Stylus Stone" from Hillman Mn

Reader Brian T writes:
... While investigating the rock cairn I found The "inscribed" rock on, I found a small fashioned tool  ( I call it a "Stylus Stone" ) .  Since then I have spent time researching trying to find a like item.  I was excited to find an almost exact copy 3700 miles away  in Yarmouth, submitted to the U.K Museum of Natural History for identification.       ( visit link below )  The first five pictures are the of the "Stylus Stone."

[Anyone want to guess what that is for? - PWAX]

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Above Above The Falls - Bolton

I wrote about "Above the Falls" before. The Ladies from Harvard also found it, and later Gail Coolidge found another site on the flat hilltop above. I think she called this place "Above Above the Falls". Gail and Sydney Blackwell took me there a couple weekends ago.

This site is one of the great ones in my opinion. It has a central boulder with rock pile, surrounded by large decrepit mounds - what I interpret as marker piles of an ancient type, and possibly a few burial mounds. There were also several small, newer-looking piles. Gail comments that it would be nice to see the place without trees. Boy would it! High up as it is, and flat, you would have been able to see Blue Hill, Wachusett, and Monadnock. As far as I am concerned, this is a "Stonehenge" that should be a highlight of any visit to Bolton Massachusetts. Today, with the trees it is a mysterious and moody spot, even perhaps a bit gloomy. Of course you have to ignore the lawnmower sounds in the background. Here is Sydney Blackwell and what I am calling the "central" boulder:
Here is a typical rectangle with hollows. Note the boulder in the background:
Then we examine a very messy linear feature ("wall") that leads from the suburban backyard,
though the site past the central boulder.
Passing things along the way. Here is a small pile with a white rock. The wall continues all the way across to the opposing suburban backyard. There is also a white rock in the wall.
The pile with white rock, looking in a different direction:
One of the larger mounds, that is more like a large marker pile than anything else:
Big, old, and triangular:
Not easy to photo, and you have to look close to see what I mean. I thought it looked triangular. Gail also thought it looked  "triangular". Another pile with a white rock:
Here is a different kind of rectangle with a hollow, made partially from soil:
Here is a nice combination:
This vertical sided pile looks to be from a completely different generation than the larger, more buried, ones.
The wall runs along past a number of things:
Again, note the boulder in the background. I did not notice it earlier but this is clearly a rectangular "U" quite similar to the one Sydney found, 3 pictures up.

(Another view:)
Here are 4-in-a-row:
It is why I am calling them "marker" piles. But they are more buried than any I have seen and at the larger end of the size range. More of the smaller newer-looking ones:
A last look at the central boulder:

I am impressed by:
 - the variety of different types of pile
 - the age of many of them, evidenced by the degree of degeneration and soil cover
 - the undisturbed nature of the layout
 - the complexity of the layout

This place begs to be surveyed and I bet there are alignments. The layout is similar to the original Above the Falls, with a central feature surrounded by marker piles. However, I never saw anything like burials at the original "Above the Falls" site and it is a lot "newer". I believe you can walk from one site to the other through the woods and it would be a spectacular park. Even more spectacular if you cleared the right trees.

Access is via a path on Warner Rd in Bolton. On the face of it, as we walked in, it was not at all the kind of place I was expecting rock piles. We were walking through completely flat, featureless, pine woods. There was one earthen bump to the left, but it was so out of place I assumed it was modern. Then we turned a corner, and I said to Gail "Are you going to pull a rabbit out of a hat?". She said "yes" and did.