Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hidden Walls

Somewhere in northern Rhode Island, at the edge of a farm field, is a  pavement of rocks about 8 feet wide.  Two bent trees are visible in the photo background. This pavement continues 435 feet to an outcrop with a boulder on top.
By the outcrop is a long wall running downhill.
Further on is a marshy area with many well-constructed cairns.
Heading uphill from the marsh, I find an old well at the foot of a large pile of rocks.
A wall starts near the large pile,  makes two 90 degree turns, and runs uphill. These two turns follow the edge of a rocky slope.
Uphill and 230 feet from the well is a small house foundation.
Here is the topo map of the area, turned so that west is at the top.  Red is for areas with cairns, blue for walls, and yellow for large boulders. The well and house foundation are dark red, marked 926 and 724.  The pavement is denoted by the rock wall line to the right.                                        
There are actually two sets of walls here, a 1150- foot wall running east-west, with two shorter segments running north-south.  This complex has an  "F" shape.  I don't know if this has any significance, but there are two other "F"-shaped sets of walls in this area.  Beside the long wall is a walled enclosure with an upside-down "U" shape.  The part of the wall marked 729 and 729  makes two short turns to follow the edge of a steep, rocky slope.
     This might have been a ceremonial site that was later used as a small farm.  The farm layout resembles that of  the reconstructed 1720 Pequot homestead at the Pequot Museum at Foxwoods. These Indian homesteads had a small house foundation and no barn foundation.  Maybe the ceremonial sites were the last  lands the Indians were willing to leave, preferring to eke out a living on the sites.  There is a similar small foundation at the site described in the 9/3/2011 post, and at other sites I have seen.
    Here is my interpretation of the site, using the map as a reference.  The viewer is looking west and uphill at the farm from the cairns at  way point 723 on a cold afternoon in late winter. The well is at lower left edge of the large pile of rocks.

Nearby is a silent witness.

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