Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Hill of Boulders

Here is a quarry which was used into the mid-20th century, and has many features suggesting  use by Indians.  The original quarrying of stone was from boulders on big hill.
Many of these boulders and those surrounding the hill are split and have metal tool marks, indicating quarrying in the early 1800s.
There is also an old pit-style quarry in this area.    The central  feature of this site seems to be the boulder standing  on top of the hill in the first photo.
This boulder rests on top of two others, with open space below.  Maybe this is natural, but it is quite impressive, especially since daylight may be seen  under the boulder from the bottom of the hill. This is how I noticed this structure.
    There are propped boulders on the slope.

Nearby are cairns and manitous, and also some interesting stone rows.
The first row is close to the hill, which is visible to the left.  It  has a loose structure, and some slabs placed lengthwise. 360  feet away is another wall, which contains a manitou with tool marks.  Evidently, someone else has been examining structures in this area, and has left plastic ties on the prominent ones.

This wall  has the same slanted slab construction as a wall I showed previously (10/7/11), but some of the stones have tool marks.
It continues about 400 feet, makes a right turn, continue another 140 feet, and then disappears into suburbia. It may have originally extended to a similar wall 1300 feet away on the other side of this development.
What is interesting about these long walls  is the Indian motifs constructed with quarried stone.  I suspect this wall was built as a property boundary for whites by  Indians.  Both walls shown above are perpendicular to the road, and parallel to each other, suggesting a house lot. There is a small family cemetery between them. I have noticed that these long, straight walls were built  between rocky hills and old meadows, perhaps as separations between Indian space and white farms.  It is also interesting that even if this wall was built after first contact, the slanted slab style was used.  It may be more stable on steep hills, and most of it is still standing.  However, this building style uses a great deal of material and labor.  Maybe one of the purposes of  boulder quarrying was to build long boundary walls, which the Indians did not need before the whites came.  Previously, Indians cleared  rocks from campsites and fields, and created stone rows 100 to 200 feet long.  An example of this would be the South Watuppa Pond stone rows.  Mavor & Dix wrote that  at least half of New England stone rows were constructed in the 16th and 17th centuries by Indians using metal tools.(p. 344). The stonework in  this overgrown quarry  is evocative of a time when two cultures were present in one area. There are hints that  Indian practices  persist:
 Manitous of  tool-cut stone

Young bent trees, the one above apparently made with wire.

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