Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stone Work at a Propped Boulder Site.

A few weeks ago, I visited one of my favorite sites,  two huge propped boulders on bedrock.  Although they are defaced with graffiti, they seem primal.
These boulders appear to touch, but do not.  They are two halves of a massive boulder, propped up on feet. A few years ago I digitally rotated the outlines of the two flat faces, and found that they were not opened out like a book.  Instead, the one to the right was rotated about 180 degrees relative to the other.
Someone may claim that the boulder was dumped here by the glaciers and split naturally, and natives propped the halves as a shrine to the powers of nature.  To me, this seems likely.  However, the site has been worked in historic times: there are a few tool marks on the boulders.
The oblong mark in the photo directly above looks like a chisel mark.  Examination of the bedrock  in the late afternoon sun shows small gouges in the smooth, flat rock. These are 3-4 inches long, and 1-2 inches deep, with sharp edges.

 These are probably marks left from use of a flat wedge or cape chisel. These are metal tools, indicating that stone was removed during historic times.
On the bedrock is this mysterious series of semicircular marks, headed with a triangle.

The head points towards the two boulders, and the crescents allow water to flow down in a pattern, as seen in the darker stain. These marks may be natural.
     There are no walls near these boulders, so any stone removal was probably not done for wall construction.   The smoothness of the bedrock in this site suggests this  was the purpose of the stone work.   The feet on the boulders indicate this site was originally native, and the metal tool marks suggest later improvements by natives using metal tools.

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