Thursday, June 15, 2017

Cemamagĭ Doʼag or “Tumamoc” (AZ)

    “Tumamoc, which is an O'odham word for "regal horned lizard",[2] was a home to the ancient Hohokam people. It is the site of the earliest known trincheras village, consisting of 160 foundations of round stone structures, as well as large stone perimeter walls.[3] Over 460 petroglyphs and a prehistoric garden beside the hill provide further evidence of Tumamoc’s importance to these people.[3] For long after that time, 1,300 years ago, the site continued to provide resources to the Tohono O'odhamAkimel O'odham, and the Hopi. It has also been reported to be a burial site for the Apache and the O'odham.[3]
Captain Juan Mateo Manje, a Spanish military commander, wrote the following about Tumamoc Hill after seeing it on one of his expeditions with Father Kino between 1693 and 1701:[4]
We passed in sight of, and around, a mountain where there are 100 terraces of stone wall in the form of a snail, spiraling to the top. They say it forms an armory, where in former wars those who gained the heights first were usually victors. Those who reached the first ring went around to the second, and as far as was necessary to exhaust the supply of arrows of those below. Then they came down from the mountain and fell upon their enemies and killed them.[4]
    Note that Manje refers to "former" wars, indicating that the fighting took place in prehistoric times (before the arrival of Europeans). Being that the O'odham are probably descendants of the Hohokam, it does not seem unreasonable to conclude that the Hohokam, who lived only a few centuries before Manje's expedition, did as their later relatives apparently did and used their trincheras to fall upon their enemies and kill them.[4]

    European settlers prized the rock and clay found on the hill for building in the late 19th century, and early ecologists just after the turn of the 20th century selected it for the site of the Carnegie Institute's Desert Laboratory.[3][5] The hill continues to be a landmark and a sanctuary for the people of Tucson today. The road up Tumamoc Hill is a popular destination for walking and running. The entrance to the road up the hill is located across from St. Mary's Hospital on the south side of Anklam Road. It is open to pedestrians in the early mornings and evenings. The steep hill provides a strenuous workout, as well as citywide vistas. Lectures on the unique history and ecology are presented for the public at the site...”

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Ceremonial Stone Landscapes - National Park Services

Doug Harris: "I would ask that those of you who have ceremonial stones of this sort in your region, persevere. Use the National Historic Preservation Act. It is a great tool and in some instances, a wonderful weapon. I would also like to acknowledge Robert Thrower the chairman of the Cultural and Heritage Committee of the United South Eastern Tribes. Robert is the THPO for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and recently they went into an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service to examine ceremonial stone landscapes on Forest Service land. I was honored to joined them down at the Talladega National Forest in Alabama at the tail end of the Appalachian range. We found ceremonial stones in many ways like the ones that we have here and in many ways quite different. The Creek were doing what we were doing, but they were doing it in a different way.
We also know that the Yurok in Northern California had a ceremonial stone tradition. We know that in the National Forest Service areas, Arkansas in Washoe National Forest there are ceremonial stones. This we believe to be a part of the ancient tradition that was shared from the Atlantic to the Pacific by the ancient tribal people..."

Saturday, May 27, 2017

English Style Stone Wall (Madison CT)

The General's Residence
    I had always intended to stop by a house down on the CT shoreline, just to grab a photo of an actual example of a stone wall using an English style of stone stacking that may go back to the early 1700’s. I still haven’t done that but looking at some on-line images, I found that the place has a name and a story I'd been unaware of...
Gen. William W. Harts House (1729)
May 20th, 2017 Posted in Colonial, Houses, Madison
    "The house at 908 Boston Post Road in Madison, currently in a dilapidated condition, was recently subject to a foreclosure. The first person to build on the property was Ensign Nathaniel Dudley, c. 1729-1730, and the building was then expanded over time with several additions. Capt. Edward Griffin (1762-1802), who sailed schooners between between Boston and Haiti, acquired the house in 1799 from Lyman Munger. On one voyage, Capt. Griffin once threw his son Harry overboard after a quarrel. The cook threw over a chicken coop to keep Harry afloat and the young man was later rescued by a passing ship. Capt. Griffin was a slave owner who committed a heinous act. Hearing that revenue officers were coming to his house to assess his property, he entombed two of his slaves by walling them in the basement and leaving them to die.

   The house had a number of owners after Capt. Griffin. Unoccupied from 1895 until 1909, it then became the summer home of Martha Hale and her husband, William Wright Harts (1866-1961). An 1889 graduate of West Point, Harts served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, eventually rising to the rank of Brigadier General. He oversaw a number of large construction projects, involving fortifications and river and harbor engineering. In 1901, he was sent to the Philippines, where he built roads and designed and constructed Fort McKinley (now Fort Bonifacio).

    During World War I, Harts served in France and was appointed military governor of the Paris District and then Chief of Staff of the Army of Occupation in Germany. He was also a military aide to President Woodrow Wilson. Back in the United States, he supervised construction of the Lincoln Memorial and the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater. He lived in Madison full time after 1930. The general’s uniform is now in the collection of the Madison Historical Society. In the years since his death in 1961, the house, which came to be called the “General’s Residence,” has been a wedding dress shop, a restaurant, and a bakery."

"The General's Residence on 2/25/2017, the scheduled day of the Foreclosure Auction. It was suddenly delayed until early May. See
For more images of this home see
(Photo credit - Bob Gundersen"

Headed North in Street View, some interesting curves:
So, there you go, a Post Contact Stone Wall.
Compare to the possible Indigenous constructions,
Ceremonial Stone Landscape Features, of past posts from Madison.
One great example of a "species specific" effigy can be found not too much farther north along that Old Indian Shoreline Path, a Diamondback Terrapin, a small spot to burn tobacco below it before making use of the salt marsh resource zone where these turtles can sometimes still be found:

And then there's Hammonasset
(Stone Fish Weir)
(Split and Filled Boulder)

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Comparing Bears

     "Wild animals, as pointed out by F.G. Speck (1931: 28-29), are in general considered to exist in clan relationship with humans. The latter are said to be "kings among animals." Clean pure animals of the forest are referred to in terms of human relationship and their spirits must be propitiated before they can be sought for food. If the supernaturals are appeased through sacrifices, the animals will allow themselves to be taken, but if the proper ceremonies are not carried out, they can never be approached by humans. 
      Therefore, a hunter is obliged to pray and sacrifice tobacco before starting on the hunt...The Delaware consider the bear and deer to be the greatest of all animals. The bear is also called "Our Grandfather." Both animals are considered closely akin to the Indian, but the Delaware believe that the bear has the most human-like traits..."
Gladys Tantaquidgeon in "Folk Medicine of the Delaware and Related Algonkian Indians(1972, 1995)" (pg. 60) 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Pinned Serpent

Surveyors iron pin behind a flat topped triangular boulder.
Locating the spot.

Turning the map so east is at the top. There's a slight difference between the property lines on the map and the aerial image that shows the row of stones that became the property line.
Wider view.


Next boulder pair with another small gap

Another pin.

A change in the row of stones, leading into thicker brush and I turn around and head back down...
A quick look here...
At home with my imagination:

 Follow the stones, passing many interesting places...

...and you come to this eventually:
From a local history: