Monday, August 15, 2011




ABSTRACT: located in Southington. Connecticut are a large group of rock shelters that had a series of occupations from late Archaic to the Final Woodland period. The shelters have been dug by bottle and pot hunters over the last twenty years.


It was a warm and sunny November day in 1972when I first came upon a group of rock shelters while hiking in Southington, Connecticut (Map 1). The shelters are located along the side of a ridge that runs the length of Southington's western border. Some of the shelters are located on the foothills near the ridge, while others are on the ridge itself (Map 2)…

Walking north, next to the ridge, I approached a large terrace that rises up about 10 m (ca. 33 ft). On the top of the terrace I saw a large glacier-deposited boulder shaped like an inverted "L" which is called "WAVE". Beyond this boulder, among the trees, there appeared a giant boulder.

I walked the distance, about 30 m (ca. 100ft) quickly and saw that the stone boulder was nearly 19 m (ca. 63 ft) long. This stone, called the "WHALE", has a large niche on its northern edge and was an important pre-contact shelter site. Behind and slightly southwest is a smaller rock with another overhang shelter, called the "BOAT". Slightly to the north of the WHALE is another small shelter, the TURTLE…

After examining these shelters I continued northward about 115 m (ca. 380 ft), crossing a small dried river bed along the way. Off to the left, toward the ridge, I noticed two shallow canyons separated by a large rock wall. At the far end of each canyon the land rises up and contains a large cave with a smaller 21niche-like cave to the north. These shelters are called the "FOURSISTERS".

After climbing around that group of four caves, I then continued my hike to the north and came across another group of shelters called "TABLETOP" that contained three medium sized caves. Another 30 m (ca. 100 ft) north, I found another shelter overhang called the "CLAM".

Circling back through the woods by a different route, I re-examined the large boulders on the ridge that I had encountered when I first started my hike. At almost the very top of the ridge there is another large overhang that has a wonderful view across the valley to Meriden. The shelters in this area are called the "SOUTHERN GROUP..."

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