Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples by Dr. Lucianne Lavin

Dr. Lucianne Lavin at the Institute of American Indian Studies in Washington, Conn. Photograph by Kathryn Boughton/The Litchfield County Times.
"Native Americans have long been seen as having been at one with their landscapes, honoring the earth and its creatures and leaving only the soft imprints of their moccasins to mark their passing. This impression verges on the truth, but thanks to the work of dedicated scientists such as archaeologist Dr. Lucianne Lavin, director of research and collections at the Institute of American Indian Studies in Washington, Conn., a much fuller picture of the lives of pre-European contact Native Americans in Connecticut is now available.

Dr. Lavin recently published “Connecticut’s Indigenous Peoples: What Archaeology, History and Oral Traditions Teach Us About Their Communities and Cultures” (Yale University Press/$45), the first book in more than 20 years to explore more than 10,000 years of pre-European history in Connecticut..."  
Another plate from the book, showing a "turtle mortar" site in Torrington

 Full Story:

Color photo of that "turtle mortar:" 

Saturday, May 25, 2013


"When Garner Rix returned from Montreal after the Revolutionary War the Town of Royalton gave him the land that we now own. At that time there were no stone walls surrounding our property. Garner cleared the land and moved the stones to the side of the fields to create the stone walls that formed the property lines that divide our property from our neighbor's property. The stone walls that Garner Rix built were built to last."
Beautiful stone walls by Granfather Rix, but this was not wilderness; it was part of the Abenaki Homeland for about 15 thousand years or more. Prime land to be acquired by Colonists of the 18th century was the already cleared floodplains where Abenaki women were planting, among other things, a landrace of corn that would grow at this latitude. 
Below Turtle Vision Version, Possibly Native American:
The artistic placement, heads of animals and spirits (and animal spirits?), resembles possible Native Stonework elsewhere, that "Indian Look" I keep going on and on about. I also added a clam shell and smoke from some smoldering Abenaki Kinnickinnick since I saw a little spot, also seen elsewhere...

More Rix:

Garner Rix's Stone Wall

By Evelyn Saenz
"When Garner Rix cleared his land in Royalton, Vt. he found many stones. With oxen, sledges, ax and muscle he cleared the fields of those rocks and built stone walls. The stone walls that he built still surround the fields.
Growing up in Vermont I learned that these stone walls kept the cattle in the pasture but having helped my dad raise cows and seen how easily they can jump a fence I began to wonder how this was possible.
Did the cows stay in because they preferred the fields to the woods? Not likely as cows enjoy standing in the shade on a hot summer day.
Were the stone walls higher at one time but now have fallen down? No, there is no evidence of stones in that quantity around the farm and all the other stone walls in Vermont seem to be the same height.
While walking along the stone wall last summer I came across a clue. There is a section of stone wall where the trees have been allowed to grow up. Wooden posts are carefully nestled in between the rocks of the stone wall. Square nails are sticking out of these posts that once held boards that spanned the distance between the posts.
A fence with this type of construction used to run in front of the house and it was certainly tall enough to keep the cows in.
The mystery was solved. The wooden fence had rotted away but the stone wall remains."

I'll add that I suspect stone rows became legal fences when the rails were added to satisfy a legal requirment and extinguished any Indian claim to the land, the precident set back around 1620 when the Puritans invented the legal fiction - with people who had no concept of private ownership of land and no idea what a lawyer was...

Friday, May 24, 2013

"Sites" and "Features"

"Sites" sometimes seems a silly word. The whole River System is the "site" of Native People, the homeland of a "tribe" or "tribes," each Village name assumed to be the name of a "tribe" around where I live. Nonnewaug, Pomperauge, Pootatuck - place names along the Great River that wears the name given to it by other Native People, translated as "the river over the mountains."

"To call a several-kilometer-long linear array of occupations spanning three millennia a single “site” begs the question of what we are defining as the unit of analysis." - CHRONOLOGY AND EVOLUTION OF THE GREEN POINT FLOOD PLAIN AND ASSOCIATED CUCURBITA PEPO
by William A. Lovis and G. William Monaghan (pg 148) -

"Features" may be a better one and I suppose that's what I'm seeing as I wander, one stone row leading to another and another, connections broken by modern towns and cities, stones taken away to be used elsewhere, bulldozed aside to build and rebuild Indian Trails that became modern roads. Should I call a stone row a "site" or a "feature?" 

Wondering (and Wondering):

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Underwater Copper Culture Site

A scuba diver wrote Gavin Menzies for assistance with underwater stone structures he found near Lake Superior. Gavin's assistant Ian Hudson wrote Jim Leslie of MES. He consulted Wayne May of the Ancient American magazine who has a special interest in the Upper Michigan Copper Culture. The result is the first in a series published in the Ancient American Vol. 16 No. 94 issue. The site is pristine and the discoverer has chosen anonymity. Here are a few photographs.

Monday, May 20, 2013

V notched Stone

When I took this photo above, I knew I'd seen that shape somewhere before.
The stone is in a stone row not too far from me, and it appears in this post:

I think this stone below was one of the ones I was remembering:

Figure 3 – V notched Standing Stone
Native American Historical Beliefs and Cultural Concepts Applicable to Stone Structures By Mary Gage Copyright © 2010.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Another Erratic Post

"First, they're not rocks
They're boulders made of rock
Boulder is the object. Rock is the material. 
If we don't call a common nail "steel," or a Windsor chair "wood," then we shouldn't call a boulder "rock." 
And technically, each boulder is a stone..." - Prof. Thorson 

Glen (Boulder) Rock NH

Glen Rock NJ

“Glen Rock was formed on September 14, 1894, from portions of Ridgewood Township and Saddle River Township, "that being the year the county went crazy on boroughs." Glen Rock was settled around an enormous rock left by retreating glaciers in a small valley (glen). From a 1985 article in The New York Times, "Glen Rock is named for a 570-ton boulder, believed to have been deposited by a glacier, that stands at the northern end of Rock Road, the town's main street. Called Pamachapura, or Stone from Heaven, by the Delaware (Lenape) Indians, it served as a base for Indian signal fires and later as a trail marker for colonists."
wolf Nipmuck Trail - Wolf Rock -- Glacial erratic boulder perched on top of cliff.

current currant boulder: Glacial Boulder Highlight Of Preserve

A huge boulder sits perched on the side of a 40-foot cliff like some giant placed it there eons ago.
And it's a must-see sight within the 95-acre preserve owned by Joshua's Tract Conservation and Historic Trust. The large circular boulder, a remnant of the retreat of the last glacier, balances near the edge of a cliff and provides a captivating view of the surrounding hills and valleys…the rock was mentioned in local deeds as early as the late 18th century. Over the years, the rock and surrounding ledges have been known as "Wolfpit Rocks," Woolfes Rocks" and Wolfe's Rocks." Whatever the name, the rocks were probably visited by a few wolves before settlers and a special wolf bounty eventually wiped them out of the state.”
The Willimantic River's Great Split Rock Boulder, Lost Scripture Bridge

“…a split-rock boulder.
You can't miss this boulder, and it's one of the strangest sights you will ever see along a river. The 7-foot rock with a huge split down its side absolutely towers over the other boulders as if a giant placed it there, just more evidence of the haphazard path of a retreating glacier. The trail ends at the boulder unless you are a fan of bushwhacking.
There are numerous paths and forest roads visitors can take, past abandoned farm fields and gravel pits. A walk along Babcock Road will take visitors through the heart of Kollar, where smaller trails jut off the roadway. If you have the time, Kollar has much to offer.
The Nipmuck Indians once called this area "Owwaenunggannunck" – or "here people go to catch salmon."

Finding History In Old Boulder

By PETER MARTEKA; Courant Staff Writer, October 27, 2006
In a state where there's no shortage of rocks in the ground, it seems every town has a famous boulder. Haddam has its "Bible Rock," so named because it is shaped like an open Bible. Union has its "Cats Rocks," a series of house-sized boulders that once sheltered felines from mountain lions to bobcats. Hebron has its "Prophet's Rock," a large boulder where five women took shelter one summer night in 1705 "fearing the wolves would regale themselves upon their delicious bodies," as former Gov. John S. Peters recounted in his memoirs.

Hartford's Stone Field, Symbol Of Resistance

Robert M. Thorson, October 20, 2011
Occupying Hartford since 1977, and targeting the state Capitol, is a permanent symbol of resistance — geological resistance, impervious to wind, rain, cold, hunger and boredom. I refer to the Stone Field Sculpture by Carl Andre, euphoniously located at the corner of Gold and Main. There they sit: 36 native rock boulders, patiently ignoring the news of the day and the slush of opinion, symbols of stability even more durable than the architecturally wrought stone buildings surrounding them.
In the words of former Mayor George Athanson, however, it's "just a bunch of rocks," adding, "little kids could do it."
Wilkins is right. Athanson was wrong.
First, they're not rocks. They're boulders made of rock. Boulder is the object. Rock is the material. If we don't call a common nail "steel," or a Windsor chair "wood," then we shouldn't call a boulder "rock." And technically, each boulder is a stone, generally with a crudely rounded shape, the larger ones having been milled by the shearing action of glacial ice and the smaller ones tumbled by torrents of water.
Second, they're not a bunch. That plural noun connotes a clustered disorder. In contrast, the Stone Field Sculpture is artistically arranged as a geometric array, with parallel rows of stone increasing in size and diminishing in number to the west. Collectively, they define a wedge symbolically pointing toward the state Capitol.
Third, little kids could not do it.
Fourth, the tip of the wedge, reportedly a 10-ton boulder, is the perfect place to reflect on the under-appreciated beauty of Hartford's architectural stone: marble, brownstone, granite, brick, limestone, sandstone, bluestone, slate and all that. That's why I chose that boulder as the rendezvous point for a walking field trip on the urban geology of Hartford, which I'm running this Saturday at noon. This trip, sponsored by Real Art Ways as part of its 35th anniversary celebration, complements one I ran last summer in the rural highlands of eastern Connecticut.

split: Points of Interest

Split Rock

This boulder with a wide crack gives the trail its name. Little ones are welcome to climb the rock and explore its crevices.

Anchoring the Wall

If a boulder was too large to move, early farmers often incorporated it into their pasture walls. Here is a good example of this labor-saving strategy.
Pictures in this guide taken by: TNC_RI

Millstone Trail:
Last of the Montauks???

"The image of Indian Prayer Rock, seen above, shows a plaque that was placed there to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Bronx Parks system. The plaque is long gone, but local historian Jorge Santiago found the holes left by screws once holding it in place. According to a 1913 article from The New York Times researched by Mr. Santiago, the Indian Prayer Rock plaque was one of six plaques placed in Bronx Parks at 30th anniversary ceremonies. Scouts, soldiers, bands and noted speakers all participated in those festivities, with the Parks Commissioner and Borough President on hand to pledge support for the preservation and upkeep of Bronx parks."

Friday, May 17, 2013

Been Busy

Back on 9/11/07 (see:, I was worried about ATV's and all those other sort of things like dirt bikes etc. driving over what looked to me to be segment of stone row that might have been a Snake Effigy ( in a Stone Row.
I don't have to worry about that any more, I found out yesterday; Connecticut Light and Power has solved that problem - with a bulldozer:

This row connects to a double stone row to the south:

And other people have been busy there too:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Perched Boulders

This image reminded me of something that might be found on
maybe a drawing of some stone rows and a few signifigant boulders, one of them perched at a high spot.
But then I read: "One of my favorite places to hike and on this beautiful day we hiked the Glen Ellis Trail to the Glen Boulder. Precariously perched, this huge boulder was pushed by the glaciers and landed in this spot never to move again."

Never to be moved again? How about this one:
State Moves 7-10 Ton Boulder Perched Above Homes
A 7 to 10-ton boulder that was precariously perched above several homes in Niu Valley was successfully moved away from the edge of the ridge and secured -
Read more -
Historic Graffitti at Balance Rock near Pittsfield MA:
Modern updated tagging:


"An international team of researchers including Colorado State University professors Christopher Fisher and Stephen Leisz have been utilizing LiDAR technology to seek ancient settlements and human constructed landscapes in an area long rumoured to contain the legendary city of Ciudad Blanca – the mythical “White City” – in Central America.
The project is a collaboration of the Global Heritage Foundation (GHF), UTL Productions, the National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM), CSU, and the Honduran government. It is outlined in detail in the May 6 edition of The New Yorker.

LiDAR is the latest in survey prospection

Fisher, an associate professor of archaeology, and Leisz, assistant professor of geography, have previously worked with airborne LiDAR to help reveal a lost pre-Columbian city in central Mexico. LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technique used to examine the earth’s surface.
Researchers focused their search for evidence of ancient settlements in the Mosquitia Coast region of Central America. Until now, dense tropical forests and relative inaccessibility of the region have hampered systematic archaeological investigation.
LiDAR’s computer-generated images allow researchers to “see” through the forest canopy to the ground surface, revealing any evidence of ancient settlements or human-engineered landscapes..."

Monday, May 06, 2013

Anyone but Indians? Everyone but Indians?

(Writing the next day, I'll update this by saying,) I usually don't edit my posts. Sometimes I'll correct my spelling or see where I've left out a word or something, but this post and this edit or update is different. As I looked at more and more pages of the website mentioned below, I grew angrier and angrier, as the bigotry became more and more apparent. Alejandro Vega Ossorio has collected together a bunch of nonsense and seems to be embracing ideals of white supremacy.
There is nothing Humorous about any of it. 

I’ll put my tongue in my cheek, as they say, and I’ll tell you how I was convinced that Everything I Know is Wrong about so called Indian Civilizations of both North and South America. I came upon a chance post on Face Book that showed some petroglyphs of ancient astronauts and when I expressed my skepticism of Ancient Astronauts (“It was just a matter of time, wasn't it? What's the name of your book/dvd?), I was referred to this interesting website:
Please note: Google Chrome translated the Spanish into English for me – perhaps there are errors of translation, but I’m pretty sure that I now know that “Civilization with a Capital C” was brought to the Western Hemisphere by
a.)    Anyone but Indians
b.)    Everyone but Indians
c.)     A. & B.

Above: Whiskers White and Blonde Hair undergoing (???)an Amerindian woman who is tied. Huaco Mochica Culture in Peru.

More than 1800 years later, around 600 AD, comienzon raidsIrish Celts over North America, who left the memory of the First Quetzalcoatl: the ascetic.These raids Celts who reached their peak with the arrival of the Celts Welsh Prince Madoc to the 1170 off the coast of USA.

And, new to the site, "Martian Archeology:"