Bethlehem CTThere is a Law of Parsimony illustrated in the stonework I see around me - and in the photo above. After taking about 25 years of field observations, the simplest explanation I can come up to account for just who were the probable builders of the estimated quarter million miles of the famous New England Stone Walls is that the Indigenous People, who have been around here for the longest period of time. I think it was they rather than later Post Contact builders who gradually built the majority of the stonework I see, visible remnants of the Pre-Contact Indigenous Cultural Landscape. The other part of that law that applies is that it is a lot easier to leave that stonework right where it is and reuse it, modifying it only when there's "no way around it," because building with stone - or just moving stones around - is a lot of hard work. We humans try to avoid that sort of thing.
Forget what your Stonewall Field Book Identification Guide says about this gateway. There are some stone walls that really just might be representations in stone of (one of?) the Great Serpents of Indigenous Oral Tradition.
I can see you rolling your eyes and thinking, "This man really should be taking some sort of medication because that's not what I was taught," but bear with me a second and take a closer look at that big grey stone in the center of the photo:
And even closer:
(My Research Assistant:)
This stone, this boulder, shows some natural shaping, tumbled around in a glacial event or two, but there also seems to be the touch of a human hand at work on this stone, someone "pecking and polishing," a reductive sculptural technique, emphasizing, quite beautifully, the area around and including what just might be the white right eye of this boulder that represents this Serpent's head:
There are more serpents in this little preserve, and I'll show some more in time...