Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Skeleton Mountain Snake Effigy (Alabama USA)

    I was Snoozing on Turtle Island again it seems. Looking at the Archives of Rock Piles and then this blog, only confirms it: in the latter there are no entries at all, but in the former I found the very astute avocational observer and researcher Rob Buchanan had posted up a link on July 10, 2010 that led right to a report of a Snake (or Great Serpent) Effigy on Skeleton Mountain in Alabama: http://rockpiles.blogspot.com/2010/07/more-on-serpentine-walls.html

    The post generated no comments, despite many posts with photographic images and drawings about Snake Walls and Great Serpent Effigies on the blog over the last ten years or so. My guess is that the link didn’t include photographs, while as for the reason why I was snoozing is anybody’s guess - I don’t really have a clue.
Tickling Google this morning, I found an illustrated version at:
(Although I had to tickle that a little bit too to get something that worked well.)
    Anyway, I found that way back “In March of 2007, the Jacksonville State University (JSU) Archaeological Resource Laboratory (ARL) staff and several local volunteers began the preliminary investigation of a serpentine-like stone feature that lies upon the crest of Skeleton Mountain…in Calhoun County, Alabama. Researchers believe prehistoric Woodland Indian populations constructed this structure nearly 2,500 years ago as part of their ceremonial/mortuary rituals. The investigation involved clearing the structure and any associated stone features of vegetation, then mapping and photographing the structure and features. In addition, researchers assessed, photographed, and mapped portions of the effigy that were damaged from past earth-moving operations…
     During the spring of 2004, tribal leaders, local officials, and JSU archaeologists visited the Snake Effigy. Native American representatives were in agreement as to the ceremonial and spiritual sacredness of the site. It was also agreed that the Snake Effigy needed immediate protection and that plans should be made to map and photograph the structure in the near future.”
      You even find it mentioned that “As the first explorers and subsequent settlers of the late 1500, 1600, and 1700s moved into the lands east of the Atlantic seaboard, they frequently encountered heaps of stones and stone walls. By the 1800 and 1900s, hundreds of these stone structures, which frequently would have required considerable labor to construct, were observed as far west as the Mississippi River.” And of course that “Typically, their construction was attributed to farmers or settlers who created stone piles and walls as they cleared their property for various economical pursuits (to which I would add: ethnically erasing Indigenous People from their homelands to appropriate a mythical pristine wilderness by creating that farmer/settler myth about stone structures and especially anything that might resemble a fence or walls – and “far wester” than the Mississippi as well too).
   There is a whole lot of information by Dr. Harry Holstein in that report and I admire his efforts. I’d invite him over for dinner so I could show him a local CT Serpent Effigy or three – actually a whole lot more.
   Or maybe I’d invite myself to dinner at his house, so I could see if I could take a Snake (or Great Serpent) Tour or two, look for some patterns in them there that I see in them here – snake scales and rhomboidals, serpents and bears, anthropomorphic faces etc.
    And eyes!

   I think I’ve "got an eye" for Serpents with eyes, and even in the photos in that report I think I see eye on one of those Serpent Heads - and what ever you call that spot that is where a snake's ear is: 

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