Friday, September 23, 2016

Stone Great Serpent Search


  “Serpent Stones is an interpretation of an ancient game believed to have been played by the Aztecs over 600 years ago.” ~ https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/119165/serpent-stones
   “Stone Great Serpent” in the search box brings me to some Google Images.

No surprise at the image, but check the sources using the photo of the Great Serpent Mound. Lots of ancient mysteries types (insisting anyone but Indians made it), a bunch of New Age opportunists, and the obligatory aliens from space people chiming in.
   But here’s the credible people (maybe), saying, “Serpent Mound...is the largest documented surviving example of an ancient effigy mound in the world. While part of the tradition of effigy building among some American Indian cultures in what is now the eastern United States, this site is the greatest masterpiece of that tradition both here and elsewhere in the world. The sinuous, artistically-striking monumental sculpture is more than 1,200 feet long. Its scale and elegance are without peer. It embodies fundamental spiritual and cosmological principles that still resonate with many today, including astronomical alignments that mark the seasons.” http://worldheritageohio.org
“The entire worldwide list of around 1,000 properties can be explored on an interactive map, the main page claims, so I take a look at the USA section. I end up here, reading, “Poverty Point Monumental Earthworks bear exceptional testimony to a vanished cultural tradition, the Poverty Point culture, centered in the Lower Mississippi Valley during the Late Archaic period, 4,000-2,500 years ago. This site, which dates to 3,700-3,100 BP, is an outstanding example of landscape design and monumental earthwork construction by a population of hunter-fisher-gatherers. The mound complex is a singular achievement in earthen construction in North America: it was not surpassed for at least 2,000 years (and only then by people supported by a farming economy). The particular layout of the complex is unique to this site. The natural setting of this inland settlement was an important factor in the site’s establishment and longevity. The location provided easy access to the Mississippi River valley and the hardwood forests along its margins. Although rich in edible resources, the setting lacked stone, a critical raw material for tools and other objects. Thus, an extensive trade network for rocks and minerals from hundreds of kilometres away played a key role in the Poverty Point phenomenon.”
     Now I live somewhere where stone was readily available.
     Peppered into those Google Image results are quite a few of my photos, as well as others who have been kind enough to allow me to use their photos.


     Just like Matt Bua in Talking Walls, I am suggesting that we pass by the stone remnants of a World Heritage Site, here at the Eastern Gate of Turtle Island, once one of the world’s largest gardens, guarded by Stone Great Serpents in a setting that didn’t lack stone.

      I’m suggesting taking another look at all those "stone walls" again with 12,000 years of Traditional Ecological Knowledge in mind...
(Larry Harrop photo)
...while remembering the many Great Serpent stories.
(Also a Larry Harrop photo)

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