Monday, December 29, 2014

Salt Box Lane

A nice old-sounding New England name, Salt Box Lane, is attached to this cul-de-sac, which is a nice way to say "Dead End." Instead of writing about the circa 1700 salt box I'm sitting in - and Serpents - I just happened upon this image and got just a little distracted:

(Bing above, Google Earth below, labelled "Salt Box Circle.")

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sleeping Under Snow

Wolff Hill Watertown CT 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Another Gate and a Right Angle Serpent

Above: We left off here, the First Serpent Gate, in the previous post.
Below: the Second Gate:

In between, there's a row of stones extending eastward:
There is another possible head stone for yet another possible Serpent with a big, rather long, blocky, rectangular boulder, a large cobble stone ridge on the top, sort of capstone style:
My research assistant ponders the choice of stones, the way they were placed to resemble perhaps culturally important animals, the suggestion of a possible pattern seen in other types of Indigenous media, such as ceramic pottery or bead work, the rhomboidal stones, the undulation in the height of the carefully stacked and fitted row of stones:

The serpent ends like this:
Near these three Outstanding Segments of stacked stones:

Friday, December 19, 2014

Grey Serpent Gateway

Bethlehem CT
     There 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, built a great number of these stone structures. 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 - now being recognized as The Ceremonial Stone 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:

Reminiscent of Rolf Cachat writing in "Assessing Stone Relics in Western Massachusetts Part II: Patterns of Site Distribution" in the Bulletin of Society for Connecticut Archaeology (2018), I will change a word or two, add a phrase or two, and say:

“Evaluations of stone wall-like Qusukqaniyutôk by parties who do not test their hypotheses against Northeast Algonquian Traditional Ecological Knowledge and recent studies of Ceremonial Stone Landscapes, cosmology and rituals are doing, at best, only half an investigation..."

There are more serpents in this little preserve, and I'll show some more in time...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Which Came First?

The Serpent or the Egg?
Top Left Photo is my enhancement of Norman Muller's original, which can be found here:
These are my photos:
The correct answer is: We don't know. 
We don't know if the Egg Stone was already there.
Except for that last photo, maybe.
But that's a trick question. If you look at that last Serpent, nose to nose, there is no Egg:
Step over to the Serpent's right side and there is still no egg and the Serpent has closed it's eyes:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Looking at a possible effigy right in front of me, I didn't "get" the one in the distance...

Moving back for a wider view:
Differing Perspectives:

Some of these photos appeared here:

Saturday, December 06, 2014

White-eyed Turtle?

I really just wanted to see where this little road, carved into the landscape, led to. I had an appointment at the bottom of the hill, just off the Old Stone Path as it was called in 1700 and after that I took a little look "up there," above the Interstate, near some power lines.
It was one of those places where there's just enough of a hint of Human Hands enhancing the natural, the suggestion of a stone pathway and some interesting stones, like the big one above, a small white inclusion just where an eye might be found if this stone had at sometime been worked to resemble a high domed box turtle...

Another stone nearby - was it quarried?
By whom, what for and just when, a bit of cement between some remnants of a line of stones, I don't know...