Saturday, October 10, 2015

Hillside "Altar" Cairns in Milford, MA.

Hillside "Altar" Cairns in Milford, MA.

Here is a good site, towards the edge of the woods in Milford, MA. near the Holliston town line.  Beyond this site are powerlines as well as more recent construction and quarrying.  I noticed that the cairns at this site are basically on a sloping hill-side, and alot of the cairns are capped with a stone slab, giving the cairns an "altar" -like appearance.  Also there are dry stream beds at the foot of the slopes, and even some smaller dried brooks running down some of the slopes.  Therefore, there would have been gentle, flowing water running down this hillside when these cairns were likely built, in pre-colonial times.  So the theme of flowing water was a strong element at this site, as well as the Earth and Sky (astronomy.)  If one can imagine themselves back in time, this place would have been a paradise.  As it is now, the gentle flowing water has stopped and the woods have grown up un-managed.  The pictures are as follows:

Cairn capped w/ a stone slab, a nice feature at this site:

Zooming back to show off some of the hill slope.  Also some nice trees on either side of the structure have grown up:

Lower to the ground cairn/ enclosure:

Another cairn topped with a slab, which is why I think of these as "altar" cairns:

Another view:

Rock piles on the slope:

Another cairn with a stone slab, but lower to the ground:

This cairn is more stacked up:

Stone row running through some boulders:

Smaller rock pile at the foot of a larger rock pile:

Close-up of the larger rock pile from the above pic.  Nice stack on a boulder platform:


On this slope, to the right of the two rocks on the left is a dried up waterfall running down the hillside (not sure how clear pic is- may have to peel eyes).  I don't think water really flows here anymore (due to dams, water towers, etc.) even in heavy rainfall in spring.  At the foot of this slope is a dried up stream bed that this water would have flowed into:  

A propped boulder that was placed at the edge of a small ledge (this is above the ancient waterfall trickle and the stream):

Close-up of one of the small stones that the propped boulder was placed on top of, which heaved it at least partially off the ground:

A smaller propped boulder placement:

A triangular granite stone placement on a small ledge.  I believe these triangular stones in this style I have seen at many sites such as this had a significance/symbolism:

More cairns on the hillside:

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