Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Holliston, MA. Site Pt 3 (Final)- Quarry Boulder & Bird Effigy

Holliston, MA. Site Pt 3 (Final)- Quarry Boulder & Bird Effigy

Last post about the current Holliston site.  Crossing the brook I came across an interesting looking boulder.  I recognized the boulder as a type of rock people would have used as a resource, and from what I could tell, in my opinion the boulder showed signs of being used for exactly those purposes (obvious chunks appeared to be missing/ chinked out from the surface, etc.)  This is the kind of rock an archaeologist would call a "Quarry Boulder" meaning it was used for resource.  The word "quarry" for me usually invokes more modern, industrialized practices such as splitting rocks with machines and blowing things up, but in this context, "Quarry Boulder" means a rock used for resource by indigenous people, no doubt used for countless generations a little bit at a time, as needed.  This makes me think if there was a certain way that the boulder must have been approached to be used, which could possibly be a subject of a future post.

Not only was this an awesome "Quarry Boulder" but I noticed a shaped stone bird effigy that was worked out from a piece of the rock.

The boulder (perched on top is the bird effigy. I felt a loose stone under the tree root growing on the side of the boulder, picked it up and realized what it was. I put it back after looking at it):

Close-ups of the bird effigy.  The bird has her wings outstretched over her head, as if soaring through the sky.  The profile of the head of the bird is above the base of the stone.  Also, the base of the stone is definitely meant to stand the bird in this soaring position.):

This kind of a stone effigy reminds me of wood carvings, which is a Native Art.  For instance the art of wood carving is alive and well among many Penobscot and Iroquois artisans.  Obviously in the past artisans made stone art similar to the wood art still seen today (in this sort of a style.)  Also I have seen this style of rock effigies before, usually bird stones in this area.  Not far away is a hillside covered with quartz, obviously an ancient "Quartz Quarry" where I noticed a bird stone similar to this one made from quartz.

That wraps up this post. 


  1. If I came across one of your constructions, I might wonder who did it and whether it was ancient. It is a bit confusing.

  2. Hi Peter-
    I know the feeling. This is the feeling I get when looking at the Chamber in the split boulder by Echo Lake. It has thrown me for a loop whether or not it is ancient or more modern... it could swing either way.

    It is okay to be confused about a site. Just don't knock any stones over. As is the case with the partially quarried ledge in the Milford Hills- there was once SOMETHING there... the modern quarrying made a gap between the continuous stone landscape. Now there are also the power-lines, the high-way corridor and other development. Someone long before me, probably before the interstate highway was built in 1980, did a little re-building in stone here. They left behind a 6 foot standing stone waiting to be propped up as a summer sun-set marker. I was eventually successful in re-erecting (if it ever was propped in the first place) the monolith.. which upon close inspection has quarry marks. There are a few stones left on the ledge that are ancient and were not destroyed. It is very important that they are "safe"... I could ramble on that point but you'll just have to trust. Also I had a hand in cleaning up the piles of quarry rubble to build for instance, a stone wall enclosure. This is the only place in general I have ever made any constructions.

    I hope that clears some things up.

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