"Unconventional" Artifacts- Brief Tellings/ List- Serpent Idol, Hills, Power Stone and Streams
As of the moment I am still without new pictures of rock sites to show on the blog. I was previously taking pictures with an old LG cell phone... however some of the functions of this device seem to have crapped out. I look forward to using a better camera in the near future. In the meantime I will still be posting on this blog from time to time.
I wanted to address un-conventional artifacts and give some examples of some of these types of artifacts I have seen on my hikes. This is a different category from rock structures themselves, and is in a different class than "conventional" artifacts such as arrowheads, adzes, and tool/ agriculture/ subsistence artifacts.
The exciting news is that such "exotic" or never-before considered artifacts do indeed exist. Unfortunatley I have no pictures at the moment. Perhaps some pics will be shown in the future. Some of these artifacts, or stones I have noticed I figure can be explained in two ways- 1) nearby development exposing lower layers of ground (anything from power-lines to a more modern hiking trail) and 2) Due to the weather of the Northeast (cold and heat) stones get pushed up to ground level sometimes, which sometimes expose artifacts that are centuries old, sometimes even many thousands of years old.
The artifacts I will describe below, in each case, I had noticed on a whim, without really trying to look for anything, just careful observation. I am outside a lot and my eyes and heart are open. I am "tuned in" you might say. If I see an interesting rock or pebble that catches my eye, jutting out of the ground I might examine it for closer inspection. I have noticed many collapsed Standing Stones this way, for instance.
One stone that I examined that was jutting out of the ground turned out to be a Snake Idol/ Effigy. It is the size (circumference) of a small tray and weighs at least a good 30 pounds. The statue/ idol was sculpted (yes, literally sculpted) from granite, with some white streaks running down the back side of it (perhaps quartz.) The snake itself was sculpted on the top of the rock, and the head of the serpent juts out from the rest of the rock. I have noticed dark depressions where the eyes are represented (noticed from different light angles.) The snake is well-defined from the rest of the rock. The base of the rock is a "dish", or small altar perhaps to place an offering or a sacred object. Also the base of the stone idol can lay flat on a surface, it was sculpted to do so. When looked at head-on the sculpted stone retains some of it's serpentine features but also looks like a terra-formed pyramid. This is interesting because I noticed this sacred stone on the side of a hill which I have suspected of being at least partially manipulated by ancient man. An interesting stone wall runs through the hill, yet there are ways to rightfully "approach" the hill, and there is what appears to be the faint remains of a meandering Native foot-path through the hill itself. A propped and manipulated boulder crowns the crest of the hill, and there is what appears to be a ancient quartz quarry on part of this hill as well. On the other side of the hill is a complex of stone cairns. I do not think that this hill is an artificial mound due to the granite bedrock and quartz site, but I do suspect that in a time of deep antiquity the hill was used, and even altered in some ways by Native people (such as terra-forming, building the stone wall and other stone structures, the evidence of a foot path through the site, etc.)
Moving on... On a couple of occasions I have noticed Bird Stones made from quartz... for instance, one of these stones I noticed on an old industrial quarry road in the woods that had reverted to a path through the woods. This means that the quarrymen of the late nineteenth/ early twentieth century must have blasted their way through some once-sacred places (which, actually, I am sure of given the physical evidence.) Another example of "the white man looks, but he does not see."
Another time I saw an interesting stone in a stream off the side of a hiking trail. I picked it up and it was a "power" stone- a hand held quartz stone that had been shaped out, a triangular tip on the top and a flat base on the bottom.
There are many things like this out there, I am sure, more than most people probably even including some researchers realize. Also things like Amethyst Crystals are around this region too. Native people could relate to such things. In all the stones I just mentioned, I was never really looking to find such artifacts, but I happened to notice them when coming across them. Sometimes I even feel almost like a divine intervention, almost a feeling of being "led" by a higher force to a site- sometimes a stone structure or feature will come into my mind's eye before I actually see or locate it, without any prior knowledge of the site or what to expect.
For those new to the blog you also might want to check out some of the cairns from the July 2015 postings which are the cairns located on a small plot of family property I "unearthed" (clearing away leaf litter and top layers of soil) since the summer of 2012. Before that time the complex of cairns had been either completely buried with the passing of the centuries or obscured. I also used good clearing/ land management skills while doing this careful task- clearing around the cairns turned into opening the land back up as well, while keeping the native shrubs and a good balance of older and new trees.
I think that wraps up this post. It has been a good journey so far. Although I had no pictures this time I hope my descriptions were good. I think that there are things that scholars will have to look at closer and more seriously in the future pertaining to the Native culture of this region such as the Ceremonial Stone Landscapes. The implications for artifacts such as the Snake Idol Stone I described above are huge. For instance, everywhere in the ancient world we know that indigenous cultures held serpent worship in high esteem (such as some of the more tribal cultures that have survived into modern times in places like India, Bhurma, etc.) It is already well known that the North American Native American culture held snakes in veneration. For instance, the native diplomat Waukon Decorah, in the 19th century, of the Ho-Chunk Nation (Iowa, Wisconsin territories) used a snake skin as his medicine bag. Many stone walls and rows of probable Native origin have been noted in the Northeast to have serpent/ snake-like features. The artifact of the stone idol I examined, obviously in it's original location (in an un-disclosed location in MA.) obviously isn't an isolated artifact. There are probably many examples of such sacred and sculpted stones, yet this seems to be a much ignored and un-researched area of study, perhaps because it would lead to the knowledge of a high level of sophistication and organization on the part of pre-colonial Native people on a scale as of now un-realized. I hope to get around to maybe showing a picture or two of the object sometime, perhaps. For now, this post is finished.