Saturday, December 15, 2012

Ancient quarries

This small cairn sits on a meandering stacks of stone that keep terracing down.
 Why are these ancient quarries? The amount of time it took to construct these massive stone mounds that go on for miles and miles is way beyond what the Europeans who settled in Kiskatom had. You have to see it to understand the scope.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Stone Symposum December 8th

Stone Symposium Saturday December 8th at the Catskill Community Center  and Live radio Broadcast( 6-9 pm Radio broadcast 7-9
"An Open Discussion about the Unknown Origins of the Engineered Stone Landscape in the Catskill Area and Beyond"

Free and Open to the Public

for Images and  more info:

Symposium Location- 6-9 pm
Catskill Community Center
344 Main St Catskill NY 12414

6pm meet/ greet/ look over materials
begin discussion..Note: There is a gallery to display any pertinent materials.
I'll hang some of the old maps of the Kiskatom that reference the existing stonework.
7pm- begins Broadcast on WGXC 90.7 fm
Participants introductions
7:30- Glenn Kreisberg Powerpoint
"Lost Landscapes and Hidden Legacies:
A Survey of Stone Structure Sites in the Catskills and Hudson Valley"
8:30 Q and A- Wrap up
9pm Broadcast ends-

Continue Conversations.....

Participants (so far)-
Polly Midgley, the NEARA New York Coordinator spoke on The Stone Chamber Enigma at the2010 MES Symposium 
Harry Matthews- Stone Balancer from the High Falls road area
Jared Handelson- Resident of Kiskatom who’s had a long interest in the Lithic sites
of this area and around the world.
Glenn Kreisberg-  Vice President Of New England Antiquities Research Association (
Laura Anderson- Moderator
Matt Bua- Recent Kiskatom resident who realized many of  stone “walls” in the area existed before the arrival of first Europeans...

Sam Sebren- Broadcast Engineer and WGXC Torch Carrier

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Cliff Structures

The middle photo shows 2 large corner stone constructions on the edge of a cliff out cropping. I'm standing 20 or so feet above.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


In very simple terms, the essence of fengshui is that configurations of land forms and bodies of water are seen to direct the flow of the universal qi, or 'cosmic current', which with the help of the specialist can be brought to optimum advantage for the person's wealth, happiness, longevity and procreation; similarly, a malicious flow of qi may bring disaster. The flow of qi is influenced by all natural bodies and human constructions, which may either repulse, redirect or catch the qi
-Fengshui in China by  Ole Bruun

Joseph Needham in 'Science and Cultivation in China', describes the influence of fengshui on the Chinese Landscape in terms which might well be applied to ritually ordered landscape in New England:
"Every Place had its special  topographical feature which modified the local influence of the various ch'i of nature. The forms of the hills and directions of the watercourses, being the outcome of the moulding influences of winds and water, were the most important, but in addition, the heights and forms of buildings, and the directions of of road and bridges, were a potent factor. the force and nature of the invisible currents would be from hour to hour modified by the positions of the heavenly bodies, so their aspects as seen from the locality in question had to be considered"   John Michell -Secrets of the Stone p. 111

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Some quotes from folks who say all stone walls were built post colonially...

From a guy who thinks everyone who visits "America's Stonehenge"  is a gullible sucker,
this quote below has a strange credence....

"Walls have influenced the terrain directly. Hilltop walls forced the rain toward different streams. Lowland walls impounded many small wetlands, caused the build up of soil on slopes, and acted as underground drains on floodplains. Stone walls are so tightly enmeshed with streams,slopes, and soils that the distinction between wall and non wall is often unclear"
          -Robert M. Thorton Author of 'Stone by Stone'(page 7)  and 'Exploring Stone Walls'

And here's the evidence that no stone walls existed before the European presence.....

" The lack of written material is interesting in itself, for it shows better than anything in writing ever could how ordinary these enduring objects were once thought to be"
- Susan Allport  ,Author of Sermon in the Stone (page 107)

There you have it..... she couldn't find much, therefore the Europeans built the whole 252,539 miles of stone walls in New England and New York that existed as per the 1871 Department of Agriculture report on Stone Fences.

Back to Robert M. Thorson...
In his "Field Guide to New England Stone Walls"  The entry which has the title "The Oldest Wall"
reads: The oldest known documentary mention of a stone wall in New England is this one. In 1607 the North Virginia Company established a colony with the intent of permanent settlement. Though it disappeared within the year, a letter cited by the historian Howard Russell strongly suggests that the colonists built a stone wall, which was later destroyed or buried"  page 145....(the italics are mine)

There you have it. More solid evidence that all stone walls were built in post colonial times.
"Destroyed or buried?" nice wall building guys

More Choice quotes from Robert M Thorson's Stone By Stone Book(pg 77):
Jared Eliot's Essays on Field Husbandry in New England(1748 to 1760), the first treatise on agricultural practices in the British colonies- one that included detailed descriptions of how to enclose land, whether by fencing, ditching, plashing(integrating a mix of wood and hedge), or hedging-contains  NO mention of stone walls. Similarly, the anonymous American Husbandry (1775) comments extensively on both the purpose and the condition of colonial enclosures, but does not mention fences or walls made of stone.
Ironically, one of the first mentions of stone walls in the colonies is from an archaeological context. According to the historian Howard Russell, the failed Sagadahoc Hearbes and some old Walls' to be observed by a visitor a decade and a half later."1 Apparently, they were first noticed not for their value as a building accessory, but as physical evidence of earlier human life, in this case the earliest English colonization in the Northeast.  Italics-mine (M.B.) Of course Robert Thorson has nothing backing this claim up.
1. H. Russell's ,Book: A Long Deep Furrow:Three  Centuries of Farming In New England, 1976

Yes matt, I know just what you mean:

There are so many basic phenomena that Thornton appears unaware of, that you have to assume he is a pseudo-scentist who writes well but is not observant.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

An Open Letter to Massachusetts Historical Commission

An Open Letter to Massachusetts Historical Commission by James David Porter

I am writing in regards to an item in your FAQ located on the Review and Compliance section of the Massachusetts Historical Commission website. ( Here is the entry in question:

I’m concerned that stone piles in a project area may be Native American grave markers. What should I do?
Piles or continuous walls of fieldstones are common in rural Massachusetts wherever there are rocky soils. When historians and archaeologists have conducted thorough, professional research into such stone piles, they have invariably shown that these features are not associated with the Native American settlement of Massachusetts. When it is possible to determine their origin, stone piles prove to be related to agricultural activities such as clearing of fields for pasture or cultivation, and/or marking property bounds during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, pursuits that were once much more common in what may now be residential suburbs. Because stone piles or walls often marked property lines or boundaries between different land uses such as pasture and woodlot, they are often in a linear row or other geometric pattern, some of which may be consistent with cardinal compass points, solstice sunrises or sunsets, or other celestial phenomena.
I am quite concerned that the above entry from your FAQ discourages developers and property owners from investigating potentially important archaeological sites. Furthermore, the entry is a professionally irresponsible generalization which paints a broad brush across the entire Massachusetts landscape. It is not only historically inaccurate, flying in the face of overwhelming historical evidence, but it also directly contradicts the Commission's own mission to identify, evaluate, and protect important historical and archaeological assets of the Commonwealth.

Read more of James David Porters Historical Research which back up this blatent dis-information

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Colonial "Walls" or Massive Lanscaping and Water Works of an Ancient Stone Civilization

When I first encountered the stone rows on my property I took peoples explanation blindly that they were all of post- colonial origin. Not once walking the length of the rows to find that none of them enclose land. As many people have pointed out, they almost always terminate at a marsh or stream. I was always curious why one section of the stone row curved before it reached the stream and a series of indentions in the ground continued the straight path of the row. I removed the leave debris and loose stones from the hole next to the stone row and was surprised that the row's stone base just kept going down. I eventually reached water. (A Wall or an Ancient Water System ? This is where I stopped. The base of the row had not been reached. As i began following more rows to where they terminated at the water, I started noticing the water outlet rock formation. Nearby there is a rolling farm field and at the lowest corner of the land there is a beefy L-shaped stone formation with a single stone row that connects to it acting to , what I believe, channel water further down the hill where it eventually connects with the stream. Have a look next time your at a stone row/water source meeting place. Let me know if you can find the outlet.

water works

Hard to see, but this is a large enclosure (30 feet by 20) with the opening facing south west. Part of a much larger cluster of interconnected stone rings(or as Cyrus Thomas calls them "Hut Rings")

v-notch standing stone in 2 parts

These 2 stones rise out of a series of holes the run along a "wall" near the stream termination.

Well -Hill/Water Exit

Stone Vault with Nitch( Gerard Fowke research)

I'm very glad I got a copy of Gerard Fowke's 1910 "Antiquities of Central and South-Eastern Missouri.
In it are photo's of what he calls "Stone Vaults" which correlate exactly to the structure near my site. The Southern facing doorway exists in these. This would strongly support the idea that this  easily pre-dates the arrival of the Europeans. I had someone with a professional metal detector out and he was surprised that we found no nails and barely any other metal objects. This would explain it.

'The "enclosure" is actually a cellar for a house. The niche in the cellar wall is called a "cooling closet" in Pennsylvania. It was used to keep milk, cream, and butter cool during the summer months. They may have been used for other purposes as well. The few dated examples we have in PA, RI, CT, & MA date to the 1700's. In the overall photo there is a square stone structure in the lower left corner. This was probably the base to a large chimney. If you poke around to might find brick fragments in this area. In the past few months, I have begun compiling and tracking down examples of this cellar wall niches. This is nice find and the first one reported from a NY site. They are not common.' James E. Gage author of Root Cellars in America: Their History, Design and Construction 1609-1920

" I found one of these cooling closets in Central NY 2 years ago. Click here for a link to the Rock Piles post on that structure."

Wall Termination at stream.

Stone Wall connection to stream. Walls go many feet below the ground. Potentially as part of massive water works

Split Boulder with Snaggle Tooth

Split Boulder

Embedded "Goronet" bottle in Stone Mound

Here's a small mound (around 4 x 4 ft) with an embedded "Goronet" bottle. It's locked in place


I went back and looked, yes, "coronet" is more like it...Even though I like the "Gore."
Thanks Tim

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stone Mounds

Norman said:
The second photo in the series looks like a platform cairn, which I've been studying for the past fourteen years. If built on a steep slope, the lower portion is usually quite high, sometimes 6 feet or more, but if constructed on level ground, the feature would not be much than 3 feet high.