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Archaeologica.org • View topic - Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths?

Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths?

The Western Hemisphere. General term for the Americas following their discovery by Europeans, thus setting them in contradistinction to the Old World of Africa, Europe, and Asia.

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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby rako » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:32 pm

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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby shawomet » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:44 am

Since you asked if there is research involving mainstream scholars, I can provide you with some info in that regard. I'm a member of the RI chapter of the New England Antiquities Research Association(NEARA), and was research coordinator for the RI chapter in the late 70's through the 1980's.

I would say the most prominent mainstream archaeologist in New England who is a proponent of Native American origins for many of the stone structures and features that dot the landscape in the Northeast is Curtiss Hoffman of the anthropology dept of Bridgewater State University. From this page, click on "faculty " for a short bio of Dr. Hoffman.

http://www.bridgew.edu/academics/colleg ... thropology

Dr. Hoffman has been working on a survey of lithic features of the east coast of the United States. In particular cairn sites. Indeed, it is where cairn sites are concerned that mainstream archaeology has principally joined the debate as to whether such sites are Native American in origin or if they are mostly colonial and post colonial settler features. In particular, and as a member of NEARA, Dr. Hoffman has been working with Mary Gage, and her son James Gage, with the help of RI Neara member Steve DiMarzo in recording and documenting cairn sites in RI.

Here is the webpage maintained by the Gage's:

http://www.stonestructures.org/

For a summary of their work in RI, see "Exploring and Reporting Stone Structure Sites in Rhode Island", Mary Gage, James Gage, Steve Dimarzo, NEARA Journal, Vol. 46, No. 2, Winter, 2012.

Now, it so happens that cairn sites are the precise area where mainstream archaeology has joined the debate as to whether these stone features are pre Colonial Native American, or represent primarily settler activity. RI State Archaeologist Timothy Ives has argued in favor of settler activity. See:

Ives, T.H. "Remembering Stone Piles in New England", Northeast Anthropology 79-80: 37-80, 2013.

For a rebuttal to Ives, and arguments in favor of Native American origin for some cairns, see:

Gage, Mary and James, "Testing the Stockpiling and Field Stone Clearing Pile Theories", Bulletin of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society(editor Curtiss Hoffman), Vol. 76(1), Spring 2015.

This article is also available online at academia.edu. You will need an academia.edu account to download, or else a google+ or Facebook account:

https://independent.academia.edu/JamesGage/Coauthors

For the most recent argument in favor of settler activity for the cairns, see:

Ives, T.H. "Cairnfields in New England's Forgotten Pastures" in Archaeology of Eastern North America, Vol. 43, 2015

In addition to the debate regarding the origin of cairnfields in the Northeast, there has been recent academic research regarding the famous chamber in Upton, Ma. This research does indicate that the structure may indeed be Native American in origin. See:

News article:

http://www.milforddailynews.com/article ... /151026998

Academic paper:

https://www.researchgate.net/publicatio ... e_Research

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sh ... 809e63.pdf

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sh ... ation_list

I have many photos of lithic features from RI in particular, including beehive and platform cairns, rocking stones, chambers, perched rocks, etc, but they are likely too large to upload here. I do believe many of the perched boulders can be readily explained as the result of post glacial erosional activity. However, that does not exclude their possible incorporation into Native American sacred landscapes. It is of interest that local Native American researchers, including Historic Preservation Officer Doug Harris of the Narragansett tribe is very much a proponent of the Native American origin of many stone features, including cairnfields in the Northeast.
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby kbs2244 » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:03 am

I do not doubt that there were numerous cases of pre-Columbian “contact” with the Americas.
On both coasts of both continents.
There are just too many “out of place artifacts” to explain away otherwise.

But the real question is, what was the effect of these contacts?

Columbus came at a time of a money driven, completive, expanding European economy
His was not a voyage just for academic interest.
He was expected to bring back something of value to pay back the expense of his trip.
And that he did.

Not the expected results, but knowledge of something that changed world history.
A fishing camp, a place to butcher whales, even a refuge from major troubles back home, does not have the impact that gold measured in tons has.
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby E.P. Grondine » Sat Nov 26, 2016 11:43 am

Due to concerns about plundering, I will have to withhold commenting on native cairns.

Besides which, I am busy with 'Ancient Alien Cats - The Series".
E.P. Grondine
 

Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby shawomet » Sat Nov 26, 2016 12:19 pm

Beginning on page 12 of this National Park Service document describing the Turner Falls(Ma) Sacred Ceremonial Hill Site, there is a brief synopsis of the recently commenced dialog between New England tribes and New England archaeologists pertaining to stone features in a sacred landscape. Again, as the debate has been joined, the two points of view have been that of Native people's interpretation of certain of these stone features as bring native in origin vs. the continued point of view of some archaeologists that cairns in particular are not native in origin....

http://www.achp.gov/docs/TurnerFallsDOE ... acted1.pdf
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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby rako » Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:45 pm

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Re: Have mainstream scholars studied New England's megaliths

Postby kbs2244 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:39 pm

The Treaty of Tordesillas between Spain and Portugal was in the late fourteenth century.

It was decided by the Pope in 1494 at Tordesillas and a bilateral treaty was signed by Spain and Portugal, dividing the earth between them at 270 leagues farther west

http://teachersinstitute.yale.edu/curri ... .06.x.html

This line of demarcation was about halfway between the Cape Verde islands (already Portuguese) and the islands entered by Christopher Columbus on his first voyage.

What was not realized at the time was how far east S A came.
That is why Brazil, covering most of eastern S A, belonged to Portugal.
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