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What Native American and Colonial Remains Exist in Your Backyard?

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Dr. Jack Dempsey Dr. Jack Dempsey
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What Native American and Colonial Remains Exist in Your Backyard?

Did you ever walk in the forests and woods, or along the seacoasts near your home, and notice "strange" rock formations or other evidence of Native American activities? New England is filled with such places, but of course there is virtually no funding for their study or preservation. What have you seen? What can we learn about our past from these things and places?
Dr. Jack Dempsey Dr. Jack Dempsey
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2014, 08:39:20 AM »

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Hello, Mr. Dempsey.

Your books and this site have been great resources for my daughter and me. My daughter and a number of her 7th grade classmates at Broad Meadows Middle School in Quincy are trying to get some kind of recognition for Passanageset Knoll, which, according to the Quincy Historical Society's book Quincy's Legacy, was located near their school. They were going to present to the School Committee, but they need to find out more information, and I was hoping you could assist. There is one specific question regarding the Sachem Chikatawbak. We'd appreciate your emailing us at your earliest convenience. We had the pleasure of meeting you once during some May Day revels on Maypole Hill. I filmed you reciting the first line of Morton's Canaan for an online map of Quincy I was working on at the time. Thank you! Maura
Dr. Jack Dempsey Dr. Jack Dempsey
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 03:30:26 AM »

Hi Maura---and thanks for writing! Will be glad to help any way I can, and there are several other people also interested in Maypole Hill's honors. So please write to me at [hidden email], or call me at --- --- ---- anytime.  

Thanks!
Jack Dempsey

Hilltowner Hilltowner
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Re: What Native American and Colonial Remains Exist in Your Backyard?

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Not on my own property but in the woods beyond:
http://norwichhistoriclandscape.blogspot.com
Dr. Jack Dempsey Dr. Jack Dempsey
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Re: What Native American and Colonial Remains Exist in Your Backyard?

Great linked page of your New England woodland photos, Thanks for making them available! Hope you'll continue observations of the north-facing stone with notches (Solstices recommended) since we do know of glacial erratics and other boulders being used in lunar/solar calendric ways in Native New England. Then there's your interesting picture of a carving on a boulder, and do you have an idea about what it tries to show? Hope you have enjoyed/will enjoy Mavor & Dix's "Manitou" because you should write these places up and present them at your local or Mass. Archaeological Society chapter, very aware and open-minded people will want to know about your finds! Best regards, JD
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Re: What Native American and Colonial Remains Exist in Your Backyard?

Thank you, JD. I am clueless as to what the  carving on perched boulder represents; never mind understanding the purpose of the other features and their placement. Some seem so "obviously" created by a human hand that  it's difficult  to believe they are "real."  Especially the razor back turtle with a sliver of stone in it's mouth,  the Bear near the old spring, and the Thunderbird effigy.  Yes, I purchased a copy of "Manitou."   Thanks for encouraging me to "write these places up."
Dr. Jack Dempsey Dr. Jack Dempsey
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Re: What Native American and Colonial Remains Exist in Your Backyard?

I wonder if the stone that you call a "razor back turtle" might have been considered an image of a Snapping Turtle because their shells have a fairly unique sharp crest or ridge-line down the center of the back---and that turtle was the one usually thought of in the traditions of "Turtle Island." (That is, when The Woman Who Fell From The Sky landed in the primordial waters, it was Turtle who came up---from sleeping at the bottom, like Snapping Turtles do---and gave her some "land" to hold onto, and then Otter kept piling on the mud, all of which created the continent.) You might compare the rock's shape with turtle-shells in a zoology source to find out, and you probably saw such an example from the Ancientlights photos of a place near Boston with a stone like that. Further, a "Bear" near a spring might well have something to do with the Great Bear (North Star etc.) since fundamental traditions draw parallels between subterranean and stellar forms and powers; and a Thunderbird (usually with reference to the actual bird called the Fork-Tailed Kite which only sometimes visits New England from the Midwest) is often significant of Kiehtan or Great Spirit "Himself." All of which goes to say that you might have a pretty significant site on your hands---I hope you keep the research and reporting going!
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