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Thread: A Pinal County Question

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    Joel's Avatar
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    Default A Pinal County Question

    I was out in the Ironwood National Forest Monument just south of Sasco and discovered a series of large rocks that had been placed in a line. There were a series of six of them, all 35 paces apart. I haven't been able to find any mining claims regarding that area at all and wonder if this was a one time mining camp that might post-date Sasco perhaps?


    Wasn't sure who might have created these rock lines until I found the flattened 55 gallon drums.
    "Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas."

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    Were they at the base of hills or mountains? Any Pottery?

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    It's close to Cerro Prieto, but on the flat lands just to the south of Sasco. I saw no pottery, but no bottle or can dump either. I figured that I had done a poor job of looking. I know of a few dumps near, but no one back them walked a mile with garbage.
    Sasco is proving to be a funny place. Everyone gets pulled in by the smelter ruins like it's a giant magnet and misses so much as a result.
    "Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas."

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    Rocks in a row...I find them at indian sites...mystery of the desert.

    If the location is at the drainage or near the base of hills, the rows may have been placed to capture water for growing corn. I have seen several in that area, actually more than any other area. They usually placed them in a curve where you might find an alluvial fan. (Phonetic spelling). Were they patina side up? Might be an indication of age or, more likely, cultural cosmic correctness - there is an order to things after all....Just a guess.
    Last edited by Sunrise; 05-18-2009 at 09:33 PM.

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    Patina? Not quite sure what that word means to be honest.

    Crops? It's a thought. There was a large Hohokam village in the area. Hadn't thought about it being part of flood irrigation.

    If it is crop related, what else might I ought to be finding?
    "Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas."

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    A large hohokam site nearby would be quite telling, (smart *** comment of the day) When I've found them the pottery was not at the crop site, but fairly close by, as you mentioned.

    The patina simply means the desert varnish side is face up as opposed to the dull grey side which is against the ground. You've probably done it youself, turn over a rock then replace it with the proper side- patina side -up

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    The stones don't create a pond or lake, they just interfer with the progress of the water. Like when vegetation is more abundant along a sidewalk or asphalt roadway, most telling is if they are located at a drainage area.
    Last edited by Sunrise; 05-18-2009 at 09:41 PM.

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    I'll have to go back and look at it making sense from an agricultural point of view. There was a fair sized population there and they had to feed themselves. Thanks!
    "Life is a constant oscillation between the sharp horns of dilemmas."

    H.L. Mencken

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    Default Erosion control features?

    Off the Black Hills Backcountry Byway that runs from Morenci AZ to Safford AZ, there are hundreds of rock dikes that look like the ones in your photos. They were put in by the CCC as one of their work projects.

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    In tha Santa Catalinas bordering Tucson, there are several WPA type rows and also in the Mule mountains where the fire burned yesterday. But they are a different thing alltogether.

    There are several indian placed rows in the Tortilitas that are, I believe, placed as blinds for hunting. Then there are rows of rocks like Joel and I found at an indian site in the Coyote mountains. They seem to mark certain areas within the village. Maybe staging ares for ceremonies. I have found those in several sites throughout southern Az.

    In the east stronghold of the Dragoons, there is a large boulder with pictographs. It is located up the hill from the road there. The road was also the old travel area when it was just indians living there. Along this road, on the shoulder, is a medium size stone, flat, with a point. It was buried with the point pointing towards the pictograph site. I have seen several flat rocks in different areas that were half buried and standing up in a way that nature would not have created. I have spent a considerable amount of time studing rock patterns in indian sites in order to gain an awarness of the patterns.
    John C. Cremony, in his classic book, "Life among the Apaches" gives us two or three paragraphs on how the apaches left rock signs for others who are likewise versed in the meaning of the patterns.

    I spent a summer going around southern Az with an archeolegist, Deni Seymour. She is head and shoulders more knowlegable regarding Apache sites than anyone else. She showed me how they left rings of rocks on small flat areas on hill sides. They were little shelters made of sticks and hides with the rocks as anchors, like anything Apache related, very hard to find. I learned her model for discovery and have found several sites as a result. She told me over and over not to reveal her secrets to anyone. She has an internet site with a lot of her findings. It's a great site with lots of data. I personally don't much like her but she has made a lot of inroads into the secret life of the Chokonen tribe of the Apaches.

    Finally, the agricultural rocks I have seen in the area where Joel was, were never as thickly structured as Joel's find, usually just one row of rock, so I don't know, but the only reasonable conclusion would have to be based on where they were placed and if they were reasonably near to a village.

    -Sunrise, Who has spent entirely too much time studying rock patterns.

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