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Re: re ridged agricultural fields

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  • Rick Osmon
    Stan, I have to agree with the author, water-logged soil is the most obvious logical explanation for much of Illinois, though other, perhaps better reasons
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 6 8:42 AM
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      Stan,

      I have to agree with the author, water-logged soil is the most obvious
      logical explanation for much of Illinois, though other, perhaps better
      reasons could certainly exist. I am not familiar with the topography
      of Ocumulgee, but most of Illinois has been under my tires or boots.
      Much of Illinois is prone to flooding to one degree or another. So is
      the southern part of Indiana, for that matter. I have to laugh when
      ever I read that perennial question / observation "But why the mounds
      were built in the first place remains a mystery". If you slogged
      through the river bottoms around here at any time, you would learn the
      value of having one dry spot...or a whole series of them.

      Not all mounds were burial places and not all mounds were ceremonial
      or huge. Some were just the right size to set up camp for a hunting or
      fishing party. The latter type (in my area, at least) once had
      abundant flakes but very few whole points. In the western half of this
      county (Daviess) there are also many, many features that the
      geologists call "sand blows". These are low to medium ground features
      where a pile of sand or sand / silt mix sits on top of alluvial fill.
      The pros attribute it to seismic activity called liquification, where
      very wet sand "boils" out of the underlying soil during a seismic
      event. Regardless of the cause, they are almost always good for a few
      flakes.

      Also, one thing that is often overlooked is that the water table of
      the entire Mississippi basin was quite a bit higher (as much as 15
      feet) just two hundred years ago and the floods were more regular and
      more consistent in depth and duration. The Big Muddy "channel" was
      also nearly impassable with snags, even for canoes. At the time
      Cahokia was built, the flood waters might have occasionally lapped
      around its base.

      On the other hand, it may have nothing at all to do with water. We
      don't know whether the author's observation was while the "furrows"
      were in active use or after years of erosion. We also don't know how
      wide each row was, only the distance between them. A raised bed of 20
      centimeters (about 10 inches) is enough to lessen back strain, but
      higher is better. Raised bed gardening is definitely much easier on
      the body that traditional European style. Water filled furrows between
      raised beds would be problematic for the people tending that garden.
      Half a meter (20 inches) between the rows is just right for setting
      down you gathering basket.

      Oz


      --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "minnesotastan"
      <minnesotastan@...> wrote:
      >
      > Dr. Clark's post #125 included the following -
      >
      > "At Ocumulgee and two sites in Illinois archaeologists have found
      > evidence of agricultural fields in which the topsoil was heaped up
      > into parallel ridges. At Ocmulgee these ridges were about 20
      > centimeters high and 30 to 50 centimeters apart. The advantages of
      > this type of cultivation are not well understood. One possibility is
      > that it may have been an adaptation to water-logged soil."
      > Southeastern Indians, by Charles Hudson (1976),page 298
      >
      > I have a possible explanation. The technique of planting on ridges
      > alternating with water-filled furrows was developed in ancient times
      > in either Mesoamerica or South America (I can't remember the cultural
      > affiliation) as a way to enhance agricultural productivity, especially
      > in high-altitude sites with cold nights. The water in the furrows
      > acts as a thermal buffer during the nights, preventing frost from
      > damaging young plants and thereby extending the growing season.
      >
      > Illinois is not at altitude, but is far enough north that such an
      > adaptation might allow corn, potatoes, etc to be planted in March
      > rather than in April etc.
      >
      > Just a thought. Others may wish to add or correct...
      >
      > Stan
      >
    • Vincent Barrows
      One possible explanation for building the mounds at Cahokia is that the mounds were built in patterns that were seen in the star world and that they were
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 6 10:13 AM
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        One possible explanation for building the mounds at Cahokia is that the mounds were built in patterns that were seen in the star world and that they were mythological. Sandstone carvings on the mounds do tie in closely with constellations as well as mythological stories and legends. The mounds forming cahokia mounds are very similar to the constellation called "Aquila". Ocmulgee straight lines may represent the milky way, constellations, a pathway to heaven. or other concepts.
         
        The selfless love of an entire civilization would be required to build the mounds at Cahokia. They account for at least 80 million cubic feet of hard and compacted clays moved by hand into the position that they still stand. Invading Whitemans conquerors have destroyed nearly all of the mounds, however, the largest mound,now only 86 ft high turtle-shaped effigy called monks mound remains, with footpaths all over the sides.
         
        The turtle is connected throughout the country in mythological stories in a creation myth that is called Nanabozho.  The turtle is also the foundation of the earth, according to many native american myths and legends.
         
        We now have ATVs ruining the remaining few mounds at Cahokia, as can be seen in Satellite images including google earth. And they will be destroyed unless someone takes action. I was booted out of the "volunteer" group for even raising the issue.
         
        Vince Barrows

        Rick Osmon <ozman@...> wrote:
        Stan,

        I have to agree with the author, water-logged soil is the most obvious
        logical explanation for much of Illinois, though other, perhaps better
        reasons could certainly exist. I am not familiar with the topography
        of Ocumulgee, but most of Illinois has been under my tires or boots.
        Much of Illinois is prone to flooding to one degree or another. So is
        the southern part of Indiana, for that matter. I have to laugh when
        ever I read that perennial question / observation "But why the mounds
        were built in the first place remains a mystery". If you slogged
        through the river bottoms around here at any time, you would learn the
        value of having one dry spot...or a whole series of them.

        Not all mounds were burial places and not all mounds were ceremonial
        or huge. Some were just the right size to set up camp for a hunting or
        fishing party. The latter type (in my area, at least) once had
        abundant flakes but very few whole points. In the western half of this
        county (Daviess) there are also many, many features that the
        geologists call "sand blows". These are low to medium ground features
        where a pile of sand or sand / silt mix sits on top of alluvial fill.
        The pros attribute it to seismic activity called liquification, where
        very wet sand "boils" out of the underlying soil during a seismic
        event. Regardless of the cause, they are almost always good for a few
        flakes.

        Also, one thing that is often overlooked is that the water table of
        the entire Mississippi basin was quite a bit higher (as much as 15
        feet) just two hundred years ago and the floods were more regular and
        more consistent in depth and duration. The Big Muddy "channel" was
        also nearly impassable with snags, even for canoes. At the time
        Cahokia was built, the flood waters might have occasionally lapped
        around its base.

        On the other hand, it may have nothing at all to do with water. We
        don't know whether the author's observation was while the "furrows"
        were in active use or after years of erosion. We also don't know how
        wide each row was, only the distance between them. A raised bed of 20
        centimeters (about 10 inches) is enough to lessen back strain, but
        higher is better. Raised bed gardening is definitely much easier on
        the body that traditional European style. Water filled furrows between
        raised beds would be problematic for the people tending that garden.
        Half a meter (20 inches) between the rows is just right for setting
        down you gathering basket.

        Oz

        --- In ancient_waterways_ society@yahoogro ups.com, "minnesotastan"
        <minnesotastan@ ...> wrote:
        >
        > Dr. Clark's post #125 included the following -
        >
        > "At Ocumulgee and two sites in Illinois archaeologists have found
        > evidence of agricultural fields in which the topsoil was heaped up
        > into parallel ridges. At Ocmulgee these ridges were about 20
        > centimeters high and 30 to 50 centimeters apart. The advantages of
        > this type of cultivation are not well understood. One possibility is
        > that it may have been an adaptation to water-logged soil."
        > Southeastern Indians, by Charles Hudson (1976),page 298
        >
        > I have a possible explanation. The technique of planting on ridges
        > alternating with water-filled furrows was developed in ancient times
        > in either Mesoamerica or South America (I can't remember the cultural
        > affiliation) as a way to enhance agricultural productivity, especially
        > in high-altitude sites with cold nights. The water in the furrows
        > acts as a thermal buffer during the nights, preventing frost from
        > damaging young plants and thereby extending the growing season.
        >
        > Illinois is not at altitude, but is far enough north that such an
        > adaptation might allow corn, potatoes, etc to be planted in March
        > rather than in April etc.
        >
        > Just a thought. Others may wish to add or correct...
        >
        > Stan
        >



        Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta.

      • james m. clark jr.
        Dr. Clark, Stan? lol I hope you are referring to me as a Doctor as Buz would address Elmer Fudd. I did consider one university to major in ancient history
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 6 11:11 AM
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          Dr. Clark, Stan? lol

          I hope you are referring to me as a "Doctor" as Buz would address
          Elmer Fudd. I did consider one university to major in ancient history
          but my score wasn't high enough to get in.

          The only culture I can recall at the moment as far as using channels
          to blanket frost in valleys were either the Totec or pehaps the Aztec.

          On another note: Last year was a pretty unusual year. I don't recall
          one afternoon thunder shower; maybe one. Georgia however doesn't have
          not even have one natural lake, mostly swamp lands with exception of
          one two or three low rivers inland. Perhaps this was an idea to filter
          the water from the Ocmulgee River which would mix with the local mash.
          But to give the earth water fitting drink during the dry season
          between fungi infested planting season, it would seem logical to
          produce productive plants regardless of flood plain locations. That
          being said, the Ocmulgee Old fields were more than likely abandoned
          more than few time as far as a possible reason for completely
          abandoning such a significant location inland.

          The last time I checked as far as Native Americans with phd's in
          archeology at least, there were only 5 in all places where the No
          childern Left Behind act doesn't really apply. As far as me, I am a
          former Redneck if you will; Black Irish, Cherokee (although from my
          grandfaters side)and perhaps Seminole according to family tradition or
          either Euchee from my grandmothers side whom wasn't listed in 1890 nor
          1900 records.

          be well all,
          jamey

          --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "minnesotastan"
          <minnesotastan@...> wrote:
          >
          > Dr. Clark's post #125 included the following -
          >
          > "At Ocumulgee and two sites in Illinois archaeologists have found
          > evidence of agricultural fields in which the topsoil was heaped up
          > into parallel ridges. At Ocmulgee these ridges were about 20
          > centimeters high and 30 to 50 centimeters apart. The advantages of
          > this type of cultivation are not well understood. One possibility is
          > that it may have been an adaptation to water-logged soil."
          > Southeastern Indians, by Charles Hudson (1976),page 298
          >
          > I have a possible explanation. The technique of planting on ridges
          > alternating with water-filled furrows was developed in ancient times
          > in either Mesoamerica or South America (I can't remember the cultural
          > affiliation) as a way to enhance agricultural productivity, especially
          > in high-altitude sites with cold nights. The water in the furrows
          > acts as a thermal buffer during the nights, preventing frost from
          > damaging young plants and thereby extending the growing season.
          >
          > Illinois is not at altitude, but is far enough north that such an
          > adaptation might allow corn, potatoes, etc to be planted in March
          > rather than in April etc.
          >
          > Just a thought. Others may wish to add or correct...
          >
          > Stan
          >
        • Susan
          Ancient Waterways Memebers, Was out of state working near the Colorado River/Hoover Dam, then Minnesota for a couple of weeks when posts rolled in a row here.
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 13 4:04 PM
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            Ancient Waterways Memebers,

            Was out of state working near the Colorado River/Hoover Dam, then
            Minnesota for a couple of weeks when posts rolled in a row here. I
            hesitate to insert a specific item from the fine coordination of
            posts from three or four of you at this site. Please re-read your
            letters below. I send many passages, links from your posts to other
            groups. The following yesterday to one of two Egyptian web groups
            where several of us are trying off-site to find within our minds and
            hearts aspects developed by ancient wisdomkeeper who left clues
            everywhere. More people these days seem to be seeking to learn to
            think, live harmonously with each other, and in reverence to Nature.
            I see it within you at this and other sites. I believe the builders
            of ancient earthworks and stoneworks showed cooperative intention and
            creativity most clearly at the advent of the building of their
            civilizations and sacred sites, moreso than after the rise of wealth,
            power, violence that occurred within groups and between peoples later
            such as in Egypt, Rome, Central and North America. And our current
            one.

            In regard to Cahokia, and stated beautifully by Vince Barrows in the
            post below this letter:

            ..."The selfless love of an entire civilization would be required to
            build to build the mounds at Cahokia. They account for at least 80
            million cubic feet of hard and compacted clays moved by hand into the
            position that they still stand. Invading Whitemans conquerors have
            destroyed nearly all of the mounds, however, the largest mound,now
            only 86 ft high turtle-shaped effigy called monks mound remains, with
            footpaths all over the sides."...

            Then the fine response w/discussions of regional soils, mound
            construction, stone tools in Illinois and other areas by Oz, Stan,
            Vince. And the Oculmulkee area of Georgia by Jamey, which I need to
            look up. At least half a dozen here at this small group may be asked
            if they would like direct involvement should an AAAPF conference be
            held near the Cahokia mounds.

            Other areas of interest may also open up, such as in Tenn-Ky (with
            TASK, Jamey, and Native groups at the forefront w/scientific
            investigation with Melissa, her family, and possibly Larry from the
            PreColumbian Inscriptions web site who lives near Melissa's property
            in Tennessee.) Jamey, let us know and Post # soon as more information
            comes forth on the ancient Tennessee stone bird heads in the
            unexplored caves when you start fielding updates again at
            PreColumbian Inscriptions.

            No reason we couldn't set up our own table w/giant N. American and
            World Map w/ancient waterways for people to come over to show us the
            present-day and shorelines, etc. where they live or travel.
            Photographs taking us along deep ravines, waterfall, lakes and seas,
            such as Marti's slide shows. Desert areas which have come about
            because of giant dams, drought, climactic changes.

            I get ADD when more than one post posts at this site at a time, but
            no pressure to directly post. Am just musing here, as Mike White
            says...

            Thanks to all at this group,

            Susan English

            --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, Vincent Barrows
            <v_barrows@...> wrote:
            >
            > One possible explanation for building the mounds at Cahokia is that
            the mounds were built in patterns that were seen in the star world
            and that they were mythological. Sandstone carvings on the mounds do
            tie in closely with constellations as well as mythological stories
            and legends. The mounds forming cahokia mounds are very similar to
            the constellation called "Aquila". Ocmulgee straight lines may
            represent the milky way, constellations, a pathway to heaven. or
            other concepts.
            >
            > The selfless love of an entire civilization would be required to
            build the mounds at Cahokia. They account for at least 80 million
            cubic feet of hard and compacted clays moved by hand into the
            position that they still stand. Invading Whitemans conquerors have
            destroyed nearly all of the mounds, however, the largest mound,now
            only 86 ft high turtle-shaped effigy called monks mound remains, with
            footpaths all over the sides.
            >
            > The turtle is connected throughout the country in mythological
            stories in a creation myth that is called Nanabozho. The turtle is
            also the foundation of the earth, according to many native american
            myths and legends.
            >
            > We now have ATVs ruining the remaining few mounds at Cahokia, as
            can be seen in Satellite images including google earth. And they will
            be destroyed unless someone takes action. I was booted out of
            the "volunteer" group for even raising the issue.
            >
            > Vince Barrows
            >
            > Rick Osmon <ozman@...> wrote:
            > Stan,
            >
            > I have to agree with the author, water-logged soil is the most
            obvious
            > logical explanation for much of Illinois, though other, perhaps
            better
            > reasons could certainly exist. I am not familiar with the topography
            > of Ocumulgee, but most of Illinois has been under my tires or boots.
            > Much of Illinois is prone to flooding to one degree or another. So
            is
            > the southern part of Indiana, for that matter. I have to laugh when
            > ever I read that perennial question / observation "But why the
            mounds
            > were built in the first place remains a mystery". If you slogged
            > through the river bottoms around here at any time, you would learn
            the
            > value of having one dry spot...or a whole series of them.
            >
            > Not all mounds were burial places and not all mounds were ceremonial
            > or huge. Some were just the right size to set up camp for a hunting
            or
            > fishing party. The latter type (in my area, at least) once had
            > abundant flakes but very few whole points. In the western half of
            this
            > county (Daviess) there are also many, many features that the
            > geologists call "sand blows". These are low to medium ground
            features
            > where a pile of sand or sand / silt mix sits on top of alluvial
            fill.
            > The pros attribute it to seismic activity called liquification,
            where
            > very wet sand "boils" out of the underlying soil during a seismic
            > event. Regardless of the cause, they are almost always good for a
            few
            > flakes.
            >
            > Also, one thing that is often overlooked is that the water table of
            > the entire Mississippi basin was quite a bit higher (as much as 15
            > feet) just two hundred years ago and the floods were more regular
            and
            > more consistent in depth and duration. The Big Muddy "channel" was
            > also nearly impassable with snags, even for canoes. At the time
            > Cahokia was built, the flood waters might have occasionally lapped
            > around its base.
            >
            > On the other hand, it may have nothing at all to do with water. We
            > don't know whether the author's observation was while the "furrows"
            > were in active use or after years of erosion. We also don't know how
            > wide each row was, only the distance between them. A raised bed of
            20
            > centimeters (about 10 inches) is enough to lessen back strain, but
            > higher is better. Raised bed gardening is definitely much easier on
            > the body that traditional European style. Water filled furrows
            between
            > raised beds would be problematic for the people tending that garden.
            > Half a meter (20 inches) between the rows is just right for setting
            > down you gathering basket.
            >
            > Oz
            >
            > --- In ancient_waterways_society@yahoogroups.com, "minnesotastan"
            > <minnesotastan@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Dr. Clark's post #125 included the following -
            > >
            > > "At Ocumulgee and two sites in Illinois archaeologists have found
            > > evidence of agricultural fields in which the topsoil was heaped up
            > > into parallel ridges. At Ocmulgee these ridges were about 20
            > > centimeters high and 30 to 50 centimeters apart. The advantages of
            > > this type of cultivation are not well understood. One possibility
            is
            > > that it may have been an adaptation to water-logged soil."
            > > Southeastern Indians, by Charles Hudson (1976),page 298
            > >
            > > I have a possible explanation. The technique of planting on ridges
            > > alternating with water-filled furrows was developed in ancient
            times
            > > in either Mesoamerica or South America (I can't remember the
            cultural
            > > affiliation) as a way to enhance agricultural productivity,
            especially
            > > in high-altitude sites with cold nights. The water in the furrows
            > > acts as a thermal buffer during the nights, preventing frost from
            > > damaging young plants and thereby extending the growing season.
            > >
            > > Illinois is not at altitude, but is far enough north that such an
            > > adaptation might allow corn, potatoes, etc to be planted in March
            > > rather than in April etc.
            > >
            > > Just a thought. Others may wish to add or correct...
            > >
            > > Stan
            > >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            > ---------------------------------
            > Everyone is raving about the all-new Yahoo! Mail beta.
            >
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