Curious Stone Walls

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Recently discovered stone walls in southern Indiana, their possible relationship to documented ancient structures, and possible purposes.

Recently discovered stone walls in southern Indiana, their possible relationship to documented ancient structures, and possible purposes.

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  • 1. Curious Stone Walls in Southern Indiana Rick Osmon
  • 2. Be Careful What You Wish For
    • Ancient
    • Walls
    • Fortress
    • Waterways
    • Hilltop
    • Indiana
    • “ Line” of Fortresses
    • Welsh
    Key Words
  • 3. Known Fortress Indiana State Geologist, E.T. Cox, recorded this survey report in 1870, supposedly discovered by Gen. George Rogers Clark in about 1799
  • 4. The New Site Landowner in erosion & friend atop largest of at least six exposed wall segments I call it the “East Fork Site”
  • 5. Site Medium Context
  • 6. Site Large Context Cox /Clark Site Charlestown Deam Wilderness Site Merom Bluff Site East Fork Site
  • 7. Finer Context
  • 8. 10 O’clock Line Curious coincidence?
  • 9. Curious Features
    • Slot at top middle of at least 3 wall segments
    • Old growth trees
    • Steep grade
    • Significant spring very nearby
    • Significant erosion
    • Excavated footpath
    Note accumulated soil & detritus on uphill side
  • 10. Satellite View Wall Spring/Cave Excavated stone steps Second cave entrance (vertical) Grade ca. 1:2
  • 11.  
  • 12. Heavy Construction
    • Some stones up to about 800 lbs.
    • Visible cross section >10 feet at apparent base
    • Original length ca. 20 meters / 66 feet
    • Apparent maximum height about 15 feet
    • Straight line footprint
    It makes a GREAT deer blind !
  • 13. Yep, It’s a Wall, But Why?
    • Erosion control
    • Fortification
    • Structure foundation
    • Livestock enclosure
    • Bath house
    • Dam for a mill pond
    • Some or all of the above
    Possible Purpose?
  • 14. Mill Pond Criteria
    • Flowing water at or above top of wheel
    • Sustainable support structure (food, shelter, transport)
    • Readily available hardwoods
    • Something to process
  • 15. Problems with Mill Hypothesis
    • Steep grade
    • High hill
    • Few available resources, raw materials on top
    • Poor transport for finished material
  • 16. Various Waterwheel Designs
  • 17. Rio Tinto Mine De-watering Pumps
    • Sixteen wheels
    • 96 feet lift
    • Human powered
    • Roman period
    • This lode shows signs of being worked for 5000 years
  • 18. One of the Signs at Rio Tinto 5,000 Years of Mine Pollution
  • 19. If a Mill, What Product?
    • Grist mill
    • Saw mill (wood or stone)
    • Hammer mill
    • Bellows
    • Textile
    • Other processes
    • Other work
  • 20. Ore Processing?
    • Significant vein of rust colored rock
    • Near major river, but falls up & downstream
    • Near place name “Ironton”
    • Testable!
  • 21. No Joy in the Ironton
  • 22. Give up? No!
    • Cable cars (?!)
    • Moving water with water power Or maybe no water wheel at all…
    More Possibilities
  • 23. A Wall of Confusion
    • All key words met except one, “Welsh”
  • 24. Gravity Balance In a gravity balance system two parallel tracks are employed with ascending trains on one and descending trains on the adjacent track. A single cable is attached to both trains, wound round a winding drum at the top of the incline to provide braking. The weight of the loaded descending cars is used to lift the ascending empties. This form of cable railway can only be used to move loads downhill and requires a wider space than a stationary engine -driven incline, but has the advantage of not requiring external power, and therefore costs less to operate.
  • 25. Gravity Balance
  • 26. Water balance This is a variant of the gravity balance incline that can be used to move loads uphill . The weight of the unloaded descending train is increased using water until it is greater than the train traveling uphill. At this point gravity allows the uphill train to ascend. The water is either carried in an additional water wagon attached to the descending train, or is carried in a platform on which the train descends. This form of incline has the advantages of a gravity balance system with the added ability to haul loads uphill. It is only practical where a large supply of water is available at the top of the incline. An example of this type of cable railway is the passenger carrying Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway .
  • 27. Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway
  • 28. Lynton and Lynmouth Cliff Railway Two cars, each capable of transporting 40 passengers, joined by a continuous cable running around a 5 ft 6 in (1.7 m) pulley at each end of the incline. Water feeds through 5-inch (130 mm) pipes from the West Lyn River — over a mile away — into tanks under the floor of the upper car. Each car has a 700 gallon tank mounted between the wheels. Water is discharged from the lower car, until the heavier top car begins to descend, with the speed controlled by a brakeman travelling on each car. The parallel tracks (which bow out at the centre point, to allow the cars to pass) rise 500 feet (150 m) and are 862 feet (263 m) long, giving the line a gradient of 1:1.75 .
  • 29. Where exactly is this gravity balance railway?
  • 30. Wales
  • 31. Speculative Hypotheses Truly ancient Fortress Water balance cable tram to deliver supplies, wooden rails Multi-purpose mill & power source Euro or Middle Eastern, but far from certain
  • 32. Next Step Dig
  • 33. Digging for…? Evidence of a palisade Any artifacts Skeletal remains, including livestock Tooled stone
  • 34. Also… Attempt to enter closed room in cave Core sample the old beech tree.
  • 35.   Rick Osmon, aka Oz http:// oopaloopacafe .com  to find great info about guests and previous shows     http:// blogtalkradio .com/ oopa - loopa -cafe  to listen to the live shows and join the chat   Call in during show (646) 652-2720   Mobile (not during live show, please) (812) 259-1102   oz@ oopaloopacafe .com Thanks for listening Feedback