Stonewalls of New England are rich with history and archeologists are still trying to determine who may have built the first stonewalls or if our concept of when North America was first settled is wrong. Items of stone and metal lead archeologists to believe that the archaic period is when the Northern New England portion of America was first inhabited.
There have been many different types of fences built in New England, natural debris, wood, and stone included. Stemming from these different fence types American ingenuity flourished and inventions arose. Agriculture was a big part of the fencing of America; the cultural differences of the colonists and the Indians also played a big role in the ideas of fencing and laws. Stonewalls are important to our culture as not only North Americans but also as humankind in general.
Overview of the ancient history of New England
The Wisconsin continental ice sheet retreated about 15,000 BC, causing the climate to warm, sea level to rise, and the habitat was changed from tundra to spruce-lichen. The Pleistocene mammals (mastodons, mammoths, and caribou) were attracted to the new habitat, this caused the Paleo-Indians or Big Game hunters to arrive armed with Clovis fluted point projectiles (Salisbury, 1982).
Many sites have been found in New England that shows evidence of tool-making, ritualized inter-band exchanges and other non-hunting activities. By around 8,000 BC, the spruce-lichen forest was mostly replaced by pine and hardwoods, this evolved into other types of food causing the Paleo-Indian era to give way to the early archaic. In New England, early Archaic projectile points were found, these differ from the Paleo-Indian points because the archaic points are generally stemmed and notched for more effective specialized hunting (Salisbury, 1982).
Salvatore Trento tells of one point found in Monhegan, Maine: A tiny arrowhead or possibly a small dagger was recovered from an excavation of a
References: Allport, S. (1990) Sermons in Stone: The Stone Walls of New England and New York. New York: W.W. Norton & Company Salisbury, N (1982) Manitou and Providence: Indians, Europeans, and the Making of New England, 1500-1643. New York, Oxford University Press Trento, SM (1978) The Search for Lost America; The Mysteries of the Stone Ruins. Illinois: Contemporary Books Pettennude, P (1996) An Introduction to the American Indian, Netcom Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; RM 98-9 (9/30/98 -Rulemaking Document) CP 99-539 (1/13/00- Order on complaint) CP 97-238 et al. (12/1/99 Letter order)