Test Pits on the top of hills..?

JerseyDevil

Scout
Dec 22, 2003
84
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57
Jackson, NJ
A36C78CF-7FF2-4819-8BFE-F1C807B6A23C.jpeg
The area that I’m currently exploring has an unusual to me situation. Every single hill top has hand dug pits strewn around. Does anyone have a clue what the diggers may have been looking for? This area is very hilly area with diverse elevation changes. It’s along the south branch of the metedeconk river in Jackson. This area has never been developed or logged. Other that these dug pits it’s pristine other than remnants of trails that are only discernible by LiDAR. Even in the winter these trail or old roads can barely if at all be discerned with the eye. One pit does have a lot of jersey sand stone strewn about the spoils. There are sand mines very close within 10,000 feet, this is all high quality sand strata.

Dose anyone have an idea of what was being dug for or looked for? That’s the river in the back and a stream to the left. There are many more that LiDAR does not show. Frankly I’m amazed it sees those. For years I’ve wondered what they are and this LiDAR just make me wonder more.
 
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ecampbell

Piney
Jan 2, 2003
2,674
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There are lots at Friendship. Not test pits but areas mined for gravel fill for building roads around bogs. This was common and some have lots of slag, witch can be confusing because it was also used as fill, distant from it's origin. The dam at Lower Forge for example.
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Ben Ruset

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Oct 12, 2004
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If they were archaeological test pits they'd typically only be one square meter. Since it doesn't look like that area has ever been used for anything industrial they could have been looking for Lenape stuff. I sort of doubt it though.

Here's the spot on the Cook(?) topo.

Screen Shot 2022-07-30 at 7.52.07 AM.png


I've always wondered what "The Alligator" is.
 

Boyd

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Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Here's the spot on the Cook(?) topo.

That is actually a circa 1900 USGS topo (and NJGIN did a pretty sloppy job, with a gap between quads, LOL). It's a more discolored and blurry version of this.

The Cook topo's are recognizable because of the landcover (little trees) and their unique style. As you can see, I have only covered South Jersey though and that location is near the edge. :)

I've also wondered about the Alligator.
 

JerseyDevil

Scout
Dec 22, 2003
84
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57
Jackson, NJ
They also looked for stone to build homes and for property stones.

I think this is the case. The largest one, the one that had jersey sandstone strew about, that was larger in diameter, maybe 12’ I think was used to gather stone for a hunting cabins fire place a couple hundred yards away. Talk about the quality of that stonework..! WOW it’s top notch. 1920, built on site log cabin from site cut pine logs.

The holes in the back were so far from building that I don’t think it was for them but for property boundaries…? He’ll yea, I think you nailed it, I think they had to keep digging just to find enough to mark that corner.

Excellent feedback, much appreciated!
 

JerseyDevil

Scout
Dec 22, 2003
84
62
57
Jackson, NJ
If they were archaeological test pits they'd typically only be one square meter. Since it doesn't look like that area has ever been used for anything industrial they could have been looking for Lenape stuff. I sort of doubt it though.

Here's the spot on the Cook(?) topo.

View attachment 17830

I've always wondered what "The Alligator" is.


WOW.. Your map FOO is top notch, that is the exact spot. The fact that you found it, took the time proves that you are contaminated with the same map virus many of us have :)

Thanks for the reply.!

I will be spending more time there when the ticks subside..
 

JerseyDevil

Scout
Dec 22, 2003
84
62
57
Jackson, NJ
If they were archaeological test pits they'd typically only be one square meter. Since it doesn't look like that area has ever been used for anything industrial they could have been looking for Lenape stuff. I sort of doubt it though.

Here's the spot on the Cook(?) topo.

View attachment 17830

I've always wondered what "The Alligator" is.

Alligator!

I have been working on that answer for a decade, I think I have the answer but not posting it yet until I have a bit more confidence.

Lol.. I can’t believe there is anyone other than me wanting to know the answer to that.. nice!
 
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