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Lasers Unearth Lost 'Agropolis' of New England

Soulskill posted about 8 months ago | from the what-can't-laser-do dept.

Shark 105

sciencehabit writes "Hidden ruins are customary in the wild jungles of South America or on the white shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Now, researchers have uncovered a long-lost culture closer to Western civilization — in New England. Using aerial surveys created by LiDAR, a laser-guided mapping technique, the team detected the barely perceptible remnants of a former 'agropolis' around three rural New England towns (abstract). Near Ashford, Connecticut, a vast network of roads offset by stone walls came to light underneath a canopy of oak and spruce trees. More than half of the town has become reforested since 1870, according to historical documents, exemplifying the extent of the rural flight that marked the late 1800s. Some structures were less than 2 feet high and buried in inaccessible portions of the forest, making them essentially invisible to on-the-ground cartography."

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Aliens put it there (0)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | about 8 months ago | (#45926645)

Aliens were sent to us by CHRIS CHRISTIE to deceive us aboutthe true nature of New Englans: New Jersiys ginormous turd! All the ladies want my MARXISM LENINISM?

Re:Aliens put it there (1)

Noishkel (3464121) | about 8 months ago | (#45926665)

Well I don't know about THAT. But there for Aliens... So sounds legit to me!

Re: Aliens put it there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45928873)

New Jersey is not in New England

Re: Aliens put it there (1)

cusco (717999) | about 8 months ago | (#45929999)

Really? But Jersey is in England, so it should be!

d34nm0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45930243)

Jersey is a channel island off the northwest coast of France. It's part of the Duchy of Normandy and ruled by the Duke of Normandy, who happens to be the Monarch of the United Kingdom. It is an independent political entity, and not part of the United Kingdom, much less England.

Re:d34nm0 (1)

cusco (717999) | about 8 months ago | (#45930295)

For some reason I thought it was closer to Cornwall than France. So, it's a monarchy?

Re:d34nm0 (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#45933205)

According to their coins It's a bailiwick, whatever one of those is.

It probably involves somebody who wears a silly hat.

Summary (and article's first paragraph) misleading (4, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | about 8 months ago | (#45926661)

This makes it sound like a long-lost native civilization was discovered. Not the case. Early European settlers in New England devastated the native landscape and, basically, turned it into English sheep farms. As expansion pushed westward and agriculture shifted with it, that economy changed and native (and some invasive) species have reclaimed the landscape.

Still very cool and interesting, but a different story from what you might expect from reading the lede.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45926783)

That's the same reaction I had. As someone who grew up in Connecticut, and not even that far from Ashford, this is incredibly common. The woods are criscrossed with old stone walls and the occasional stone foundation.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (5, Funny)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 8 months ago | (#45927421)

Attention Rest Of World, we in the US consider stuff from the 1800s not only old, but akin to ancient ruins.

Vizitez u our museums with art from the Olde Masters like Norman Rockwell and Robert Crumb.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (5, Funny)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#45927889)

"To an American a hundred years is a long time, and to a Briton a hundred miles is a long distance."

-- attribution unknown

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#45929143)

And to a Frenchman, a hundred minutes is a lunch hour.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (3, Funny)

antek9 (305362) | about 8 months ago | (#45929403)

... and to a German, a hundred miles per hour is a traffic jam.

Re: Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislea (2)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 8 months ago | (#45930971)

I'm in the UK and live in a 400+ year old house so anything post 1800 feels pretty new fangled to me.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (1)

GNious (953874) | about 8 months ago | (#45931045)

Was taken to a historical town in the US - couldn't help but snicker half the time...

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45931175)

Was in Maryland and saw 'Ye Olde Church' - likely from about 1850 and from the signs they were proud of it. Probably the oldest building for miles. Fair enough. Nice enough building from the outside - standard sized rural church. However, they had recently re-clad it in UPVC. Understand that painted wooden cladding is a PITA for maintenance. However, with the UPVC cladding it looked about as un-historic as you could get.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45932857)

And to a Spaniard, a hundred percent is low unemployment.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (1)

laejoh (648921) | about 8 months ago | (#45928085)

U.S.A.! Where the demons dwell Where the banshees live and they do live well U.S.A.! Where a man's a man And the children dance to the Pipes of Pan!

Re: Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislea (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 8 months ago | (#45930967)

But is it in danger of being crushed by a dwarf?

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#45929131)

.. Or Mr Angelo (Michael to his close friends).

That's on a museum in Chicago, IIRC.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 8 months ago | (#45929303)

Is that where he painted the sevsenteen chapel?

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45926857)

Wha? A Bronze Age Civilization under our interstate highways? Archeological digs that may soon produce tablets that rival Linear A?

Uh, no... Just some nineteenth century farms with stone fences (like those in present day Westchester County NY) that were abandoned by their owners after lucrative mill towns sprung up across New England. Sigh.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#45927955)

farms ... that were abandoned by their owners after lucrative mill towns sprung up across New England

Actually the main reason that so many New England farms were abandoned is that farmers were moving to the Midwest, where the farmland was much better. I love New England, but the poor rocky soil makes it a lousy place to farm.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#45929207)

It is semi-odd that later waves of immigrants didn't take it over, at least until they could save up enough to move on, or it dawned on them that the land was crap and they sold it to the next bunch of suckers that got off the boat.

Because if one thing built the USA, it was suckers getting off boats and being looked down on by those who had (just) got their socks dry.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#45928801)

Archeological digs that may soon produce tablets that rival Linear A?

Apple's lawyers are rubbing their hands and doing that looking from side to side thing like if you're watching tennis while wearing a neck-brace.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (2)

ChunderDownunder (709234) | about 8 months ago | (#45929041)

Archeological digs that may soon produce tablets that rival Linear A?

You're nearly 2 centuries behind, dude. Joseph Smith discovered ancient golden plates back in 1823, in nearby new york state.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (2)

cascadingstylesheet (140919) | about 8 months ago | (#45926997)

Early European settlers in New England devastated the native landscape

Eek!

and, basically, turned it into English sheep farms.

Oh, you mean they wanted homes and livelihoods just like us. That doesn't sound quite so sinister.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927163)

Early European settlers in New England devastated the native landscape

Oh, you mean they wanted homes and livelihoods just like us. That doesn't sound quite so sinister.

But, but they devastated the native landscape.

That makes them evil.

And since we're their descendents (at least the New England readers of /.), we owe retribution to Mother Gaia forever and ever and ever.

OTOH, Mother Gaia has covered the remnants of their "devastation" so thoroughly that they need LiDAR to detect them.

So maybe it wasn't so "devastating" after all.

Re:Summary (and article's first paragraph) mislead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927339)

Look in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's Social Justice Warrior!

lost in time (4, Funny)

confused one (671304) | about 8 months ago | (#45926671)

In a century or two, someone will look back at the U.S. and unearth the evidence that it once had vast manufacturing capability.

Re:lost in time (4, Insightful)

TheloniousToady (3343045) | about 8 months ago | (#45926839)

Good point. But it may not take even that long. For example, I think the Studebaker plant still stands. And Armco Steel, which once was a primary employer in the Kansas City area, has been a gigantic rusting (but intact) hulk for a couple of decades. Since these things cost so much to tear down and there's no economic incentive to do so, they seemingly will last until nature takes over, in decades or centuries.

Re:lost in time (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927623)

South Bend is busy tearing down the last bits of the Studebaker production plant. Only the most ornate and preserved buildings remain. The area is being populated with industrial park structures which are more adaptable for current business uses including two server farms.

Re:lost in time (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 8 months ago | (#45930583)

Yep, soon we'll just 3d print everything in the garage, at least until the replicators hit the market.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45926673)

...it has come to this.

Lost in New England, you say? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45926693)

West of Arkham the hills rise wild, and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut. There are dark narrow glens where the trees slope fantastically, and where thin brooklets trickle without ever having caught the glint of sunlight. On the gentle slopes there are farms, ancient and rocky, with squat, moss-coated cottages brooding eternally over old New England secrets in the lee of great ledges; but these are all vacant now, the wide chimneys crumbling and the shingled sides bulging perilously beneath low gambrel roofs.

Re:Lost in New England, you say? (1)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 8 months ago | (#45926833)

Mod parent up. This was my first thought, "it sounds like the beginning of a creepy New England story that H.P. Lovecraft wrote."

Re:Lost in New England, you say? (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#45928857)

Apparently it really is Lovecraft[1]. I was surprised, because it didn't contain the word "gibbous".

[1] I mean his words, not really him. Though you never know.

Re:Lost in New England, you say? (1)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 8 months ago | (#45929485)

Yes, I know the AC was quoting Lovecraft. I meant I agreed, the summary made me think of Lovecraft too.

I wasn't certain at first the quote was his, because it didn't contain the word, "tenebrous".

Someday these lasers will find pre-beta Slashdot. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45926697)

Many years from now, digital archaeologists will use similar technology to find the remnants of pre-beta Slashdot.

They'll be stunned at what they find. They'll find a site that's actually readable, unlike the Slashdot Beta site. They'll find a site where discussion can easily take place, unlike the Slashdot Beta site. They'll find a site that loads quickly, unlike the Slashdot Beta site. They'll find a site that isn't riddled with large, useless images, unlike the Slashdot Beta site. They'll find a site that isn't rife with unnecessary whitespace, unlike the Slashdot Beta site.

Academic papers will be written based on this discovery. Entire academic careers will be built upon these papers!

Scientists will ask, "How in the fuck did they screw up the Slashdot Beta web site so damn badly? How in the fuck did they ever allow it to go live? Why the fuck didn't they kill that piece-of-shit project immediately?"

Re:Someday these lasers will find pre-beta Slashdo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927589)

Scientists will ask, "How in the fuck did they screw up the Slashdot Beta web site so damn badly? How in the fuck did they ever allow it to go live? Why the fuck didn't they kill that piece-of-shit project immediately?"

Another website lost to the whorish desire to jump on the smartphone/tablet bandwagon. I predict a rebound for desktop computing in a few years when people start to realize that it was way easier to get real work done on one.

Re:Someday these lasers will find pre-beta Slashdo (1)

sumdumass (711423) | about 8 months ago | (#45929045)

I predict a rebound for desktop computing in a few years when people start to realize that it was way easier to get real work done on one.

I doubt it. Most people on the computer are not on the computer or tablet or whatever to get work done. They are on it for entertainment and occasional menial tasks. For many, writing their resume on the computer is the most work they will actually do.

Exciting times for archaeology (5, Informative)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#45926703)

The use of LIDAR and other sensing techniques is having a powerful impact on archaeology around the world. New finds keep turning up, and there is still a lot of the earth to explore with those sensing technologies. Couple that with the ongoing efforts to digitize old records and the growing use of geospatial information systems and there are some interesting times ahead.

Great article: The technology uncovering humanity's past, and perhaps its future [stltoday.com]

Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (4, Insightful)

Ivan Stepaniuk (1569563) | about 8 months ago | (#45926705)

How is New England closer to Western civilization than the 'white shores of the Mediterranean Sea'? Western civilization was born in the shores of the mediterranean sea.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45926733)

There are two aspects of Western civilization:
Firstly, it is civilized. Secondly, it is western.

In this case, both are equally civilized, but New England is approximately 64 degrees longitude further west.
Clearly New England is closer to Western civilization than the white shores of the Mediterranean.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45931183)

"There are two things you need to know about the wise woman: First she is a woman..."

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (0)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#45926739)

You left out the "South America" part, which would account for the Incas and Aztecs, neither of which are part of Western civilization, and lived in lands removed from the heart of "the West." Also note that the settlers from Europe in New England were part of Western civilization, forming a country that would become part of Western civilization, and therefore were closer in terms of cultural space, time, and distance.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

Ivan Stepaniuk (1569563) | about 8 months ago | (#45926871)

That does't make that statement, the summary, or the article's first paragraph any better. By the way, the Aztec Empire was in North America, not South America.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#45926929)

Either way neither the Aztecs nor Incas were part of Western civilization. The settlers from Europe were.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 8 months ago | (#45926945)

Either way neither the Aztecs nor Incas were part of Western civilization. The settlers from Europe were.

That's correct. The Aztecs and Incas were *wiped out* by some of those "settlers".

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927065)

Which is noteworthy because never in the history of civilization anywhere has one group wiped out another.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

demonlapin (527802) | about 8 months ago | (#45927409)

They were taken out of power, but a quick look at the appearance of the population of Mexico and Peru will tell you that the Aztec and Inca were not wiped out. The natives of New England largely were, Foxwoods notwithstanding.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 8 months ago | (#45946059)

That's correct. The Aztecs and Incas were *wiped out* by some of those "settlers".

No, only their civilizations, and most of those were on their last legs anyway due to smallpox and local wars, something that the Spanish simply took advantage of. By the time the Spanish actually settled in large numbers, the civilizations had ceased to exist, although many of the indigenous people still survived and continued to live under the new rulers.

None of this is in any way different what civilizations around the world had been doing to each other for thousands of years. In fact, the Spanish were militarily effective because they had just been defending themselves against the Moors, invaders from Africa who had been close to wiping out all of European civilization.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 8 months ago | (#45947071)

"Only their civilizations." Only - okay, we'll call the Battle of Cajamarca a jostling - in that "battle" the heroic Spaniards ambushed and slaughtered thousands of Atahualpa's unarmed entourage. Yes, sneak attacks using technology unknown to your victims is quite effective.

We'll stick with your assertion that the Spaniards "only" wiped out the Incan civilization. As I have seen from your posts, you consider civilization to be the most precious attribute of any people.

Why do you consistently push your supposed superior knowledge of... well, all things, but your philosophy and politics always turn out to be horrid?

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 8 months ago | (#45958669)

in that "battle" the heroic Spaniards ambushed and slaughtered thousands of Atahualpa's unarmed entourage. Yes, sneak attacks using technology unknown to your victims is quite effective.

Who do you think the European conquerors were? Well-off middle class folks who just got up one day to destroy some peaceful South American civilizations in order to boost their retirement plans? In reality, for the most part, they came from totalitarian, theocratic regimes that had just barely survived attacks from powerful and thoroughly destructive neighbors, and for whom the choice was death or conquest. Most of them had been indoctrinated from birth by the totalitarian ideologies of their time.

And who do you think they were destroying? Peaceful, prosperous, liberal communities? Of course not. They were attacking totalitarian, bloody theocracies. And most of the destruction wasn't even due to actions by the Spanish, it was either due to disease or self-inflicted, neither of which the Spaniards bore any moral responsibility for.

You are applying 21st century assumptions about international relations and societies to conflicts and situations where they simply do not apply, and you aren't even doing that correctly. And even under 21st century assumptions, the Inca and Aztec empires would be destroyed and occupied in a heartbeat; they were far worse than any of the totalitarian regimes we have today.

As I have seen from your posts, you consider civilization to be the most precious attribute of any people.

I certainly don't consider the Inca or Aztec civilizations to have been "precious". They were totalitarian, bloody, murderous, backwards, and destructive. Those monumental buildings and fancy trinkets you admire and like so much are drenched in blood (as are most of the monuments and trinkets European civilization produced).

Most civilizations and most political systems throughout history have been evil, and their destruction by revolution or conquest has been a good thing for humanity and the individuals living under those regimes.

but your philosophy and politics always turn out to be horrid?

They seem "horrid" to you because your understanding of morality is based on abstractions unrelated to reality, and because you hold some twisted racist and nationalist ideas while fancying yourself morally superior.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 7 months ago | (#45965411)

Central to your character is the idea that you are smarter, more perceptive, and more rational than most (all?) people. It's just not the case. I am at least as well educated as you in history and logic. The difference between us is that it's *your* attitudes that are twisted.

You're just trolling, and attempt to change the discussion by attacking when your points are invalidated.

I'm not an idealist, but this look into your soul you provide with your terrible assertions makes me glad I'm not you.

The juice is gone from this thread, so I won't respond on this one; go ahead and prepare to troll me again on another thread. And why don't you un-foe and re-foe me? It might make you feel a little better.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 8 months ago | (#45929333)

they were A western civilization.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#45929469)

part of Western civilization.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 8 months ago | (#45930923)

which one?

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 8 months ago | (#45927011)

They're West, but they're also quite a long way down. So the actual distance is more. Or something like that.

Re:Unitedstateans looking at their belly button (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about 8 months ago | (#45926807)

>> How is New England closer to Western civilization than the
'white shores of the Mediterranean Sea'?

Dunkin' Donuts?

Misinterpretation. (1)

bruce_the_loon (856617) | about 8 months ago | (#45927121)

Closer here means culturally and structurally more like the Western civilizations than the pre-Columbus cultures, not physically closer.

The Mediterranean and jungles of South America refer to the expected locations of lost civilization ruins rather than in New England area.

cease fires spontaneous outbreaks of peace? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45926729)

so we can finally get some sleep? finally advanced discourse? the celebrations have just begun; http://rt.com/in-motion/hamburg-pillow-fight-police-456/

Usefullness of LASERs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45926745)

I am always amazed at how versatile and useful LASERs are. Bacon is the only thing that rivals LASERs.

One day, someone will figure out how to incorporate a use of bacon with LASERs and cure all of man's ills: Global Warming, Cancer, ...you name it.

Re:Usefullness of LASERs. (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 8 months ago | (#45926787)

A virtuous cycle is possible: you use lasers to cook the bacon, you eat the bacon to fuel the brain to build better lasers.

With better lasers you may be able to use them to excite the pollution molecules until they break into less harmful products. For cost effective transport I recommend sharks.

Re:Usefullness of LASERs. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 8 months ago | (#45928609)

Did you notice that shark image on the story?

Re: Usefullness of LASERs. (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about 8 months ago | (#45930977)

And if you cook bacon with lasers, all manner of wonders happen.

Re:Usefullness of LASERs. (1)

tbuskey (135499) | about 8 months ago | (#45931689)

I had a Rauchbier last night. Smelled like bacon. If only a laser was involved...

long lost civilization (4, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#45926775)

Now, researchers have uncovered a long-lost culture closer to Western civilization — in New England.

"Long lost civilization" here means 1700s New England farms, it's not a discovery that Native Americans were building saw mills or anything.

Re:long lost civilization (4, Funny)

DexterIsADog (2954149) | about 8 months ago | (#45926865)

Well, given that the U.S. was founded as a country in the 18th century, and for comparison, tour guides in Paris dismiss anything younger than 500 years as "contemporary", yeah, that's pretty long lost.

Re:long lost civilization (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#45926965)

It's not lost! It's a civilization that's still here!

Re:long lost civilization (1)

a_n_d_e_r_s (136412) | about 8 months ago | (#45927315)

It's still there ? Hm, some might say that.

But thats only if you count the current USA as a civilization. ;)

Re:long lost civilization (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about 8 months ago | (#45928079)

tour guides in Paris dismiss anything younger than 500 years as "contemporary"

Are we citizens of the New Republic supposed to be impressed by European claims of greater antiquity? There are places in the Mideast, India and China where anything younger than 2,000 years is dismissed as contemporary.

Re:long lost civilization (1)

dpidcoe (2606549) | about 8 months ago | (#45926921)

"Long lost civilization" here means 1700s New England farms, it's not a discovery that Native Americans were building saw mills or anything.

I misread the headline as "lasers unearthed in Lost 'Agropolis' of New England and had done even better than mills.

Re:long lost civilization (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927127)

Maybe these jokers want to go dig around in my backyard.
They can discover long lost tennis courts from *gasp* 30 years ago.
Or maybe they'll find some evidence that 20 years ago there were farms on my property.

Re:long lost civilization (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 8 months ago | (#45933323)

it's not a discovery that Native Americans were building saw mills or anything.

While true, there are also those. But, somewhere else.

Re:long lost civilization (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 8 months ago | (#45933357)

While true, there are also those.

Really??

Re:long lost civilization (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 8 months ago | (#45935993)

In the Pacific Northwest there was heavy use of wood in home construction, including a well developed skill for board+wooden nail construction. Most families had square wooden boxes. You can get semantic on the fact that the logs were split into planks rather than milled, but after splitting the boards would be sawn to length. (with a stone hand tool) And there is a strong argument to be made that shaping wood with stone tools, such as in a dugout canoe, is "milling." Certainly if I was building one using modern technology, I would use a computer-controlled... milling machine. And while much quicker than a human with an adze, it is making the same type of movements to remove material in the same sort of way.

mill : noun
1. a factory for certain kinds of manufacture, as paper, steel, or textiles.
2. a building equipped with machinery for grinding grain into flour and other cereal products.
3. a machine for grinding, crushing, or pulverizing any solid substance: a coffee mill.
4. any of various machines that modify the shape or size of a workpiece by rotating tools or the work: rolling mill.
5. any of various other apparatuses for shaping materials or performing other mechanical operations.

So it all comes down to "machine" and "apparatus." I think it is clear that a purpose-built sawhorse for shaping cedar planks for use in water-proof storage boxes pretty much has to be a primitive mill. And if you're sawing across the wood with an adze, then it must be a saw mill.

Consider also this city unearthed in the NE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mantle_Site,_Wendat_(Huron)_Ancestral_Village [wikipedia.org]

Lovecraft country (5, Funny)

laejoh (648921) | about 8 months ago | (#45926851)

"Long lost civilization" and "New England" have a whole different meaning once you've read Lovecraft :)

Re:Lovecraft country (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 8 months ago | (#45930137)

As does The Kamasutra...

Re:Lovecraft country (1)

laejoh (648921) | about 8 months ago | (#45930677)

Everything changes once you've read Lovecraft, even the kamasutra. In fact, that's how we ended up with tentacle porn!

True for Most of CT (3, Interesting)

WoodburyMan (1288090) | about 8 months ago | (#45926853)

This story isn't hardly surprising. After I got past the fact that the outline made it read like they found some long long civilization, and in fact it was just forgotten farm roads from 200 years ago, it's really not that impressive. I also live in Connecticut, less than 45 minutes from this location.. and this is true for most of Connecticut, at least the parts that still have woods left mainly in the Eastern part of the state as well as North West part of the state (where I am). The exact same trails can be found in my own back yard. My backyard consists of a area close to 250 acres or so of wooded area. The entire wooded area is no more than ~150 years old. You can tell by looking at the trees, they're all to young to have been there for more than 100 years. There's all sorts of areas littered with old barbed wire, to which trees have grown around, and old stone walls that have almost fallen apart and are more like a clumping of rocks all lined up than a stone wall. There are also area's where you can clearly tell there used to be trails, in fact we use one to walk between relatives on the other side of our hill and my own house, and a few of the more aged trails as ATV trails. In fact there was even a man made stream, that was diverted from its natural course (to which is has now gone back to) that once flowed a few dozen feet from my house, to which my driveway now follows. Such is not uncommon for all of Connecticut and New England. If you look, you'll find former farm trails and relics everywhere.

I'm from CT (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45926973)

And as a boy, I'd constantly stumbled on structures like this. What this study does show is how extensive it was and how it connected - I never appreciated that because all I ever saw was a lone stone wall or something in the middle of the woods and didn't know it was part of this huge network.

Re:True for Most of CT (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about 8 months ago | (#45928011)

Same thing in the hudson valley in NY, there are stone walls covering the area, the last 3 homes I lived in had stone wall borders from years past. We are always finding long lost civ stuff like, coke bottles from the 30s, and square nails, and even old rock foundations! While this headline is very misleading, it is interesting either way

Re:True for Most of CT (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 8 months ago | (#45933353)

No, the impressive thing is that the technology is already revealing abandoned structures closer to home. The find itself as a find is not interesting.

There are two main areas where this is interesting:
1) Thinking about the future looking back at us, and what will we look like? What does our past already look like now that it is showing up?

2) The power of these tools to find things not immediately visible to human observation is impressive. These aren't giant pyramids, these are small structures mostly obscured. Think about how much LIDAR data is available for free download, and how much of it hasn't yet been searched for structures? Certain areas around known archaeological sites have been searched extensively, often finding new sites. There is a lot of opportunity here, even for people on slashdot. If you import the LIDAR data into a GIS system like GRASS, you can use SQL to analyze the data and write new tools, or just run normal visualization plugins.

Re:True for Most of CT (1)

psydeshow (154300) | about 8 months ago | (#45942727)

Who do you suppose owns these tracts of land, now? I guess I'm just assuming that the 250 acres of woods wasn't literally your back yard, but maybe it was.

Anyway, there should be property records for all of the fields "discovered" in the LIDAR map. When the farmers abandoned their farms, were they purchased by the state as watershed or open space, or by developers who never did anything with them, or what?

early pop. ny was queen's criminally insane stock (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45926877)

clean slate for the queen, nice empty prisons & mental hospitals & a terror based force fo the native 'management'/'conversion' process. are we re-runs forever?

Not really a surprise. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45926897)

I grew up in northeastern Massachusetts. There were stone walls running all over the place out in the woods behind our house. Everyone knew they were from farms from the 1800s.

Lost Agropolis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45926911)

You mean they found some old farms. Neat.

Re:Lost Agropolis? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 8 months ago | (#45933387)

-polis is Persian for "city," for example the famous Persepolis, City of the Persians.

You need a whole farm town to make an agropolis.

They must have found an old grange.

Re:Lost Agropolis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45933573)

"Polis" is actually Greek for "city" but your point is taken.

Not a "long lost" civ. (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 8 months ago | (#45927017)

The summary makes it sound like they found 3000 year old ruins, not 300 year old ruins. This is not a lost civilization. It's just early Americans, colonial and USA. It's still interesting. There was no need to sensationalize. It reminds me of the innocent looking ditches I used to pass by in Fairfax County, VA local parks. It wasn't until after moving away that I saw an article online explaining that the ditches were colonial stream diversions leading to mills that no longer exist. A preserved example of such a mill still exists at Colvin Run in Fairfax County, AFIAK.

Re:Not a "long lost" civ. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927143)

150 would be more accurate.

Re:Not a "long lost" civ. (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about 8 months ago | (#45933399)

If the places are no longer on any existing maps, they are "lost." If they are actually cataloged somewhere, they're not lost. Notice the lost-ness being claimed is in reference to the 'agropolis' (farm town or grange with associated farmland) not to Colonial New England.

-1, Obvious (2)

Gothmolly (148874) | about 8 months ago | (#45927159)

Southern New England is overrun with old stone walls and relics of old farms, take a walk in the woods some time. Also, water is wet.

What about the 'death' camps? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45927167)

What about using ground penetrating radar in the so-called 'death' camps in Poland, where apparently six million Jews were gassed to death, and their ashes are buried, hundreds of thousands of pounds of them, under the soil?
Oh, wait, we can't do that, because the Jews COVERED THE GROUND WITH CONCRETE... so you can't use ground penetrating radar... because there are no ashes...

www.codoh.com

Historical/Archeological value (4, Insightful)

PPH (736903) | about 8 months ago | (#45927343)

Property owners can use these maps to determine whether any such structures exist on their property. They will then bulldoze them flat so as to prevent some preservationist societies from declaring their property off limits to development.

Americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45931305)

I grew up in a city in the netherlands where city hall was built in 1250 and most of the houses are from the early middleages.

Re:Americans... (1)

RogL (608926) | about 8 months ago | (#45931547)

>> I grew up in a city in the netherlands where city hall was built in 1250 and most of the houses are from the early middleages.

Good for you! ...but was it overgrown with forest & forgotten?

If so, what a relevant comment, and I'd love to hear about your being raised by European squirrels while foraging for berries..
If not, kind of pointless, as this was about a area where civilization was overgrown, not an old town with people still living in it, with operational roads.

Rot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45933629)

As a poster in the original article comments states:

"This article restates the obvious. Its like looking at your bedroom in the dark with a flashlight and getting all excited by what is visible. I grew up 17 miles south of the area in the picture. The woods are full of old stone walls which are plain as day if you walk around. I'm sure that most of the walls track real estate records.Using radar makes it easier to map the walls, a bit easier than Google Earth perhaps. Everyone knows this and everyone knows that the old farmsteads are gone."

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