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Shark Science

Lasers Unearth Lost 'Agropolis' of New England 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 More than half of the town has become reforested since 1870, according to historical documents, exemplifying the extent of the rural flight that marked the late 1800s.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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Lasers Unearth Lost 'Agropolis' of New England

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 11, 2014 @01:04PM (#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.

  • True for Most of CT (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WoodburyMan ( 1288090 ) on Saturday January 11, 2014 @01:35PM (#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 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 11, 2014 @01:57PM (#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.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal