DEFINING AND CLASSIFYING NEW ENGLAND'S SIGNATURE LANDFORM: THE FIELDSTONE WALL
Despite the great range in structure and origin of stone walls, most recent mapping and inventory projects using LiDAR imagery and GIS analysis treat the entire population as a single undifferentiated entity. Such investigations seldom quantitatively address how wall type and wall characteristics-- rather than presence or absence-- vary over the landscape at the project scale. Doing so scientifically would require an objective classification incorporating the full range of variability.
This talk presents progress toward such a classification: (1) an explicit definition of a stone wall as a class of objects within the stone domain that meets five criteria of material, granularity, elongation, continuity, height; (2) a differentiation between taxonomic sister groups of concentrations, lines, and notable stones based on these criteria; (3) a comprehensive taxonomy for stone walls as a class of objects based on field criteria, rather than functional interpretations of folk typologies; and (4) a nomenclature and descriptive protocol for rapid field assessment of the wall stones (size, shape, packing, lithology) and structures (segments, terminations, junctions, contacts, tiers, courses, lines). This methodological work is creating an increasingly refined conceptual tool to complement the technological tools of drone-imaging, LiDAR, and GIS mapping.