Stone Walls, the Signature Landform of New England

Stone by Stone Book

Department of Earth Sciences Professor Robert Thorson has developed a naming and classification system for stone walls in New England. Published in Historical Archaeology, the new criteria allow for easy and objective identification of the thousands of miles of stone walls across New England. Professor Thorson hopes his stone wall taxonomy and identification protocol will help with conservation efforts as stone walls are critical for the wildlife in New England.

Link to the publication

Link to the UConn press release

Professor Thorson also recently published in Smithsonian Magazine. In this work, he reveals the unique combination of geology and agriculture that led to the formation of New England’s stone walls as well as the mechanisms behind their ongoing decay. Through his narrative, he weaves in discussions of identity, climate change, conservation, the role of barriers, and literary icons.

Link to the Smithsonian article

Link to the article cliff notes