A boundary marker, border marker, boundary stone, or border stone is a robust physical marker that identifies the start of a land boundary or the change in a boundary, especially a change in direction of a boundary.There are several other types of named border markers, known as boundary trees, pillars, monuments, obelisks, and corners. Border markers can also be markers through which a border line runs in a straight line to determine that border. They can also be the markers from which a border marker has been fixed.
According to Josiah Ober, boundary markers are "a way of imposing human, cultural, social meanings upon a once-undifferentiated natural environment." Boundary markers are linked to social hierarchies, since they derive their meaning from the authority of a person or group to declare the limits of a given space of land for political, social or religious reasons. Ober notes that "determining who can use parcels of arable land and for what purpose, has immediate and obvious economic implications."
Many borders were drawn along invisible lines of latitude or longitude, which often created a need to mark these borders on the ground, as accurately as possible, using the technology of the day.Advances in GPS technology have shown that there are many borders inaccurately marked on the ground.
Boundary markers have often been used to mark critical points[ clarification needed ] on political boundaries, i.e. those between countries, states or local administrations, but have also been used to mark out the limits of private landholdings, especially in areas where fences or walls are impractical or unnecessary.[ citation needed ]
Boundary markers are integral to boundary law in the United States, both in the original colonial states and those added later during westward expansion (otherwise known as the Public Land Survey System). Man-made boundary markers, or monuments, are considered to be second-highest in the Order of Evidence in boundary law in the United States, behind only natural markers such as boulders and rivers. Boundary markers also have legal meaning in Japan, and are generally installed across the country. Markers are still used extensively for marking international borders, which are traditionally classified into two categories: natural boundaries, correlating to topographical features such as rivers or mountain ranges, and artificial boundaries, which have no obvious relation to topography. The latter category includes borders defined by boundary markers such as stones and walls. International boundary markers are placed and can be maintained by mutual agreement of the bordering countries.
Boundary markers, traditionally, were often made of stone, but later many have been made with concrete or a mixture of materials.They are typically placed at a notable or especially visible point. Many are inscribed with relevant information such as the abbreviation of the boundary holder and often a date.
The oldest known boundary stone in China is from Jiangsu Province. Dating from 12 A.D., it bears the inscription "the sea area from Jiaozhou Bay to the east of Guixan county belongs to Langya Shire and the waters from the south of Guixan county to the east of the estuary of Guanhe River belongs to Donghai Shire."More recently, the border between Russia and China was formally demarcated with boundary stones as the result of the Treaty of Kiakhta in 1727. In the nineteenth century, stones were used to outline the limits of the International Settlement in Shanghai.
In ancient Thailand, sacred boundary stones called Sema Hin delimited Buddhist temple precincts. In some cases they feature inscriptions recounting the history of the temple;others were carved with wheels of the law, while some specimens consist of unfinished stone. In addition to temples, sema could enclose statues of Buddha or sacred mounds.
According to B. S. Jackson, stones were put in place in ancient Israel to "mark the boundary of a territory (public or private), and to seek to deter potential violators of that boundary through the use of threats."The Hebrew Bible contains a strict prohibition against the unauthorized displacement or removal of boundary markers.
An example of boundary markers in ancient Egypt were the boundary stelae of Akhenaten. They defined the limits of the sacred city of Akhet-Aten, built by Akhenaten as the center of the Aten religious cult which he founded. Egyptologists categorize the stelae based on whether they are inscribed with the "Earlier Proclamation," a general explanation of why the location was selected and how the city would be designed, or the "Later Proclamation," which provides additional details about the perimeters of the city.
Glacial erratics and similar natural stones were often used as boundary markers between properties. Knowledge of their locations was typically maintained by oral tradition, wherein men of each house would walk the length of the border. These stones then became boundary markers for municipalities, and eventually provinces and countries. For example, Kuhankuono is a stone that marks the multipoint border between seven municipalities in Kurjenrahka National Park near Turku. Today, however, steel rods topped with a cube painted orange are usually used. Municipalities often post a traffic sign featuring their coat of arms on the border on major roads. On the Finnish-Russian border, many historical border stones, marked with Swedish and Imperial Russian symbols, are still in use. The actual Finnish-Russian border is marked by small white bollard, but on both sides of the border there are large striped bollards decorated with a coat of arms: a blue/white bollard on the Finnish side, a red/green bollard on the Russian side.Artificial cairns are found on the Norway-Russia-Finland tripoint (Treriksrøysa) and Norway-Sweden-Finland tripoint (Three-Country Cairn). The Sweden-Finland border on Märket is marked with holes drilled to the rock, because seasonal pack ice can shear off any protruding markers. In folklore, a type of haltija, rajahaltija, a kind of a local spirit, was believed to haunt borders that had been unjustly moved.
The earliest reference to a boundary stone in Greek literature is in the Iliad, which describes the goddess Athena using one as a projectile. Boundary stones, known as horos, could be made of either carved or undressed stones, and were typically inscribed with the Greek word horos. One such stone was used to indicate the edge of the Athenian agora.The practice of separating areas of land with boundary stones, though common, was widely considered by classical writers to be a violation of the principle of communal land ownership.
In ancient Roman religion, the god Terminus was worshiped as the patron god of boundary markers.Ovid, in a hymn directed to the god, wrote: "O Terminus, whether thou art a stone or a stump buried in the field, … thou dost set bounds to people and cities and vast kingdoms". Numa Pompillius made the first Roman law requiring boundary stones around private property and instituting capital punishment for anyone found guilty of moving these stones.
In 1828, the Principality of Monaco and the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia established a physical border with 91 boundary stones, each numbered 1 to 91, running along the border from present-day Fontvieille to Menton-Garavan.Prior to 1848, the Principality of Monaco included the villages of Roquebrune, Monti, Garavan and Menton. Of the original 91 boundary stones only 12 remain: 6 within the Principality of Monaco, 3 in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, and 3 in Menton. The boundary stones numbered 9, 12, 15, and 31 are located in Monaco. Another stone has been cast in concrete in the Sainte-Cécile area of Monaco thus rendering its number illegible. Stone number 55, originally located in Roquebrune, was given as a gift from the city of Roquebrune to the Principality of Monaco and is now located in Monaco's city hall. Stones numbered 56, 57, and 58 are located in Roquebrune. Stones numbered 62, 71, and 73 are located in Menton. All the boundary stones have three engraved sides: one side with their individual numbers (1 to 91), one side with the letter "M" indicating Monaco's territory, and one side with a cross (+) indicating the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia's territory. The cross represents the coat of arms of the House of Savoy, rulers of Piedmont-Sardinia.
The history of marking the Western Australian border on the ground states that the "Austral Pillar" and the "Deakin Pillar" are points used to determine their position east of Greenwich and then fix a border from, in this case used to determine the line of the 129th meridian east longitude, as the Western Australian border.The Deakin Obelisk and the Kimberley Obelisk in Australia are used in a slightly different way, in that a line is run north and south through a point on the obelisks, formed by a copper plug embedded into the top centre of the concrete obelisks. The "corners" in Australia, such as Cameron Corner, Haddon Corner, Poeppel Corner, and Surveyor Generals Corner, are where multiple borders meet or a border changes direction.
The basic unit of the ancient Hawaiian land division system was the ahupua'a, a self-sustaining agricultural district.The places where a road crossed the border of an ahupua'a were marked with distinctive altars, known as ahu or (stone) piles. These altars served not only as boundary markers but also as sites for the performance of religious rituals related to land taxation. C. J. Lyons, an early surveyor of Hawaii, recorded that "[u]pon this altar at the annual progress of the akua makahiki (year god) was deposited the tax paid by the land whose boundary it marked, and also an image of a hog, puaa, carved out of kukui wood and stained with red ochre. … [F]rom this came the name, ahupuaa“. Naturally occurring landscape features were also used as points of reference for district borders.
The original boundaries of the District of Columbia were marked using boundary stones. These were made of saw-cut sandstone blocks and stood two feet high when set in the ground. Ten boundary stones were placed along each side of the 100 square mile (259 square kilometer) district of Columbia. Although the original surveyors intended each side to be ten miles (16 kilometers) long, their measurements were often inaccurate, resulting in the sometimes significant misplacement of stones and the overall skewing of the District boundaries.Some of these discrepancies are intentional, because the ground at the exact mile point was covered in water; "in such cases", Andrew Ellicott, the leader of the surveying crew, noted in 1793, "the stones are placed on the nearest firm ground and the true distance in miles and poles is marked on them".
Information engraved on the stones includes the number (1 through 10) of the stone within the sequence on that side of the District, the date of placement, and the words "Jurisdiction of the United States." In the twentieth century, the Daughters of the American Revolution voluntarily took responsibility for preserving the stones, which had fallen victim to vandalization and urban development.In the late 1990s renewed interest in the boundary stones led to increased preservation efforts by the DAR and other organizations.
In 1773, a Franciscan friar named Francisco Palou erected the first boundary marker between Alta and Baja California. Commissioned by the Spanish Crown, it consisted of a cross made from alder wood and placed standing upright on a rock.In the British colonies, milestones were shipped from England to mark the Mason–Dixon line. A block cut from sandstone was placed at the intersection of Wyoming, Colorado and Utah in 1879, and stone posts were used along the western border of South Dakota. Boundaries were occasionally resurveyed and boundary stones replaced or restored, depending on their condition.
Dreieckiger Pfahl, Germany
The Four Corners Monument marks the quadripoint in the Southwestern United States where the states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet. It is the only point in the United States shared by four states, leading to the area being named the Four Corners region. The monument also marks the boundary between two semi-autonomous Native American governments, the Navajo Nation, which maintains the monument as a tourist attraction, and the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Reservation.
The Adams–Onís Treaty of 1819, also known as the Transcontinental Treaty, the Florida Purchase Treaty, or the Florida Treaty, was a treaty between the United States and Spain in 1819 that ceded Florida to the U.S. and defined the boundary between the U.S. and New Spain. It settled a standing border dispute between the two countries and was considered a triumph of American diplomacy. It came in the midst of increasing tensions related to Spain's territorial boundaries in North America against the United States and Great Britain in the aftermath of the American Revolution; it also came during the Latin American wars of independence.
The French Riviera is the Mediterranean coastline of the southeast corner of France. There is no official boundary, but it is usually considered to extend from Cassis, Toulon or Saint-Tropez on the west to Menton at the France–Italy border in the east, where the Italian Riviera joins. The coast is entirely within the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region of France. The Principality of Monaco is a semi-enclave within the region, surrounded on three sides by France and fronting the Mediterranean. Riviera is an Italian word that corresponds to the ancient Ligurian territory, wedged between the Var and Magra rivers. The "Côte d'Azur" is a nickname given by Stéphen Liégeard, a French writer, in his novel La Côte d'azur, to describe the coast between Marseilles and Genoa.
A milestone is a numbered marker placed on a route such as a road, railway line, canal or boundary. They can indicate the distance to towns, cities, and other places or landmarks; or they can give their position on the route relative to some datum location. On roads they are typically located at the side or in a median or central reservation. They are alternatively known as mile markers, mileposts or mile posts. Commonly the term "milestone" may also refer to markers placed at other distances, such as every kilometre.
Menton is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region on the French Riviera, close to the Italian border.
The Willamette Stone was a small stone obelisk originally installed by the Department of Interior in 1885 in the western hills of Portland, Oregon in the United States to mark the intersection and origin of the Willamette meridian and Willamette baseline. It replaced a cedar stake placed by the Surveyor General of the Oregon Territory in 1851; this stake defined the grid system of sections and townships from which all real property in the states of Oregon and Washington has been measured following the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850. The Willamette meridian runs north–south, and the Willamette baseline runs east–west through the marker. The easternmost northeast corner of Washington County is sited on the marker.
Roquebrune-Cap-Martin is a commune in the Alpes-Maritimes department in southeastern France between Monaco and Menton. The name was changed from Roquebrune to differentiate the town from Roquebrune-sur-Argens in the neighboring Var department.
A tripoint, trijunction, triple point, or tri-border area is a geographical point at which the boundaries of three countries or subnational entities meet.
Tri-state area is an informal term in the eastern contiguous United States for any of several regions associated with a particular town or metropolis that, with adjacent suburbs, lies across three states. Some of these involve a state boundary tripoint. Other tri-state areas have a more diffuse population that shares a connected economy and geography — especially with respect to geology, botany, or climate — The term "tri-state area" is often present in movies, radio and television commercials.
Ahupuaʻa is a Hawaiian term for a large traditional socioeconomic, geologic, and climatic subdivision of land.
The land border of the State of Western Australia (WA) bisects mainland Australia along 129th meridian east longitude. The border divides WA from the Northern Territory (NT) and South Australia (SA).
A quadripoint is a point on the Earth that touches the border of four distinct territories. The territories can be of different types, such as national and provincial. Several examples exist throughout the world that use other names. In North America, several such places are more commonly known as Four Corners.
The northern boundary of the U.S. state of Massachusetts adjoins two other states: Vermont and New Hampshire. The majority of the boundary is roughly a straight line from the northwest corner of the state east to a point in Dracut, just north of Lowell. East of that point, the border is a series of lines about 3 miles (5 km) north of the curving Merrimack River, ending in the Atlantic Ocean.
The United States of America was created on July 4, 1776, with the Declaration of Independence of thirteen British colonies in North America. In the Lee Resolution of July 2, 1776, the colonies resolved that they were free and independent states. The union was formalized in the Articles of Confederation, which came into force on March 1, 1781, after being ratified by all 13 states. Their independence was recognized by Great Britain in the Treaty of Paris of 1783, which concluded the American Revolutionary War. This effectively doubled the size of the colonies, now able to stretch west past the Proclamation Line to the Mississippi River. This land was organized into territories and then states, though there remained some conflict with the sea-to-sea grants claimed by some of the original colonies. In time, these grants were ceded to the federal government.
Bai Sema are boundary stones which designate the sacred area for a phra ubosot within a Thai Buddhist temple (wat); otherwise called sema hin (เสมาหิน).
The border between Norway and Finland is 736 kilometers (457 mi) long. It is a land and river border between two tripoints. The western tripoint is marked by Treriksröset, a concrete cairn where both countries border Sweden. The eastern tripoint is marked by Treriksrøysa, a stone cairn where both countries border Russia.
The Drei-Länder-Stein is a boundary stone at the tripoint of the German federal states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia near the Großer Ehrenberg mountain in the Harz.
The France–Italy border is the international boundary between France and Italy.
The North Carolina–Tennessee–Virginia Corners is a tripoint at which North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia meet. The landmark is in the Iron Mountains and is roughly equidistant between Snake Mountain to the south and Mount Rogers to the northeast.
The Tri-States Monument is a granite monument that marks the tripoint of the state boundaries of New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. It is at the northwestern end of the boundary between New Jersey and New York, the northern end of the boundary between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and the eastern end of the boundary between New York and Pennsylvania. The monument is located at the confluence of the Delaware and Neversink rivers. This location is also known as Carpenter's Point.
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